Published on February 28, 2013 11:59 PM by dbo.
The 2013 CFL Congress provided positive news on a number of fronts, with the commissioner getting to talk up the league and possible initiatives. The delay in the schedule continued to be a topic on the forefront, but gets the appropriate amount of concern. As stated previously, it is expected, and I would much rather have scheduling delays due to stadium revitalization rather than franchise uncertainty.
With the 100th Grey Cup celebration year behind them, the CFL will look to the future rather than continue to focus on the past. Ideas for improvement include Canadian Fantasy Football and a CFL video game. Exploring the use of university students to develop video games aligns with the grassroots aspect of the league and can provide a catalyst to kickstart a CFL video game industry that can be sustainable on its own. Cohon’s words about the CFL‘s position couldn’t be more true:
We’re young, even though we’re over a hundred years old, we’re nimble, we’re progressive, we’re entrepreneurial, and that’s what I want to communicate both to our fans but also to the people that are running our teams.
Cohon is continuing to lead the accessible push, inviting fans for a drink at a Regina bar during the Congress. Cohon presents a positive message and notes while a delay in the schedule is not ideal, it is important to have it right before released.
Cohon also spoke on the league’s shift in focus back to Atlantic Canada with the 100th Grey Cup celebrations over and the Ottawa situation on track for 2014. Cohon indicated the CFL may return to Moncton this year; we will have to wait until the 2013 schedule is out next week. Also of interest, though not surprising, is the statement that the next expansion team should expect more than a $7 million expansion fee. The CFL being open to expansion is not news, so it is time for the communities to start showing interest on their side, showing some organization and talking about the funds needed for the franchise and infrastructure and how that is going to be accomplished, whether from a community organization or smaller group of investors.
Update 2013-03-01: Follow up coverage in New Brunswick calls Halifax a safer bet for the CFL. The fact is, the CFL isn’t placing any bets at this time. They choose to hold regular season games in Moncton only because Halifax has shown no interest to provide a facility and committee to organize the same there. Any franchise will have to provide details on stadium design and financing, franchise financing (ownership) and a business plan including commitment to ticket sales and corporate sponsorship. Based on the solidness of the overall proposal, the CFL will accept a realistic franchise bid into the league. Proposals based on a wing and a prayer will be rejected and the CFL isn’t set to accept the first one either. The next franchise will go to the city that presents a practical and achievable business plan for a franchise with the necessary resources behind it.
The Congress also held the CFL Coach of the Year luncheon, with Toronto’s Scott Milanovich taking the honour. Other coach of the year candidate John Hufnagel had to leave the event before the announcement, causing a small delay.