|Dates||June 24 – November 9, 1986|
|Start date||November 15, 1986|
|East Champions||Hamilton Tiger-Cats|
|West Champions||Edmonton Eskimos|
|74th Grey Cup|
|Date||November 30, 1986|
|Site||BC Place, Vancouver|
The 1986 CFL season is considered to be the 33rd season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 29th Canadian Football League season.
The Canadian Football League decided that all nine teams will play 18 games each, in the regular season. The playoff structure was revised to allow a fourth place team from one of the divisions to qualify for the playoffs if that fourth place team has earned more points in the regular season standings than the third place team from the other division. Until 1992, however, that team stayed in its own division for the playoffs (the league began American expansion in 1993, changing the rules along the way). The four qualifiers in one division played semi-finals and a final while the two qualifiers in the other division playing a home-and-home, total-points, 2-game playoff (this playoff format was last used in 1972). This was somewhat unfair to the first place team, who might no longer receive a first-round bye based simply on what happened at the bottom of its own division. (The current format, which began in 1997 after the league ceased its American operations, sees a fourth-place qualifier cross-over to the other division, essentially becoming the third-place team in that division.) As it turned out, 1986 was the only year this playoff format was needed.
The Canadian Football League and the Canadian Football League Players Association agreed on a new three-year agreement.
The Concordes changed their name to the Alouettes, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the founding of the original Montreal Alouettes.
The Sports Network started to carry live coverage of the first round of the 1986 Canadian College Draft from coast-to-coast.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Montreal Alouettes played the first CFL pre-season game at Canada Games Stadium in Saint John, New Brunswick. Winnipeg won the game, 35–10.
The CFL also amended the quota to the teams 35-man roster to include 13 imports, 19 non-imports and 3 quarterbacks. The designated import rule was eliminated.
On the field, the end zones were reduced to 20 yards from 25 yards (in response to the popularity of the shortened end zones first used at BC Place in 1983).
The amateur Canadian Football Association changed its name to Football Canada in June; the Football Canada name had long been used in French.
The CTV Television Network ceased CFL broadcasts after this season; it had aired CFL games since 1962. The league-run syndicated Canadian Football Network took its place the next season.
Note: GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against, Pts = Points
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers||18||11||7||0||545||387||22|
|Ottawa Rough Riders||18||3||14||1||346||514||7|
Main article: 74th Grey Cup
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are the 1986 Grey Cup champions, defeating the Edmonton Eskimos 39–15, at Vancouver's BC Place Stadium. This was Hamilton's first Grey Cup victory since 1972. The Tiger-Cats' Mike Kerrigan (QB) was named the Grey Cup's Most Valuable Player on Offence and Grover Covington (DE) was named Grey Cup's Most Valuable Player on Defence, while Paul Osbaldiston (K/P) was named the Grey Cup's Most Valuable Canadian.
|November 16: Division Semifinals/East Game 1||November 23: Division Finals/East Game 2||November 30: 74th Grey Cup @ BC Place Stadium – Vancouver, BC|
|W3||Winnipeg Blue Bombers||14|