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Canadian Elite Basketball League announces 2021 regular season schedule, innovative ticket protection plan for 2021 season subscribers



Feb 25, 2021

The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) led the NHL, NBA and later the CPL in returning to play in Canada after the coronavirus shut down the sports world in March of 2020. The CEBL Summer Series put professional basketball on the television and digital screens of millions of viewers across Canada and around the world, establishing the CEBL as the top Canadian-based global team sports brand. The 2021 season will build on that momentum with an expanded viewing audience around the world, and locally through an innovative approach to addressing the uncertainties due to the pandemic around having fans in arenas across the league.

The CEBL unveiled its 2021 regular season schedule Thursday, a 14-game slate reduced from the standard 20 games per team and pushed back from a mid-May start to June 5 to accommodate the possibility of fans being able to attend games in person this summer in the league’s seven cities. The league cannot push its season beyond a late-August playoff finish because most of its players must report to their international pro teams by September.

“Prioritizing the health and safety of our fans, players, staff, and officials is where we began in creating our league schedule for 2021,” said Mike Morreale, commissioner and chief executive officer of the CEBL. “All of our games will be broadcast across Canada and around the world, but we recognize that attending live events in a safe manner plays a critical role in revitalizing our communities as they begin to emerge from Covid-19 as 2021 unfolds. It is our hope that by June people in our markets will be able to enjoy our games as they are intended to be experienced, on the edge of their seat watching some of Canada’s best pro players and being entertained by NBA caliber DJ’s and halftime performers.”

 CBC Sports is the premier media partner of the CEBL and will broadcast seven of the league’s 49 regular season games on CBC, including the season-opening showdown between the 2020 CEBL champion Edmonton Stingers and the team they defeated in last summer’s title game, the Fraser Valley Bandits, on Saturday, June 5 at 4 p.m. Eastern time. That matchup will be the first of seven consecutive Saturday afternoon broadcasts across Canada. Each of the CEBL’s seven clubs will appear on CBC, with Edmonton leading the way with four appearances. 

 Regular season games will also be live streamed on the free CBC Gem streaming service,, and the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices.

 The CEBL has created an innovative way to protect the investment of season ticketholders with uncertainty around government regulations of people attending public events come June, and in acknowledgement that some fans may be uncomfortable attending games this summer. 

 All season tickets and flex packs that have been purchased for 2021 in each market are automatically being moved forward into 2022 and applied toward next season’s ticket packages. If fans will be allowed into arenas, those ticketholders may choose to draw tickets from their 2022 package to use for any games they wish to attend in 2021. There will be no obligation to use any tickets in 2021. All unused tickets will remain on account and applied toward the same ticket packages in 2022.

 Fans who had purchased tickets for the 2020 season and left their tickets on account for 2021 received retention benefits that included a 20 percent credit toward additional tickets and a 25 percent discount on team merchandise. Those benefits will be extended to all ticketholders through August of 2022.

 “The great majority of our fans who invested in season tickets in 2020 have asked us to hold their tickets on account for 2021, and we are honouring that commitment by ensuring the full protection of their investment,” added Morreale. “Not knowing when or if we can have fans in the stands in 2021, our plan offers the ultimate in flexibility for our best fans and alleviates anyone from feeling pressured to have to use their tickets this summer if they’re not comfortable doing so. To our knowledge, this concept is the first of its kind anywhere in professional sports.”

 Additional ticketing details will be announced closer to the start of the season when it is expected there will be more clarity from government and health officials around public gatherings in each of the four provinces where CEBL teams play.

 During the league’s third season, each team will play seven home and seven road games during a nine-week period. Joining Edmonton and Fraser Valley on opening day will be Hamilton hosting Ottawa in a 7 p.m. tip-off on June 5. The regular season ends August 8 when the Bandits travel to meet the Saskatchewan Rattlers in Saskatoon. The league will announce its plans for the post-season at a later date.

 A league created by Canadians for Canadians, the CEBL has the highest percentage of Canadian players of any professional league in the country, with 80 percent of its 2020 rosters being Canadians. Players come from the NBA G League, top international leagues, the Canadian National team program, and top NCAA and U SPORTS programs. It uses FIBA (International Basketball Federation) rules, and player and referee standards set by its partner, Canada Basketball. The CEBL became the first professional basketball league in the world to use the Elam Ending in FIBA competition when it incorporated the innovative conclusion into all of its games during the 2020 CEBL Summer Series.

For the CEBL's full schedule, click here.