Although it might not be as globally recognised as the NFL, the Canadian Football League still has fans across the world and the 2023 season is set to be one of the most exciting yet, with some welcome new changes to the format.
The Canadian Football League recently released its schedule for the 2023 season, giving fans plenty to look forward to and mark in their calendar. Before looking at some of the most exciting fixtures to come in this year’s CFL, let’s first take a look at some of the new changes that are being implemented.
Changes to the CFL in 2023
Firstly, the divisional playoff games will now be on Saturdays, a change that many CFL fans will welcome. The semi-finals will take place on 4th November, with the final set for 11th November.
Another change for 2023 is that the number of times that teams can host games in consecutive weeks has been reduced. The amount of times teams can face the same opponent back-to-back has been cut in half too, which should lead to greater variety in match ups.
In addition to the above-mentioned schedule changes, there’s also changes to the salary cap in the CFL, both at the upper and lower range. From this year, the upper limit will be set at $5,510,000, regardless of league revenue performance.
At the other end of the spectrum, the minimum salary will now be $70,000, up from 2022
‘s $65,000 for Canadian and American players and $54,000 for international players.
Finally is the starter ratio. From this season onwards, all teams will be required to have eight national players. One of these slots can be filled by Nationalised Americans i.e. those that have been in the league for five years or spent three years with the same team.
2023 CFL fixtures
The 2023 season has some fantastic fixtures for fans to look forward to. Below are some of the biggest events to come in the Canadian Football League this year.
Before the CFL 2023 season begins in earnest, there are nine pre-season games to be played. The first of these games sees the Edmonton Elks going to Calgary where they’ll face the Calgary Stampeders on the 22nd of May. This is the only game in the first week of pre-season.
Other games in week 2 and 3 of pre-season include the Montreal Alouettes vs Ottawa Redblacks, Toronto Argonauts vs Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Calgary Stampeders vs BC Lions and Saskatchewan Roughriders vs Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The 2023 CFL season begins on Thursday, June 8th and the first game sees the B.C. Lions facing off against the Stampeders in Calgary. 10 days later on the 18th, fans can look forward to Toronto Argonauts vs Hamilton. The Argonauts are the current Grey Cup holders, so this is a match up that’s sure to capture the attention of fans.
Labour Day games
The first of two Labour Day games sees the Hamilton Tiger-Cats taking on the Toronto Argonauts. The 2nd Labour Day game is the Edmonton Elks vs Calgary Stampeders at the Elk’s Commonwealth Stadium.
As well as the two Labour Day games, there’s also a game between Montreal and Winnipeg on Canada Day. Thanksgiving will also see Montreal in action when they face off against the Ottawa Redblacks.
After the regular season ends on October 28th, fans can look forward to the divisional playoffs.With the CFL being separated into two divisions – East and West, the divisional playoffs see teams from both divisions facing off against each other to see who’ll make the final, with the chance to win the Grey Cup.
The Grey Cup
The Grey Cup is of course the fixture that fans of the CFL anticipate the most. Representing the culmination of the season and the prize that the 9 teams in the league are all fighting for.
The 110th Grey Cup will take place on Sunday, November 19th at Tim Hortons Field. Although it’s not clear which teams will take part in the Grey Cup yet, it’s always a fixture that attracts a big audience.
The CFL 2023 season will be the 69th season of Canadian football and one that fans across Canada and the rest of the world will be eagerly anticipating. In other words, plenty of chances for placing your bets on sites like PowerPlay Canada. The changes to scheduling should add more variety to the league and when the two best teams make the Grey Cup final on November 19th, it’s sure to be a game that you won’t want to miss.
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