Commissioner Randy Ambrosie believes global initiative can help CFL ‘escape small league shackles’

Canadian Football League commissioner Randy Ambrosie continues to tout the potential benefits of the CFL 2.0 global initiative.

Ambrosie realizes Canada is important, but he believes going outside the borders of North America can take the three-down league to a new level.

“We are a diverse community here in Canada, and having a diverse league will allow us to reach into our communities in ways we haven’t done before. You only have to look at the National Basketball Association (NBA) to see the impact of their global outreach programs,” Ambrosie told Business in Vancouver reporter Chuck Chiang.

“The biggest impacts there have been on the NBA’s domestic business; the league went from being small to being big, and it did it because it thought big in having a global NBA… that redefined what the league is. This is what this exercise is. How do we escape the shackles of being a small league and being a bigger one?”

Ambrosie wanted two global roster spots during the latest collective bargaining agreement discussions and he got his wish, adding them to the 46-man game day roster. In 2019, the league held it’s first Mexican and European drafts. There was a Global draft planned prior to the 2020 season, however after it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the proceedings have been postponed for the time being.

“The lesson that playing football teaches you is that you will be knocked down. You have to learn to get back up,” Ambrosie said. “Yes, the pandemic is definitely a setback, but we have every reason to believe the CFL will come back stronger than ever.”