CFL-XFL could be 2023 β€” XFL insider

LMAO, what you describe is exactly the situation we want to avoid and the partnering up with the XFL is the way to do that. Obviously preserving the league as is and likely adding Halifax is a red line for us, don't see why the XFL would have an issue, it may mean us making other compromises like downs and or other aspects.

Though I feel many if not most of our rules are safe, they make for a faster pace more offensive game, exactly what the XFL is gunning for, but yes changing to 4 downs and moving schedule up will likely be musts for the XFL. In exchange we'll want and get a lot, saving all current markets and adding one will be high on that list. I am not worried about that in the slightest and it is what will protect our top markets from the NFL, since our top three media markets are also our worst performing markets (that should be a big warning to us that changes are needed).

Have no doubt that if we were go bankrupt the NFL would basically see that as invitation to move in. Now that they are moving to a 17 game season they would start hosting games in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal like they do London, build a base and market test, then have at least one if not three potential markets for expansion or relocation new stadium whipping stick threats toward American cities.

Partnership at this point protects us, it means we would be in better position to form an arrangement with the NFL. One in which our players our protected, owners compensated if a player is recruited by the NFL and potentially even player loan options. Tom Brady the greatest QB ever pretty much was a 6th round pick, am sure many a coach has wondered have many super star players have missed or overlooked since then.

Most males don't hit physical peak till mid 20s yet NFL recruits right after or during college, early 20's, potentially several years before a potential player could develop into a serious play maker. It was clear the XFL was going to angle for that and it was going to cost the CFL in terms of caliber of talent in some aspects.

If we didnt want to become the player dev league we should have acted when were strong, now we have to do what we have to to jsut survive. I too would like to give CFL credit for being willing to partner up with the XFL, could not have been easy, certainly McMahon not being in the picture helped.

The financial stability of the league was never that great and rather than making bold moves in the years of plenty we sat on our hands. Now back in leans years and right back into the same crisis that led us to the doomed US expansion of the early 90's where we would give away franchises on credit and do absolutely no due diligence on owners, or back to the sucking up to the NFL for a life line loan and basically having to sign whatever player agreement they want to shove down our throats.

At least with a XFL deal we still have some control of our fate, not as much as we would have had had we acted earlier, or we can do nothing again and let the vultures pick over our corpse in another year or two.

I want CFL to survive, if that means big changes then so be it. If that is our only option vs death I'll take it, though I know you and others are more than happy it seems to go commit ritual suicide out on the field then accept any change that ensures we continue to live.


do you think it feasible to partner with xfl and leave rules essentially intact. Play 4 interlocking games and you play by the host rules. I would love that.


Since some of the US stadiums aren't big enough to accommodate the CFL field, that's the first thing to change.

Then the down will be added etc.

Like I said it's sad to see you're willing to support this quadmire.

But what do I know. I am just a fan in denial according to yourself.

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Well said,


It is possible, certainly I have no doubt that something like what MLB use to have with the National and American leagues playing by slightly different rules will be brought up and be the starting position of the CFL.

It is even possible I think the for the XFL to move to 3 downs if they can be convinced its in their interests, which I think a sound argument could be made for just that, though I suspect that will largely be contingent on media deal demands.

The bigger issue would come down to the Grey Cup rules, but I am sure things could worked out in some way, alter rules by quarter or half, no doubt many options will be explored.

In terms of number games that will also be interesting as I have a hard time seeing the CFL willing to reduce the season length, since I doubt a first gen TV deal will fully replace ticket sales, more likely that'll be a second gen deal, so keeping the 18 games season will be higher priority. This puts the XFL in a bit of pickle since their initial season was for 10 games, obviously moving to a longer season means a likely better media deal but it also means bigger capital investment.

The XFL will also want the season moved up, quite significantly, they would need the regular season at the very least over before the beginning of the NFL pre-season.

That all said I think it is also possible a full merger doesn't happen quickly, but takes place slowly, the XFL extends there season, CFL moves theirs up slightly so that the two have 6 weeks overlap, then say yeah do 4 games against each other. Would make for a less traumatic shift for the Canadian markets and get Americans use to playing Canada, since unless you're hockey fan most Americans are only likely familiar with the three major Canadian cities.

I think a lot will depend on how bad the financial crisis is and or gets, what major TV networks want in return to help sell it. If the 2021 season is anything other than something close to normal in terms of ticket sales it will more than likely push the financial situation to the breaking point. The next few months will be critical for the league and our analysis in what our options are and how this will play out, right now things certainly aren't looking great for us and if things continue to decline it will only enhance the XFL's position in negotiations.

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Sorry to say if the merger takes place, the Canadian rules are gone.

NFL is king in the US and now Canada.

I want the CFL to survive as well.

The league is too small and does not have the resources to compete.

Again the rules were never the issue.

They way they did business was and still is.

The XFL could be the next league to level out.

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Field size is an interesting issue, the prime issue in the US being length but not width. Many US stadiums are designed to accommodate standard regulation soccer field. Even the NFL has been reported numerous times at considering making the field wider as a way of improving competition and safety.

