Alouettes owner Gary Stern on XFL talks: the CFL ‘most certainly needs help’

Montreal Alouettes co-owner Gary Stern wants to see what could be cooking with The Rock and the Canadian Football League.

The CFL and XFL owners have agreed to explore potential alignment opportunities for the leagues to collaborate, innovate, and grow the game of football.

“I’m all for talking. If something good comes out of it, fantastic,” Stern told Montreal Gazette reporter Herb Zurkowsky.

“If it doesn’t, we’ll have learned a lot and maybe gotten different ideas on what we can incorporate or do in our own league. Talking never hurt.”

The CFL reportedly lost between $60 and $80 million last year and are set to lose millions more if any kind of season is played in 2021. After the Canadian government refused to provide a $30 million interest-free loan a year ago, the CFL is looking elsewhere for financial help.

“The CFL has been around a long time and has an avid group of fans. But it most certainly needs help, as COVID-19 pointed out,” Stern said.

The Rock, Dany Garcia, and RedBird Capital were selected as the winning bidder last August for all of the assets of Alpha Entertainment LLC, the parent company of the XFL. It cost $15 million and the goal is to make the XFL a stable league in the future.

The XFL lasted just part of one season before the COVID-19 pandemic put their season on hold. Part of the assets include a quickly-developed social media presence. The XFL 2020 Twitter account has 354,000 followers compared to the CFL’s 293,000.

The CFL has been awarding the Grey Cup for over 100 years. Meanwhile, the original XFL lasted one full season in 2001.

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