Schedule Template

It is a lot tougher with 9 teams.

I hammered out this one, which keeps all of the desirable attributes.
-Divisional Round Robin to finish the seson
-Labour Day is the first of three games against your Labour Day rival

It all works out mathematically, with the right number of East Division games, West Division games, Crossover Games and Bye Weeks. What do you think?

key
W: West Division games
E: East Division games
C: Crossover games
B: Byeweek
So 2W 1E 1C, BE means two West Division games (2W), one East Division game (1E), 1 crossover game (1C), and an East Division team gets the bye week (BE).

Preseason

Divisional Games
1: 3W 2E 0C, 5 games, BC plays twice
2: 2W 2E 0C, BW (Labour Day match ups) (Father's Day)

Regular Season

Start by alternating 2 Crossover weeks with 2 mostly Divisional weeks.
Crossover
1: 0W 0E 4C, BW
2: 0W 0E 4C, BW (Canada Day)

Divisional
3: 2W 1E 1C, BE
4: 2W 1E 1C, BE

Crossover
5: 0W 0E 4C, BW
6: 0W 0E 4C, BW

Divisional
7: 2W 1E 1C, BE
8: 2W 1E 1C, BE

Crossover
9: 0W 0E 4C, BW
10: 1W 0E 3C, BE

Labour Day
Divisional
11: 2W 2E 1C, 5 games, Toronto plays twice (BC on Wed, like this year)
12: 2W 1E 1C, BE (Mostly Labour Day rematch; BC plays one of MTL, OTT)

Alternate Crossover and Divisional for three weeks
Crossover
13: 0W 0E 4C, BW

Divisional
14: 2W 1E 1C, BE (OTT-MTL make up their Labour Day rematch)

Crossover
15: 0W 0E 4C, BW

Final Round Robin, Divisional
16: 2W 1E 1C, BE (Thanksgiving)
17: 2W 1E 1C, BE

18: 2W 2E 0C, BW
19: 2W 2E 0C, BW
20: 2W 2E 0C, BW (Labour Day match ups)

21: Semi-Finals
22: Finals

23: Grey Cup

I would like to see at least one division match up during the first couple of weeks. For example, I like that Hamilton is the team playing Toronto in the first game at BMO field.

Everything else with the regular season is on point - the five-game week should stay for Labour Day week and the last three weeks of the season should definitely feature division match-ups.

The one thing that really bothers me with the current schedule is the lack of regulation with pre-season match-ups. BC, for example, hosts Calgary in the second pre-season game and then hosts them for week 1 the following week. Then, one month later, BC hosts Calgary again!! Like, what?? Winnipeg also has it bad with hosting Montreal this Wednesday and then hosting them again for the season opener. Winnipeg hosts Montreal twice and Saskatchewan once. That makes no sense whatsoever.

So, to relate it to your post, I think there should only be Labour Day match-ups in the pre-season if they only play each other twice in the regular season (except for the East, who must see one team four times). In fact, I think that's the only reason why Winnipeg is playing East teams in the pre-season, so Montreal and Ottawa don't play someone four times. It's the only logic I can find there...

Yeah, the pre season isn't all that relevant. Probably shouldn't have included it, because it really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

My thinking on opening the regular season with two crossover weeks is that opening day tends to draw well regardless of the opponent. Once the season gets going though, the divisional games typically out draw the crossover games. So starting the season off with a couple of crossover games allows teams to get a good gate out of an opponent that normally doesn't draw much of a crowd.