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https://www.tsn.ca/cfl-to-explore-opportunities-for-alignment-with-xfl-1.1605335

CFL to explore opportunities for alignment with XFL

The Canadian Football League and XFL owners Dany Garcia, Dwayne Johnson, and RedBird Capital announced Wednesday that they have agreed to work together to identify opportunities for the leagues to collaborate and “grow the game of football.”

The Canadian Football League and XFL owners Dany Garcia, Dwayne Johnson, and RedBird Capital announced Wednesday that they have agreed to work together to identify opportunities for the leagues to collaborate and “grow the game of football.”

“Canada has an exciting game and devoted fans, and our discussion with the XFL provides a tremendous opportunity to build on that strong foundation,” CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement.

“We look forward to exploring how we might work with one of the most innovative sports brands in the world to grow the game, engage fans in new ways, and reach new audiences. We look forward to seeing what possibilities our discussions might uncover, and to sharing those with our fans as the process unfolds.”

Johnson, the former pro wrestler turned actor and entrepreneur, was briefly a member of the Calgary Stampeders’ practice roster in 1995. He teamed up with longtime business partner Garcia and RedBird Capital to purchase the XFL from World Wrestling Entertainment chairman and CEO Vince McMahon for $15 million in August.

“Since we first acquired the XFL, we have focused on identifying partners who share our vision and values on and off the field,” Garcia said in a statement. “A vision filled with opportunity, innovation and the highest level of entertainment value for the benefit of our athletes, fans and communities. The CFL has expressed that similar sentiment and jointly we recognize a great opportunity to build exciting innovative football experiences that make the most of each league's unique strengths. I look forward to our continued discussions and we will update the sports community as we have more to share.”

The XFL played half of its 10-game season in 2020 before pausing because of the coronavirus pandemic. In a tweet last October, Johnson said the XFL is targeting a return in the spring of 2022.

"We are honoured and excited to be in discussions with the CFL. It's clear through our early conversations that we share a passion for football, an expansive sense of possibility, and a deep desire to create more opportunity for players and fans across North America and around the world,” said Jeffrey Pollack, XFL president and CEO, in a statement. 

“Blending the CFL’s rich heritage with our fresh thinking, and the unique reach and experience of our ownership, could be transformative for the game. We look forward to learning more about what's possible together with the CFL and where our shared passion takes us."

Edited by JCon
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I Mean.. that would be cool if the XFL adapted the CFL rules and field.    But this is worrying depending on what they are really thinking. 

Yeah but why cover the CFL when they can stuff a mic in Jeff ONeils face and let him verbally fellate the Leafs?

I can honestly say that when the Jets left Winnipeg in 1996, I stopped watching hockey. Totally & completely. I was angry & carried that anger for years after. I never switched allegiance to t

I caught some of the details on satellite radio today. There are/will be 8 XFL teams with the possible option for four more. The owners of the XFL are apparently serious about promoting football instead of the circus with all the gimmicks that were present last time.  They are committed to matching the CFL's schedule with limited cross-border games. I had the impression that it is still pretty half-baked, though. 

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31 minutes ago, Tracker said:

I caught some of the details on satellite radio today. There are/will be 8 XFL teams with the possible option for four more. The owners of the XFL are apparently serious about promoting football instead of the circus with all the gimmicks that were present last time.  They are committed to matching the CFL's schedule with limited cross-border games. I had the impression that it is still pretty half-baked, though. 

I thought that the XFL 2.0 did not have the circus/gimmicks?   The first incarnation of the xfl 20 years ago had the weird ****.   

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5 hours ago, Super Duper Negatron said:

2022 season on hold pending discussions with the CFL? WTF could that mean?

They have no rosters, coaching or mangement staffs in place.  They have nothing to field for football and likely dont have the time to put some thing together. But perhaps they are thinking of cfl games in XFL cities. 

This whole thing has me nauseas.  I havent been this worried since the collapse of the us teams and dark ages of the bombers. 

 

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I think they are obviously looking at a lot more than sharing refs.  At first I thought it was going to be something minor but now that I've read that the XFL is putting planning for their season on hold its clear that we are potentially looking at XFL and CFL teams playing their seasons at the same time and potentially playing against each other. 

I can see what the CFL is thinking here.  We don't know when things will really return to normal. Will we ever see fans come back at the levels we had seen before?  And even if that happens they need more fans in certain markets to be viable. This is about making the CFL less dependent on ticket sales.  I think it has to do with the global initiative to bring in increased revenues from foreign markets.

My vision for this is something like this.  One day they could basically form a new league called something like "The International Football League"  with two divisions.  The XFL and the CFL. If you think that having two leagues competing in the same league is weird take a look at Major League Baseball. Its not that strange.  This would allow the league to be marketed as the CFL in Canada and the XFL in the United States. I think you'd see some loosening on what counts as a global athlete to anyone not born in the united states as there would have to be a ratio of non-American players across both the xfl and the cfl to keep things fair.

