TORONTO (January 29, 2019) -- The Canadian Football League Alumni Association (CFLAA) Board of Directors has released the following statement:
As former players in the CFL, we want to see the league grow and prosper.
Its plan to recruit players from the more than 40 countries that play gridiron football will increase its talent pool at a time when new leagues are emerging in the U.S. It could also expand the CFL’s commercial market. There is real potential for broadcast, streaming and merchandising deals in these other countries, especially if players from those countries find a place on CFL teams. The CFL has a long and proud tradition, and we cherish that history. But we have now reached the perfect time for the league we all love to pursue its full potential. This is our time. Someone once said that a rising tide lifts all boats. A healthier CFL, with new and growing revenues, would be good for teams, fans and players. It could help alumni associations and the work we strive to do in the community. It could fund new investments in football development and participation here in Canada.
Many of us are Canadian. We are proud to have “put the Canadian in the Canadian Football League”. Canadians have always played an important role in the CFL and we have every confidence that will continue. We also know that, like Canada itself, the CFL can embrace newcomers from other countries and provide great opportunities for Canadians at the same time. It’s also time to provide greater opportunities for Canadians to play around the world, once their U SPORTS or junior football careers are over, either in hopes of returning to play in the CFL or simply to play the game they love a little longer. The more opportunities there are for good Canadian players, the more Canadian youth will be drawn to the game.
We understand there is more to CFL 2.0 than an international strategy. The league is also working to sell more tickets using state of the art data and analytics and attract new fans here at home with aggressive marketing approaches. We’re encouraged that it has also declared its intention to encourage more young people to play the game. We noted the recent press release which pledged CFL teams will invest more than $4 million in amateur football this year. We know better than anyone the many benefits our game delivers. Our members have used what we learned about teamwork, dedication and perseverance on the football field to find success in countless other walks of life. We love it when young people have the opportunity to learn those same lessons.
We support CFL 2.0, a plan that aims to make our league bigger, our game stronger and, by extension, our communities and our country better.