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Everything you need to know before your first Ottawa BlackJacks game

Calling all basketball fans. Ottawa’s professional basketball team, the Ottawa BlackJacks, is back in action this summer. Watch all the action from May to August and enjoy fast-paced, exciting games and family-friendly entertainment at the TD Place Arena this summer.   

Whether you are a long-time basketball fan or new to the sport, now is the perfect time to witness the excitement of an Ottawa BlackJacks game. The season starts in May, with the home opener on May 29, 2024. Don’t forget to wear black, red and grey (the team colours).   

Are you getting ready to cheer on the BlackJacks this summer? Here is everything you need to know before your first Ottawa BlackJacks game. 

About the BlackJacks

The Ottawa BlackJacks are gearing up for their fifth season in Ottawa this summer. Named for the black-tailed Jackrabbit, the BlackJacks are not your average rabbit. They can outrun their opponents to reach speeds of 70 kilometres per hour. Black-tailed jackrabbits can jump incredibly high, making them the perfect animal to lend their name to the Ottawa BlackJacks.   

The BlackJacks are a member of the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL), comprising ten teams across Canada. The CEBL is a league created by Canadians that focuses on developing the skills of Canadian athletes, coaches, executives, and referees. The league has the highest percentage of Canadian players of any professional sports league in the country and is Canada’s largest professional sports league.   

Understanding the game

Ottawa BlackJacks
Ottawa BlackJacks

As a member of the CEBL, BlackJacks games follow the rules of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), so the games look a little different from National Basketball Association (NBA) games.  

One of the biggest differences between CEBL games and NBA games is the CEBL’s use of a target score. When the game clock is stopped with four minutes or less in the fourth quarter, a target score will be created and timed gameplay will stop. The target score is set at the leading score plus nine. The first team to reach the target score wins the game; the intent is to reduce fouls, penalties and stalling in the last minutes of gameplay. 

Prepare for game day

When packing your game day bag, bring only the essentials. Your bag must be small enough to fit under your seat, and all bags will be searched upon entry. TD Place Arena is completely cashless, so you can leave the bulky wallet behind and bring the cards you’ll need.   

If you want to skip the long bag lines but still need something to hold your essentials, consider using a clear bag, meaning you can enter the arena by the express lanes.  

You can bring strollers, but they must be checked in at one of the Guest Services Information Booths at the arena. For more on what you can and cannot bring, visit the TD Place Stadium and Arena Guide.   

Meet the mascot

Meet O.G., the black-tailed Jackrabbit. Named for the Ottawa-Gatineau region that he represents, O.G. grew up playing basketball in the National Capital Region. He spent years improving his speed, strength, endurance, and hops, which made him quite an athlete.   

O.G. spent some time travelling around Canada, but when he heard about the BlackJacks franchise, he knew it was time to head back home. While he didn’t make the team, O.G. signed a special contract with the BlackJacks, meaning you will find him at every home game working on his skills and trying out his tricks during the games.  

 O.G. dreams of being a professional basketball player one day to stay in shape while supporting his team in the National Capital Region.   

Game time snacks

The best part of any game day is the snacks; the TD Place Arena has plenty to offer. For all your classic stadium bites, head to Little Italy at the center and east sides of the stadium. Here, you’ll find hot dogs, pretzel bites and pizza.   

On the arena’s west side, you’ll find Pure Food Eatery, stocked with stadium favourites with a twist. Try the pulled pork nachos or the brisket quesadillas. If you’re craving poutine, head to Carmello’s on the stadium’s east side for a pulled pork or a smoked meat sandwich. Of course, if you prefer a classic poutine, you can it at Carmelo’s   

If you want a sweet treat while enjoying the game, head west to find Lois’ N’ Frima’s. They serve soft and hard ice cream, slush puppies and mini donuts perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth.   

Getting there

TD Place Arena is home to the Ottawa BlackJacks. Located in Ottawa’s Lansdowne Park, many options exist to get to the game. Just remember that it is recommended you arrive one hour before the game starts.    

If you plan on driving to the stadium, purchase your parking ahead of time, as a limited number of passes are available and sell out quickly. Like your tickets, your parking passes are digital and can be added to your mobile wallet. Passes are reserved for three hours before game time, and it is best to arrive early.    

If parking passes are sold out, take OC Transpo and use your game ticket to ride for free. When boarding an OC Transpo bus, show the driver your ticket as you board. If you are taking the LRT or the bus from a gated bus station, use the video chat function on a ticket machine. Go to “we’re here to help” and chat with a customer service agent who will issue you a pass to get through the gates. Hold on to your pass and use it on the way home. OC Transpo services for BlackJacks games start three hours before game time.   

Get your tickets

Your game tickets and parking tickets will be digital and easily stored on your mobile device. Make sure to download the tickets to your phone’s wallet to be easily accessed when you arrive at the game. You can even download the TD Place + Lansdowne app to keep all your tickets for upcoming games and events at TD Place in one spot.  

Did you know you can save on Ottawa BlackJacks tickets with your CAA Membership? Members can cheer on the Blackjacks this summer and save 20% on home game tickets purchased through the Ottawa BlackJacks CAA Rewards Portal

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