The rivalry between the cities' professional Canadian football teams is equally intense, and even predates the hockey rivalries, as the first football games in Alberta history took place in the 1890s. A team from Edmonton made history as they played in the first football game in Alberta, playing to a scoreless tie against Clover Bar.[1] The first game played between teams from Edmonton and Calgary took place in 1891 when Edmonton beat Calgary 6-5 in a total point challenge series.[1]

The rivalry had been diminished for a number of years until the Calgary City Rugby Foot-ball Club and the Edmonton Rugby Foot-ball Club were formed in 1906 and 1907 respectively where the two teams competed in the Alberta Rugby Football Union.[2] In 1908, the teams were re-organized as the Calgary Tigers and Edmonton Esquimaux where the Esquimaux won the ARFU title that year.[2][3] From then on, the two cities had multiple teams represent them in the Alberta Union, but instability led to a lack of consistent rivalry battle between the two. Teams named the Calgary Canucks, Calgary 50th Battalion, Calgary-Altomah Tigers, Edmonton Elks, Edmonton Eskimos, and Edmonton Boosters all took turns playing in the ARFU.[3][4] It wasn't until the creation of the Western Interprovincial Football Union that a truly sustained rivalry could take place between two teams representing the two cities.

Stampeders-Eskimos rivalry
Teams Calgary Stampeders
Edmonton Eskimos
Originated 1949
Regular Season Record Edmonton leads 123-86-3[5]
Playoff Record Edmonton leads 13-11

Eskimos vs. StampedersEdit

The current incarnation of the Calgary Stampeders was first established as the Calgary Bronks in 1935 and captured the last ARFU title before the league was amalgamated to form the Western Interprovincial Football Union with the Regina Roughriders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. A team from Edmonton named the Eskimos joined the WIFU for the 1938 and 1939 seasons, but withdrew from competition in 1940.[6] While an Edmonton team may have made the first appearance in the Grey Cup in 1921 (and lost), the newly named Stampeders made their first appearance and won in that same game in the 36th Grey Cup in 1948.[7][8]

The next season, in 1949, a new Edmonton Eskimos team joined the WIFU, and this time, for good. The first game between the current Stampeders and Eskimos franchises was the first game in Eskimos history as the defending Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders defeated the new Edmonton Eskimos 20-6 on Labour Day.[9] Since 1949, the Eskimos and Stampeders have played on Labour Day every year with the exception of eleven of those seasons, with the most recent being the 1981 season. This has been one of the Canadian Football League's marquee match-ups as the Labour Day Classic in Calgary is followed by the Friday night rematch in Edmonton, resulting in a quick turnaround for both teams. As of the 2012 CFL season, the all-time record favours Edmonton, as the Eskimos have a record of 123-86-3 against their provincial rivals.

In terms of the post-season, the two teams have played each other 24 times, with Edmonton holding a slight edge with 13 victories. The two teams also frequently meet in the West Final. Between 1990 and 2003, the two teams clashed nine times to decide who would represent the West in the Grey Cup, and at least one Alberta team was in the game each year. Calgary has won four out of the last six playoff match-ups, but Edmonton has won the most recent one in 2011.[10] Calgary has also won the most recent championship by an Albertan team, in 2008 with the 96th Grey Cup game.[11] While the Stampeders may have won the Grey Cup first as well as the most recent, the Eskimos have won the most, with 13 titles compared to the Stampeders' six.

Currently, the Calgary and Edmonton franchises play each other three to four times during the regular season and have done so in every season but 2004 since 1996. The Stampeders have qualified for the playoffs in every season since 2005, while the Eskimos have missed the playoffs three times in that same time frame. Both teams have enjoyed much success in their histories as both franchises have never missed the playoffs at the same time.


  1. 1.0 1.1
  2. 2.0 2.1
  3. 3.0 3.1
  7. 1921 Grey Cup
  8. 1948 Grey Cup
  9. 1949 Edmonton Eskimos season
  10. Eskimos hang on to advance to Western Final
  11. Burris wins Grey Cup with his arm, legs
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