FB: 2018 Canada West season kicks off August 31

Three-time Hardy Cup finalists UBC and Calgary meet Sept. 7 and 22.
Three-time Hardy Cup finalists UBC and Calgary meet Sept. 7 and 22.

Evan Daum, Canada West Communications

Highlights:

  • The 2018 CW football season opens Friday, August 31 with two games (Calgary vs. Regina & Alberta vs. Saskatchewan)
  • UBC and Manitoba open their seasons on Saturday, September 1 in Vancouver
  • Three-time Hardy Cup finalists UBC and Calgary meet twice during the regular season (Sept. 7 in Calgary and Sept. 22 in Vancouver)
  • The 82nd Hardy Cup goes Saturday, November 10 

EDMONTON – After unveiling the upcoming season's weekly matchups back in February, Canada West released its complete 2018 football schedule Tuesday. 

COMPLETE CW FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

The 2018 CW football season hits the field Friday, August 31 with a pair of games, as the Regina Rams host the Calgary Dinos (7 p.m. SK / Mosaic Stadium), and the Saskatchewan Huskies welcome the Alberta Golden Bears (7 p.m. SK / Griffiths Stadium) on opening night. 

The final game of Week 1 is slated for Saturday, September 1 when the Manitoba Bisons travel to Vancouver for a game against the UBC Thunderbirds (7 p.m. PT / Thunderbird Stadium).

Fans looking for a rematch of last year’s epic Hardy Cup, which featured a 59-yard walk off field goal by Dino Niko DiFonte in Calgary’s 44-43 win over UBC, won’t have to wait long. The T-Birds head to the Stampede City Friday, Sept. 7 (5:30 p.m. MT / McMahon Stadium). The game is the first of two regular season meetings between the pair, as the finalists in the last three Hardy Cups will meet again Week 4 in Vancouver (Saturday, Sept. 22 / 5 p.m. PT / Thunderbird Stadium). 

Canada West’s annual bye week is once again slated for Thanksgiving weekend (first weekend of October), while the final night of regular season play is set for Saturday, Oct. 27. 

The conference semifinals will be played the first weekend of November, while the 82nd edition of the conference championship game – the Hardy Cup – is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 10. 

All told, a total of 24 CW regular season games and three playoff contests will be played, before conference play makes way for the U SPORTS national playoffs. The eventual Hardy Cup champion moves on this season to play the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) champion in the Mitchell Bowl (one of two national semifinals along with the Uteck Bowl) on Saturday, Nov. 17. 

The winner of the Mitchell Bowl heads to the Vanier Cup on Saturday, Nov. 24. The host city for the national championship game will be announced by U SPORTS at a later date.

Watch it all on Canada West TV

Every CW game this season will be available on Canada West TV – the official streaming home of Canada West football.

Last season saw record numbers for the Hardy Cup Playoffs, as the conference’s three football post-season games combined for more than 4,000 views on Canada West TV – nearly tripling the viewership of the 2016 conference football playoffs. 

Alberta and Calgary’s semifinal game, along with UBC and Calgary in the 81st Hardy Cup provided strong numbers, with more than 1,500 views each. The two games combined for more than 3,100 viewing hours, as fans were locked to their device to catch the Bears return to the post-season and Calgary’s thrilling last second win over UBC in the Hardy Cup. 

2018-19 Canada West TV passes will go on sale this June and will be available for purchase here.