CFL commish Randy Ambrosie: hub cities would cut down travel

Screengrab courtesy: CFL

If the CFL proceeds with the hub city concept, part of its design is to limit the amount of kilometres teams would need to travel around the country.

Canada stretches wide from coast to coast and normally the league has no issues with road trips to major cities, but jet-setting presents an inherently higher risk for potentially contracting COVID-19 amid the pandemic. That’s why Regina and Winnipeg, which have the lowest case counts in cities with CFL teams, are being considered as bubble homes for the league.

“In Canada, travelling equals distance and the more hub cities you have, the more distance you have to cover, and that complicates things,” Ambrosie said Monday on The Rod Pedersen Show.

“The reason for a smaller number of hub cities – assuming that you’re going to play the teams inside of each hub, if you were to have that, are going to have to compete against one another – is that you’ve gotta cut down on the amount of travel.”

Hub cities continue to be hot topics among the NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS as North American pro sports leagues try to figure out the best way to possibly hold games during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

“We’re not trying to be right, we’re trying to get it right. Those two things sound the same when you say them fast, but they’re totally different ideas,” Ambrosie said.

“We’re trying to figure out a way to play if we can, and do it safely for our players, do it in a way that makes sense for the future of the league, and ultimately set ourselves up to get through the crisis and into better days ahead in 2021 and beyond.”

For any sports including the CFL to play in a hub city model, strict guidelines would have to be followed. According to Sportsnet reporter Arash MadaniWhat got the CFL committee’s interest spiked was Dr. Lawrence Steinman’s suggestion of a particular antibody test that is FDA-registered and takes only 15 minutes to provide a result. Stringent testing would help create a safe inner bubble.

“The idea of bubble cities…at some point you have to start narrowing the field,” Ambrosie said.

“You have to eliminate some of the options because you burn through a lot of time and energy on things that may or may not be practical.”