Riders’ president Craig Reynolds: ‘vitally important’ the CFL plays football in 2021

Screenshot courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Saskatchewan Roughriders president Craig Reynolds wants to be back at Mosaic Stadium watching the green and white play football this year.

Reynolds believes it’s critical for the three-down league to return to action in 2021.

“It’s vitally important that we play CFL football this year. Whatever that number (of fans) is, it’s not going to be break-even,” Reynolds said on 980 CJME’s The Green Zone.

“This is a multi-year financial problem and it will probably be added to though 2021 but it’s so important that we get playing for a multitude of reasons and we get as many fans in as possible.”

The Riders have a meeting booked with Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer for Friday to discuss return to play plans. There are common protocols every CFL teams will follow in unison and each franchise will have a blueprint for welcoming fans to their respective stadiums.

“We’ve talked to almost every NFL team that welcomed fans back. We’ve learned from them so much on what was effective,” Reynolds said.

“The really good news is what we heard consistently from the NFL was there were not any super-spreader events, there were not major issues from COVID when you have it set up according to best practices from health authorities.”

The CFL unveiled its 2021 schedule in November with the pre-season scheduled to begin on Sunday, May 23. The regular season is slated to get underway on Thursday, June 10 and the Grey Cup in Hamilton is set for Sunday, November 21 in Hamilton.

“There’s certainly going to be some restrictions. We’re certainly going to want to make sure everybody is safe. We won’t do this and we can’t do this if it’s not being safe,” Reynolds said.

“There’s lots of optimism, there’s still a lot of uncertainty, but I don’t think I’ve been as optimistic about playing as I am right now.”