The City of Hamilton announced on Monday that the Tiger-Cats' new stadium will not be ready for the first two games that it was supposed to host on July 26 and 31.
The Tiger-Cats, who are playing their first three games of the season on the road, were scheduled to open Tim Hortons Field against the Ottawa Redblacks on July 26. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were to visit for the second game five days later.
"After holding our home pre-season game on campus last month, we know that we can deliver an outstanding entertainment experience at McMaster," said Tiger-Cats CEO Scott Mitchell in a statement. In the coming weeks, we will have greater certainty regarding our August 16 game, but the builders remain adamant that Tim Hortons Field will be ready no later than Labour Day. While we are disappointed our fans will have to wait to visit our incredible new stadium, we know the world-class experience provided at Tim Hortons Field will exceed everyone's expectations when it is complete."
"There was a continuing effort to try to make a solution work and bring some solutions forward, but at the end of the day it came down to most importantly was it going to be safe, if so if they could get a temporary situation settled, what was the experience going to be like and the answer was clearly it wasn't going to be as good as we needed it to be," Mitchell later said on TSN Drive with Dave Naylor.
The Ticats announced the two relocated home contests will be played at Ron Joyce Field at McMaster University in Hamilton.
Last year, the Ticats played their entire season at the University of Guelph while the new stadium was under construction.
In a statement, the City of Hamilton said the new building "will not be safe and ready for occupancy by (July 26 and 31)".
Hamilton's next chance to open the stadium will be Saturday, August 16 against the Calgary Stampeders.
Tim Hortons Field will also host the Pan and Parapan American Games next summer. In a statement, Infrastructure Ontario noted that the new stadium is 85 per cent complete and that cost overruns would be paid for privately and not by Ontario taxpayers.