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What to know before your first Ottawa REDBLACKS game

Get ready to cheer on the Ottawa REDBLACKS this summer.  

Whether you’re new to football or Ottawa, this is your sign to watch a game this summer. Led by Head Coach Bob Dyce, the REDBLACKS are back in action and celebrating their 10th Anniversary this season.   

Fun Fact: The Ottawa REDBLACKS are spending the summer celebrating 10 years of REDBLACKS football! The summer will be packed with exciting theme games and season-long celebrations to honour and celebrate the past. 

So, are you ready to join R Nation and cheer on the REDBLACKS this summer? Here is everything you need to know before your first REDBLACKS game.

Understanding the game

The Ottawa REDBLACKS are one of nine Canadian Football League (CFL) teams. CFL games average three hours with time outs, penalties, and halftime. The game is played in four quarters, with 15 minutes of gameplay each quarter.   

CFL rules differ from the league’s American counterpart, the National Football League (NFL). The CFL field is bigger, giving players more room to maneuver during the game. In the CFL, teams have three downs to advance the ball, rather than four in the NFL, adding excitement and urgency. Another noticeable difference is that the goalposts are positioned at the front of the end zone rather than in the back, like in American Football.   

What to wear and bring

Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs Ottawa REDBLACKS
Tim Austen | Ottawa REDBLACKS

TD Place is an open-air stadium, so you’ll want to be prepared for the weather. Pay attention to the forecast and pack what you need for rain or shine. Pack a raincoat or poncho on rainy days, as umbrellas are not permitted within the stadium. For the sunnier days, it is a good idea to bring a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen, as long as it is not an aerosol spray. Check the TD Place Stadium Guide for what you can and cannot bring to a game, and gameday policies.  

When it comes to your game day bag, it must be small enough to fit under your seat. Remember that all bags will be searched upon entry. It’s best only to bring the essentials. Clear bags are encouraged, and those with clear bags can enter the stadium by the express lanes.   

Show your team spirit by wearing the REDBLACKS team colours: red, black, and white. If you need to upgrade your gear, or you’re ready to buy your first piece of REDBLACKS gear, now is the perfect time. CAA Members save 10% on merchandise in-store when they show their CAA Membership card and online when they use code CAANEO10OFF at the online checkout. If you plan to purchase your gear at the game, remember that TD Place is entirely cashless.   

Getting to TD Place Stadium

TD Place Stadium is home to the Ottawa REDBLACKS. Located in Ottawa’s vibrant Lansdowne Park, there are many options to get to the game. Just remember that it is recommended you arrive one hour before kickoff.   

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

Did you know you can take a shuttle bus to the game? Extra parking is available during REDBLACKS games at City Hall (110 Laurier Ave W) and the Canada Post on Riverside Drive (2701 Riverside Drive). The best part? The shuttle and parking are completely free until midnight on game day. The shuttles start two hours before game time, with shuttle times listed online on game day.   

If you plan to take OC Transpo to the game, 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 REDBLACKS games start three hours before game time. You can also take OC Transpo directly from Park and Ride stations to Lansdowne on the 450 series buses. 

You can also bike to Lansdowne and enjoy a beautiful summer day in Ottawa. There are 285 bike rings located around Lansdowne Park that you can secure your bike to. Plus, free and secure bike parking is available exclusively at REDBLACKS games. Head to the bike valet near the Milestones at the west end of Aberdeen Square and leave your bike and helmet with the bike valet. 

Where are my seats?

Andre Ringuette | Ottawa REDBLACKS PHOTO: Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photography

Are you northside or southsidePlan your game day out and find your seats by checking out the interactive seating map. The map lets you plan your game day and can help you know the closest concessions and bathrooms while you are at the game.   

Food and drink options

Time to get your grub on! Around the TD Place Stadium, you’ll find great food options for whatever you crave.   

Head to Lansdowne Grab N Go in section A of the North Side stands to grab sandwiches like curried chickpea or chimichurri brisket wrap. Or try out one of the salads, like a classic Caesar salad or the quinoa salad.   

For poutine, cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets, head to the Glebe Grill, in section GG on the North Side and sections U and SS on the South Side. For all things pork, check out The Smoking Pig. If you are in Northside, head to section CC for jumbo hot dogs, brisket quesadillas, and pulled pork nachos. Southsiders can find The Smoking Pig in section Q.  

Satisfy your sweet tooth with ice cream and mini donuts from Lois ‘n’ Frima’s. Southsiders can head to the upper and main concourses in section Q, and North Siders can head to section C in the main concourse.  

Meet Big Joe

Say hi to Big Joe, The REDBLACKS’ friendly Lumberjack mascot and head cheerleader. As the National Capital Region’s Lumberjack, Big Joe is hard to miss and always down for a photo.  

Big Joe graduated from Algonquin College’s Forestry Technician program and studied at Algonquin’s Waterfront Campus in Pembroke. Since graduating, he has signed a lifelong contract as head cheerleader for the REDBLACKS.  

Save on tickets

Cheer on the Ottawa REDBLACKS this summer with the help of CAA. Purchase your tickets through the CAA Rewards portal and enter your Membership to save up to 30% on select REDBLACKS home games this summer. Keep your eye out for the CAA kiosk this summer to score some free swag.   

Add your game tickets and parking passes to your mobile wallet before the game. You can also download the TD Place + Lansdowne app to manage your tickets to upcoming events at Lansdowne and TD Place in one spot.   

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