After canceling its 2020 season, the Canadian Football League will play in 2021. But the season won’t start on time.
CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie now says the season will start on August 5, will be shortened to 14 games, and will conclude with the Grey Cup on December 12 in Hamilton. But what may interest American fans more is that the CFL is continuing talks with the XFL, which will not play this year, about collaborating.
“Our discussions with the XFL have been very positive,” Ambrosie said. “What we’re looking at and what we’ve been working on on our own is improving our business model. We’ve made a lot of adjustments in the past number of months to make sure that we’ve got the best business model possible. The discussions with the XFL are really focused on that. How would working together help to improve the business model? When you get that answer, you have nearly an infinite list of possibilities on how you would make it work. What our fans really deserve and what our amateur football partners really deserve is a business that’s as good as our game. That’s what we’re working to deliver here.”
It’s unclear how a CFL-XFL partnership would work, but a championship game between the two teams could generate some interest from fans on both sides of the border. That won’t happen in 2021, but in 2022 the two leagues may find a way to collaborate that would be pleasing to the kinds of hard-core football fans who want more than the 272 regular-season games a year that the NFL offers.