CFL commissioner Ambrosie asks The Spring League CEO for partnership proposal

CFL commissioner Ambrosie asks The Spring League CEO for partnership proposal

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie has asked an American developmental football league for a formal proposal regarding a partnership between the two.

Brian Woods, CEO of The Spring League, said he spoke to Ambrosie Wednesday. Woods added Ambrosie was open to his concept and requested a formal proposal that he could present to the CFL’s board of governors.

Woods told The Canadian Press last week he’d approached Ambrosie about a partnership that would see CFL teams practising with and playing against The Spring League clubs in the U.S. in September.

Ambrosie announced May 20 a best-case scenario for the CFL was opening an abbreviated season in September due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But he also reiterated a cancelled 2020 campaign remains a possibility.

Ambrosie has approached the Canadian government for assistance. The league’s three-part proposal includes $30 million immediately, more monies for an abbreviated season and up to an additional $120 million in the event of a cancelled campaign. While Ambrosie continues to work with government, he said Tuesday he’s not banking on CFL-specific funding to help the league through the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The CFL continued meeting with government officials Thursday. It had sessions with Kyle Nicholson (senior policy adviser, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) and Olga Radchenko (policy adviser Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) as well as Aneil Jaswal (policy adviser, Finance Canada).

The CFL also met with Jaswal on Wednesday.

The Spring League is a developmental football operation. It consists of four teams — with 38 players on each roster — that practise jointly and play games at one facility.

Its season usually begins in March and generally lasts three weeks. Teams play two games apiece and during the off-season the league conducts tryout camps.

Initially, Woods was looking for between two and four CFL teams to combine with Spring League squads at an unspecified U.S. location for three to four weeks. He was very amenable to adopting Canadian rules and playing on longer, wider fields like squads in Canada do.

But on Thursday, Woods said his proposal will call for all nine CFL teams to play games in the U.S. alongside The Spring League in a “made for television” format.

Games would be played during the week beginning in September. They’d be scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday to avoid conflicts with existing NFL and NCAA programming windows.

If the NCAA, or specifically any Power 5 conference — Big 12, Southeastern Conference (SEC), Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big Ten, or Pac-12 — delays or cancels its 2020 season, U.S. college underclassmen would be eligible to participate and could sign with CFL or The Spring League teams.

The Spring League would also expand to five clubs, giving the partnership a 14-team format for the fall season.

The markets being considered for this plan include: Memphis, Birmingham, San Antonio, Atlanta, Dallas, and Nashville.

Centralized training camps would be held in two of those cities. Once camps ended, the CFL teams would be based in two of the six proposed markets.

When The Spring League and CFL teams squared off, a hybrid of NFL-CFL rules would apply. The Spring League clubs would play by American rules in head-to-head matchups while CFL teams would play under Canadian rules.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2020.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

CFL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Quality Inn & Suites in Rimbey. Photo Submitted
Rimbey hotel gets new lease on life

The Quality Inn & Suites in Rimbey is now open and taking bookings

Leanne Evans, Rimbey Neighbourhood Place Program Coordinator, accepts a donation of $5,000 from Kevin Maxwell manager of Field Support for Telus. (Photo Submitted)
Rimbey Neighbourhood Place making big changes behind the scenes

Rimbey Neighbourhood Place recently recieved a $5,000 donation from Telus

robbery
UPDATE: Suspect identified in early morning shooting

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it's highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Central zone active cases at 145

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID-19: One more death in central zone

Ponoka County on province’s watchlist

Conservative member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre speaks during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals say Tory effort to set up COVID-19 committee will be a confidence matter

The Tories were originally proposing an ‘anticorruption’ committee

File photo
RCMP’s response to online discussions about anti-racism demonstrations

Ponoka RCMP Staff Sgt.’s comments misattributed online

Shaelynn Decock and her dog Taco, who has been missing since Aug. 26. Photo Submitted
Sylvan Lake woman looking for closure for her stolen dog

Shaelynn Decock says it has been two months since she last saw her dog Taco

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Adhering to local health authorities, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part in following those guidelines

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday February 4, 2020 in Ottawa. The Alberta government is welcoming news that Ottawa has approved an expansion of the Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. gathering system in Alberta — while condemning federal delays that it says cost this summer’s construction season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Alberta welcomes federal approval of gas pipeline expansion while criticizing delay

The project is expected to create up to 2,920 direct jobs during construction, the federal release said

A Tim Hortons employee hands out coffee from a drive-through window to a customer in Mississauga, Ont., on March 17, 2020. Tim Hortons is ending the practice of double cupping hot drinks, a move the fast food restaurant says will eliminate hundreds of millions of cups from landfills each year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
The end of double cupping: Tim Hortons ditches two cups in favour of one with sleeve

Most recycling facilities in Canada don’t recycle single use paper coffee cups because of a plastic lining

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer doctor Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s chief public health doctor says in the age of social media, fake news about the COVID-19 pandemic has been spreading faster than the virus itself. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
VIDEO: Fake news creates serious issues for battling pandemic, chief public health doc says

Both Tam and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadians to be responsible about the information they share

A narwhal tusk that was donated to a Goodwill store in northwest Calgary this summer will soon be gifted to the Arctic Institute of North America (Hesam Rezaei)
Narwhal tusk discovered in Calgary Goodwill pile to be donated to university

The tusk had federal hunting tags from 1978 attached that say animal was harvested from the central Arctic

(The Canadian Press)
Alberta-raised Cree actor lands role in Disney’s live-action ‘Peter Pan and Wendy’

Tiger Lily is featured in Disney’s 1953 animated “Peter Pan” film

Most Read