On Sunday, the worst fears were realized for the CFL and its players and fans, when news broke that the federal government denied the league a $30-million loan for the operation of the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The federal government reportedly informed the league on Friday of its denial of assistance, which doesn’t leave them with many options. The owners could fund the season themselves, explore other business loan options that the government is providing, or straight up cancel the season and move on to 2021.
According to TSN’s Dave Naylor, the CFL Board of Governors is scheduled to meet on Monday, which could decide the fate of the season. However, Naylor also pointed out that the owners are unlikely to go forward with the 2020 season without assistance from the federal government.
The CFL season was scheduled to start in June but was postponed until at least September due to the pandemic and the restrictions put in place around large crowds, effectively eliminating the league’s primary revenue source. The league lobbied the government for months for help, asking for as much as $150 million back in April. The feds have said that they are committed to working with the league to ensure its long-term existence.
The CFL had announced in July that it had tentatively chosen Winnipeg as a hub city for a shortened 2020 campaign, dependant on approval from Health Canada. Cancelling the season now would ensure that the league has more time to focus on how to safely go ahead with the 2021 season.
In a short statement to 2 and Out, the CFL said that they won’t be commenting on the matter at this time and that they will share a release when a decision has been made.
Edit: The CFL has finally released a statement on the cancellation of the 2020 season. You can read the full statement here.