Let's also not pretend that all our current CFL markets actually play on the ideal field because they don't. Keep in mind the NFL use to play 100 yard football with goal posts on the goal line like us, they only moved them back later on.

If leagues were to merge I could easily see them adopting an American length field but a Canadian width field. Having smaller end zone to move around in to make plays would be exciting and be better practice to what players would experience in the NFL now that 2 point conversions there are becoming far more common.

I don't believe adding a down is a forgone conclusion, certainly I think there is a solid case to be made to keep it and have the XFL adopt it and or keep both to add another element to the game. To large degree I believe this will come down to how the TV folks feel about it, if they think it will be too weird and turn off American audiences, or because of the increase turn overs allow more opportunities to sell ads.

You are in denial if think the CFL has future without significant change and partnership of some form now with the XFL. Other options are no longer on the table, we missed it.


MLB, a powerhouse enterprise, could not survive in Montreal, and let’s call a spade a spade, struggles in Toronto. TV money and deep pockets keep it going, not a fan base. NBA didn’t survive in Vancouver, but thanks to star power like Drake, and, a sense of novelty is doing okay in Toronto. Again, huge TV money, and careful roster management keeps them solvent. Hockey, other than Toronto, depends on winning. Prolonged losing seasons hurts.

The NFL did not do well with its Bills in the Toronto experiment, and needed cash infusions from Ted Rogers. I don’t see it doing well in Montreal, and wonder if Buffalo would affect attendance for a team in Toronto, New England for Montreal, and Seattle for Vancouver. To me the NFL probably looks at Canada as one market, not three, and I can see a Canadian based team having trouble attracting and holding onto players, and deep pocket owners, who would have so many more preferred opportunities and competing options in the US.

Wishful thinking, I’m afraid.

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Can't see TSN coffing up more money for a newer and unproven version of the CFL.

I love your enthusiasm for the CFL.

My issue is the integrity of the CFL.

We wouldn't have this issue if the league actually invested in Canadian grassroots through Junior Football, U Sports etc.

The Toronto based media also played a crucial factor in the negative coverage of the CFL.

If you read the constant negativity of the CFL, you wouldn't want to invest your money the product.

I might cancel my season tickets because of this uncertainty.

Will not invest my money and time in this potential disaster until it's a proven success.

I, like most of us, will take a wait and see approach.

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Zulu...specifically what does the XFL bring to the table now?

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β€œThe XFL wants to start in 2022, which is basically 11 months away, with no football staff, no league, no coaches, no players, no scouting staff, no office staff to even put together scouting departments or anything. The question then becomes is that enough time to even put eight teams on the field?,” Suitor asked rhetorically.

β€œYou step back and you say okay now, when Vince McMahon did XFL 2.0, he spent it’s been reported around $250 million on the setup year and a half a season before it was canceled due to COVID.”


Money, money and more money. That's really essentially it, financial stability and subsidy along with their marketing prowess to access the larger US market and get us a better US media deal. American media and sports fans want to see American based teams playing in some form for the bigger draw for advertising dollars.

That money right now saves our ass, then once things stabilize improves player salaries and conditions, product quality, subsidize bringing a 10th team into the league, etc.

The CFL could have done that on its own had it embraced US expansion done right several years ago but that ship sailed. I warned of this and wish the CFL had done this while it could easily finance it. If they had there would be no XFL because the alt league in the US would be the CFL and the bigger media deals would have meant a 2020 season of some kind could have been financed.

But not now, we blew it, now we need cash and folks don't invest in an org that is desperate, they invest in growth and stability, what we were or could have been very easily not that long ago.

There is no financial long-term upside without breaking into the US market and now that road runs through the XFL. The current crisis was 100% predictable and hardly the first the CFL waited till things were in total crisis before taking action they should have earlier but because they waited now have to act quickly and throw something together half-assed and likely implemented badly (see US expansion of the 90s).

Now we need the XFL to change our image of a desperate league on the verge of going extinct to an exciting growth opportunity like the MLS has become. Just look at where MLS was and CFL were 20 years ago and how each has evolved. We really blew it, it sucks, but I think with XFL opening us up to a new generation of viewers, quickening us and creating a massive new revenue stream its worth it.


so you think the new xfl has money or investors lined up?

For those purists who stated they will not support the CFL in any form except as is currently, you must ask yourselves this..
Would you prefer the CFL cease to exist entirely even if this potential merger/affiliation is the only option available in order to survive and/or thrive?

Personally, I would quite peeved if the league just closed up shop without exploring any and all avenues that may provide a lifeboat to the sinking ship.

I mean a good number of member clubs are over 100 years old for Pete’s sake with a couple in the range of 150 Y.O. It would be a crying shame to see it all come tumbling down if the purists discard the product outright due to the possibility of a few rule changes.

IMO, any hybridized form of the CFL is certainly better than none at all.


