CFL targets August start for 2021 season, moves Grey Cup to December
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The CFL is now targeting Aug. 5 as the start date for the 2021 season and has rescheduled the Grey Cup to Dec. 12, the league announced Wednesday.

The league will also shift to a 14-game regular season from 18 games.

"We will play CFL football in 2021," commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement.

The 2021 CFL season was originally scheduled to kick off June 10 but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the league to change its plans. Ambrosie added that the Aug. 5 date could change.

"I say 'target date' because our plans are subject to the state of COVID-19 across the country. A so-called 'third wave' in some provinces is forcing us today to postpone the start of our regular season," Ambrosie noted.

In order for the new starting date to come to fruition, Ambrosie says the league requires approval from public health officials across Canada and permission to host a "significant number of fans ... in a significant number of venues."

"The CFL depends on ticket revenue more than other professional sports leagues in North America," Ambrosie said. "Fans in the stands account for at least half of our revenue. Our clubs already stand to suffer substantial financial losses this year. Playing without fans in the stands would dramatically increase those losses."

The league is also open to beginning play in certain regions of Canada while other regions cannot host games due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The commissioner said the CFL has contingency plans if the start of the season needs to be delayed further.

The CFL canceled the 2020 season due to COVID-19 issues and a lack of funding from the Canadian government.

Hamilton, Ontario, is set to host the 2021 Grey Cup.

CFL targets August start for 2021 season, moves Grey Cup to December
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