|2005 CFL season|
|League||Canadian Football League|
|Duration||June 22 – November 6, 2005|
|Number of teams||9|
|Grey Cup Playoffs|
|East champions||Montreal Alouettes|
|West champions||Edmonton Eskimos|
|93rd Grey Cup|
|Venue||BC Place Stadium, Vancouver|
The 2005 CFL season is considered to be the 52nd season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 48th Canadian Football League season.
New ownership groups took control of two CFL franchises in the 2005 season. The Calgary Stampeders were sold to an ownership group that is led by Ted Hellard and former Stampeder legend, John Forzani. After going through ownership in-fighting, the Ottawa Renegades announced that a new ownership group led by Bill Smith and former Ottawa Rough Riders owner, Bernie Glieberman, would take over the team.
In April, the Toronto Argonauts plans to build a new stadium at York University had been cancelled due to rising costs. However, the owners of the Rogers Centre announced that the Argonauts would be able to remain at the stadium rent-free. Previously, the Argonauts were charged the highest in terms of rent than any other team in the CFL.
Before the season began, the CFL through its partnership with Reebok, introduced new home and away uniforms for all nine teams. Third alternate uniforms were created for all of the teams with the exception of the Toronto Argonauts and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
On June 11, the first ever CFL game in Halifax, Nova Scotia is played for the special Touchdown Atlantic pre-season game between the Toronto Argonauts and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, which ended in a 16–16 draw at Huskies Stadium.
More than 2,303,455 fans filled the stadiums across the country to catch CFL games in 2005, which was a 4% increase from the 2004 season. The 2005 regular season attendance figure also became the all-time highest grossing regular season attendance record in CFL history, by breaking the previous record of 2,229,834 that was set in the 16-game 1978 season. In addition, it marked the fourth consecutive year of national attendance increases for the league.
The 2005 season also saw television audience increases on TSN, CBC and RDS. TSN's CFL broadcast drew an average of 395,000 viewers for its 55 regular season games (and one preseason game), the highest average CFL audience in TSN history. The figure eclipsed the 2004 average minute audience by 27%, with ratings in the male 18–34 demographic specifically, increasing 30% over last season. CFL on CBC recorded a 6% increase in 2005 with an average audience of 462,000 (versus 437,000 in 2004), despite a 50-day Canadian Media Guild strike that left the CBC without access to any announcers between August 20 and October 4. Average audiences in RDS were also on the rise in 2005. With an 18-game schedule, RDS averaged 201,000 viewers (versus 189,000 in 2004), a 6% increase over last season.
On October 28, Saskatchewan linebacker, Trevis Smith was charged with aggravated sexual assault in Surrey, BC for allegedly having unprotected sex while knowing that he is HIV positive. Then on November 18, Trevis Smith was charged with the same offence in Regina, Saskatchewan after another woman came forward alleging that Smith did not tell her that he was HIV positive before they had unprotected sex. A court date has been set for 2006.
On November 27, the Grey Cup game was decided in overtime for only the second time in its 93-year history, as the Edmonton Eskimos defeated the Montreal Alouettes, 38–35 in double OT, at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, B.C.
Winnipeg slotback, Milt Stegall surpassed Allen Pitts' mark for most career receiving TDs with 126.
Eskimos quarterback, Ricky Ray completed 479 passes, which marked the highest single season total for a quarterback.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers punter, Jon Ryan broke Lui Passaglia's single season average punt record of 50.2 yards by averaging 50.6 yards per punt.
After setting the CFL historical precedent of four receivers on one team reaching the 1000-yard mark in one season the previous year, the Montreal Alouettes again accomplished the feat in 2005, this time with Kerry Watkins (1364 yards), Terry Vaughn (1113 yards), Ben Cahoon (1067 yards), and Dave Stala (1037 yards).
The BC Lions started the season by winning 11 consecutive games and were two wins away of breaking the 12–0 record set by the 1948 Calgary Stampeders. The Lions could have broken the record, but eventually lost four straight games and ended their last seven games by going 1–6.
Note: GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against, Pts = Points
Teams in bold finished in playoff positions.
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers||18||5||13||0||474||558||10||Details|
Main article: 93rd Grey Cup
The Edmonton Eskimos are the 2005 Grey Cup Champions, defeating the Montreal Alouettes 38–35 in an overtime thriller played in Vancouver's BC Place Stadium. It was the first Grey Cup game in 44 years to go to overtime. The Eskimos' Ricky Ray (QB) was named the Grey Cup's Most Valuable Player and the Eskimos' Mike Maurer (FB) was the Grey Cup's Most Valuable Canadian.
|November 13: Division Semifinals||November 20: Division Finals||November 27: 93rd Grey Cup|
BC Place Stadium – Vancouver, BC
|W4||Saskatchewan Roughriders||14||E1||Toronto Argonauts||17|
|E2||Montreal Alouettes||30||E2||Montreal Alouettes||35|
|W3||Edmonton Eskimos||33||W1||BC Lions||23|
*-Team won in Overtime.