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Canadian Premier League to begin 2021 season with 32 games in Winnipeg

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The Canadian Premier League will begin its 2021 season with 32 games played in Winnipeg, Saturday, June 26.

Each team will play eight games during the first mont of the season. The league is planning to play a full 28-game regular season and hopes to return to playing in home markets after the month-long stay in Winnipeg. But that will be determined by if COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions are lifted by then.

Everyone has come together to make this happen,” said Canadian Premier League commissioner David Clanachan, via a league statement Friday. “We know what it takes, we have the playbook, and we know how to execute flawlessly as we did in 2020. We are planning to return to our home markets to play matches in front of fans following the single-city portion of the schedule.”

Full Canadian Premier League Statement:

CANADIAN PREMIER LEAGUE CONFIRMS WINNIPEG, MANITOBA AS LOCATION FOR 2021 SEASON START

Toronto, ON – (June 5, 2021)  The Canadian Premier League is pleased to announce Winnipeg, Manitoba 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) and all matches broadcast exclusively via the CPL’s media partner, OneSoccer.

“The level of support from the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg who have been at the forefront of all our planning has been tremendous and focused on delivering the season with safety for all a top priority,” said Canadian Premier League Commissioner, David Clanachan. “Everyone has come together to make this happen. We know what it takes, we have the playbook, and we know how to execute flawlessly as we did in 2020. We are planning to return to our home markets to play matches in front of fans following the single-city portion of the schedule.”

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 tournament is being supported by a commitment from the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and Economic Development Winnipeg through a provincial long-term recovery fund. In November 2020, the Manitoba government provided $50 million to these organizations to administer towards Manitoba’s long-term economic recovery from COVID-19 and support projects that can kick-start the provincial economy.

“This major sporting event is going to be done safely and will be a boost for our tourism sector, which has been hit hard by the pandemic,” said Dayna Spiring, President & CEO, Economic Development Winnipeg. “The Kickoff will translate into more than 5,500 booked hotel room nights and $4.9M in economic spinoff. In addition, international media coverage will elevate Winnipeg on the global stage and position us as a premier city to host similar events in the future.”

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.”

Stay tuned for more exciting announcements to officially launch the Canadian Premier League 2021 season with the unveiling of the 2021 Canadian Premier League Macron kits on Monday, June 7 and the full schedule for The Kickoff on Wednesday, June 9.

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About Author

Editor of Total Soccer News | Photographer and Writer | Stuart Gradon is soccer journalist and multimedia professional, having worked at 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada. He covers Cavalry FC and Canadian Premier League. Stuart is available for media appearances, including podcasts, television, and radio. Email stuartgradon@totalsoccernews.com to inquire.

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