HomeDomesticCFL commissioner says expansion a 'priority' for league, but no timeline set

CFL commissioner says expansion a ‘priority’ for league, but no timeline set

CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie held his annual state of the league replace on Friday. He advised followers and media the league is dedicated to an elusive tenth franchise in Atlantic Canada, though he didn’t decide to a timeline.

During his fan discussion board on Friday morning, Ambrosie was requested in regards to the league’s plans to increase.

Ambrosie mentioned the league will “decide to a timeline for expansion, and with some dates we are able to obtain” after Grey Cup weekend.

The league has lengthy hoped to have a franchise within the Maritimes to make the league really coast-to-coast, but that has been troublesome, primarily as a consequence of a lack of a appropriate stadium.

“We need to make our tenth workforce a actuality,” Ambrosie mentioned.

Ambrosie mentioned this 12 months’s Touchdown Atlantic sport in Wolfville, N.S., which welcomed 10,000 followers to see the Toronto Argonauts host the Saskatchewan Roughriders, was a “blockbuster success.”

It was the primary common season sport within the province and the primary sport held within the Maritimes since 2019.

He mentioned CFL expansion is a “precedence.”

“We have now engaged in a complete new elevated dialog with Atlantic Canada and they’re very enthusiastic about the way forward for a franchise of their area.”

A CFL fan holds an Atlantic Schooners flag throughout the CFL Touchdown Atlantic sport between the Toronto Argonauts and the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S., on July 16. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)

Ambrosie mentioned he’s heading to Halifax after the Grey Cup for a sequence of conferences.

He was requested if the league had thought-about having present groups host an Atlantic expansion franchise, and having the ticket income given to the expansion workforce whereas it labored towards a new stadium.

“We are getting extremely inventive and pondering otherwise in regards to the stadium problem,” he mentioned.

Ambrosie mentioned the league may have discussions with Quebec City, southwestern Ontario, and cities in Western Canada with out CFL soccer on the potential of internet hosting video games there.

“We need to attain out and embrace all of Canada and get them to really feel that love and vitality for the Canadian Football League.”

In 2018, there was a tentative plan to increase to 10 groups, with an possession group behind a workforce known as the Atlantic Schooners securing $20 million in authorities funding to construct a appropriate facility. The funding was discontinued because of the pandemic. 

Expansion would stability schedule, transfer Grey Cup up

Ambrosie mentioned one other side of gaining a tenth workforce could be a stability the league doesn’t presently have because of the odd variety of groups.

“We now play our 18-game schedule in 21 weeks. When we get that tenth workforce, now you’ll be able to play your 18-game schedule in 19 weeks.”

He mentioned it might permit the league to have the playoffs in October and the Grey Cup sport within the first week of November.

Ambrosie mentioned that might see fewer video games after Labour Day and doubtlessly higher climate for playoff video games. Using this 12 months for example, he mentioned the Grey Cup would have taken place two weeks earlier. 

“Ironically, Nov. 6 in Saskatchewan was colder than the forecast on Nov. 20.”

A number of followers instructed that the league tweak its schedule to keep away from video games on Sundays within the fall as soon as the NFL season has began to keep away from competitors.

Ambrosie obtained applause when he mentioned the division semi-finals and finals shall be held on Saturdays in 2023. However, the Grey Cup will stay on Sunday.

Ambrosie mentioned the league has mentioned transferring the Grey Cup sport to Saturday, but doesn’t need to restrict the week’s festivities.

“The Grey Cup pageant is as a lot a a part of Grey Cup as the sport itself. We’re battling the chance of truncating the Grey Cup pageant by dropping a day on the weekend.”

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