I think the XFL would accept the larger field and the 3 downs no problem but perhaps the rouge would be lost because americans will never understand it. But hopefully that would stay as well.  The goal would be to market this form of football around the world and get every league outside of the NFL playing by these rules and have many jobs available to non-american athletes so there would be players from many of the other countries playing in this league to improve tv revenues in each of the other countries who are contributing talent. Of coarse the opportunity for a significant tv deal would exist in the united states as a result of having american teams competing. 

 

Not sure that it would go to this in 2022 as it might start a lot smaller than that.  But i would imagine that this is the long term vision. 

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https://3downnation.com/2021/03/10/wade-miller-says-potential-xfl-partnership-is-not-due-to-cfls-financial-struggles/

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Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ President and CEO Wade Miller has denied that the CFL’s new potential partnership with the XFL is due to the league’s financial struggles.

The CFL reportedly lost between $60 and $80 million in 2020 after cancelling its season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“You would have discussions with this group at any time when you look at their track record of success in sports and global entertainment,” said Miller in an interview with 3DownNation. “I would think as a league we’d have these discussions regardless of whether we were in a pandemic or not.”

The CFL and XFL made a joint announcement on Wednesday regarding its formalized discussions. Miller shed some light on what those mean for the CFL.

“Right now it’s an exchange of ideas about the game — marketing, officiating, and our business. We just need to wait and see. I think what today is about is just being transparent with our fans to let them know that we’re having these discussions,” said Miller.

“The ultimate goal is to find a way to grow football. How can we innovate? We look at officiating, how we run our businesses, the overall business operations of the game and how we make football stronger in Canada and around North America.”

Miller is adamant that these discussions with the XFL will have no impact on the 2021 season. In the long-term, he won’t rule out the possibility of anything — even the CFL and XFL merging to become one league.

“Speculating on what the outcome could be when we’re starting the process? It’s just too early,” said Miller.

I think the only way this "plan" works without massive outrage from CFL fans is by keeping the institution of Canadian football intact. The idea of sharing resources makes sense from a partnership standpoint but the fabric of our game cannot be compromised in doing so.

I know it's early, as Miller says, but I have no idea what to make of this right now. It's unsettling as hell, though. The CFL is in a rough spot right now.

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23 hours ago, JCon said:

 

https://www.tsn.ca/cfl-to-explore-opportunities-for-alignment-with-xfl-1.1605335

CFL to explore opportunities for alignment with XFL

The Canadian Football League and XFL owners Dany Garcia, Dwayne Johnson, and RedBird Capital announced Wednesday that they have agreed to work together to identify opportunities for the leagues to collaborate and “grow the game of football.”

The Canadian Football League and XFL owners Dany Garcia, Dwayne Johnson, and RedBird Capital announced Wednesday that they have agreed to work together to identify opportunities for the leagues to collaborate and “grow the game of football.”

“Canada has an exciting game and devoted fans, and our discussion with the XFL provides a tremendous opportunity to build on that strong foundation,” CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement.

“We look forward to exploring how we might work with one of the most innovative sports brands in the world to grow the game, engage fans in new ways, and reach new audiences. We look forward to seeing what possibilities our discussions might uncover, and to sharing those with our fans as the process unfolds.”

Johnson, the former pro wrestler turned actor and entrepreneur, was briefly a member of the Calgary Stampeders’ practice roster in 1995. He teamed up with longtime business partner Garcia and RedBird Capital to purchase the XFL from World Wrestling Entertainment chairman and CEO Vince McMahon for $15 million in August.

“Since we first acquired the XFL, we have focused on identifying partners who share our vision and values on and off the field,” Garcia said in a statement. “A vision filled with opportunity, innovation and the highest level of entertainment value for the benefit of our athletes, fans and communities. The CFL has expressed that similar sentiment and jointly we recognize a great opportunity to build exciting innovative football experiences that make the most of each league's unique strengths. I look forward to our continued discussions and we will update the sports community as we have more to share.”

The XFL played half of its 10-game season in 2020 before pausing because of the coronavirus pandemic. In a tweet last October, Johnson said the XFL is targeting a return in the spring of 2022.

"We are honoured and excited to be in discussions with the CFL. It's clear through our early conversations that we share a passion for football, an expansive sense of possibility, and a deep desire to create more opportunity for players and fans across North America and around the world,” said Jeffrey Pollack, XFL president and CEO, in a statement. 

“Blending the CFL’s rich heritage with our fresh thinking, and the unique reach and experience of our ownership, could be transformative for the game. We look forward to learning more about what's possible together with the CFL and where our shared passion takes us."

