Nearly two months ago the CFL announced that it was targeting to return on August 5th. At the time of the announcement there were still a lot of roadblocks in the way. CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie stated that the league would know more around mid-June based on the covid trends.
BREAKING: The CFL regular season has a revised target start date of August 5th and the #GreyCup has been re-scheduled to December 12th in Hamilton, Ontario
— CFL (@CFL) April 21, 2021
We’re now in the middle of June, and today the CFL held a vote with its Board of Governors to settle the leagues start date. Before the board met, CFL fans were welcomed with more good news.
Lisa MacLeod announced that there was an accelerated framework being put in place that would allow fans to attend sporting events. During the announcement, she specifically mentioned the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Ottawa Redblacks. A lot of fans online have pointed out that she specifically did not mention the Toronto Argonauts. I’m sure we’ll learn more in the coming days.
Today I announced an accelerated return to play framework for @ticats @REDBLACKS @Raptors @BlueJays @OHLHockey and others in 18 leagues across 6 sports. pic.twitter.com/ylmvG46StR
— Lisa MacLeod (@MacLeodLisa) June 14, 2021
Going into the vote many CFL insiders believed it would pass, with a worst case scenario of a shortened season. Well, after nearly two months, we finally have some answers.
TSN’s Dave Naylor revealed on Twitter that the CFL’s Board of Governors unanimously voted to begin a 14-game season starting August 5th.
The @CFL board of governors votes unanimously to begin a shortened 14-game per team season on Aug. 5th. #CFL #CFLPA
— Dave Naylor (@TSNDaveNaylor) June 14, 2021
This is the big one, the huge announcement people have been waiting for. Fans can now be assured the CFL will play this year. Going into this vote, many expected this outcome, but it’s refreshing to see it come to reality.
At the moment the XFL is on the sidelines for 2021, putting a lot of new eyes on the CFL this year. Add the fact that the CFL and XFL are talking about a partnership, this could be the most anticipated CFL season in a long time; if ever.
Do you plan on tuning into the CFL this season? Let us know down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.
The CFL has since released a press release, which you can read below:
GOOD TO GO: BOARD APPROVES ’21 SEASON, CFL KICKS OFF AUG. 5
TORONTO — The Canadian Football League’s (CFL) comeback season is a “go”.
On Monday, the league’s Board of Governors voted unanimously on a 14-game regular season for its’ teams that will kick off August 5 and lead to the 108th Grey Cup on December 12 in Hamilton, Ontario.
“This is an exciting day for Canadian football and for Canada itself,” said Randy Ambrosie, Commissioner of the CFL.
I want to thank our fans, players, coaches, and partners for their incredible support and patience as we’ve worked together towards this day. This is great news for everyone who loves our game and our country.”
The league told fans back in April that it was setting August 5th as a target date to return from an hiatus forced by the COVID-19 outbreak. The CFL stressed then that it would only move forward with a season if it could secure the necessary approvals from governments for its plans to keep players and coaches safe and the green light from governments to allow a significant number of fans to attend games.
“We are on track to receive all of the necessary health and safety approvals, thanks to our tireless medical advisors and staff, and the dedicated government officials who have been working with them,” Ambrosie said. “And while the outlook for fans in the stands varies from province to province, we are confident that process is also on the right track.”
The full 2021 CFL Schedule will be released tomorrow along with each CFL club’s plan for distributing tickets to season ticket holders and, where government restrictions on stadium capacity allow, ticket sales to the general public. CFL training camps are scheduled to begin on July 10.
Opening day on August 5th will mark the first CFL game since the 107th Grey Cup was played on November 24, 2019.
CFL governors also approved an amended collective bargaining agreement with the Canadian Football League Players’ Association, essential to starting the season on August 5.
“I want to acknowledge our governors for choosing to move forward in this very positive way today, for their perseverance, vision, and our great players, for working with us in a spirit of true partnership,” Ambrosie said.
“Words cannot express how grateful we all are to the health care and front line workers who have done so much to keep Canada going. We at the CFL want to thank everyone who has chosen to get vaccinated. We encourage everyone to get a first shot, or a second, when it is their turn,’ he said.
“The public health officials in every province keep telling us that as long as the vaccination rate keeps climbing, and the number of cases of COVID-19 is contained or goes down, the more life will get back to normal, including full capacities in our stadiums.”