The Canadian Football League released its 2013 schedule at noon on Tuesday, confirming a rumour that may have some die-hard southern Ontario football fans in distress: There will be no Labour Day Classic between the Hamilton Tiger Cats and the Toronto Argonauts this year.
Scheduling conflicts made it “difficult” for CFL personnel to organize the almost-annual showdown, according to Scott McNaughton, the Ticats' director of communications.
On Labour Day, which falls on Sept. 2 in 2013, the Tabbies' new stadium will still be under construction.
'We look forward to restoring the Labour Day Classic next year in our brand new world-class stadium.' —Scott McNaughton, Hamilton Tiger Cats
The Argos' home field, the Rogers Centre, won't be available, either. The Toronto Blue Jays, who share the facility with the Argos, are playing a home game on the previous day. The Argos' management has said there wouldn't sufficient time for crews to prepare the field for a football configuration.
Alumni Stadium at the University of Guelph, where the Ticats will play their 2013 home games, will also be in use on Sept. 2. The Guelph Gryphons are scheduled to host the Windsor Lancers on that day.
“Playing at Guelph or any other university facility in southern Ontario was going to be difficult because of [Canadian Interuniversity Sport] games and students moving in that weekend,” McNaughton said.
The Ticats are set to play the B.C. Lions on Labour Day weekend, McNaughton said, adding he is optimistic the Ontario rivals will face off on Labour Day in 2014.
“We look forward to restoring the Labour Day Classic next year in our brand new world-class stadium.”