Elks, Stampeders preseason game delayed 30 minutes due to air quality concerns

Photo courtesy: Ryan Ballantine/3DownNation

Monday’s preseason game between the Edmonton Elks and Calgary Stampeders has been postponed from 4:00 p.m. EDT to 4:30 p.m. EDT due to air quality concerns stemming from ongoing wildfires in Alberta.

The league indicated in a statement that the delay will allow for additional time needed to monitor the air quality and to ensure that the teams have ample time to warm up. The decision was made by the league, the CFL Players’ Association, and both teams.

Both teams were forced to practice indoors this past week as the air quality health index (AQHI) reached higher than the league’s threshold of seven. As of 1:30 p.m. EDT, Calgary’s AQHI was eight but expected to fall to four by the evening hours.

The Elks are sending a young roster to Calgary with Taylor Cornelius, Kevin Brown, Eugene Lewis, Steven Dunbar Jr., Dillon Mitchell, Kyran Moore, Jake Ceresna, A.C. Leonard, Adam Konar, Ed Gainey, Aaron Grymes, and Loucheiz Purifoy not dressing for the game. Kai Locksley, who started 12 games at slotback last season, will start at quarterback.

The Stampeders will start Jake Maier at quarterback accompanied by what appears to be most of the team’s projected starters. Maier became the new face of the franchise in 2022 after he supplanted future Hall of Fame quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell as the starting passer.

Click here to view a list of eight notable rookies to watch in Monday’s preseason game.

Edmonton missed the playoffs in 2022 after finishing last in the West Division with a record of 4-14. Calgary finished third in the West Division with a 12-6 record and lost to the B.C. Lions in the West Semi-Final.

Monday’s preseason game can be viewed on the CFL’s website, which will broadcast all preseason games not being televised by TSN/RDS.