CFL asks federal government for up to $150 million due to COVID-19 pandemic

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie has asked the Canadian government for up to $150 million because of the coronavirus ramifications.

According the the Canadian Press:

CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie told The Canadian Press on Tuesday that the league’s proposal involves three phases: $30 million now to manage the impact the novel coronavirus outbreak has had on league business; additional assistance for an abbreviated regular season; and up to another $120 million in the event of a lost 2020 campaign.

The CFL season has been pushed back, according to Ambrosie: the 2020 CFL season won’t start before the beginning of July.

I say no .. to giving them money

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as much as I want the CFL to survive, I have never been in favor of tax payer money funding any aspect of pro sports. Sadly, I too say no.

Then again, I am also opposed to tax payer funding of the "arts"


Oh man I'm with you there, FYB 100%


Regarding government assistance, I think the league should be given the same consideration as any other non-essential business, be they culture-related like sports and arts, or otherwise.


I hadn't thought of it that way, however if big time companies (Telcos, banks, etc) are getting wage subsidies, etc. Why not the CFL? Wasn't their choice to not have fans/games


I'm against any corporate welfare
Including what the government has done
I'd rather give everyone a basic income of $20 an hour instead of corporate welfare
It would have still cost less than what we're paying now to keep this country a float

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For me I think the Feds should offer a relief to a Canadian cultural iconic group that is 110 years old.
They will 1ose more than 150M in tax revenue in 2 years should the league fold.. Nine cities will be hurt not to mention the 220,00 game attendees and the millions of TV viewers not to mention the dozens of workers and trades involved.

This is a long way from corporate welfare bumism.


money we spent re CFL would just be spent on other things taxed.

We waste 150 Million on far worse things. Regardless of your political inclinations.
Go check out the Canadian Taxpayers Federation annual awards of just how much tax dollars we flush down the toilet every single year.

I seriously think major stuff like Arts, Sports, Zoos etc have far more value to society and should get some reprieve.

Another link to the CFL story

tax dollars are for the purpose of running the country to the betterment of all. Not to cater to select groups entertainment.

if you like pro sports, contribute. if you are a patron of the arts, contribute.

if you favor neither, then you should not be forced thru taxes to contribute to either.


That's it exactly, FYB. I recall, many many years ago when I lived in Hamilton, the Hamilton Opera Company was whining at the City cutting their grant. I'd eliminate it entirely.

If there aren't enough opera fans in Hamilton to keep that outfit afloat, does it make sense to force non-opera-fans to keep it afloat through their taxes?

No, it does not.

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how much does society need million dollar stripes

" Voice of Fire is an acrylic on canvas abstract painting made by American painter Barnett Newman in 1967. It consists of three equally sized vertical stripes, with the outer two painted blue and the centre painted red. The work was created as a special commission for Expo 67. In 1987 it was loaned to the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

The purchase of Voice of Fire by the National Gallery of Canada for its permanent collection in 1989 at a cost of $1.8 million caused a storm of controversy.[1]"

If the CFL does not obtain this funding, and barring other unforeseen sources of revenue, it is quite likely that the CFL will die. My question to this group of (hopefully) rabid football fans is are you in favour of this outcome by withholding government assistance? I, for one, would consider that result a travesty. To misquote The Bare Naked Ladies "If I had a hundred and fifty million dollars" I think I know what I would use it for.

Everyone has an opinion of course and your results may vary.

  • The federal government must provide funding to ensure that the CFL survives.
  • The federal government should not be bailing out private enterprise.
  • The federal government should only bail out private enterprise if it will keep the economy working after the pandemic is over.

0 voters

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I see the CFL as 10 businesses, when looking at what crisis benefits may be available from government. Each of the 10, and their employees, should be eligible for benefits under the same rules as other businesses. As for the players, if the regular, mandatory, deductions (income tax, EI & CPP) have been taken from their pay cheques, as I expect they have been, then I believe they, related to benefits, should be no different than employees of other businesses.
I must ask ..... Why would the commissioner put this out, and create a lot of negative reaction from Canadians, 2 days before what, quite likely, will be the only CFL event (the draft) of this season?


Well said, I could not agree more.


If the CFL was losing money because no fans were showing up, then I'd be against the government funding, but it's not their fault, they're told to close up shop so I think that they should be helped just like any other business.


sorry no corporate welfare of any kind
I'd rather give every Canadian a basic living wage of $20 an hour
Then give a corporate company like the CFL and its teams one red Cent

I'll support the team at the gate if and when they open
I wouldn't have bailed out GM and Ford and Chrysler
I don't believe in corporate welfare

On the other hand I do believe in a basic income for individuals
If a basic income would have been in place we wouldn't have had half the problems we have now thanks to covid-19

I've never believed that any type of corporate welfare
If a business can survive on its own then it should fail
I don't care how old it is or iconic

I love the Tiger Cats & the CFL but I'm not bailing them out

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Why don't teams plan and have contingencies for this
Is it our fault that they didn't plan for a possible season cancellation
put some money away for a rainy day when some like this happens

they've got no money so now they're crying to the government for help

I say no


The CFL seems to be asking the government to cover its entire costs (and maybe even lost revenue) for up to a year of no ticket or TV revenue. Should it do the same for every business that ceases operations because of COVID-19? Or should it focus on helping employees in all industries whose income is lost or reduced, and direct other funding towards health and long-term care? (Bearing in mind that whatever gets spent has to be paid eventually by taxpayers.)


This request is not exactly the same as "corporate welfare" like propping up an noncompetitive business or sector or giving money for "innovation", etc.

The reality is the CFL is being restricted by government in conducting business by the border closure, flights grounded, and obviously a ban on public gatherings. It is through no fault of their own. It only makes sense for government to assist in these circumstances.