The 2021 Toronto Arrow MLR Season will be based in Georgia

2021 Toronto Arrow MLR Season
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It is official, the 2021 Toronto Arrows MLR Season will be relocated to a new home base in the state of Georgia. This is the same state where Rugby ATL plays at.

Rugby ATL [Atlanta] has played a huge role in the Arrows playing in Georgia this year, as they have partnered with the Canadian franchise to be home for both their 2021 MLR seasons.

Georgia temporary home for 2021 Toronto Arrows MLR season

This news, unlike that of the San Diego Legion playing in Las Vegas, was expected. The Toronto Arrows are the only Canadian team in the American-based MLR league with the other 11 teams based in the U.S. However, the Arrows did state that they hope to return to Toronto sometime in the 2021 MLR season. This is what Mark Winokur, Chief Operating Officer & General Manager of the Toronto Arrows said:

β€œOur organization has worked closely with public health officials at various levels over the past several months to consider plans that would allow us to begin our 2021 season on home soil. However, the ongoing public health situation facing Canadians, along with the pressing need to determine where we will play our home matches, has dictated that we will start our 2021 season in the United States.”

This is not a surprise as the borders remain tight between Canada and the U.S. This is what George Killebrew, commissioner of Major League Rugby said about this decision according to Major League Rugby:

β€œI want to thank everyone from the Toronto Arrows organization for persevering and moving forward with the 2021 MLR season. These are unprecedented times and the passion and resiliency of the Toronto Arrows players and coaches to make the sacrifice to temporarily relocate to Atlanta is appreciated.

Thank you also to Rugby ATL for welcoming the Arrows to Georgia. Everyone has the same goal this season, which is to play as many games as possible, as safely as possible and hopefully hoist the MLR Shield in August.”

Will Toronto Arrows play at Lupo Family Field (Rugby AT home)

It is unclear as of right now whether the Arrows will play at Lupo Family Field as Rugby ATL do. However, it should be considered as a possibility.

In the 2020 MLS season, the Montreal Impact (now CF Montreal) played some of their home games at Red Bull Arena. This is the home of the New York Red Bulls. Also, in 2020, Vancouver Whitecaps FC played some of their home games at Providence Park, home of the Portland Timbers.

It sounds like the Arrows still have hope to play at least some part of the 2021 MLR season in Canada. There is real hope that this could happen. Anime North, a large anime convention that normally takes place in May, has been delayed to July 23-25, 2021. According to Anime North, this decision was made because the COVID-19 situation is most likely going to improve in July than in May.

July is scheduled to be the last part of the MLR season. The Arrows will have two home games on July 4th and 11th. They could also have more home games if they make the 2021 MLR playoffs.

Will Canada see professional rugby this year?

This is an interesting question with no clear answer. There is still a real chance that the Arrows could play home games with restricted crowds in the 2021 MLR season, most likely in July. And if the Arrows make the playoffs, it might increase the chances of playing possible home games in Toronto. There is also the Toronto Wolfpack who hopes to have a one-off game at Lamport Stadium.

The Arrows will play their first game at Atlanta, Georgia against Rugby ATL. Their first home game will be against expansion cousins LA Giltinis on April 10. They will then play against a familiar foe in the Seattle Seawolves on April 17.

Look out for more Major League Rugby content on Last Word on Rugby. Our MLR coverage from Raheem Bashir will come to you firsthand from North America, and cover all 13 franchises in the 2021 season.

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