The Canadian Football League cancelled the 2020 season on Monday as a result of a pandemic, which marks the first year since 1919 that the Gray Cup could not be awarded.
The step by the nine-team union shatters dreams for a shorter season in central Winnipeg, Manitoba.
In a tweet, Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said that the decision was in the “best long-term interest” of the tournament.
CFL, unlike other big leagues in North America, does not have a multi-billion dollar TV contract
Although the contract with TSN has been more lucrative over the years, CFL is still a cross-border tournament, a big issue where spectators are not allowed in the stands.
The Federation was unable to obtain government funds despite filing for a $23.7 million interest-free loan on August 3 to run the 2020 campaign shorthand. The sale went down on Sunday night.
The Commissioner said he lost more than $15 million last season.
The Federation also requires the consent of the Public Health Authority of Canada. Dr. Howard Njoo, Deputy Director of Public Health for Canada, said last Friday that he was inspired by the CFL proposal, but was unable to make a determination that the federation has to rush and move forward fast.
Last month, the CFL said they selected Winnipeg as the city center for a regular season of six matches followed by an eight-team playoff and no fans watching.
As the pandemic struck for the first time in March, CFL was on the sidelines for some time, with training camps not available until May. But as the crisis deteriorated, the CFLs started to delay the camp and eventually began the regular season in June.
CFL then cancelled the November Gray Cup game in Regina, Saskatchewan, saying this concept wouldn’t work without fans.
The cancelation also postponed the new presence of the Edmonton team. The team has announced that they will drop the name of Eskimos this summer after they face criticism from donors.