Saskatchewan premier Scott Moe found out his Roughriders lost out to Winnipeg in bidding for a hub city during his live press conference on Tuesday.
Moe was a key part of Regina’s proposal to host the CFL in 2020 if the league could finalize the rest of the critical details to play football amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Well, I’m disappointed. We wanted to host this here in Regina, not only because we love our football team and we love the CFL, but we most certainly felt that there was an economic impact that the city of Regina would use, so we’re disappointed that it’s been awarded to Winnipeg.” Moe said.
“In saying that, there’s a number of hurdles that still need to be crossed in order for this amended schedule to occur. We’d be supportive of the decision that the CFL has made. We most certainly want a strong CFL for our Roughriders to play in, not only this year, but for the next 110 years.”
The province of Saskatchewan was willing to commit $3 million as part of a competitive bid for the event. Regina mayor Michael Fougere offered Mosaic Stadium and Leibel Field free of charge. However, the money and amenities weren’t enough to entice the CFL to choose the prairies for potentially returning to play.
“One of the larger hurdles that does need to be crossed is the federal government needs to make a decision on the request that’s in front of them. I know those conversations are occurring and I would hope and be supportive of the federal government making a positive decision there,” Moe said.
The CFL revised its financial request from the Canadian government and the players supported the ask with a letter. Following detailed discussions with the CFL Players’ Association, both sides believe $42.5 million in financial aid is needed to cover player salaries and operating costs for a possible shortened season.
“They have a request from the CFL which is a gate-driven league, it does not have the revenue sources that the NHL would have in the way of other agreements with broadcasting companies and sponsorship. If the CFL is to have an amended season this year, they would need the support of the federal government,” Moe said.
“We’re disappointed that it’s not in Regina, but in saying that, if we have to go to Winnipeg to get our Grey Cup, we’ll go do that. We’ll have to travel to Winnipeg to get it to put our name back on it.”