By CLAUDE SCILLEY
They’re smiling today at the site where the new Richardson Stadium is being built.
That’s because the folks who write the Ontario University Athletics football schedule just gave them a three-week cushion for a Christmas present.
The schedule, released Thursday, doesn’t call for the Queen’s Golden Gaels to play at home until Saturday, Sept. 17, fully three weeks after the regular season opens, so there’s now a little breathing room for workers who had been aiming for an August deadline.
The $20.27 million project, which is on time—perhaps, even, a little ahead of schedule—and, evidently, also on budget, will see a new stadium constructed in time for the Gaels to host the Western Mustangs on what the league calls Week 4 of the OUA schedule.
Queen’s will open on the road, at Laurier, on Sunday, Aug. 28. The Gaels will have Labour Day weekend off, then travel to Guelph to play the defending conference champion Gryphons on Sept. 10.
After hosting Western, Queen’s will host another of its old Senior Intercollegiate League rivals, the Toronto Blues.
The schedule boils down to two on the road, two at home, two on the road and the final two at home.
There will be no home game at the beginning or end of Frosh Week (between the two road games, the Gaels have their bye on Week 2). Windsor will be the Homecoming opponent on Saturday, Oct. 15.
The Gaels this year will not play Carleton or York.
League playoffs will begin Oct. 29, leading to the Yates Cup game Saturday, Nov. 12. This year, the Ontario champion will travel to the home of the Quebec champion for a national semifinal.
Queen’s 2016 football schedule:
Sunday, Aug. 28: Queen’s at Laurier, 1 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 10: Queen’s at Guelph, 1 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 17: Western at Queen’s, 1 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 24: Toronto at Queen’s, 1 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 1: Queen’s at Waterloo, 1 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 7: Queen’s at McMaster, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 15: Windsor at Queen’s, 1 p.m. (Homecoming)
Saturday: Oct. 22: Ottawa at Queen’s, 1 p.m.
For the complete OUA football schedule, go to: http://oua.ca/sports/fball/2016-17/schedule