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Halifax scores Canadian Football League regular season game

Roughriders and Argonauts will play at Huskies Stadium July 25, 2020

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caption Saskatchewan Roughriders president and CEO Craig Reynolds (left), CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie (middle) and Toronto Argonauts general manager Michael Clemons (right) at the Touchdown Atlantic press conference.
Ben Bogstie

The Canadian Football League is returning to Saint Mary’s University and Halifax for the first time in 15 years.

The Toronto Argonauts will host the Saskatchewan Roughriders for a regular season game on Saturday, July 25 at Huskies Stadium on the Saint Mary’s campus.

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie made the announcement during a press conference at Rogers Square on Thursday.

“We want to put on a show here in Halifax for Atlantic Canadians, Canadians and football fans from around the world. We can’t think of a better place to take the next big step in our journey to make Atlantic Canada a full and vibrant partner of the Canadian Football League,” he said at the press conference.

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In addition to the game, there will be a “mini Grey Cup festival” for three days, punctuated by Saturday’s game.

“We are telling people to book your hotel rooms early because they aren’t going to last long, we are going to be telling them to book your seats early because they won’t last long and we expect this to be the next great chapter in the expansion of the Canadian Football League into Atlantic Canada,” said Ambrosie.

Huskies Stadium will receive 6,000 temporary seats to bring its capacity up to 10,000. Saint Mary’s University president Robert Summerby-Murray was enthusiastic about the game.

“So today of course is a historic day for the CFL but it’s a historic day also for Saint Mary’s, for those of Saint Mary’s University, especially for our football fans,” Summerby-Murray said at the press conference. “As many of you know Saint Mary’s has a proud tradition for football and is seen by many as the heart of football in the Atlantic region.”

The last time Halifax hosted a CFL game was in 2005 when 10,000 fans watched the Argonauts tie the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 16-16 in a preseason exhibition contest. It was the first game in the Touchdown Atlantic series and was also played at Huskies Stadium.

Moncton, N.B. hosted the Touchdown Atlantic series in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2019.

Last year, Saskatchewan finished the regular season with a record of 13-5 before losing in the Western Conference final to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Toronto went 4-14 and missed the playoffs.

Canadian Football Hall of Fame inductee and current Argonauts general manager Michael (Pinball) Clemons also spoke during the press conference.

“We as the Canadian Football League and specifically as the Toronto Argonauts, we could not be more proud,” Clemons said. “If you ask where would you want to play, if you gave us an opportunity to play one place it would be Atlantic Canada and it’s because you’ve never seen fun that you didn’t like.”

Public tickets will go on sale at the end of February. Ambrosie said he expects the average ticket price to be around $50, while much of the festival activities leading up to the game will be free.

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