(Vancouver) It’s been a resurgent year for Vancouver’s most successful professional sports organization and with this afternoon’s losses by the Toronto Argonauts and Montreal Alouettes, the BC Lions (9-5, second in West Division) have now qualified for CFL postseason play for a remarkable 20th consecutive season.
“I’m proud of what our players have accomplished so far, but the next step is still in front of us and that is to host a home playoff game for our fans,” said GM and head coach Wally Buono. “We have an opportunity, now we must take advantage of the opportunity.”
The Lions’ 20-year playoff run began in 1997 and is now the second-longest streak of consecutive playoff appearances in the history of the CFL, as well as the longest current active streak of any team.
In that time, the Leos have earned seven first-place finishes in the West Division, more than any other club, along with eight third-place finishes and four East Division crossover berths. Interestingly, the Lions have not finished the regular season in second place at any time during the previous 19 years.
The club has made 10 trips to divisional championship games since 1997 including nine in the West Division and collected three Grey Cup titles along the way (2000, 2006 & 2011). Only Montreal has more divisional championship appearances in that time (14).
Despite the club’s two-point loss in Winnipeg on Saturday afternoon, the Lions remain in second spot in the West Division and are in prime position to potentially host the 2016 CFL Western Semi-Final on Sunday, November 13.
The Leos have four regular season games remaining on the 2016 schedule to try and secure a home game in the postseason, including three West Division tilts at BC Place.
Friday night, former BC Lions running back Andrew Harris and the Bombers make the trip out west followed by another critical home game for the Leos versus the fourth-place Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday, October 22. The Leos finish the year with a home-and-home series against the Saskatchewan Roughriders including the final game ever at Mosaic Stadium on October 29 and a home field finale versus the ‘Riders on Saturday, November 5.