Edmonton president Chris Presson can see 2021 CFL schedule being finalized by end of May

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Football Team

Edmonton Football Team president Chris Presson believes a 2021 schedule could be finalized by the end of May.

The league office has targeted August 5 as a potential kick-off date for the planned 14-game regular season with the Grey Cup slated for December 12. Presson stated the three-down league is making progress towards the finalized schedule.

“We’ve had a couple of renditions at this point, and certainly everyone has varying opinions. The schedule-maker has a very hard job as he tries to maneuver the wants and needs of every team, which is an impossibility. What we saw in draft one compared to draft two, there were substantial changes, some good, some bad,” Presson said on 630 CHED in Edmonton.

“We’ve asked for some other considerations as has every other team. I would suspect in the next week-and-a-half we’ll have a final version internally to look at. And I would hope that the week after that maybe we could push something out, but that’s my opinion, that’s not anything that the league has told us. I know they’re working diligently on it, that would be my opinion, that we’re probably two-and-a-half weeks away.”

Most importantly, the league has said a ‘significant’ number of fans must be allowed in stadiums around opening day to proceed. The ever-changing COVID-19 landscape in each province around the country has pundits questioning the ability for the CFL to start the 2021 season in early August.

“We still feel very confident in the August 5 start date,” Presson said.

“One of the things as a league we did not want to do was to come out with a date that appeared to be tone deaf or unrealistic. Certainly August 5 is not tone deaf, I think it is very realistic and we plan to kick-off the season at that point.”