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Ottawa Redblacks team facts

  • Location: Ottawa, Ontario
  • Stadium: TD Place Stadium (1906-96, 2002-05, 2014-present; capacity: 24,000)
  • Year Founded: 1876
  • Grey Cup Titles : 9 (1925, 1926, 1940, 1951, 1960, 1968, 1973, 1976, 2016)

Ottawa Redblacks history

Though the Redblacks are technically the most recent to join the CFL, football in Canada’s capital city dates back to 1876 with the formation of the Ottawa Rough Riders. Similar to the Montreal Alouettes, there have been three incarnations of the Ottawa franchise that are now all considered one entity for the purpose of record-keeping.

Ottawa won nine Grey Cups over a storied run of more than a century as the Rough Riders, beginning in 1925 and extending to 1976, with five of the titles coming after the formation of the Canadian Football League in 1958 (the Grey Cup has been awarded since 1909).

The Rough Riders were particularly dominant in the late 1960s and into the mid-1970s, winning four titles between 1968 and 1976. The final Grey Cup appearance for the original iteration of the Ottawa franchise came in 1981 before failing to go over .500 for 15 straight seasons and didn’t win a single playoff game. Following the 1996 season, the team folded after 120 years.

After five seasons without a CFL franchise, Ottawa was resurrected as the Renegades in 2002 and the team played four seasons before play was suspended in 2006 and operations shut down in 2008. Following another several-year period of inactivity, the third and current installment of the Ottawa CFL team began play in 2014 thanks to Jeff Hunt and the rest of the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group.

Due to naming rights complications with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the franchise was forced to take on a new name, though the team still has its original colors and the new name pays tribute to the original Rough Riders in a number of ways.

Success came early and often for the newest edition of the Ottawa CFL team. Under head coach Rick Campbell, it took the Redblacks until just its second year to reach the Grey Cup final in 2015, losing to Edmonton. But the following season, Ottawa defeated Edmonton in the 2016 East Final before beating Calgary to capture the city’s first Grey Cup since 1976.

Ottawa reached another Grey Cup Final in 2018, losing to Calgary while making its third appearance in four years.