Google “North vs South football rivalry,” and it turns out it’s not just an Ottawa REDBLACKS thing.
North Carolina and South Carolina have one between American college football teams. In New Zealand, where rugby is the only code in town, a North-South competition at the All Blacks home trials began in 1897 when teams from the country’s two main islands battled it out.
And in Ottawa? The northside-southside rivalry was less about geography than which side of the stadium you call home.
The story behind the rivalry
Back when the CFL franchise was the Ottawa Rough Riders, the northside grandstand was considered top-notch: it had a roof, better catering and generally a quieter crowd. On the other hand, the Southside was open to the weather, and the halftime show faced the Northside, as did the singing of the anthem. The crowds were noisy, passionate, and frustrated.
And so, in 1980, a couple of fans started the Southsiders. Over time, it morphed from a few rowdy fans to an informal fan club with a chant (“Northside sucks”), merch, pregame media interviews and even a CFL mini-documentary.
By 2014, the rundown Southside stands were replaced with a grand new vision of TD Place Stadium, complete with corporate suites, bar service…and a brand-new team. The Ottawa REDBLACKS played their first home game at TD Place Stadium on July 18, 2014.
And the Northside stand today? It’s slated to be redeveloped in a $330-million project that includes a new home for the Ottawa 67s and the Blackjacks basketball team, as well as condos and retail space.
Whatever the motivation, the rivalry made games more fun, which is why CAA is partnering with the Ottawa REDBLACKS to celebrate fans wherever they sit.
Pick a side with CAA at the Ottawa REDBLACKS this season!
CAA and the Ottawa REDBLACKS are reviving the friendly rivalry in 2023 with a little game time competition, the CAA North vs South Contest.
During CAA-sponsored games, northside and southside fans will compete in on-field games during breaks in play. The side that gets more points in the CAA North vs South Contest will have hundreds of mini-footballs tossed up to their stands – and shot from the brand-new CAA Hurricane Air Cannon.
Want to declare your allegiance? Stop by the CAA Kiosk during our sponsored games for a FREE northside or southside t-shirt*. Just scan your CAA Membership card or if you’re not a Member, scan the QR code and fill in a few details. Plus, we have games to play where you could win a Northside or Southside pennant.
Join CAA at one of our game days: June 15, July 15, August 19 and September 30, 2023.
Plus! CAA Members save 10% off select REDBLACKS tickets and 10% off official merchandise.
*Conditions apply. While supplies last.