Game one should be on Labour Day.
Now that we know the Hamilton Tiger-Cats won’t play their inaugural game at Tim Hortons Field on July 26, or game number two on July 31, the team should fast forward their opening day plans for September 1.
Construction delays have forced the team to abandon its target for a July 26 start date against the expansion Ottawa RedBlacks at Hamilton’s new stadium.
And playing less than a week later against Winnipeg is also out of the question due to the amount of work that still has to be done at THF.
Instead, the Ticats will host Ottawa and the Blue Bombers at McMaster University’s Ron Joyce Stadium.
The next date that looms large on the horizon is August16, when the Ticats are scheduled to host the Calgary Stampeders.
Opening up a new stadium should be an extra special occasion.
No offence to Calgary, but Ticats vs. Stampeders as an opening act in Hamilton is far from an ideal match up.
So if Tim Hortons Field isn’t ready by August 16, and I have my doubts, it better be done by Labour Day.
I’m imagining fans throwing tomatoes (or worse) at me right now, because you’ve paid your hard earned money to watch the first three home games at the new stadium, not McMaster.
And many of you won’t get to, or will refuse to, attend the home games at Ron Joyce.
For me, it comes down to expectations.
We were expecting THF to open July 26, but it is not.
If the 2014 CFL schedule came out listing Hamilton’s first three home games at McMaster instead of Tim Hortons Field, the grumbling among the Black & Gold faithful probably would have been at a much lower decibel.
If the team had its way, it would have started the season on time, there’s no doubt about that.
But given the choice of opening their brand new digs in a partially completed venue takes all the air out of the balloon.
It’s best to wait for September 1.
Hamilton vs. Toronto in the first ever game at Tim Hortons Field is the scenario Cats fans around the globe should be wishing for.
CFL pundits say the real season starts on Labour Day.
That may hold true for fans going to game #1 at Tim Hortons Field.