2010 Schedule: Consistent Evolution

Published on February 5, 2010 3:31 PM by dbo.

Note: See the Schedules page if you are looking for the 2010 CFL schedule.

The CFL released the 2010 schedule February 1. This year’s schedule was eagerly anticipated and well received.

  • The regular season opens July 1, Canada Day, with two match-ups, including a Montreal at Saskatchewan Grey Cup rematch. This is the second consecutive year the season has kicked-off with a Canada Day Grey Cup rematch.
  • The bye weeks return to divisional face-offs with Winnipeg/Montreal and Hamilton/Toronto squaring off in week 8 and Calgary/BC and Saskatchewan/Edmonton battling in week 9.
  • Touchdown Atlantic is confirmed for September 26 with Edmonton visiting the host Argos at this neutral site game in Moncton, New Brunswick.
  • Calgary is pleased with their schedule, especially the time change of the traditional Labour Day match with Edmonton.
  • Edmonton, with their visit to Empire Stadium and playing in Moncton instead of Rogers Centre, will play all 18 games outdoors in 2010, the first time since 1982.

In our second annual analysis of the CFL schedule, we find the CFL has a slight shift from weekday to weekend games this year. Saturdays lead the way with 25 games, followed by 23 on Fridays, 13 on Sundays, 6 on holidays (Canada Day, Labour Day and Thanksgiving), 4 on Thursdays and 1 on Wednesday. Fridays are down by 4 games from 2009, while Saturday hosts an additional 4 games and Sunday an additional 3 games in 2010. Weekday (Wednesday, Thursday) games decrease from 8 to 5 this year.

Table 1: CFL 2010 Regular Season Games by Team and Day of the Week
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Stat*
BC 2 6 1
Calgary 3 3 1 2
Edmonton - 3 3 3
Hamilton 3 5 1
Montreal 3 2 3 1
Saskatchewan 1 1 4 2 1
Toronto 1 - 4 2 2
Winnipeg 5 2 1 1
Total - 1 4 23 25 13 6

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

The Lions have shifted from Fridays to Saturdays hosting the majority of their games this year. They also have one game on a Sunday afternoon, a first Sunday game in Vancouver in the regular season since 1987. The move to the temporary new Empire Stadium has also resulted in earlier start times, with the average start time reduced by one hour and 40 minutes.

Edmonton has eliminated the Thursday starts they were saddled with last year, balancing their games across Friday, Saturday and Sunday this year. Winnipeg is the only other team with a shift from last year, with five Friday starts in 2010. The remainder of the teams have only slight changes in their scheduled days, and are consistent with what they have arranged in the past.

As for start times, BC, Montreal and Edmonton lead the way with four different game times. This is a doubling of the amount of start times BC had last year, although three of their four times occur only once. Winnipeg and Hamilton have six different game times for their nine home games, down one from 2009. Saskatchewan has five different start times and is the only club with their most common kickoff time occuring in the afternoon.

Table 2: CFL 2010 Regular Season Game Unique Start Times by Team
Unique Times Mode (Local) Freq Count
BC 4 7:00 PM 6
Montreal 4 7:30 PM 4
Edmonton 4 5:00 PM 5
Toronto 5 7:30 PM 5
Saskatchewan 5 2:00 PM 3
Calgary
 
5
 
7:30 PM
8:00 PM
3
3
Winnipeg 6 6:00 PM 4
Hamilton 6 7:00 PM 3

The number of five-day or fewer turnarounds between games is 17 this year. Montreal leads the way with four and Calgary follows with three. The remainder of the teams have two instances except Saskatchewan and Winnipeg, who have only a single instance each. There are only nine games where the difference in days rest between the teams is three days or more, and two of those instances are around bye weeks where each team has at least one week rest between games.

Table 3: CFL 2010 Regular Season Days Between Games by Team
Min Avg Max
BC 5 8.3 15
Calgary 4 7.6 12
Edmonton 4 7.4 13
Hamilton 5 8.7 17
Montreal 5 8.6 15
Saskatchewan 5 8.3 15
Toronto 5 8.7 17
Winnipeg 5 8.7 17

Other schedule notes:

  • Teams play anywhere from two to four back-to-back series this year, an increase over last year.
  • Only Edmonton/Calgary and Saskatchewan/Winnipeg play return matches after the Labour Day clashes this year. Hamilton visits Toronto in week 8 prior to the East bye week, which still provides a home-and-home series around Labour Day for those teams.
  • Hamilton faces off against Winnipeg four times this year, and with their pre-season game, they play five times by August 13th and then do not see each other for the rest of the regular season.
  • Another instance of this is BC’s three games with Edmonton (complete by July 30th). These key divisional series can affect the standings very early in the season.
  • The noon Eastern time start for September 26th’s Touchdown Atlantic in Moncton will be the earliest regular season start for a CFL game since 1985 if my records are correct.
  • No television schedule was announced or posted by TSN (the CFL‘s exclusive broadcaster) with the release of the schedule, raising concerns that some games may be bumped to TSN2 this season (now that the CRTC has freed TSN2 of its requirement of programming only 10 per cent live content). However, as of this writing, the CFL on TSN schedule is now posted with all games appearing on the main channel.

Overall, the 2010 schedule is consistent with what the CFL has provided the past few seasons. New challenges were faced by the schedule maker this year with stadium changes and a neutral site regular season game. The same issues were also faced, including ensuring traditional dates, stadium availability, broadcaster requirements and proper breaks between games. I believe the scheduler has done another excellent job in managing these requirements and providing a balanced and fair schedule for CFL teams and fans.

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2010 Schedule: Consistent Evolution was published on February 5, 2010 3:31 PM by dbo.

1,230 words.

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