Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ QB Bo Levi Mitchell ‘very excited’ for Week 1 return to Calgary

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym/RFB Sport Photography

Hamilton Tiger-Cats quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell is looking forward to returning to his old stomping grounds when he visits the Calgary Stampeders in Week 1 of the 2024 season.

“Obviously, I wish it would have happened last year but I’m very excited. It’s game one of the season and getting the chance to go back and play where I built my career for a very long time … I’m not sure how I’ll feel,” Mitchell said of his return to Calgary during a guest appearance on the Eatin’ Em Raw Podcast

It will have been 587 days from Mitchell’s last home game as a Stampeder at McMahon Stadium on October 29, 2022, when he makes his first start as a visitor on June 7. Due to an unbalanced schedule in 2023, the two teams met up only once, a 22-15 Tiger-Cats victory at Tim Hortons Field in late September. Mitchell missed that game due to a fractured ankle.

“I’ve heard Kyle Lowry talking about coming back into Toronto, LeBron (James) going back to Cleveland, whoever it is. I’m not comparing myself to them obviously, but they were in a similar situation as I am now,” Mitchell remarked. “I don’t know how I’ll feel, walking into the stadium or flying into the city.”

The Katy, Tex. native spent 10 seasons with the Red and White, throwing for 32,541 yards, 188 touchdowns, and 89 interceptions. He became the club’s all-time leading passer in August of 2022, surpassing Hall of Famer Henry Burris. On top of his statistical achievements, Mitchell won two Grey Cups as a member of the team and was twice named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player.

“I can tell you that I wish we were throwing the ball on every single play. I know JB  (James Butler) and Scott [Milanovich] don’t want to hear that, but it’s one of those things where you want to go out and make a statement,” joked Mitchell.

When he was first embarking on his professional journey, Mitchell would have gotten caught up in the hype surrounding the game and his return. The 34-year-old quarterback now insists his only focus is to make sure Hamilton leaves McMahon Stadium with a victory.

“When I was younger in my career, that’s what I’d be worried about. Going to make a statement to fans, to coaches and things like that,” he said.

“But my mindset is ‘how do we walk out of there with a win in game one of the season and get our season off on the right note?’.The fact that it happens to be Calgary is definitely just a plus.”

Following the Ticats’ opening game against the Stampeders on Friday, June 7, they will return to Hamilton to host the Saskatchewan Roughriders in their home opener on Sunday, June 16.

Troy Durrell is a University of Calgary and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology graduate. He covers the CFL and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.