Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, wants the federal government to provide direction for any potential financial aid package given to the CFL amid the COVID-19 crisis.
“It would be myopic for the federal government to think a national commission should be funded by the Ontario government,” MacLeod told Sportsnet’s Arash Madani.
“We’re not focusing our attention on providing additional cash, outside of supporting the (2021) Grey Cup. We have not been asked as provinces to step in and make that bailout.”
During CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie’s plea to the standing committee on finance for up to $150 million in coronavirus relief, he asked for $30 million in working capital to maintain operations through the crisis and estimated the league could need as much as an additional $120 million over the next two years — if the most negative scenarios, all of them, come true.
“We are looking for federal leadership on this matter,” MacLeod said.
“The concern for the CFL has been echoed by my provincial counterparts. There needs to be federal leadership on such an initiative.”
Ambrosie revealed collectively CFL teams lose between $10 and $20 million dollars a season. The regular season was scheduled to kick-off on Thursday, June 11, but Ambrosie has stated the schedule won’t start before the beginning of July. If there is no season in 2020, it’s estimated the CFL could lose approximately $100 million.