Breaking down the 2019 Redblacks schedule

Photo courtesy: Ottawa Tourism

For the second straight year, the CFL released its upcoming season schedule in December. It’s a progressive move for a few reasons.

First, it gives fans plenty of time to plan ahead. Whether that means organizing road trips or simply booking time off to tailgate on home game days.

For fans in the nation’s capital, there are some interesting takeaways from the Ottawa Redblacks’ 2019 schedule.

Saturday, June 1, Hamilton @ Ottawa, 7 p.m.
Thursday, June 6, Ottawa @ Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Regular Season
Saturday, June 15, Ottawa @ Calgary, 7 p.m.
Thursday, June 20, Saskatchewan @ Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, July 5, Winnipeg @ Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 13, Montreal @ Ottawa, 4 p.m.
Friday, July 19, Ottawa @ Winnipeg, 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 25, Calgary @ Ottawa, 7 p.m.
Friday, August 2, Ottawa @ Montreal, 7 p.m.
Friday, August 9, Ottawa @ Edmonton, 10 p.m.
Saturday, August 17, Hamilton @ Ottawa, 4 p.m.
Saturday, August 24, Ottawa @ Saskatchewan, 7 p.m.
Saturday, September 7, Toronto @ Ottawa, 1 p.m.
Friday, September 13, Ottawa @ BC, 10 p.m.
Saturday, September 21, BC @ Ottawa, 7 p.m.
Saturday, September 28, Edmonton @ Ottawa, 4 p.m.
Friday, October 11, Ottawa @ Toronto, 7 p.m.
Saturday, October 19, Ottawa @ Hamilton, 4 p.m.
Saturday, October 26, Ottawa @ Toronto, 4 p.m.
Friday, November 1, Montreal @ Ottawa, 7 p.m.

One thing that should immediately jump out to R-Nation is the home game schedule. A year after the majority (five) of the Redblacks’ home games fell on Friday, in 2019, Saturdays will be the big day at Lansdowne. Five home games fall on a Saturday this coming season, two on a Thursday and two on a Friday. That will go a long way towards facilitating tailgating and allowing more families to make it out to the stadium.

Ottawa’s season kicks off with a Grey Cup rematch in Calgary; it’s early but reports say field conditions will be 2,000 per cent better than last time these two teams met in Alberta. The Redblacks’ home opener comes a week later, against Saskatchewan.

The Redblacks will be in tough to start their year, with five of their first six and eight of their first ten games against Western opponents.

One thing that might offset that difficult slate is the fact that the Redblacks play three of their first four games at home. It’ll be important for Ottawa to take advantage of their rambunctious home crowd, as they close the regular season with three of their last four on the road. They also don’t have any home games in the month of October.

The Redblacks’ bye weeks are evenly spaced out, coming in Week 3, Week 12 and Week 17.

Ottawa’s longest gap between home games is 34 days (Sept. 28 to Nov. 1) and longest road stretch is three straight games; at Toronto, at Hamilton, and at Toronto again. Those road October divisional matchups will go a long way in determining playoff seeding.

It’s worth noting that as the season winds down, the Redblacks will control their own destiny; their regular season ends with four straight divisional games. Regardless of what happens beforehand, if Ottawa takes care of business then, they’re likely playoff bound.

For those in R-Nation looking to invade opposing stadiums, every away game in Montreal, Hamilton and Toronto falls on either a Friday or Saturday. That’s an ideal set up for the best travelling Eastern fan base.

Santino Filoso is originally from Ottawa and has written about the Redblacks since 2013. He is the only CFL writer currently living in Brazil (as far as we know).