Analyzing the 2009 CFL Schedule

Published on February 16, 2009 9:45 PM by dbo.

Note: See the Schedules page if you are just looking for 2009 CFL schedule in iCal format. For a printable 2009 CFL schedule try the CFL.ca site or tsn.ca for the television schedule.

The CFL released the 2009 schedule February 3 and it has received positive reviews from around the league.  This year’s schedule offers a few new wrinkles from recent seasons.

Things to note about the 2009 CFL schedule:

  • The regular season opens July 1, Canada Day, with two match-ups, including a Montreal at Calgary Grey Cup rematch.
  • The Week 8 and 9 bye weeks feature crossover contests instead of divisional face-offs.
  • Sunday playoff games are back after a one year experiment with Saturdays.

I thought it would be useful to do some analysis of the new schedule.  First I broke the schedule down by day of the week.  This provides a picture of the consistency of the schedule.  BC is the most consistent with seven home games on Fridays and two on Saturdays.  The remaining teams schedule games on three different weekdays.  (I lumped games on stat holidays together as another weekday).  Two or three different days per team is very consistent and a requirement due to the needs of the television broadcaster, TSN.  The CFL has made some progress in this area, as the amount of games on Thursdays (eight total), is down from fifteen Thursday games in 2008.

Hamilton has a unique schedule with a third of their games on stat holidays (Canada Day, their traditional Labour Day game and Thanksgiving).  On both Canada Day and Labour Day they face their rivals, the Toronto Argonauts.  Edmonton is happy with their schedule with no 8 pm local start times, but in exchange they received five Thursday night games.  Toronto received five Friday night games, up one game from last year, while BC, with their late start times prime for the second half of Friday Night Football double-headers, received seven Friday night games, also up one from last year.

Table 1: CFL 2009 Regular Season Games by Team and Day of the Week
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Stat*
BC 7 2
Calgary 3 4 2
Edmonton 5 3 1
Hamilton 3 3 3
Montreal 2 2 4 1
Saskatchewan 1 5 3
Toronto 1 5 3
Winnipeg 3 3 3
Total 8 27 21 10 6

* — Four games occur on Stat Holiday Mondays (Labour Day and Thanksgiving) and two on a Stat Holiday Wednesday (Canada Day)

As for start times, BC also leads the way with just two different start times while Winnipeg and Hamilton have seven different start times for their nine home games.  Television schedule requirements do play a large part in game start times.  Still, more consistent start times not only helps local fans, but also television audiences find the games.

Table 2: CFL 2009 Regular Season Game Unique Start Times by Team
Count
BC 2
Montreal 3
Edmonton 4
Toronto 4
Saskatchewan 6
Calgary 6
Winnipeg 7
Hamilton 7

The number of five day turnaround between games appears to be reduced.  Although there are still complaints, the options are limited when short turnarounds are forced due to traditional match-ups that clubs will not adjust.  Also substantially reduced, which will provide much more variety week to week, are the home-and-home games.  By my quick review it appears no club is involved in more than two home-and-home series.

Overall, the 2009 schedule looks like a good evolution for the CFL. Even with a single television broadcaster the schedule has gravitated towards more consistent dates and times when the fear was the schedule would need to be spread out to accommodate TSN’s schedule. Now the schedule is out, fans can purchase their tickets in confidence and look forward to an exciting season in 2009.

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Analyzing the 2009 CFL Schedule was published on February 16, 2009 9:45 PM by dbo.

1,020 words.

This article is categorized under Game and tagged with canada-day, labour-day, schedule, thanksgiving and tsn.

One Response to “Analyzing the 2009 CFL Schedule”

  1. I will get the 2009 CFL schedule in iCal format posted on the site shortly (2 weeks tops).

    By dbo on February 16, 2009 3:58 PM