January 3, 2018

Back To Business | Key Dates In 2018

B.C. Lions' Emmanuel Arceneaux (84) pretends to take a selfie with teammates Bryan Burnham, from left to right, Jeremiah Johnson, Kelvin Palmer, Rolly Lumbala and Kirby Fabien as they celebrate Johnson's touchdown against the Montreal Alouettes during the second half of a CFL football game in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday September 8, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Now that the Christmas decorations are stashed away and the champagne bottles re-corked, BC Lions fans can officially start looking ahead to a year that has already produced some very exciting additions. New club president Rick LeLacheur arrives at the Surrey facility this week while General Manager Ed Hervey will spend most of January on the road, highlights that include scouting staples such as the East/West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl. Here is a list of important dates on the 2018 CFL and BC Lions calendar.

Thursday, January 4th- Back In Business

Lions’ office officially re-opens for the year. Those interested in purchasing 2018 season memberships or our new popular kids’ season memberships can phone 604-589-ROAR or email fanservices@bclions.com to speak with an account rep.

Wednesday, January 10th- Thursday, January 11th- CFL Governors Meetings in Banff, Alberta

Commissioner Randy Ambrosie has been a big believer of keeping league news in the spotlight year round. These meetings of the minds present a big opportunity to get front-page news to kick off a new calendar year. You would think an expansion team to the Maritimes and more talk of moving the schedule up a couple of weeks to be big items on the agenda.

Tuesday, February 13th- CFL Free Officially Opens

The Lions were quite active in the first few days last season, adding the likes of Chris WilliamsTony BurnettBuddy Jackson and DeQuin Evans. Expect both sides of the line of scrimmage to be big- no pun intended- priorities this time around.

Tuesday, March 20th- Sunday, March 25th- Mark’s CFL Week In Winnipeg

After last year’s successful extravaganza in Regina, which included Geroy Simon announced as a member of the 2017 Hall of Fame Class, the 2018 event will take place in the Manitoba Capital. Once again, players from around the league will interact with fans and take part in the various TSN and league photo shoots. It all ends with the two-day CFL combine, a chance to get an up close look at the top 2018 Canadian draft prospects.

Thursday, May 3rd- 2018 CFL Draft

The Lions currently hold the 3rd, 12th, 21st, 29th, 38th, 46th, 47th and 58th picks. The 47th selection was acquired from Saskatchewan as part of the Mike Edem trade last year. The Lions’ eighth round selection (63rd overall) went to Saskatchewan in the same trade. 2017 draft picks Daniel Vandervoort, Junior Luke, Frederic Chagnon and Jordan Herdman all suited up for 18 games in their rookie season. Nate Hamlin dressed for two games before learning his trade on the practice roster.

Sunday, May 20th- Training Camp Opens At Hillside Stadium, Kamloops

Unlike previous years, there will be no three-day camp for first year Lions preceding the start of main camp. Details on a mini-camp in April for rookies will be announced at a later date.

Friday, June 1st- Pre-Season Opener In Calgary

For a second straight year, the first pre-season tune up involves a trip from Kamloops to Calgary’s McMahon Stadium. The Lions will make two regular season visits to Calgary: August 4th and October 13th.

Friday, June 8th- Blue Bombers Visit To Close Out Pre-Season

A day after players and staff depart Kamloops, Lions fans will get their first live look at the 2018 squad at BC Place. Roster cut-down day follows in June 9th. The Lions and Bombers will also meet in a critical home and home series July 7th and 14th.

Saturday, June 16th- Regular Season Opener-Alouettes Invade BC Place

Led by new head coach Mike Sherman, the Montreal Alouettes will make their first week one visit to BC Place since the 1981 season. The final season on the sidelines for Wally Buono begins against the squad he played for from 1973-82, winning two Grey Cups.

Saturday, November 3rd- Stampeders In Town For Regular Season Finale

Kudos to the schedule makers for arranging to have Buono close out his regular season career against the franchise he ruled from 1990-2002. Imagine if first place in the West was on the line to boot….

Related: Breaking Down The Lions 2018 Schedule 

Sunday, November 26th- 106th Grey Cup- The Brick Field At Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton

The 2017 Toronto Argonauts proved you can get there and win it after struggling the season before. What happens over the next few months could determine a lot.

Matt Baker: mbaker@bclions.com