After bringing home the win from their first game of the 2021 CFL season in Edmonton against the newly named Elks in a 16-12 defensive battle, the Ottawa Redblacks have officially began to sell single game tickets for the home opener on August 28th. Approximately 12,000 season ticket holders have already received their tickets to the game against the B.C Lions, while close to 3,000 people can still attend the game with the 15,000 fan maximum due to COVID-19 restrictions. Here are 5 reasons why you should be among the 15,000 fans at TD Place watching the Ottawa Redblacks live against the B.C Lions.
The return of Rick Campbell
After spending 6 seasons as the Ottawa Redblacks’ head coach, fighting through a 2-16 inaugural season in 2014, making it to 3 Grey Cup games, and winning one in just the 3rd year of the team’s existence Campbell returns to Ottawa, but on the opposite side of the sidelines. He will be at the visitors bench as the head coach and co-general manager of the B.C Lions. Campbell is currently 0-1 as the Lions’ head coach but will look to improve to 1-1 in tomorrow night’s game against the Calgary Stampeders. Redblacks fans and all of Ottawa spent 6 years watching him on the sidelines at TD Place and cheered him on on multiple occasions so why not welcome him back to the nation’s, capital and see how your Ottawa Redblacks do against his Lions team.
It has been a while since the Redblacks hosted their last CFL home game. Dating all the way back to November 1st of 2019 so even though it may not be a full house come August 28th it will definitely be a loud, energetic crowd full of different emotions. R-Nation is known to have quite the parties at TD Place and the first home game of the 2021 CFL season should be the biggest party.
New Look Redblacks
Along with the departure of Rick Campbell, who is now the head coach of the B.C Lions, the Ottawa Redblacks have been faced with many other changes. An entirely new coaching staff except for the likes of special teams co-ordinator Bob Dyce, a new quarterback in Matt Nichols and a very new defence, which after the first game of the season looks to be one of the better ones in the CFL all come to Ottawa for their first ever Redblacks home game on the 28th. It will be your very first opportunity to watch everything come together live at TD Place so don’t miss out on your opportunity to see the new look Redblacks. Not to mention that they will look much different in their new New Era uniforms!
Fast pace defence
The 2019 Ottawa Redblacks struggled in many different categories, including the defence. They were in last place for the majority of defensive categories in their 3-15 season, but after one week into the 2021 CFL season a lot has changed. Ottawa is now in first place in a few defensive categories, one week into the CFL season, and a major reason why that is the case is because of the speed they have on that side of the ball. Abdul Kanneh showed his speed on a 102 yard interception return for a touchdown, Micah Awe demonstrated it on a 7 yard sack in the first quarter and so did Avery Williams on his sack as well as his 14 tackles, a league lead. These are just three of many instances from the Redblacks-Elks game where Redblacks defensive stars showed speed but there were many, and there will be many more with defensive co-ordinator Mike Benevides in charge.
The rise of the Redblacks’ offence
Yes, the Ottawa Redblacks won their season opener over the Edmonton Elks 16-12, however their offence struggled to move the ball. It was a defensive and special teams win for the Redblacks, having scored all of their points through field goals and a pick six, however with Paul LaPolice in charge of the offence and Matt Nichols under centre alongside some young stars in RJ Harris, Ryan Davis and more it wont be long until the offence starts moving the ball successfully, and when the Redblacks offence is able too match the productivity that the defence and special teams provided in last weeks game, Ottawa could be the team to beat in the CFL. Will that come to fruition on August 28th for the home opener? Come to the game and see for yourself.
All photos from CFL, Ottawa Redblacks