The Canadian Football League canceled the 2020 season Monday due to financial constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘Our league governors decided today it is in the best long-term interests of the CFL to concentrate on the future,’ commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement. ‘We are absolutely committed to the future of our league and pursuing our vision of a bigger, stronger, more global CFL.’
The CFL recently was denied a $30 million interest-free loan request by the Canadian federal government in the league’s last-ditch effort to save the season.
‘Even with additional support, our owners and community-held teams would have had to endure significant financial losses to play in 2020,’ Ambrosie said. ‘Without it, the losses would be so large that they would really hamper our ability to bounce back strongly next year and beyond. The most important thing is the future of our league.’
The pandemic forced the CFL to postpone training camp in March. The regular season, which was supposed to begin on June 11 with an 18-game schedule, was postponed indefinitely in April.
The league had explored the idea of playing a shortened season in a bubble environment, with Winnipeg serving as the host city.
Teams will begin contacting season ticket holders with information about refunds or applying their deposits to next season.
The CFL was founded in 1958 and has nine teams that play in two divisions, East and West. Active members are the BC Lions, Calgary Stampeders, Edmonton Football Team, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Montreal Alouettes, Ottawa Redblacks, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The Blue Bombers won the 2019 Grey Cup.