Jun 11, 2020
Ambrosie optimisic CFL will play this season
CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie is optimistic his league will play some form of a season before 2020 is over. "I’m going to choose to live through the lens of optimism and I hope to get some CFL football in before the calendar year wraps up in 2020," Ambrosie said.
CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie is optimistic his league will play some form of a season before 2020 is over.
"I’m going to choose to live through the lens of optimism and I hope to get some CFL football in before the calendar year wraps up in 2020," Ambrosie said in a wide-ranging interview with TSN's Rod Smith.
The season was originally set to begin this month, but the coronavirus has interrupted sports and other gatherings around the world. On Wednesday, TSN's Farhan Lalji reported that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Calgary Stampeders and BC Lions were set to open their training facilities.
In the eight minute interview taped for TSN's weekly CFL show CFL2020, Ambrosie was pressed about a potential hub approach, which Lalji reported was being discussed with the CFL and the CFLPA.
"Right now I can’t say that I’ve got one that trumps the others because frankly, we’ve got a lot of work being done," Amrbosie said.
A gate-driven league, questions have risen about the CFL's economic viability of resuming play with limited or no fans in attendance.
"That’s one of the critical challenges that we face. We are a bums-in-seats league," Ambrosie said. "That is the driving force that makes our league special and what makes it great. It won’t be easy."
In late April, the CFL asked for $150 million in financial assistance from the federal government. The maximum amount would have seen the full money paid out if the 2020 season were to be cancelled.
"We continue to have the discussions with government," Amrbosie said. "They have asked us to look at some of the programs that they have created that are in place. There are some details around those programs that we are still looking for. In some respects, in addition to that, we’re starting to look at some internal solutions."
Ambrosie also said he was in discussions with the CFLPA about the plans for the season, although executive director Brian Ramsay refuted those statements.
"I want to be clear in response to Mr. Ambrosie's comments during a recent interview. The CFLPA has not received concrete ideas regarding a 2020 collective agreement from the CFL, as was promised, nor concrete direction about opportunities for a 2020 season. I am dismayed that the CFL has stated otherwise," Ramsay said in a statement on Twitter.
"This is about the lives of CFL players and their families. It remains obvious that there is much work to be done in strengthening the relationship between the CFLPA & CFL. We will continue to talk with our members while we wait for information from the CFL - as we have for the past 10+ weeks."