The CFL has announced that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will be moving to the West Division in 2014.
“This means the Blue Bombers will reside in the West, where so much of their storied history has taken place, for the purposes of standings and playoffs,” said CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon.
The move will also pave the way for expansion in 2014, as the Ottawa REDBLACKS join the CFL as the ninth team. The new Ottawa team will play in the East Division.
The Bombers played for the Western Canada Rugby Football Union from 1930 to 1935. From 1936 to 1957, they were part of the Western Interprovincial Football Union. Since the CFL was formed in 1958, the Bombers have spent a total of 34 years in the West (1958-1986, 1996, and 2002-2005), and 21 years in the East (1987-1994, 1997-2001, and 2006-2013).
Overall, since 1930, the Bombers have spent 61 years in the West, 21 years in the East, and one year in the CFL’s northern division, during the league’s expansion to the United States.
2014 West Division:
- British Columbia Lions
- Calgary Stampeders
- Edmonton Eskimos
- Saskatchewan Roughriders
- Winnipeg Blue Bombers
2014 East Division:
- Hamilton Tiger-Cats
- Montreal Alouettes
- Ottawa REDBLACKS
- Toronto Argonauts
The playoff format remains unchanged. The top three teams in each division will qualify for post-season play, unless the fourth place team in Division A has a superior record to the third place team in Division B, then the fourth place team in Division A will crossover and participate in the Division B playoffs.
Facts about the Bombers in the West:
- The Bombers have appeared in the Grey Cup 24 times since their first berth in 1935, with 17 of those as the Western representative.
- The Bombers’ 17 Grey Cup appearances as the Western representative is second only to Edmonton’s 24.
- While Edmonton won five straight Grey Cups from 1978 to 1982, Winnipeg is the only team that can claim to have captured the cup four times in a span of only five years as the Western representative: they won Grey Cup games in 1958, 1959, 1961 and 1962, all against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
- The oldest continuous rivalry in the history of the CFL is between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Saskatchewan Roughriders: they have met in regular season play a record 229 times.
- The Blue Bombers have a winning all-time record in the CFL, despite facing fierce western competition most of the time: they have 599 wins, 549 losses, and 14 ties.
- This Saturday, the Bombers seek their 600th win as a CFL franchise, when they visit the Edmonton Eskimos. Game time is 7:30 pm and the game will be broadcast on TSN.