The thing that all CFL fans are looking for an answer to right now is if there will be a season. We are starting to see sports slowly make their return, but according to Dave Naylor, we shouldn’t expect the CFL to be one of them.
“I’m not an optimist at this point," said Naylor. "The calendar is not on the league's side and there is still so much to do.”
We have seen the MLS return to the field, and soon we will see the MLB, NBA and NHL take to their respective playing fields. The CFL had previously said they were looking at September as a possible start date, but with that being just eight weeks from now, time is not on their side.
In those eight weeks, the CFL would have to secure the $42.5 million from the federal government that they have asked for, find a hub city to play all of their games, create a schedule, bring the players to the hub city and test them all frequently, have a training camp and build a schedule. There is a lot left for Randy Ambroise and CFL to figure out in a very short time period.
“Watching other leagues with way more money than the CFL struggle with this is a factor,” said Naylor. “Reality is that so many players from the United States would be bringing COVID-19 with them. Bubble or no bubble, and that is an issue.”
As of right now, the MLS is the only mens sport that is playing games at this time, and they have had issues with COVID-19 inside of the bubble. To this point, two teams have already been forced to withdraw from the tournament due to a high amount of positive tests. Both FC Dallas and Nashville FC have had to end their tournament before they even played a game and many games have been delayed due to positive tests or inconclusive tests, including Toronto FC and D.C. United game on Sunday morning.
The NHL and the NBA haven’t been 100 per cent successful in their ventures either and neither of them has played a game yet. Players such as Russell Westbrook in the NBA and Auston Matthews in the NHL have tested positive recently.
The issue that everyone is facing right now, and not just sports leagues trying to restart is that we don’t have any control over this. Until there is a vaccine for this virus, it can and will dictate our lives. If it was up to the CFL, we would all be packing stadiums and cheering loudly for our teams. At this point, we all know that the novel coronavirus doesn’t care what we want.
The good news for the CFL right now is that it is starting to seem likely that a missed season would not force the league to shut down.
“I don’t think a missed season is the end of the world for the CFL,” said Naylor. “I’ve been saying it all along. Shutting it down would make no sense from any perspective, financial or otherwise.”
“Now, if the CFL can’t put fans in the stands for the 2021 season it is a different conversation,” he said.
A decision should be coming from the CFL in the next week or two regarding the 2020 season and if Dave Naylor is right about this, I don’t think CFL fans are going to like the news. Here's hoping that we can find a vaccine before the 2021 season and we can get back on the field sooner rather than later.