CFL Cancels 2020 Season amid COVID-19 Pandemic, 'Absolutely Committed to 2021'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2020

Donna Conley laces an official ball for the NFL Super Bowl LIV football game at the Wilson Sporting Goods Co. in Ada, Ohio, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. The Kansas City Chiefs will play the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2, in Miami. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Ron Schwane/Associated Press

The CFL announced Monday its 2020 season is canceled amid 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 2021, to the future of our league and the pursuit of our vision of a bigger, stronger, more global CFL."

The CFL said in its statement that losing its top source of revenue this season—fans in attendance—was the driving factor behind canceling the season. The league had been considering a bubble environment for a shortened season, though the Canadian government rejected the league's request for financial support. 

"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 statement also said the league and players had been close to coming to terms on an agreement for a shortened season this year.

"We look forward to building on our relationship with our players as we look to the future," he said. "We need to use this time to build a bigger, better, stronger CFL and I'm confident we can do just that."

Finally, Ambrosie thanked the Canadian population for taking the threat of the coronavirus seriously and taking the necessary steps to slow down its spread. According to CNN.com, Canada has 124,213 confirmed cases and 9,075 deaths. Contrast that to the United States, which has 5.4 million confirmed cases and 170,281 deaths.

"I also want to express our gratitude to all our fellow Canadians because their efforts flattened the pandemic's curve to the extent that a 2020 season appeared feasible," he said. "Unfortunately, not all the necessary pieces came together."