Canadian Football League East Division - History - East Division (1980-1994, 1996-present)

East Division (1980-1994, 1996-present)

In 1980, the CFL's two conferences agreed to a full merger and a full interlocking schedule. Although the EFC has carried on since that time as the CFL's East Division, full authority is now vested within the CFL. The decision to create a full interlocking schedule meant that the teams were playing fewer divisional games, consequently the league decided add two extra divisional games per team, thus extending the schedule to 18 games per team starting in 1986.

The East Division has undergone major changes since the dissolution of the EFC. Following the 1981 season the Montreal Alouettes folded. An expansion franchise called the Montreal Concordes commenced play in 1982 and eventually became the "new" Alouettes, but this franchise folded in 1987. Consequently, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were transferred from the West Division to the East Division to keep the divisions equal in size. This led to the first "all-Western" Grey Cup in 1988 when the Blue Bombers won the East Division championship for the first time.

In 1994, the CFL decided to add more teams in the United States. This led to the addition of the two American-based teams in the East, Shreveport Pirates and a team in Baltimore that would eventually be called the Stallions after the NFL successfully prevented the team from using the name "Colts". Baltimore would go on to win the East Division championship in 1994. For the 1995 season, all eight Canadian teams competed in the North Division.

Prior to the 1996 season however, all of the American clubs disbanded, with one (the Baltimore Stallions) returning to Montreal. The pre-1987 divisional alignment was restored, only to see Winnipeg return to the East after one season when the Ottawa Rough Riders folded. The Blue Bombers returned to the West in 2002 after the Ottawa Renegades commenced play in the nation's capital. With the suspension of the Renegades in 2006, the Blue Bombers again were transferred to the East Division.

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