Montreal Alouettes general manager Danny Maciocia knows time is of the essence for potentially playing CFL football in 2020.
The deadline for a decision has been pushed back multiple times by the league office and there is no current drop dead date. Winnipeg has tentatively been chosen as the hub city, however, federal funding is a critical factor in whether the CFL actually sets up shop in the Manitoba capital. If it actually happens, there are plenty of plans to be made by each franchise.
“Logistics lead to a ton of questions and that’s why we need an answer quickly. Despite an answer, we won’t be able to leave next week. I think we would need four to five weeks to get everything set up,” Maciocia told RDS.
In order for each team to be ready for a possible shortened schedule this year, the 52-year-old football lifer hopes for an answer in the coming days. Schedules and facilities need to be booked and Montreal’s GM states there are many football decisions to be made if the bubble concept goes ahead, especially for smaller rosters which would help the league lower its total personnel in the hub.
“We have to ask ourselves how many players we will have to bring with us, how many days will be in camp and it will probably be without a pre-season. Are we opting for more veterans instead of young people? Maciocia wondered.
That’s just one of many questions which won’t have an answer until the league decides on the fate of a season this year. The CFL is in discussions with the federal government to acquire a possible interest-free loan. The $30 million ask is lower than the $42.5 million that the league had sought most recently after reducing its expectations from commissioner Randy Ambrosie’s initial request for up to $150 million at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s a Hail Mary throw for the league, which should ultimately provide a resolution for all involved.