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Fans in Stands at Canadian NHL Playoffs; What it Means for CFL

It was recently reported that there could be a small number of fans at an NHL playoff game between the Maple Leafs and hosting Canadiens.

It’s a step in the right direction when thinking down the line about the CFL. Having fans in attendance is a key part of the Canadian Football experience, and is one of the biggest contributors to the league’s bottom line. They’re allowing fans at the indoor facility in May, which is huge for fall football outside.

“Since the presence of a certain number of fans in the stands is essential for the Alouettes to return to play, today’s announcements is a step in the right direction considering that the team’s first home game (in Montreal) would most likely take place in September,” the Alouettes said in a statement.

Alouettes Team Statement

There’s still a lot in the air about the season. Whether or not the league will make the set date of an August 5th start, is still to be determined.

Players are set to hit camp the 1st week of July as of now, but the date is still fluid. Former Argos RB, Karlos Williams stated players were getting updates on a weekly basis in a recent interview, so we still could see changes.

Recently, Alouettes QB Vernon Adams announced via Twitter that he has been vaccinated, which is a major step on all sides in getting this season kicked off.

Vaccination numbers loom large for getting the season started. Different provinces have different requirements, and not all are as optimistic, or in the same space as Montreal. But, this is big news. The CFL can’t afford to miss another year.

CFL teams only receive $5.6M in yearly TV revenue, and since only the three “community-owned” teams release their books, we know that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Saskatchewan Roughriders, and Edmonton collected 45%-55% from the ticket gates.

The players have already had to face a paycut, playing in empty, or reduced capacity stadiums likely means more money taken from them. Owners will most likely not approve anything that means they lose more money; even if it means they play football.

The Toronto Sun reports that:

“Many of those same players were then hit with “restructuring” demands from their CFL teams in late 2020 or earlier this year. Twenty percent salary reductions were commonplace for those who agreed to help their cash-strapped teams out by tearing up existing deals, while players who refused were released into free agency, where the hits just kept on coming.”

Toronto Sun

The CFL lost 2020 because of the pandemic, and there is still fear that this season won’t be played either. But this is a big bump in positivity for getting 2021 started, so there’s some reason for optimism.

author avatar
Josh Davis Reporter


  1. David Tress

    May 22, 2021 at 11:57 am

    This article made a mistake. The CFL doesn’t receive $5.6 million in tv revenue, but rather, the CFL receives $55 million from TSN in TV revenue. Vaccinated fans should be allowed to attend games

  2. Eva

    May 23, 2021 at 3:26 am

    Yup, article is wrong;
    CFL scores ‘US$37m a year’ in domestic TV rights renewal
    The Canadian Football League (CFL) has announced a long-term extension of its domestic media rights deal with TSN and RDS ahead of this weekend’s season-ending Grey Cup.

    The renewal sees the Bell Media-owned pay-TV networks, which air English and French-language coverage respectively, retain exclusive broadcast rights all pre-season, regular season, and playoff games, as well as exclusive radio rights.

    Financial terms of the deal have not been officially released but the Toronto Sun reported in September that the parties involved were working on a six-year contract that would run until 2025 and could be worth about CAN$50 million (US$37 million) annually.

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