The Canadian Elite Basketball League and the Saskatchewan Rattlers announced Wednesday that the start of the 2021 regular season will be revised from June 5 to June 26, resulting in three Rattlers games being moved into July and August.
The original mid-May start to the season was pushed to June 5 to increase the chances of fans being able to attend games in a safe manner, and that continues to be the priority. Along with that, in the face of mounting challenges communities across Canada are facing during the current wave of Covid-19 and the realization that the CEBL can play an important role in revitalizing their local markets later this summer, the league is taking advantage of open dates in team arenas to tighten the game schedule to accommodate those 14 games starting later in June and still ending in August.
The CEBL cannot push back the end date of its regular season because its players also compete professionally in other top international leagues or in the NBA G League, and players must report to those clubs by the end of August.
The CEBL has been working with government and health officials in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan where its seven teams are based on return to play protocols.
Ticketholders are reminded that all purchases for 2021 have automatically been moved into 2022 and applied toward next season’s ticket packages. If fans are allowed into SaskTel Centre at any point this summer, those ticketholders may choose to draw tickets from their 2022 package to use for any games they wish to attend in 2021. There is no obligation to use any tickets this season. All unused tickets will remain on account and applied toward the same ticket packages in 2022. Fans who had purchased tickets for the 2020 season and left their tickets on account for 2021 received retention benefits that included a 20 percent credit toward additional tickets and a 25 percent discount on team merchandise. Those benefits will be extended to all ticketholders through August of 2022.
The Rattlers open the 2021 season with an away visit to Fraser Valley on June 26. Two days later, the Rattlers will play their first home game in a rematch of the 2019 CEBL Championship final against the Hamilton Honey Badgers.