Exactly, this is yet another reason why I think the XFL wants to partner with us, its a way of rapid start without potentially having to drop $250 million and or even other paths.

A merger may look very different, it might look more like CFL expansion south of the border with concessions in exchange for cash. The ownership group of the XFL has access to billions in cash, potentially more if they get creative with management deals like MLS.

It is complicated for sure, obviously XFL is behind where they need to be if they are gonna make 2022 season work with diligence of before that was working prior to covid. The CFL offers that infrastructure, which potentially puts it in position to keep the game even more looking like the CFL we know then something else.

There are a lot of possibilities, will really depend on how determined XFL is to play in 2022, how much money they bring to bare, media deals secured and how much the CFL is willing to bend.

The CFL could be in better bargaining position for sure, but given how covid affected the XFL, we're not in a totally horrible position either. The US will be playing games with fans in the seats, so playing games south of the border could be a huge deal for us in particular if there is a revenue sharing system.

Too much up in the air, both leagues got issues and likely both can't really go forward well or with stability without each other, certainly working together has more upside for both than not.

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Yes, they have venture firm as part of the ownership group with 4 to 5 billion under management. The Rock brings a lot of star power and media experience that I am sure plenty of media outlets would be willing to take a chance.

It would not be weird for most of what they have lined up under wraps, not atypical at all, but also means they could also be a paper tiger, but I doubt it.

There are other media opportunities now beyond traditional TV networks, the streaming wars really changes the dynamic. Paramount + has CBS sports, Disney has ABC and ESPN, Prime is expanding its sports into NFL and more. Leaving HBOmax and Netflix with a hole, plus there is more. Lord knows what Apple+ may or may not do, or Roku which bought all the Quiby library, so clearly they're planning something.

There are a lot of possibilities and frankly the market for a Spring league in the US is there, in particular if they form some kind relationship with player development with the NFL.

Investment firms like to keep things close to vest till they're ready to make some noise. We'll get a lot leaks from the CFL side of the equation soon enough I'll wager.

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I see where Redbird bought 10% of Red Sox and Lebron in for 1%

That is one possibility , but it is messy buying the Corpse of the CFL. It woud be quite different than buying the corpse of the XFL as the CFL doesn't own any of the teams. The XFL is already the result of a bankruptcy so buying another corpse out of bankruptcy wouldn't do much for their equity.

I think there is a genuine desire by the XFL to acquire the CFL and THE TEAMS. I also think they are open to sell some shares of the XFL to team owners in exchange for purchasing the teams.

Also, in a bankruptcy proceeding, there is no guarantee that other groups would not come in even if is is just to raise the cost on the XFL.

There is a lot of enthusiasm for a partnership with the XFL with some of the CFL owners. Namely Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa. Then add that the Lions are for sale. If the CFL can not host a season, there is nothing to prevent some of these owners maybe all of these owners joining an XFL 3.0 and leaving the CFL behind but then how would that work? The current XFL owners don't want "franchises" at least that's not the model of the business as it stands.

Montreal, Toronto and BC have covered stadiums which makes playing in the spring a non issue. Hell Toronto and Montreal have indoor and outdoor options, granted Toronto would have to revisit its configuration of Rogers Stadium but they have the cash to do whatever they want.

Another possibility is some owners just outright selling their teams to the XFL ownership group, splintering off and leaving behind a smaller but stronger CFL. When push comes to shove. I am not certain CFL team owners will all be pulling in the same direction.

We will know how this ends in five or six weeks time. THANK GOD!


You do realize the ultimate goal for the players is the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE not ANY OTHER LEAGUE.

The XFL can have all the money in world but do they have what it takes to take on the NFL.

The CFL, despite it's faults, has held it's own against the NFL contrary to popular belief.

Should refer to Glenn Suitor for his take.

The XFL planning to delay their season has nothing to do with their potential partnership with the CFL.

2023-2024 is the actual start time as it takes up to a minimum of 2 years to get everything organized.

That's why when leagues expand it's always 2 years before the team starts.

As for the CFL expansion in the US, it was for a cash infusion.

According to yourself, the league should folded back in 1996 because of the failed experiment.

You don't expand, take the money and give them under a year to organize.


Well for one the CFL is addicted to "FREE" stuff. So they figured they could pick the governments pocket and who can blame them, every other industry was successful doing it.

When offered a low interest loan, they turned it down... Because what they were looking for was not playing the season. It is a bailout, they owe season ticket holders around 50 to 60 million dollars. Playing in a bubble did nothing to address that.

By my math it would take 50-60 million dollars to cover the teams current debt plus another 60 to 80 million to cover a 2021 season. Nobody is going to lend the CFL 150 million dollars because the CFL can't pay a loan of that size in any reasonable time frame. Also, the risk is too high, we are still in a pandemic. there is no guarantee of a 2022 or even 2023 season. We don't know what's ahead with this virus.

Unless someone feels it is a patriotic good will gesture to trust their CFL team with their season ticket money, the prudent thing at this point would be asking to be reimbursed...

Sad situation with very little chance of a happy ending IMO.

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