Toronto Argonauts: New developments on the fate of the 2020 CFL season

Buffalo Bills BMO Field. (Photo by John E. Sokolowski/Getty Images)
Buffalo Bills BMO Field. (Photo by John E. Sokolowski/Getty Images) /

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie has confirmed to the Toronto Argonauts and the rest of the league that the 2020 season will be delayed until at least the end of June.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, even the most optimistic Toronto Argonauts fan must have suspected the team was unlikely to be in Ottawa on Friday June 12 for their first game of the regular season. Now, it has been made official that the Double Blue will not be playing that weekend.

On Tuesday morning, commissioner Randy Ambrosie issued a statement to confirm the 2020 CFL season will be delayed until at least the end of June. As per, Ambrosie said:

"“While it is now clear that the 2020 CFL season won’t start before the beginning of July, we are committed to working with our teams, the Players’ Association, TSN and RDS to play a full season or as close as we can come to one. We recognize this may require some creativity and we are preparing for multiple scenarios.”"

While this update was not unexpected, it still leaves a bitter taste in the mouth for everyone connected with the game. Throughout the ongoing situation involving COVID-19, a lot of people have been looking forward to the return of sports to keep themselves motivated and optimistic.

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From reading the statement, it’s interesting that Ambrosie and the league are still holding out hope of playing a full season. While we have no issue with being proved wrong, it is our opinion at this point that a reduced 2020 campaign is more realistic.

(Given the circumstances, this would obviously be preferable to no season altogether. Even a 10 or 12-game regular season is better than the alternative, although we realise the financial implications of losing any games full stop.)

As you’d expect, the latest development is disappointing for the players, although they appreciate what is most important here. As per 3Down Nation, CFLPA executive director Brian Ramsay released a statement which said:

"“We know that this is difficult news for players who are anxious to get to work, but right now public health, safety and well-being are most important. We remain in daily contact with the CFL to anticipate and plan for all possible scenarios, and we are committed to providing the best and most accurate information to all players and player representatives as soon as it becomes available in order to allow plans to be made for themselves and their families.”"

It is refreshing to know the league and players are putting the health and safety of everyone above anything else. The COVID-19 pandemic is bigger that any of us, and it is good that all concerned are coming together to face this fight together.

At the same time, Toronto Argonauts and CFL fans in general will be hoping for a light at the end of the tunnel sooner than later. While some sports are talking about playing games without fans to begin with, this is a league which more than most needs fans in attendance.

For now though, all everyone can do is take solace in the fact the league is being sensible in their approach to this entire situation. And if, for example, this results in the Grey Cup having to be played in December, that’s something the fans will be willing to accept.

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Whether you’re a Toronto Argonauts fan or not, what is you take on the CFL delaying the start of the 2020 season until at least the end of June? Further, what is your best prediction for how this will all play out? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.