Football fans excited for Edmonton Elks' 1st season after rebrand

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Andrew Hodgkins, Turf District host, is excited to get back into his season seats at an Elks game this year.   (CBC News - image credit)
Andrew Hodgkins, Turf District host, is excited to get back into his season seats at an Elks game this year. (CBC News - image credit)

It won't just be a new season but it will be a whole new look as the Edmonton Elks take to the field this summer in a shortened schedule.

The Canadian Football League announced on Monday that the league would go ahead with a 14-game season beginning Aug. 5. Training camps will begin July 12.

Fans have been waiting more than 500 days for CFL action to resume. The last game played was the 107th Grey Cup on November 24, 2019.

"It has been a very long 18 months," said Andrew Hoskins.

Trevor Wilson/CBC News
Trevor Wilson/CBC News

Hoskins is one of the hosts of the Turf District Podcast, which focuses on all things related to the green and gold.

"We would get together every week and talk football and to not be able to that made the pandemic more difficult. Now … the horizon is there. We're going to be able to see the people that we love on the field and see the people that we love in the stands."

Hoskins has high hopes for the team's performance on the field in its first season after the name change.

"I think this team really has a good shot to put up some good numbers."

Kelly Hodgson is also excited to get back into Commonwealth Stadium. The United Cycle owner knows just how passionate the local football community can be.

Hodgson said his staff are fielding a lot of calls and requests for gear, which is currently only available through the official team store. He said there is a lot of enthusiasm for the debut of the Elks.

"Judging by the fans' comments and energy as they come into the store looking for merchandise and stuff, I think it's going to be a great thing," Hodgson said.

"I mean we could sell a ton of stuff if we could get it right away."

Hodgson doesn't expect to have anything in stock until after the first game.

He has high hopes for the team this year and said he is happy to put last year's "extremely depressing" summer behind him.

"The one thing we do know about Edmonton is that they're very loyal to our hometown teams. So, I definitely think that football coming back here is going to be exciting."

The full schedule will be released Tuesday and the Elks are expected to announce plans for a safe return for fans.

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