If the CFL uses hub cities this season, Regina could be in the mix
REGINA -- Regina might be host to multiple CFL teams if the league hits the turf this year.
CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said last week during a virtual town hall meeting that the league has a committee looking into the feasibility of a “hub city” scenario.
If it goes ahead, CFL clubs could play games in two Canadian cities, instead of their home stadiums.
According to TSN CFL Insider Farhan Lalji, the most likely hub cities in western Canada would be Regina and Winnipeg.
“I think the league has got to look at every possible scenario to wind up playing games in 2020. So they haven’t taken it off the table, they have spoken to people in Regina,” Lalji said.
Teams would be sequestered in the hub city and stay in team hotels. They would essentially be isolated from anyone outside of CFL organizations.
Regina Mayor Michael Fougere thinks that given the right circumstances, the concept would be appealing to the Queen City.
“I think it would be good for morale for the City and for the province and I think it would be great but again there’s lots of answers that need to be given to us first,” he said.
However thus far, the CFL has not reached out to the City of Regina.
“I know the Riders have been having some discussions to some degree with the CFL but there’s been no discussion with the City of our support for that or the capacity to do that,” said Fougere.
The CFL, the Players Association, owners, general managers, and national and provincial chief medical officers would have to approve the hub city plan.
The City of Regina owns Mosaic Stadium, and together with Regina Exhibition Association Limited, would have the final decision. Fougere says the Riders would also be “intimately involved” in the decision.
“If the Chief Medical Officer okay’s this kind of an event and if we can meet those qualifications, if we have the financial support that’s required what would it look like?“ Fougere said. “We don’t know that yet but in general terms, in concept, it sounds good.”
The CFL is still waiting to hear if its request for federal financial assistance is granted. Lalji says there would be a lot of expenses, even if the league receives federal funding.
“All the costs associated with housing, feeding and doing everything else with those players, I’m not sure that’s something the CFL can necessarily handle,” he said.
Lalji thinks the best bang for the CFL’s buck isn’t centred in Regina, or even Winnipeg.
“From an economic standpoint, when the numbers all gets crunched I think it’s going to make more sense for teams to play in their own cities,” he said.