Craig Reynolds pens letter to Rider Nation: ‘We have some unfinished business to attend to’

Craig Reynolds wants Rider Nation to know that football is back in the province of Saskatchewan.

The Canadian Football League board of governors voted to approve a 14-game 2021 regular season schedule on Monday. The announcement drew a strong reaction from the CFL community, which has gone over eighteen months without football due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saskatchewan Roughriders’ president and CEO Craig Reynolds penned a letter to Rider Nation urging the province to get vaccinated at the club hopes to fill Mosaic Stadium this year.

Rider Nation,  

The football drought is finally over! 

It’s been nearly a year and a half since Cody Fajardo threw a touchdown pass to Shaq Evans. A year and a half since we cheered on our team as they ran out of the tunnel to ‘Bring Em Out’. A year and a half  since your cheers filled Mosaic Stadium, so today I am extremely excited to be able to share with you that the 2021 CFL season will begin on August 5th with a brand-new 14-game schedule that will be released tomorrow!  

We are so thrilled that you are finally going to get to see the Green and White at Mosaic Stadium. It is going to be unlike any other season the team has ever played in, but after falling just short of a Grey Cup berth in 2019, we feel like we have some unfinished business to attend to.  

In just a few weeks our players will arrive in Saskatchewan, and after a quarantine and testing period, training camp will begin. So too will our quest to be Grey Cup Champions.  

We have been incredibly busy preparing for opening day and that work continues. Two weeks ago, our provincial government announced that if enough of the province gets vaccinated, we will be able to fill Mosaic Stadium. Nothing would mean more to us, to our players, coaches and staff, to be able to put on a game day that includes 33,000 of you on your feet as the team takes the field. I get chills just imagining it. 

For that to happen, we are asking you to do your part. We need 70% of the province, aged 12 and older, to have received their first COVID-19 vaccine. Everyone is now eligible to get that shot, so if you have been putting it off or haven’t quite gotten around to it – now is the time to act to help us get there. We want you back in the Stadium. It’s you, Rider Nation, that makes what we do so very special. 

I know you will have lots of questions about what the next steps will be, what it will look like when you return to Mosaic Stadium for the first time and even how and when you can buy tickets. All that is coming soon. We continue regular dialogue with provincial health officials and will be able to update you in the coming weeks – hopefully alongside a green light that we will be able to open up our home without capacity limits. 

There’s no doubt this year will be different. There will be challenges, including the financial one that the pandemic has left us with, but there is also hope. Hope that the fog of this pandemic will continue to lift. Hope that as the weeks and months go on, our country will begin to feel more like normal. That we’ll be able to visit with our family and friends across the country and beyond, maybe right here at Mosaic Stadium. Hope that when our Roughriders take the field, it will mark the start of our best season yet.  

2020 was so hard on so many of us – but 2021 will be a year with Roughriders football and I for one, can’t wait.  

See you soon,  

Craig Reynolds