BURNABY, British Columbia — Simon Fraser will move four of its home football games across the border to Blaine, Washington, for the upcoming season due to COVID-19 entry requirements to Canada, the school announced Tuesday.
Simon Fraser plays at the Division II level and is the only Canadian school that is a member of the NCAA. Visitors entering Canada are currently required to be fully vaccinated.
Simon Fraser’s games against Texas A&M-Kingsville (Oct. 1), Western New Mexico (Oct. 22), Angelo State (Oct. 29) and West Texas A&M (Nov. 12) are being moved to the stadium in Blaine that has an artificial turf field and covered seating for 2,000. Blaine is last town in Washington along Interstate 5 before reaching the border with Canada.
“We are all looking forward to a time when the impact of the global pandemic will be behind us,” Simon Fraser athletic director Theresa Hanson said. “This news is especially disappointing for our student-athletes, but we continue to support them and advocate for ways to ensure they can train and compete. We are looking forward to creating a home-field atmosphere in Blaine for these games.”
Simon Fraser is a member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference but for football is an affiliate member of the Lone Star Conference. Central Washington and Western Oregon are also GNAC members with affiliation in the Lone Star Conference for football.
Along with moving the four games across the border, Simon Fraser canceled a Sept. 10 nonconference game with Montana State-Northern. Simon Fraser will play one conference game at its on-campus home field on Sept. 17 against Central Washington, and host the University of British Columbia on Dec. 2.