OSEG’s Mark Goudie: ’90 per cent’ chance 2021 CFL season will happen

Photo courtesy: TD Place

Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) President and CEO Mark Goudie has some good news for CFL fans.

The longtime sports executive told Postmedia’s Tim Baines there’s is a 90 per cent chance that the 2021 CFL season will happen.

“I don’t know that it’ll get any higher than 90 per cent up until the day before it kicks off because things can go wrong,” said Goudie. “But it has to happen, (we have to play football) this year, I don’t see how it can’t. (The Redblacks) are committed to playing in 2021.”

“Things could go wrong — the variants, the supply of the vaccine, but based on what they see right now — if we’re back in a place by mid-summer where everybody’s vaccinated — there are some good things that could happen down the road.”

Goudie said he doubts that the season will start on time — the regular season opener is currently slated for June 10 in Winnipeg — but thinks it’s possible that it could get underway the following month. He’s hopeful that the league will commit to playing even if the season has to start without fans in the stands.

“I think it would be good if the league gets there sooner rather than later. Just give us a, ‘This is what we’re doing.’ You need the owners, the governors to say we’re in — without fans. There doesn’t need to be a commitment to fans, but knowing that it’s logical the fans will come if we keep going in the right direction.”

The Stittsville resident also spoke to how many fans could be allowed to attend games in 2021. Though the number will obviously be dependent on ever-changing public health guidelines, the news should be encouraging for CFL faithful.

“I expect we will have fans,” said Goudie. “I think there will be by the end of the season, there will be a decent amount of fans, I wouldn’t say 100 per cent, but more than half.”