What’s Up with the Calgary Sports Scene for 2021?

Calgary is a sports town. In fact, you can argue Calgary is the biggest sports city in Canada outside of Toronto. It’s hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics, the 2009 World Water Ski Championship, and of course, the annual world-renowned Stampede. 

Other than these major sporting events, Calgary boasts several professional sports teams that are popular among fans and online sports betting in Canada

But in light of the pandemic, the status of several of these franchises and their leagues has been up-in-the-air. So what exactly is going with Calgary and its sports scene?

Calgary Flames by NHL is licensed under CC BY 3.0
“Calgary Flames” by NHL is licensed under CC BY 3.0

The Flames are Back… on TV

The NHL season started January 13 with a shortened 56-game season. The format puts Calgary with the other Canadian teams in the North Division. Yes, there is hockey! Unfortunately, Calgarians can’t attend the games in person. For now. 

There is no official word on when the provincial will lift bans on fan attendance. Some hockey teams like the Nashville Predators and Arizona Coyotes have begun allowing fans in a limited capacity.

“So you’re saying there’s a chance?” Yes, in the future fans may finally be able to watch the Flames in person. But for the meantime, enjoy them on screen from the warmth and safety of your favourite couch.

The Stampeders and the CFL are Coming Back

The CFL tragically cancelled its 2020 season after both the federal and provincial governments forbade fans being in attendance.The CFL needed its fans as it would not be able to operate.

The good news is that the league is coming back per the usual time of the year: summer. The 2021 CFL season is scheduled to kick off on June 10 and commissioner Randy Ambrosie is guaranteeing it would include full fans in attendance.

That’s ambitious and here’s hoping! The Stampeders are just two seasons removed from their Grey Cup victory and are likely going to be a favourite in winning it this 2021. Stay tuned and check for updates on the upcoming season.

"CFA" by CFA.ca is licensed under CC BY 3.0
“CFA” by CFA.ca is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Hitmen to Play Again

The WHL made a commitment that it will have a 2021 season and it will feature 24 games. The start date and schedule are yet to be determined pending final approval from health authorities. 

The Hitmen also play in the Saddledome like the Flames and given the nation-wide ban on fan attendance, it’s unlikely they will allow fans either. 

At least there is a season in plans although the Hitmen, which has consistently been one of the most popular teams in the WHL, need its fans. It may be the season resumes when the governments have eased restrictions. Keep checking news for updates.

Cavalry FC and CanPL To Resume in Summer?

Will it be The Island Games sequel for the CanPL? Canada’s premier soccer league played its shortened season at the University of Prince Edward Island behind closed doors in response to COVID. It could go this route too if the upcoming season falls through. 

As of now, the CanPL is planning to resume a full season on May 22 pending approval of government authorities. Indeed, soccer should be played with the fans and ATCO Field is home to the Cavalry. Season tickets are already on sale from their site.

Wait for the Roughnecks Later This Year

The NLL recently announced the cancellation of its plans for an abbreviated season this spring. Instead, the league will focus on an expanded 2021-22 season that will likely begin in the Fall though there is no official word on this. 

With five Canadian teams playing in the NLL including the Roughnecks, border closures and tighter restrictions on travel and quarantine forced the NLL to just shut down its 2021 season. 

Check on the latest NLL updates to find out when the Roughnecks will return to action. Finger’s crossed it’s sooner than later!

The Stampede 

Only a global pandemic could’ve stopped the Stampede. For the first time in its 97-year history, the Stampede closed its proverbial doors last year. But the show continues as the 2021 Stampede is scheduled to return on July 9.

Tickets are already on sale on the website in a limited capacity. You can purchase tickets for the Stampede Rodeo and the Evening Show in an allotted time due to physical distancing. 

The show will go on and summer is looking good for Calgary sports. Here’s hoping Calgary will be back to the bustling sports town it’s known for!