Cost of Living·Listen

Can the CFL survive COVID-19 or is Canadian football being forced into a fourth down?

As the CFL contemplates working with the U.S.-based XFL, we look at the economic future of the league, the costs of the pandemic and whether its players are likely to pick up the ball and run with it in the 2021 season.

Canadian Football League teams rely heavily on ticket sales to make money

Although the CFL didn't play in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, commissioner Randy Ambrosie says the league remains committed to resuming play in 2021. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

It has been 18 months since the Canadian Football League has hosted a kick-off.

Unlike other professional sports — hockey, basketball, golf — the CFL has not bounced back from its forced shut-down due to the pandemic.

  • The Cost of Living ❤s money — how it makes (or breaks) us.
    Catch us Sundays on CBC Radio One at 12:00 p.m. (12:30 p.m. NT).

    We also repeat the following Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in most provinces.

All nine teams lost millions of dollars during the pandemic, and right now the future of the league is not a sure thing as it explores a partnership with the U.S.-based XFL.

CBC producer Dave Waddell speaks with guest host Peter Armstrong about whether the CFL can pick up the ball and run with it in 2021.

Listen to the segment above  — or download and subscribe to the Cost of Living podcast.



To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?