CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie has been travelling across the country conducting a question and answer session with fans.
His sixth stop on the tour was Regina Saturday afternoon and several hundred Rider fans showed up to hear what the league’s top dog had to say.
Here are some of the questions the fans put to the commissioner.
1. Will the CFL move up the season?
Currently, the CFL season runs from the end of May until the end of November, but with frigid late-season temperatures, some fans – including almost all of the fans at the event Saturday – want the season to end earlier in the season when the temperatures are traditionally milder.
Ambrosie said that during the league meetings in January, he asked the teams’ general managers to consider any issues that could come up with moving the season up.
“They went through an exhaustive conversation about all the various things that would have to be adjusted. The starting of training camps where would training camps be, how would it effect various things and it was determined there were no dealbreakers,” he said.
However, Ambrosie said the response to moving the season up varies across the league. Among the fans he’s polled on his tour it was 50-50 in Montreal, B.C. and Ottawa, Toronto was 60-40 in favour while Calgary was roughly 95 percent in favour.
2. Why do we have night games in Saskatchewan in the fall?
Continuing with the weather theme, fans wanted to know why the league scheduled late night games late in the season when in the west most of the stadiums are open air and winter begins to roll in.
Roughrider CEO Craig Reynolds took this question and said it comes down to trying to figure out a schedule that works for all nine teams.
“It is really, really complicated,” he said. “Our preference is not to have fall games that (are at night here), but having said that there are lots of factors so sometimes that’s just how it goes and we have to take one of those.”
On the other side of the coin, Reynolds said there are some people who really enjoy the night games.
“Our football guys and our players love the night games, they love the energy, they love the excitement so I have them in my ear saying ‘why don’t we have more night games’ so it is a bit of a balance,” he said.
3. When will Brandon Bridge’s Canadian citizenship count towards the ratio?
As Brandon Bridge began to have success with the Riders in the 2017 season many people began asking why, as a Canadian, he didn’t count towards the ratio of international and national players a team must field every game.
In fact, Bridge himself began publicly asking the question and was able to sit down with the commissioner in Toronto to talk about it in November.
“I thought it was important to be courteous to (Bridge) and listen to his thoughts and he was really remarkable and he shared his thoughts about why that was important to him and the league,” Ambrosie said. “(Changing the ratio) would be part of the conversation that we have amongst ourselves as a league.”
Ambrosie also added it would have to be negotiated as part of the collective agreement which is up in 2019, but he’s on board.
“I think for me thinking about the idea of developing great Canadian quarterbacks, who can’t like that?”
4. When will Saskatchewan get a Grey Cup?
The CFL has the finalized bids for the 2019 Grey Cup and the proposals will be going to the board of governors meeting at the end of February with an announcement in about a month’s time.
Ambrosie said bidding for the 2020 Grey Cup will open up not long after because he wants cities to have more time to plan.