The Canadian Football League board of governors has voted yes to approve a 14-game schedule which will kick-off August 5, per sources.
At 12 p.m. ET, noon eastern time representatives from the league’s nine franchises met and unanimously decided to proceed with its plan for a shortened season in 2021.
The league stated in April that it was setting August 5 as a target date to return from a hiatus largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CFL stressed it would only move forward with a season if it could secure the necessary approvals from governments for its plans to keep players and coaches safe and the green light from governments to allow a significant number of fans to attend games.
“We are on track to receive all of the necessary health and safety approvals, thanks to our tireless medical advisors and staff, and the dedicated government officials who have been working with them,” commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement. “And while the outlook for fans in the stands varies from province to province, we are confident that process is also on the right track.”
The full 2021 CFL schedule will be released Tuesday along with each team’s plan for distributing tickets to season ticket holders, and where government restrictions on stadium capacity allow, ticket sales to the general public. CFL training camps are scheduled to begin on July 10.
CFL governors also approved an amended collective bargaining agreement with the Canadian Football League Players’ Association, essential to starting the season on August 5.
“I want to acknowledge our governors for choosing to move forward in this very positive way today, for their perseverance, vision, and our great players, for working with us in a spirit of true partnership,” Ambrosie said.
“The public health officials in every province keep telling us that as long as the vaccination rate keeps climbing, and the number of cases of COVID-19 is contained or goes down, the more life will get back to normal, including full capacities in our stadiums.”
Opening day on August 5 will mark the first CFL game since the 107th Grey Cup was played on November 24, 2019.