CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie gave an update on the league’s discussions with the XFL on Wednesday.
“Our discussions with the XFL have been very positive,” Ambrosie told Chris O’Leary of CFL.ca. “What we’re focused on is really understanding what this opportunity might look like. If I back up from there, one of the things that I shared with an alumni group that I spoke with at their annual general meeting last night was what has become increasingly obvious to me is that the business of our league has never been as good as the players who play our game and the game itself.”
It was the first time the commissioner had addressed the CFL’s potential partnership with the XFL since March. The XFL’s return scheduled for 2022 was put on hold pending the outcome of the league’s conversations with the CFL.
“What we’re looking at and what we’ve been working on on our own is improving our business model. We’ve made a lot of adjustments in the past number of months to make sure that we’ve got the best business model possible. The discussions with the XFL are really focused on that.”
Ambrosie avoided the words “merger” and “partnership” when referring to the XFL, though those options haven’t been ruled out by either side. There has been speculation that members of the CFL front office have signed non-disclosure agreements regarding their talks with the XFL, though this has not been confirmed by the league.
One thing Ambrosie did confirm is that the XFL was not asked to fund the 2021 CFL season.
#CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said league has not asked #XFL to fund their 2021 season. "We have never had that discussion with the XFL. We think we can create a made-in-Canada solution."
— Dan Barnes (@sportsdanbarnes) April 21, 2021
The CFL announced a reduced 14-game schedule for 2021 on Wednesday with a targeted start date of August 5. The Grey Cup in Hamilton was postponed from November 21 to December 12 to accommodate the delayed schedule.