Lions open season against Eskimos
BC Lions quarterback Travis Lulay hands off the ball to running back Stefan Logan during a game last season. (REUTERS)
The 2014 schedule is out. And for the B.C. Lions, their Grey Cup quest begins June 28 at home to the Edmonton Eskimos.
What stands out in the 18-game Canadian Football League schedule, which was released Wednesday, is the addition of another bye-week — giving the Leos Week 10 and Week 17 off. They close out their regular campaign on Nov. 7 at BC Place against the Calgary Stampeders. The season will also feature three afternoon games, while the Lions will play at home on four Saturdays, four Fridays, and once on Sunday.
“From a coaching perspective this year’s schedule is very favourable for us,” head coach Mike Benevides said. “Consistent preparation time between games, tough opponents early on, a late season bye-week and finishing at home against a division rival will make 2014 very exciting and a lot of fun.”
Key dates include the expansion squad Ottawa RedBlacks making their first visit to Vancouver on Thanksgiving weekend on Oct. 11 while the Grey Cup champs, the Saskatchewan Roughriders, head into town on Aug. 24. The team's pre-season begins June 13 on the road in Edmonton before their lone home match against Calgary prior to the start of the regular season.
Meanwhile, the 102nd Grey Cup game goes Nov. 30 at BC Place, and on Wednesday, the team launched the logo for the festival, which runs Nov. 26 until the championship game. The brand Roar on the Shore was designed by defensive lineman Keron Williams.
“Keron’s re-imagining of the festival brand has brilliantly captured the spirit of this year’s celebration,” Grey Cup Festival GM Jamie Pitblado said. "We are very excited to have the Grey Cup Festival returning to Vancouver for an astounding 16th time."
In roster news, the Lions lost free agent defensive back Joshua Bell, who signed with the Calgary Stampeders.