Commissioner to reveal CFL's future plans at virtual Grey Cup festival
REGINA -- The Grey Cup won’t be awarded for the first time in Canadian Football League (CFL) history this season, but that isn’t stopping the CFL from hosting a party.
From Nov. 16-22, the CFL and TSN will be hosting “Grey Cup Unite,” a free and safe celebration.
“It’s just a way to bring everybody together and think about the fact that we would have been in Regina,” CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said.
The event will take place the same month Grey Cup festivities were supposed to be taking place in Saskatchewan.
Together with the nine teams that make up the league, the CFL will spend the week hosting panels and conducting interviews online and in physically distanced environments. The schedule involves player and coach interviews, a racial justice roundtable, a business summit and All-Decade Awards.
The first event will be a Fan State of the League, where Ambrosie will share the league’s future plans.
“I am very pleased with the progress we’ve made,” Ambrosie said. “I think we still have more work to do and hopefully by the time we get to the 16th we can talk quite openly about where we want to take the CFL.”
The CFL was one of the only professional leagues in North America that didn’t resume play in the pandemic. Ambrosie admitted there were things they could have done better.
“It was our first global pandemic. We didn’t have the benefit of having a season that had already started, we didn’t have the benefit of having gone through most of a regular season and then just focusing on playoffs,” Ambrosie said.
Ambrosie is considering all options for a season in 2021, including playing games with no fans or limited spectators. He said the league is working seven day a week with organizations to find a solution and better business model.
“I feel very good about the work that’s been done, I’m so excited to be working with the Presidents and Craig Reynolds in Regina on behalf of the Riders,” Ambrosie said.
It was previously reported that the CFL had threatened teams that leaked information from top level meetings with fines. Ambrosie didn’t deny the idea.
“It doesn’t furthur our efforts when we’re airing our laundry for all to see,” Ambrosie admitted. “People don’t want to see how our sausage is getting made, they want to taste the product they want to see it when it’s done. We think it’s important, we’re not the only league that’s frustrated when things leak.”
The CFL had stayed silent since announcing the season was cancelled in mid-August.
“That little period of two months, which felt like two years quite honestly, I think that’s the last period where we go quiet and now it’s all about communication,” Ambrosie said.
The Commissioner said he’ll offer more insight into the league’s future plans when the Grey Cup Unite festivities begin on November 16.