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THIS IS NOT YOUR FATHER'S CFL: LEAGUE DEBT FREE IN '98?
Published December 18, 1997
The CFL's Board of Governors concluded its two days of meetings in Toronto and announced scheduling changes to be more "fan friendly," according to Tony Maraschiello of the TORONTO SUN. Maraschiello: "As part of the new focus on the fans, there will be no weekend games next season before Labor Day, an indication the CFL is listening to the fans who want to spend their summer weekends at the cottage. After Labor Day, all games will be either Friday, Saturday or Sunday afternoon, giving school kids an opportunity to attend games." CFL Chair John Tory said that it "appears" the league will be debt free for the '98 season. Tory added talks are still continuing with the World League about playing a World Classic Bowl in June (TORONTO SUN, 12/18). The league also unveiled three marketing slogans for '98: Made in Canada for Canadians, Back to Our Future and Making Football Fun Again (Mark Harding, TORONTO STAR, 12/18). Tory added that the league schedule will be released Monday, "months head" of usual: "Given our history, the schedule usually isn't out until March" (GLOBE & MAIL, 12/18). TV PACKAGE: The league will continue to play Sunday games after September 1 despite being urged by CBC Sports head Alan Clark to avoid going up against the NFL. Tory: "[O]ur fans comes first. [TV] revenue is important to us and we want the money and exposure, but when it comes to money it probably represents less than 10 per cent of what teams take in." But Tory added that "for the first time in league history there will likely" be live broadcasts next season of CFL games on ESPN2 (TORONTO STAR, 12/18).