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Winnipeg Blue Bombers release 2021 schedule

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are looking to defend their 2019 Grey Cup championship this season.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are looking to defend their 2019 Grey Cup championship this season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

The defending Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers will be front and center on opening night of the 2021 CFL season.

The Canadian Football League league has released its schedule, and the first game of the season on Thursday, June 10, will have the Blue Bombers hosting Hamilton in a 7:30 p.m. start at IG Field.

Winnipeg defeated the Tiger Cats 33-12 in the 2019 Grey Cup Game at Calgary’s McMahon Stadium. The entire 2020 schedule was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Blue Bombers will play a total of five Thursday or Friday night home games during the summer months of June, July and August. All four of their home games in September and October will be played on Saturdays.

Read more: Winnipeg Blue Bombers Chris Streveler moves on to NFL career

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One quirk of this year’s schedule is one less “out of division” game, so the Toronto Argonauts will not be making an appearance at IG Field this season.

Instead, the Bombers will play three games each against BC, Calgary and Edmonton, as well as home-and-home series versus Saskatchewan and the other three East Division teams.

The two-game series with the archrival Roughriders will include the Labour Day Classic in Regina on  Sept. 5,  followed by the Banjo Bowl in Winnipeg on Sept. 11.

The Blue and Gold kick off their preseason with a pair of games against the Riders: May 28 at home, and June 4 at Mosaic Stadium.

Read more: Despite roster freeze, Winnipeg Blue Bombers still looking for next big thing during pandemic

The full regular season schedule:

All start times listed are CT

June 10 vs. Hamilton  (7:30 p.m.)
June 17 at Montreal (6:30 p.m.)
June 25 vs Edmonton (7:30 p.m.)
July 3 at Edmonton (8:30 p.m.)
July 8 vs Montreal (7:30 p.m.)
July 22 at Calgary (8 p.m.)
July 30 vs BC (7:30 p.m.)
Aug. 5 at Ottawa (6:30 p.m.)
Aug. 20 at Hamilton (6 p.m.)
Aug. 26 vs BC (7:30 p.m.)
Sept. 5 at Saskatchewan (5 p.m.)
Sept. 11 vs Saskatchewan (3 p.m.)
Sept. 17 at Calgary (8:30 p.m.)
Sept. 25 at Toronto (3 p.m.)
Oct. 2 vs Ottawa (3 p.m.)
Oct. 16 at BC (6 p.m.)
Oct. 23 vs Calgary (3 p.m.)
Oct. 30 vs Edmonton (6 p.m.)

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Click to play video 'We are the champions: Winnipeg celebrates Bombers’ Grey Cup win' We are the champions: Winnipeg celebrates Bombers’ Grey Cup win
We are the champions: Winnipeg celebrates Bombers’ Grey Cup win – Nov 30, 2019