Hamilton

CFL cancels season — Ticats focus on future, hosting 2021 Grey Cup

News the CFL is cancelling its 2020 season has the Tiger-Cats turning their eyes to the future and preparing for a season where Hamilton is slotted to host the Grey Cup.

Hamilton is slotted to host the 2021 Grey Cup

The CFL has announced it's cancelling the 2020 season, prompting teams including the TiCats to start planning for next year. (Aaron Lynett/The Canadian Press)

News that the CFL is cancelling its 2020 season has the Tiger-Cats turning their eyes to the future and preparing for a season where Hamilton is slotted to host the Grey Cup.

Next year was always going to be a big year for the team, but now 2021 has taken on a new significance for the entire league, according to caretaker Bob Young.

"Hamilton Tiger-Cat football has endured more than 150 years and ... it is our mission to ensure it prospers for another 150," he wrote in a letter to fans shortly after news broke of the cancellation.

"The focus is now the future, and what will be a crucial year for the CFL, 2021, and the incredible opportunity  of reuniting our great fans across the country and around the world by celebrating the 2021 Grey Cup in Hamilton."

The CFL announced Monday that it was cancelling the 2020 season because of COVID-19 —marking the first year the Grey Cup won't be presented since 1919.

"Our league governors decided today it is in the best long-term interests of the CFL to concentrate on the future," commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement. "We are absolutely committed to 2021, to the future of our league and the pursuit of our vision of a bigger, stronger, more global CFL."

Premier Doug Ford, a self-proclaimed "big football fan," said Monday that he's hopeful the league manages to survive without a season, noting how "important" it is for cities including Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa and Calgary.

"Let's pray that they come back next year, stronger than ever," he said.

The Ticats are "very disappointed," wrote Young, particularly for players, corporate partners and fans.

But, he added, the organization is ready to "roll up our sleeves and get to work."

"With your help, the Tiger-Cats will get through this as we have overcome previous challenges."

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