It could soon be time for CFL teams to partner up.
TSN’s Farhan Lalji joined Rick Ralph and Paul Edmonds on TSN 1290 radio to discuss how the CFL season could look in 2020.
“One of the models that is being considered quite favourably is not the hub city model but the ‘adopt-a-team’ model,” Lalji said.
The hub city model was predicated on housing all nine CFL teams in neighbouring locations — possibly Regina and Winnipeg — to play out the season. This new model would see teams double-up in cities across western Canada to share facilities.
“Right now, it’s believed by most around that CFL that we’re not going to see football played in the east. Those four eastern teams are going to be playing somewhere else, whether it’s in a hub or — more likely — Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Regina each take a team.”
Lalji believes that the cancellation of the U Sports season could make it easier for the CFL to play this season. Dorm rooms across Canada will be empty in the fall as universities offer classes exclusively online. It’s possible that space could be used to house CFL players.
“Winnipeg shares a stadium with the [University of Manitoba] Bisons. Who’s to say that for the year the Bisons couldn’t remove all their equipment and a CFL team could walk in there? It would be a totally acceptable set-up.”
A similar setup exists in Calgary where the Dinos have a locker room at McMahon Stadium. The University of Alberta is very close to Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, while the University of Regina is only ten minutes from Mosaic Stadium.
Limiting the expense of player housing is one of the CFL’s primary concerns regarding the feasibility of the 2020 season. Using U Sports training facilities and dorm rooms could make it easier for a season to go ahead.
Now it’s time to let the speculation begin: if the CFL implements the ‘adopt a team’ model, which teams should be paired up out west?