Forget FC Hamilton will soon look to win the North Star Shield and the Canadian Premier League championship for the third straight year.
The Canadian Premier League announced over the weekend that Winnipeg, Manitoba will serve as the single-city location for the start of the 2021 CPL season. The season will begin on Saturday, June 26 with each club playing eight matches (32 games total).
The CPL and the Province of Manitoba have been working to finalize the details on the 29-day single-city format, “The Kickoff Presented By Volkswagen”, which will abide by all mandated public health protocols and measures. The safety and well-being of Manitoba residents, players, coaches, officials, and staff is the single most important factor in consideration.
“The health and safety of all Manitobans is our first priority and public health has been working alongside the Canadian Premier League and the Valour Football Club to bring this event to Winnipeg in a safe manner and within the current public health orders,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s Chief Provincial Public Health Officer. “Guidelines are in place for team testing before travel, during the first seven days and weekly thereafter, and players will be cohorted with their teams and only interact with other teams during matches. Additionally, essential personnel will be limited and proactive screening, monitoring and tracking of participants will be documented to ensure the event is successful and safe.”
The made-for-TV event will commence on Saturday, June 26 with the first two regular season matches and is scheduled to conclude on Saturday, July 24 at which point the potential of clubs returning to their home markets in front of supporters will be re-evaluated.
The Kickoff Weekend gets started at 2:00PM ET on Saturday, June 26 with FC Edmonton vs Atlético Ottawa followed by Pacific FC vs HFX Wanderers FC at 5:00PM ET. The doubleheader matches continue Sunday, June 27 with Forge FC vs Valour FC at 2:00PM ET followed by Cavalry FC vs York United FC at 5:00PM ET at IG Field, the home of Valour FC.
“We are thrilled to be hosting our clubs at IG Field to begin the season,” said Wade Miller, President & CEO of Valour FC. “We thank the CPL, Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg for their support and co-operation in securing The Kickoff at IG Field and we can’t wait to get the season started.”
The Canadian Premier League will unveil the 2021 Canadian Premier League Macron kits on Monday, June 7th and the full schedule for The Kickoff on Wednesday, June 9th.
All matches broadcast exclusively via the CPL’s media partner, OneSoccer.