THIS IS NOT YOUR FATHER'S CFL: LEAGUE DEBT FREE IN '98?
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).