Interesting use of words, blending rich heritage with fresh thinking. Where's that sweet spot? I'm really beginning to dislike this Covid19.

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2 hours ago, blue_gold_84 said:

https://3downnation.com/2021/03/10/wade-miller-says-potential-xfl-partnership-is-not-due-to-cfls-financial-struggles/

I think the only way this "plan" works without massive outrage from CFL fans is by keeping the institution of Canadian football intact. The idea of sharing resources makes sense from a partnership standpoint but the fabric of our game cannot be compromised in doing so.

I know it's early, as Miller says, but I have no idea what to make of this right now. It's unsettling as hell, though. The CFL is in a rough spot right now.

Sounds like hog wash to me. They didnt do this with the first or 2nd pass of the XFL. Or for the AAF, or spring league etc. The record of the XFL is going bankrupt twice. The 2nd edition didnt even make it through the first season.  Im not sure that this 3rd version of the XFL has deeper pockets or better media ties. 

 The nfl spent a TON of cash in NFLE back in the day. And they have a deeper talent pool than ever. I think if any thing, it makes sense that a few of the pro leagues come under an NFL umbrella. Clearly we'd have to have some ability to keep the uniqueness of our game intact. And a full on minor league set up wouldnt work. But itd still be nothing for each NFL team to kick a couple million dollars into us, the xfl, and a league like one in mexico to strengthen the pro pipeline and keep talent circulating. 

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1 hour ago, wbbfan said:

Sounds like hog wash to me. They didnt do this with the first or 2nd pass of the XFL. Or for the AAF, or spring league etc. The record of the XFL is going bankrupt twice. The 2nd edition didnt even make it through the first season.  Im not sure that this 3rd version of the XFL has deeper pockets or better media ties. 

 The nfl spent a TON of cash in NFLE back in the day. And they have a deeper talent pool than ever. I think if any thing, it makes sense that a few of the pro leagues come under an NFL umbrella. Clearly we'd have to have some ability to keep the uniqueness of our game intact. And a full on minor league set up wouldnt work. But itd still be nothing for each NFL team to kick a couple million dollars into us, the xfl, and a league like one in mexico to strengthen the pro pipeline and keep talent circulating. 

The second version was doing relatively well but the pandemic shut them down. 

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3 hours ago, Colin Unger said:

I think they are obviously looking at a lot more than sharing refs.  At first I thought it was going to be something minor but now that I've read that the XFL is putting planning for their season on hold its clear that we are potentially looking at XFL and CFL teams playing their seasons at the same time and potentially playing against each other. 

I can see what the CFL is thinking here.  We don't know when things will really return to normal. Will we ever see fans come back at the levels we had seen before?  And even if that happens they need more fans in certain markets to be viable. This is about making the CFL less dependent on ticket sales.  I think it has to do with the global initiative to bring in increased revenues from foreign markets.

My vision for this is something like this.  One day they could basically form a new league called something like "The International Football League"  with two divisions.  The XFL and the CFL. If you think that having two leagues competing in the same league is weird take a look at Major League Baseball. Its not that strange.  This would allow the league to be marketed as the CFL in Canada and the XFL in the United States. I think you'd see some loosening on what counts as a global athlete to anyone not born in the united states as there would have to be a ratio of non-American players across both the xfl and the cfl to keep things fair.

I think the XFL would accept the larger field and the 3 downs no problem but perhaps the rouge would be lost because americans will never understand it. But hopefully that would stay as well.  The goal would be to market this form of football around the world and get every league outside of the NFL playing by these rules and have many jobs available to non-american athletes so there would be players from many of the other countries playing in this league to improve tv revenues in each of the other countries who are contributing talent. Of coarse the opportunity for a significant tv deal would exist in the united states as a result of having american teams competing. 

 

Not sure that it would go to this in 2022 as it might start a lot smaller than that.  But i would imagine that this is the long term vision. 

I think you pretty much nailed how a merger would go down, imo. It's almost funny, each league has different problems that tge other is in a position to solve. The cfl has a small but devoted fan base.  A mediocre tv deal, and the necessary infrastructure to have a football season. 

The xfl has a lucrative tv deal, maybe not a devoted fanbase but the exposure needed to build one, and no stadiums to play in. I can see this happening.

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21 minutes ago, Colin Unger said:

The second version was doing relatively well but the pandemic shut them down. 

I think they had a couple of decent markets but as many  weak ones. The real issue is both the in game attendance and the tv ratings started to dip hard after like week 2/3. That after a big dip from week 1. I dont think we saw the bottom of the fall, or where their draw would settle to as a norm.  If any thing, covid gave them an out. 

