The Fraser Valley Bandits 2021 regular season schedule has been released. (File photo)

The Fraser Valley Bandits 2021 regular season schedule has been released. (File photo)

Fraser Valley Bandits release 2021 regular season schedule

Professional basketball team hopes to have fans inside Abbotsford Centre in 2021

Professional basketball is coming back to the Abbotsford Centre later this year, but the presence of fans is still yet to be determined.

The Fraser Valley Bandits and the Canadian Elite Basketball League released the 2021 regular season schedule today, with all teams playing a reduced 14-game slate.

The league aimed to begin in mid-May, but games have been pushed back to early-June to increase the possibility of fans getting a chance to take in the action in person. The CEBL is unable to push the season back any further because many of its players must report to international pro teams in Europe and Asia by September.

The Bandits home opener is set for Saturday, June 5 at 1 p.m. and is a rematch of last year’s CEBL championship against the Edmonton Stingers. That game will also be broadcast nationally on CBC. Other home dates at the Abbotsford Centre include: June 13 (vs. the Saskatchewan Rattlers), June 26 (vs. Saskatchewan), June 29 (vs. the Niagara River Lions), July 3 (vs. the Ottawa Blackjacks), July 14 (vs. the Guelph Nighthawks) and July 25 (vs. Edmonton).

The June 5 game is the Bandits lone scheduled appearance on CBC, but all games will be streamed on the CBC Gem service.

Post-season plans and the playoff format for 2021 will be announced at a later date.

The CEBL debuted in 2019, but plans for the second season had to be altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year saw the teams compete in a bubble in St. Catharines, Ont. for an event called the Summer Series. The Bandits finished second at the Summer Series event.

RELATED: Fraser Valley Bandits reflect on 2020 turnaround

Dylan Kular, the vice-president of the Bandits, stated that he hopes that fans attending games can be a possibility at some point in 2021.

“The health and safety of fans, players, officials and staff was our top priority when we created the schedule for 2021, followed closely by a structure that would increase the odds of having fans in the stands for as many games as possible this summer at Abbotsford Centre,” he said in a press release.

“It is our hope that by summer our region and community will be better positioned in the fight against COVID-19 and restrictions around public gatherings may allow for some number of fans to attend games. Live events and entertainment have an integral role in reenergizing a community and we want to contribute to that to the extent that we can in the Fraser Valley.”

Fans who have purchased season tickets for 2021 are being moved forward into 2022 and will be applied to next season’s ticket packages. If fans will be allowed into Abbotsford Centre, those ticket holders may choose to draw tickets from their 2022 package to use for any games they wish to attend in 2021. There will be no obligation to use any tickets in 2021. All unused tickets will remain on account and applied toward the same ticket packages in 2022.

Those who purchased season tickets for 2020 and left their tickets on account for 2021 received credits towards future tickets and a discount on team merchandise. Those benefits are also being extended through to August 2022.

Additional ticketing details will be announced closer to the start of the season when it is expected there will be more clarity from government and health officials around public gatherings.

For more information on the team, visit thebandits.ca.

abbotsfordbasketball

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld has called for the resignation of B.C.’s Minister of Education, Jennifer Whiteside. He made the call during a speech in Vancouver on April 10, 2021, in a rally for a parent embroiled in legal battles surrounding his child’s transition.
Chilliwack school trustee calls for B.C.’s minister of education to resign

Barry Neufeld spoke at rally for jailed father in Vancouver, calling SOGI 123 a ‘dangerous experiment’

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

Photo courtesy of Abbotsford Police Department.
‘Vehicle Maintenance 101 for Teens’ to be hosted by Abbotsford Police traffic officers

Virtual meetups with Q&A period held on April 23, May 11, May 25

Stock photo from Unsplash.com
Free online workshops on ‘advance care planning’ hosted in Abbotsford

3 sessions hosted by Abbotsford Hospice Society and Association for Healthy Aging

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
1 taken to hospital after plane crash at Metro Vancouver airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read