Earlier this month the football world was rocked by the news that the CFL and XFL were exploring opportunities to work together. Will this alignment be a partnership? A merger? Nobody quite knows just yet. CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie put it best when he said that “we’re just announcing that we’re talking about talking”.
Since the announcement, there has been a lot of excitement from both side of the border on how this could play out. But… with the CFL season soon approaching and no hard start-date agreed on between the league and the players association; some are starting to worry.
Dan Ralph of the Canadian Press, thinks the collaboration between the CFL and XFL is dependent on a 2021 season.
If the CFL doesn’t get back to playing football this year, there could be no future partnership with the XFL to explore.
The CFL’s top priority should be a return to play in 2021 because there are very serious and genuine concerns about the league’s ability to survive if it’s forced to cancel a second straight campaign.
If a deal is reached, it’s expected to begin in 2022 as the Canadian league continues to work on returning to the field this season after cancelling the 2020 campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although no date has been set, the CFL is still moving forward. In fact, yesterday the league announced that the 2021 CFL draft would take place May 4th. The COVID vaccine is making the rounds, but will it move fast enough to allow fans in attendance this year? The answer to that question may also be the answer to if we see fans in attendance this year, or if a season occurs at all.
The CFL reportedly lost between $60 and $80 million last year after the Canadian government refused to provide a $30 million interest-free loan a year ago. They’ll lose millions more if any kind of season is played in 2021.
CFL officials are adamant the the league will see action this year, and we’re hopeful that they’re right. With the news of a potential partnership with the XFL, there’s more eyes than ever on the CFL. If the league can manage to make to the field and allow limited-fans, I think the league is set to see record ratings.
Do you think the CFL will start its 2021 season on time? If so, will you be tuning in? Let us know down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.