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16 hours ago, wbbfan said:

They have no rosters, coaching or mangement staffs in place.  They have nothing to field for football and likely dont have the time to put some thing together. But perhaps they are thinking of cfl games in XFL cities. 

This whole thing has me nauseas.  I havent been this worried since the collapse of the us teams and dark ages of the bombers. 

 

I'd be more worried about the CFL in its present state. They're broke. I don't think we know how bad it is. Ambrosie is making promises that teams will play. Teams are signing players, no fans allowed in the stands. I'm sure Randy goes into the back after another news conference & wonders how the hell the league will pull this off. I honestly think league bankruptcy is a real possibility. 

I saw a quote somewhere yesterday where Ambrosie said the XFL approached the CFL not the other way around. Do we really believe that statement? A league desperate for money is just sitting there & the XFL approaches them first??? I find that extremely hard to believe. This is why Ambrosie can't be trusted to tell the real truth. Just be honest with us. If it's bad we need to know as fans. We deserve at least that. 

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Just now, SpeedFlex27 said:

I'd be more worried about the CFL in its present state. They're broke. I don't think we know how bad it is. Ambrosie is making promises that teams will play. Teams are signing players, no fans allowed in the stands. I'm sure Randy goes into the back after another news conference & wonders how the hell the league will pull this off. I honestly think league bankruptcy is a real possibility. 

I saw a quote somewhere yesterday where Ambrosie said the XFL approached the CFL not the other way around. Do we really believe that statement? A league desperate for money is just sitting there & the XFL approaches them first??? I find that extremely hard to believe. This is why Ambrosie can't be trusted to tell the real truth. Just be honest with us. If it's bad we need to know as fans. We deserve at least that. 

I am really worried about that too. With out out side intervention I think we likely see a 6iish team league for a season or two maybe more. Maybe we see a real dip in terms of imp talent due to cash cut backs. The federal liberals dont want to bail out the cfl on the cfls terms. But they also wont want to have refused them then see the cfl go bankrupt. That would be a huge hit especially after giving money hand over fist to every one else. And not just in the west, but in several regions of ontario and quebec too. 

I always expect that when a financial issue is made public, that its much worse than expected. I dont trust ambrosie half as far as I could throw him. 

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Dunk says the only way the CFL plays in 2021 is with a financial backer, and that XFL might be such a backer. What it's going to cost the CFL in the long run (being force to change rules, etc) is unknown yet, but according to Dunk (for what that's worth...) the XFL is keeping the CFL afloat for now...

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47 minutes ago, Noeller said:

Dunk says the only way the CFL plays in 2021 is with a financial backer, and that XFL might be such a backer. What it's going to cost the CFL in the long run (being force to change rules, etc) is unknown yet, but according to Dunk (for what that's worth...) the XFL is keeping the CFL afloat for now...

So does Ambrosie end up being the commissioner of the new league?

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My preference is for the CFL to survive and thrive on it's own, a unique Canadian league. But, realistically, the CFL was in trouble before COVID, and now 😲

I'm not sure these discussions lead anywhere, but can you blame Ambrosie and the league for considering it? Considering everything? How long do you think Toronto, Montreal and BC can survive as CFL franchises? My son plays USports football in Montreal and I swear there is more buzz for the three RSEQ teams located in Montreal than the Alouettes. 

If it's a choice between no CFL and some hybrid CFL/XFL/international football league, with the Bombers still part of it, I'll take that option.

2 minutes ago, Colin Unger said:

So does Ambrosie end up being the commissioner of the new league?

Maybe! I vote the Rock, who then has to fend off a hostile take over from Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. 

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2 minutes ago, Brandon said:

I don't get how fresh thinking unique reach and experience of xfl ownership is going to help the CFL at all.  

With a larger league and a the potential for an american audience it opens up the potential for significant TV money from the states and they can also tap into things like Fantasy Football that is not really possibly with a 9 team league. Not to mention a video game based on the new league. Stuff like that would really become a possibility. 

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39 minutes ago, Noeller said:

Dunk says the only way the CFL plays in 2021 is with a financial backer, and that XFL might be such a backer. What it's going to cost the CFL in the long run (being force to change rules, etc) is unknown yet, but according to Dunk (for what that's worth...) the XFL is keeping the CFL afloat for now...

Or if the gov't comes through that'd do it for sure. 

Just now, Colin Unger said:

So does Ambrosie end up being the commissioner of the new league?

I doubt it. Prolly some board of governers with people from all sides and he reps us. Money always wants to have their own guy atleast as figure head. 

Just now, Brandon said:

I don't get how fresh thinking unique reach and experience of xfl ownership is going to help the CFL at all.  

100%. The xfl version 1.0 had plenty of creativity. A bunch of crap and a few debatable gems. Xfl 2.0 didnt add any thing really. 

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