When news was released that the Riders would be back playing in a CFL season this year, area Rider fans were more than ready to rejoin their team in the 13th man role.
“This virus has been unpredictable from the very beginning, and so there are contingencies in place in case things don’t go as planned, but we are putting everything we have into hitting that Aug. 5 target,” says Rider CEO Craig Reynolds.
“This season will be played under rigorous health protocols for both our fans in the stands and for our players both on and off the field. But all of this is done to ensure we can keep everyone safe.”
Reynolds says the team will work with health officials to confirm the number of fans allowed in stadium during the games and to finalize safety protocols.
“We will be following up very soon with those details, including the ticketing process, but protocols like mandatory masks, social distancing and assigned gates with staggered stadium entry can be expected,” Reynolds explains.
Lori and Robin Cosh of Macklin have been season ticket holders for 20 years and this announcement brought much jubilation to their household.
“So excited about the return of the CFL. Not concerned at all about returning to the stadium," Robin says,
“I don’t worry when I’m in the city in a mall, so I shouldn’t need to worry about attending a game. Those that are concerned still have the option to wear masks and social distance.”
Green has always been the colour in the Pat and Wanda Gumpinger household and they too were excited to learn their favourite team will be back on the field this summer, including the annual tradition of the Labour Day Classic.
After numerous years on a waiting list, the Gumpinger duo finally scored coveted season tickets when the new stadium allowed more seating. This was a dream come true for dedicated Rider fan, Pat, and the couple now have enjoyed five years in their season ticket seats.
“I feel it is the right decision to return. I fear what might have happened to the existence of the CFL if they didn't play again this season,” Wanda says.
“I am not concerned with the vaccinated vs. unvaccinated in attendance. We will wear our masks, which of course are Rider masks, and will respect the personal space of everyone around us and follow the protocols in place. Basically keep doing what we have been doing and go and enjoy some Rider football.”
Wanda playfully adds, “To be honest, I’m was more concerned with what would happen to Pat if there wasn’t a CFL season this year”