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Saskatchewan Roughriders return to action for first time in nearly 2 years

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are back in action for the first time in 628 days. They take on the B.C. Lions in their first game of the 2021 CFL season. Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press

It’s a day many in the province have been waiting for: the return of the Saskatchewan Roughriders as they get set for Friday’s home opener against the B.C. Lions at Mosaic Stadium.

The team’s last game was on Nov. 17, 2019, when they lost to the eventual Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the West final.

It’s been 628 days in between games.

Read more: Full crowd expected at 2021 Saskatchewan Roughriders home opener

The province lifted all health restrictions surrounding COVID-19 on July 11. However, the Roughriders are taking some precautions when it comes to keeping people safe while at the game.

Those include a digital ticketing system that encourages game goers to download the Rider App and to make sure tickets are available on your phone. Further information regarding digital ticketing can be found on Riderville.com.

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The Roughriders have also moved to a clear bag policy.

“This process will allow for faster entry into Mosaic Stadium and quicker screening at entry points by stadium security,” the Roughriders said in a press release Friday.

“Each fan, including children, can bring in one clear bag sized 12 inches x 6 inches x 12 inches or smaller.”

Fans can also expect to see more cleaning going on than in years past.

Read more: Saskatchewan Roughriders update list of prohibited items at games post-COVID-19 shutdown

“Enhanced cleaning measures will also be noticed across Mosaic Stadium, especially in high traffic areas such as doors, bathrooms and counter tops where specific custodians will be assigned for frequent cleaning,” the Roughriders said.

“Other enhancements include more than 200 hand sanitizer stations and upgraded air filters in indoor spaces such as the Capital Auto and Thrive Wealth Suites, AGT Lounge and Harvard’s Studio 620 on the west concourse.”

In partnership with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, the Roughriders will offer an on-site vaccine clinic for those looking to get either their first or second COVID-19 shot.

That will take place at Confederation Park from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Apart from driving, biking or walking to Mosaic Stadium, Rider Transit is a free service offered two hours and 15 minutes before the game up until 30 minutes to kickoff.

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Buses return at the beginning of the fourth quarter and are available up to one hour after the game has ended.

Read more: What you need to know about Saskatchewan Roughriders game day transportation

Roughriders ticket-holders can ride regular transit free of charge, including registered clients for Paratransit service, by showing their game-day ticket.

Transit riders are encouraged to bring a mask, although they are optional, and to use hand sanitizer available on all Regina transit buses.

Evraz Place is offering a bike valet service located outside Gate No. 1 in the southwest corner of the stadium beside Confederation Park. The valet opens at 5:30 p.m. every game day.

The Roughriders are asking anyone who is feeling sick to stay home. Those attending Friday’s sold-out game are encouraged to be in their seats by 7:15 p.m.

“We have some special moments planned to acknowledge and honour all of what we have gone through over the last year-and-a-half,” the Roughriders said.

Game time is 7:30 p.m.

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