CFL Talks About Season, Grey Cup Changes

By Ben Hamill - May 24 2020
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CFL Talks About Season, Grey Cup Changes

The Canadian Football League (CFL), not unlike the majority of leagues the world over, is eager to the point of desperate to salvage as much of the remainder of the current season as possible. CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie in an official statement sent to season ticket holders and other relevant parties across Canada on Wednesday, announced, among other things, some changes to the format of the Grey Cup, and what can be expected of the remainder of the current season.

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According to Ambrosie, a decision has been made to move away from the typical and certainly traditional, Grey Cup Festival format. The gist of Ambrosie’s announcement regarding the 2020 Grey Cup Game, is that Regina will no longer be hosting the game. Instead, and subject to the game being in a position to take place given the uncertainty of current circumstances, the championship event will this year be hosted and presented by the qualifying team that has the best regular-season record. The idea is to be completely fair given the unprecedented situation the league finds itself in at present, said Ambrosie, and being fair means giving all nine CFL teams an equal shot at hosting the Cup.

This during a time the commissioner has had to request from federal government financial aid to the tune of CA$30 million in immediate financial help, and a further CA$120 million in the event that playing the remainder of the current season eventually proves a no-go. Ambrosie on Thursday explained to the House of Commons that the CFL now finds itself in a position of official jeopardy.

Hope Is On September

In order to push the current season as far back in an attempt to hopefully salvage at least some of what remains of the season, the Grey Cup will in all likelihood be bumped up to December, instead of being played in its traditional November time slot. Ambrosie furthermore stressed that Hamilton will remain in position as the hosts of the championships cup in 2021. This means that Hamilton will act as the official hosts to the cup for the first time in a quarter of a century.

The firm hope remains in place that the league will be in a position to play whatever is left of the season with all eyes on a September start. September 1st is in fact a date pegged by several provinces as being the earliest possible date; at this stage at least; that sporting events and gatherings will be permitted to take place.

Health Remains Priority

Even so, pointed out Ambrosie, all possibilities must and are being examined from a public safety as well as from a financial viability point of view. And even though the league is committed to a September start, and certainly hopes to eventually be able to bank on a September return, there remains a definite possibility that the season may be cancelled after all.

Making a definite call at this stage, said Ambrosie, would be premature.

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