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Commissioner Randy Ambrosie Talks CFL Expansion Status, Onside Kick & More

In an insightful interview on The Waggle podcast, CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie shared his thoughts on the league’s performance and its trajectory moving forward. This article breaks down the key takeaways from the interview, offering a glimpse into the league’s strategic plans and Ambrosie’s vision for the CFL.

Key Points:

  • TV ratings for the CFL soared, marking a significant increase, especially among crucial demographics.
  • Expansion efforts are ongoing, with a keen focus on Atlantic Canada and Quebec City as potential new markets.
  • Ambrosie emphasized the unique aspects of the CFL, including the potential rule change regarding the live onside kick, reflecting the league’s innovative spirit.

TV Ratings and League Performance

Ambrosie expressed satisfaction with the CFL’s performance both on and off the field, marking the year with an ‘A’ grade. He highlighted the increase in TV ratings, especially in the coveted 25 to 54 demographic, describing it as one of the most significant improvements in sports history.

“Our TV ratings were up significantly, really importantly in that 25 to 54 category, which is the one that everyone seems to care about the most, up 34% last year. That’s probably one of the most significant improvements in sports history.”

CFL Expansion: Atlantic Canada

Discussing expansion, Ambrosie mentioned the ongoing efforts to establish a team in Atlantic Canada. He acknowledged the challenges and emphasized the region’s need to actively support this initiative.

“We’re certainly not giving up on Atlantic Canada, not by any stretch, but at some point, you have to say, okay, look, we’ve kind of done all that we can do. I think that the region now has to find a way to pull us in if in fact that’s part of our destiny.”

CFL Expansion: Quebec City

Ambrosie pointed to Quebec City as a strong candidate for expansion, citing its rich football culture and success in sports. He stressed the importance of a careful, measured approach to this potential expansion.

“There’s a great football culture in Quebec City. One of the strongest amateur football communities in all of Canada is in Quebec City. Lots of reasons to like it as a market, but there’s a carpenter’s expression, I think you call it a carpenter’s axiom, measure twice and cut once.”

Rule Changes: Live Onside Kick

Ambrosie touched on the possibility of a rule change regarding the live onside kick, highlighting the unique aspects of the CFL and the importance of fan engagement in shaping the game.

“They’ll talk it through and in the end they’ll make a recommendation that ultimately has to go to the board of governors to be approved. So it’s a good process. It’s a fun part of the offseason is to kind of say, look, we know we’ve got something great, just the evidence of what’s been happening in our game and how entertaining our product is.”

CFL Swagger

Towards the end of the interview, Ambrosie reflected on the league’s unique identity and the need for a “CFL swagger,” recognizing the league’s special place in sports history and its potential for future growth.

“I think if there’s a thought that I entered 2024 with is I think it’s time for a little CFL swagger. A little more CFL swagger. Recognizing that what we’ve got is special, what? The history on which we base our future is special.”

Randy Ambrosie’s interview on The Waggle podcast offered valuable insights into the CFL’s recent successes and future plans. Highlights included the significant rise in TV ratings, potential league expansion to Atlantic Canada and Quebec City, discussions on rule changes like the live onside kick, and Ambrosie’s call for increased “CFL swagger.” As the CFL continues to evolve and grow, these strategic moves and reflections signal an exciting future for the league.

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Mark Perry Editor
Mark Perry is the founder and editor of CFL News Hub. A dedicated and experienced football analyst, he has been providing comprehensive coverage of the sport since 2018.
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