Randy Ambrosie optimistic CFL will play this season

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie is optimistic his league will play some form of a season before 2020 is over.

Ambrosie spoke at length with TSN’s Rod Smith:

“I’m going to choose to live through the lens of optimism and I hope to get some CFL football in before the calendar year wraps up in 2020.”

The season was originally set to begin this month, but the coronavirus has interrupted sports and other gatherings around the world. On Wednesday, TSN’s Farhan Lalji reported that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Calgary Stampeders and BC Lions were set to open their training facilities.

In the eight-minute interview, Ambrosie was pressed about a potential hub approach, which Lalji reported was being discussed with the CFL and the CFLPA.

“Right now I can’t say that I’ve got one that trumps the others because frankly, we’ve got a lot of work being done,” Amrbosie said.

A gate-driven league, questions have arisen about the CFL’s economic viability of resuming play with limited or no fans in attendance.

“That’s one of the critical challenges that we face. We are a bums-in-seats league,” Ambrosie said. “That is the driving force that makes our league special and what makes it great. It won’t be easy.”

In late April, the CFL asked for $150 million in financial assistance from the federal government. The maximum amount would have seen the full money paid out if the 2020 season were to be cancelled.

“We continue to have the discussions with government,” Amrbosie said. “They have asked us to look at some of the programs that they have created that are in place. There are some details around those programs that we are still looking for. In some respects, in addition to that, we’re starting to look at some internal solutions.”