Here's why D-II's only Canadian institution is playing most of its home games in America
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It isn't easy for Simon Fraser to fill out a home football schedule.
Simon Fraser's athletic conference, the GNAC of D-II, only has two other football-playing members at the moment. The league recently entered into an affiliate relationship with the Lone Star Conference, to ensure members in both leagues had enough games to fill out a schedule.
That agreement created predictability, but it also signed everybody up for some long road trips. The Lone Star Conference is mostly full of Texas institutions. The GNAC includes schools in Washington, Oregon...and Canada.
It's the latter point that will make SFU's football scheduling much harder in the near future. Simon Fraser is the only D-II football school in Canada...but this season, they'll be playing almost all of their home games in the United States.
Per the press release:
Simon Fraser University has made the decision to relocate four home football games from SFU Stadium at Terry Fox Field to Blaine, Washington, due to the continuing impact of the global pandemic and the Canada-USA border restriction that requires all visitors entering Canada to be fully vaccinated.
Four home games will now be played at Blaine High School: Texas A&M-Kingsville (Oct. 1), Western New Mexico (Oct. 22), Angelo State (Oct. 29), and West Texas A&M (Nov. 12). The non-conference game against Montana State-Northern (Sept. 10) has been cancelled.
Industry sources told me a few weeks ago that the Lone Star schools made it clear to SFU that they wouldn't be able to comply with the Canadian legal requirements and have enough coaches and players to fill out a complete roster. I'm told that the Montana State-Northern game was canceled in part due to other, non-COVID-related border concerns.
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