The CFL family got some pretty sad news today. Commissioner Randy Ambrosie was on a video conference call with the Standing Committee on Finance and detailed just how dire the situation is for the league during the pandemic.
“Our best case scenario for this year is a drastically truncated season and our most likely scenario is no season at all,” he explained to the committee. Our worst fears are likely going to come true. No football this summer. But something mich worse might be coming.
The CFL has asked the federal government for $150-million in assistance as the loss of revenue threatens to cripple the league for good. Ambrosie goes on to say that unlike the American-based pro sports leagues, their biggest source of revenue isn’t TV deals, but tickets sales. “We support the decisons governments have made, but their effects on our business is devastating. We just don’t want it to be fatal.”
He says that right now they are largely operating on the funds they have already received from fans and broadcasters, but if games have to start being cancelled and even the season, they’re going to almost certainly have to pay that money back, and things could go downhill fairly quickly from there.
Danny Austin of the Calgary Sun and Herald posted and interesting thread on Twitter on the teams that bring in the most revenue and how they stack up to the rest of the league. It’s a little sobering knowing that three teams account for nearly half the total league revenue and that should the season be shut down, it could very much mean that the league’s future is indeed up in the air.
Hearing this news saddened me today, becsause I love the CFL and I don’t want it to go anywhere. I’ve made many great friends and cherished memories over the years and find the quality of the brand much more entertaining than our neighbours to the south. If this is indeed the last hurrah for the CFL, it’s a shame that a pandemic was what did it in. Let’s all hope for the best.