A league source said Monday that Ottawa and the provinces are both looking for additional certainty from the CFL as they consider its latest financial ask. New CFL balls are photographed at the Winnipeg Blue Bombers stadium in Winnipeg Thursday, May 24, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Sources: CFL discussing $30-million, interest-free loan with federal government

Time is of the essence if there’s is any chance of starting a season in September

The CFL is making a last-ditch effort at securing funding from the federal government.

Two sources with knowledge of the situation said Monday the league is now talking with the government about a $30-million, interest-free loan. The league feels it needs financial support from Ottawa to stage an abbreviated 2020 season during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sources said the newest request came after communication between the federal government and unspecified CFL owners. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because neither the league nor federal officials have publicly divulged potential funding details.

The $30-million request is a reduction from the $44-million amended request the league presented last month. In April, the CFL approached the federal government for up to $150 million in assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commissioner Randy Ambrosie has stated the earliest an abbreviated season could begin is early next month. But he’s also stated a cancelled campaign remains a possibility.

The CFL didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

READ MORE: CFL, CFL Players’ Association extend CBA amendment talks deadline

The $30-million request comes after the league had exhausted specified loan discussions with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC), both crown corporations.

But sources had told The Canadian Press the BDC was not a funding option because the bank and the league couldn’t agree on loan terms.

That left the CFL to approach its primary financial institution to examine the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), with assistance from EDC.

Again, though, the CFL couldn’t come to an agreement on terms.

So now, any CFL-specific assistance will ultimately be decided by the federal government. A specified repayment plan still needs to be finalized and Ottawa wants to know what health-and-safety protocols the league would implement in order to ensure wellness during a shortened season.

Previously, Heritage Canada was attempting to handle the CFL’s requests in conjunction with the provinces. But with the league needing an answer in the next couple of weeks, other opportunities had to be examined.

The CFL continues to meet with the CFL Players’ Association about amending the current collective bargaining agreement to allow for an abbreviated season. The league originally set July 24 as the deadline for CBA amendments, an extension of the deal past its 2021 expiry, federal funding and health-and-safety protocols.

That deadline came and went without an agreement. But while the CFL has extended the cutoff date, it hasn’t publicly announced a new one.

Time is of the essence if there’s is any chance of starting a season in September in Winnipeg, the league’s tentative hub city.

The CFL says it needs financial assistance to hold a shortened season. Ambrosie has said the league collectively lost upwards of $20 million last season and its nine teams have had little to no opportunity to generate revenue due to the pandemic.

The CFL is a gate-driven league, with ticket sales being the primary source of revenue for all franchises.

READ MORE: Edmonton’s CFL team drops ‘Eskimos’ name, will begin search for new name

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CFLCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Green Party announces candidate for Abbotsford South

Former provincial and municipal candidate Aird Flavelle seeks election

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Sept. 27

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

LETTER: Langley City resident on bandwagon over 208th Street traffic problems

Another resident is voicing an opinion about traffic in the area of 208th Street and 48th Avenue

Aldergrove farm invites artists for life drawing sessions

Art in the Country happens this Saturday, Oct. 3, at 26864 16th Ave

Langley East Liberal candidate denies NDP accusation of homophobia over crosswalk vote

Margaret Kunst said she has worked with LGBTQ youth with her PuCKS charity

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

B.C. VOTES 2020: Few solutions offered for ‘out of control’ camping

B.C. Liberals, NDP spend millions as problem keeps growing

Surrey’s Rialto Theatre shutters after 200% rent increase imposed

Owner says he’s devastated by the closure of the 26-year-old business

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

Most Read