Aug. 17 (UPI) — The Canadian Football League canceled its 2020 season Monday because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The league, which developed preliminary plans for a shortened season based in Winnipeg inside a bubble environment, pledged to return next year.
“Our league governors decided today it is in the best long-term interests of the CFL to concentrate on the future,” league 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 reached its decision after a series of Canadian government regulations that effectively eliminated the league’s main source of revenue — ticket sales. The regulations also would have made it difficult for players based in the United States to travel to Canada.
Ambrosie said the league would have taken “significant financial losses” if it played a season during the pandemic.
“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 CFL joins the XFL and two major American college conferences — the Big Ten and the Pac-12 — in canceling or postponing its 2020 football seasons due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The XFL was sold earlier this month in bankruptcy proceedings and could return as early as next year.
The NFL has started its third week of training camp and is on track to begin its 2020 season next month.