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CFL commissioner likely to cancel 2020 season

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie says the COVID-19 pandemic is a threat to end the 2020 season and the future of the league.

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie during interview pre-game of the 106th Grey Cup game between the Ottawa Redblacks and Calgary Stampeders at The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium. Calgary defeated Ottawa. John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Commissioner Randy Ambrosie spoke with Canada’s House of Commons Thursday in hopes of securing a $150 million loan to support the CFL amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s unlikely that that he’ll get much help. Ambrosie voiced the how the 2020 season is very much in jeopardy, but the standing committee on finance poked holes in his argument. It appears like the CFL won’t play at all in 2020 because of the quarantine restrictions in place, so says Ambrosie.

“Governments coping with COVID-19 — for reasons of public health that we totally support — have made it impossible for us to do what we do,” Ambrosie said. “Our best-case scenario for this year is a drastically truncated season. And our most likely scenario is no season at all.”

Unlike the NFL, which generates a ton of money from television partnerships, the CFL depends largely on its ticket sales to keep it afloat. Due to this, attempting to play a season without fans wouldn’t be the same kind of option as it is for the major North American sports leagues.

The CFL has already cancelled training camp and pushed back the start of its season to July, but it appears like that could be all for nothing. The 2020 season and the future of the league is in serious danger if it doesn’t generate substantial revenue.