Will the Canadian Football League Return This Year?

A 2020 sports casualty, the Canadian Football League hopes to get back onto the gridiron in 2021. Unlike the NFL, the CFL couldn’t weather last year’s coronavirus pandemic sports storm.

Like other second-tier sports leagues, the American Disc League and Ice Cube’s Big3 Basketball league, the CFL had to cancel their season. Professional football players in Canada didn’t get a chance to play for the Grey Cup.

2020 was supposed to be the year the Canadian Football League became a summer force. Will 2021 will be that year?

A 2021 CFL Season will happen

Per Canadian Football League Commissioner Randy Ambrosie, a 2021 CFL season will happen. Ambrosie told The Canadian Press, “We’ve got a schedule in place, and we’re committed to it. Our real focus is on all the planning that’s going to have to go into executing against that and also having maximum adaptability because there’s no doubt we’re going to have to make adjustments to our plan.”

Making adjustments is critical. Other sports leagues have had to make adjustments. Even today, towards hopefully the tail-end of the pandemic, sports companies have had to adjust.

The National Basketball Association has had to postpone several games due to COVID positives. The National Hockey League has had to postpone twenty-nine games and counting. Both leagues have prioritized using the word “postpone” instead of “cancel”.

The CFL could take a page from the NHL. The league has allowed fans in arenas via limited capacity. The hockey league also realigned division so they could cut down on travel.

Canada’s professional modern football league has advantages that make it easy to postpone games without canceling. Once the CFL has coronavirus protocols in place, they can run like the NFL.

Unlike baseball, hockey, and basketball, football players can’t play more than a single game every five days. The five days in between games cut it close because football is so physical.

If the CFL must cancel a game, they can make up for it the following week, which is what the NFL did. The Canadian Football League also has a couple of other advantages that most other sports leagues don’t.

There are only eight teams in the CFL. Also, Ambrosie and CFL schedule makers will start play on May 23. By then, if North America is lucky, we will be on our way to herd immunity.

American bookies ready for a profitable 2021 CFL Season

Before the pandemic, wagers on Canadian Football League games had become one of the fastest-growing segments in the sportsbook industry. One of the reasons for the growth? Starting in 2019, U.S. based broadcast companies aired CFL games every week.

For bettors in the United States, it’s the same story. Every year after football season, players line up to drop dollars on the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament.

But after the NCAA Tournament’s championship game, which usually happens between April 1 and April 7, sports bettors scramble to find matches on which to wager. The NBA, NHL, and MLB have their betting fans.

But they don’t have as many followers as the NFL and college football. The CFL has become the bridge that takes football handicappers, U.S. mainstream bookmakers, and pay per head bookies from late May and early spring to September.

The pandemic blew up the 2020 bridge. The bridge has been rebuilt for 2021, which is why bookies in America and their betting customers are excited about the upcoming Canadian Football League season.

Once the season starts, expect players to pay more attention to CFL games than in past years. Like with many sports, the lack of a 2020 season has built demand.

There’s so much demand for betting on CFL matches that the league is considering creating single-game, in-stadium, wagering opportunities. The plan, no doubt, could boost league revenue into the stratosphere. For U.S. sportsbook operators that offer free betting software, the ability to provide betting options on Canadian Football League games alone is a plus.

In 2020, bookmakers turned to horse racing, casino, and live dealer casinos to maintain 2019 revenue levels. Any sports options they can offer, even Canadian football, American bookies will welcome with open arms.

AFI
American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!
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