The 2020 season of the Canadian Football League has officially been cancelled.
This will be the first year there will be no CFL games since a whole century ago, in 1919. This means the CFL survived the Spanish flu, the Great Depression and the Second World War, among numerous other obstacles to play.
However, in 2020, the problem they are facing is has to do with the current pandemic, and the federal government’s response to it. The government is imposing severe restrictions which make normal play impossible.
The restrictions in place also would make it impossible for teams to come anywhere near breaking even, since ticket sales would be absolutely zero under current circumstances.
According to CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie, playing even an abbreviated 2020 season at such a heavy loss would hamper their ability to put on a robust 2021 season.
The now-abandoned plan was for the shortened season to be played exclusively in the hub city of Winnipeg, so that there would be no travel required for anybody involved. Players and staff would have also agreed to self-isolate.
Ambrosie made repeated requests for financial aid and/or loans to the Canadian government, but was denied every time. At this point, Ambrosie states, the league strongly feels that it’s better to concentrate on having the best 2021 possible.
The CFL’s fans were eagerly expecting the start of this season after the underdog Winnipeg Blue Bombers took the Grey Cup in an exciting win over the heavily favoured to win Hamilton Tiger Cats in October. This was Winnipeg’s first Grey up since thirty seasons ago, in 1990.
The Canadian subreddit showed the expected mixed feelings and debate about issues surrounding the CFL, especially regarding whether the rejection of the post $30 million bailout to the league was justified or not.