CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie: ‘We are not going to four-down football. I can promise you that.’

Photo courtesy: CFL

The commissioner of the CFL has finally made a definitive statement regarding how many downs his league will play.

“We are not going to four-down football. I can promise you that,” Ambrosie told Postmedia reporter Tim Baines.

“The question about four-down football causes people anxiety. The conversation for us was, ‘Is that a viable option?’ The vast majority of the conversation was, ‘No, no.’ The opportunity is to find new ways to take our three-down game and make it more fun, fast and entertaining.”

It was reported in December that the league would be reviewing all aspects of its game, including the number of downs. Sportnet’s Arash Madani was the first to report that the CFL was receiving pressure from its data and technology partner Genius Sports to do away with the iconic three-down game.

Genius Sports is a sports data and technology company based in the United Kingdom. It owns a minority stake in the league’s new commercial arm, CFL Ventures, which allows it to profit off the revenue it is intended to help create.

The high-profile firm is set to provide everything from tailored marketing research to revolutionary new broadcast technologies, as well as spear-heading the CFL’s approach to legal sports gambling. However, the company denied in a statement that it had provided any input on game-play.

“It’s part of a bigger vision, a bigger opportunity. You can’t get anywhere if you don’t go anywhere. You have to try things. My job is to lead,” Ambrosie said.

“If I haven’t convinced (team employees) yet; I have to keep working at it. I have nine partners, nine teams, nine governors, nine presidents. My job is persuasion and influence. Not everyone is going to see every opportunity the same way at the same time.”