The Riders will now host the 2022 Grey Cup in a massive pandemic-related shift for the CFL.
Saskatchewan was to host the Grey Cup on November 22 this year. With the CFL season in doubt, and the Riders robbed of valuable planning time because of the pandemic, the league has taken the extraordinary step of moving the event.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause uncertainty across the country and across the world, and the ability to host the 2020 Grey Cup to the scope and scale that our fans expected was becoming less and less likely,” said Grey Cup Festival Co-Chair and Saskatchewan Roughrider President Craig Reynolds. “Pair that with the need to allow for as much time as possible to have a 2020 season, and we know this is the right decision for the CFL, our Club and for our fans.”
Under the CFL’s new plan the 2020 Grey Cup is essentially up for grabs. Of the two teams that qualify for the Grey Cup the team with the better record will now host the game–what the CFL is calling the “win and host model”.
This move makes it possible for the CFL to hold the game at a later date–possibly into December–since it requires less planning for the host city. And the potential for moving the date of the Grey Cup means a shortened season could start later. For the original Grey Cup date an eight-game season would have had to start Labour Day weekend. This move allows the CFL to delay that further, if necessary.
In its release today the CFL says September appears to be the earliest they could return to play: “It now seems clear we can rule out playing games this summer.”
CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie will join The Sports Cage at 5:05pm to discuss this unprecedented move. Riders CEO Craig Reynolds will follow at 5:20 to talk about the effects on the team.