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CFL requests proposal from U.S Spring league towards potential partnership

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 practicing with and playing against The Spring League clubs in the U.S. in September. Ambrosie declared 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 still 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 keeps working with government, he said Tuesday he’s not banking on CFL-specific funding to help the league through the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Testifying before the House of Commons standing committee on finance on Thursday, CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie stated the league could need up to $150 million from the federal government if their season is wiped out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 4:47

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 practice jointly and play games at one facility. Its season usually starts 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.

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