HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForum About
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada


Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #361  
Old Posted May 21, 2020, 12:27 AM
MonctonRad's Avatar
MonctonRad MonctonRad is online now
Wildcats Rule!!
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Moncton NB
Posts: 21,070
Touchdown Atlantic in Halifax is cancelled too.
__________________
Go 'Cats Go
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #362  
Old Posted May 21, 2020, 1:13 AM
thurmas's Avatar
thurmas thurmas is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Posts: 2,089
Quote:
Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
Touchdown Atlantic in Halifax is cancelled too.
I would hope the new Halifax stadium deal could be saved as part of a shovel ready economic stimulus project once the covid stuff is over with.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #363  
Old Posted May 22, 2020, 2:21 PM
thurmas's Avatar
thurmas thurmas is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Posts: 2,089
CFL hub city idea with games played out of Winnipeg and Regina may be gaining steam.

https://3downnation.com/2020/05/22/t...20-cfl-season/


The CFL has been using a committee of trusted medical experts to develop health protocols tailormade for the league to potentially play in 2020, according to Sportsnet reporter Arash Madani.
Per Madani: Members included Randy Ambrosie, Dr. Copeland, a number of team and infectious disease doctors, immunologists, some league governors and general managers as well as past and present CFL trainers.

Perhaps the most impressive and accomplished member of the group is Dr. Lawrence Steinman, a professor at Stanford University and former immunology department chair, who like Dr. Anthony Fauci is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine.

The mission was clear: let’s get a proposal to return to the field and have a new process of getting games started.
Madani reports the committee wanted a minimum number of venues to stage practices and games. That led the group to Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the provinces with the lowest amount of COVID-19 cases where the CFL has teams and stadiums.

“What we were saying is, ‘let’s find one or two venues, keep everyone there and keep the venues close enough and play back and forth,’” Dr. Copeland explained to Madani.
Hub cities are hot topics among the NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS as North American pro sports leagues try to figure out the best way to possibly hold games amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Regina and Winnipeg were identified as the two hub cities by the CFL’s medical committee, Madani reports five teams would congregate in one market, four in the other.
For any sports including the CFL to play in a hub city model or otherwise, strict guidelines would have to be followed. According to Madani: What got the CFL committee’s interest spiked was Dr. Steinman’s suggestion of a particular antibody test that is FDA-registered and takes only 15 minutes to provide a result. Stringent testing would help create a safe inner CFL bubble.“Once in the inner zone, the assumption is the player is COVID-free until they go to the outside world. Nothing is official because nobody has made anything official yet” said Dr. Copeland.
“I’m very cautiously optimistic from a medical standpoint that the CFL can do this.”
Ambrosie asked the Canadian government for up to $150 million because of COVID-19 ramifications on the league and it’s finances. Money which could used to potentially execute the medical committee’s plan. If there is no season in 2020, it’s estimated the CFL could lose approximately $100 million.
“How much can we not lose? That’s the mode we’re in,” a source with a team in the league’s West Division told Madani.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #364  
Old Posted May 22, 2020, 2:31 PM
elly63 elly63 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,718
Inside the CFL’s return-to-play plan and its economic challenges
Arash Madani Sportsnet.ca May 22, 2020

When Randy Ambrosie on Wednesday told a town hall of season ticket holders nationwide that there could be some semblance of a 2020 season beginning in September, he did so with the assurance from his trusted medical experts that there exists a scenario in which football could be played because of the development of health protocols tailormade for the CFL.

Whether it’s feasible economically and logistically? Those are altogether different issues.

Ambrosie went public this week with word that the 2020 Grey Cup in Regina is toast and that in a best-case scenario half-a-season could be salvaged. But he did not reveal the multi-dimensional plan devised with the hope of keeping players and staff safe should teams reconvene this summer for training camp and a potential start of play around Labour Day.

For weeks, the commissioner has said he is not giving up on the CFL playing this year. He approached ownership of the Ottawa RedBlacks and their medical director, Dr. Glenn Copeland. The mission was clear: let’s get a proposal to return to the field and have a new process of getting games started.

That model would be based on no fans being in the stadium for Week 1 of a modified schedule.

A committee was struck. Members included Ambrosie, Dr. Copeland, a number of team and infectious disease doctors, immunologists, some league governors and general managers as well as past and present CFL trainers. Perhaps the most impressive and accomplished member of the group is Dr. Lawrence Steinman, a professor at Stanford University and former immunology department chair, who like Dr. Anthony Fauci is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine.

The commissioner repeated the same message to them over and over: safety, before anything else, for players and staff. If we can get there, Ambrosie reasoned, then we’ll see if there is a business case to make games happen.

The committee’s game plan was to first look at a minimum number of venues to stage practices and games. The decision was made to go to the areas in the country with the fewest reported cases of COVID-19. That took them to the Prairies. The curve has all but flattened in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the numbers of people with the virus there are minute in comparison to Ontario and Quebec.

“What we were saying is, ‘let’s find one or two venues, keep everyone there and keep the venues close enough and play back and forth,’” explained Dr. Copeland, who also works with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Regina and Winnipeg were identified as the two cities as hubs. Five teams would congregate in one market, four in the other.

To the committee, those two cities made the most sense. Fewer cases make them as safe of an environment as anywhere else that plays professional football in Canada, there are a number of practice fields in each city and new stadiums make them TV-ready. Any travel would be done by bus, a six-hour trip each way, to keep the chance of infections down and reduce costs.

With that as the backdrop of the committee’s framework, next came the most important factor on the medical side of the entire plan: testing.

Since the pandemic hit in March, testing has been perhaps the most polarizing issue of the entire crisis. From the number of tests that would be available to the public to the accuracy of what they revealed. Over the past 10 weeks, considerable progress has been made with it across North America. Not only is there the conventional nasal swab, but there is now a blood test and also a process that could detect off of saliva. What got the CFL committee’s interest spiked was Dr. Steinman’s suggestion of a particular antibody test that is FDA-registered and takes only 15 minutes to provide a result.

The belief among some of the medical professionals around the (virtual) table — most of the conversations with this group have been Zoom calls — is that antibody method may be the league’s best choice to go with, although no decision would be made. Regardless of the method, or methods, chosen, the committee felt comfortable that at this stage of the crisis there is now enough testing available to check on players and staff daily.

What would be the procedure and protocol for it?

The premise is not complex, but thorough. Consider the whole situation in three zones. The outside zone being the regular public domain and the middle zone would be a cordoned off area on stadium grounds where testing would be done. Then the inner zone: where locker rooms, meeting rooms, workout facilities, the field, showers and treatment tables would be.

Effectively, any player or staff member who would arrive at either Regina or Winnipeg facility for work would be stopped at the middle zone. The agreed-upon testing would take place there and the result would be provided while they wait — being given a go or no go. ‘Go’ means the player has tested COVID-19-free, and they head into the inner zone. If a player or staff member is a ‘no go’, it means a positive test. They would be immediately banned from the building and placed in quarantine for 14 days – not dissimilar from how the Bundesliga in Germany handled its positive cases in the lead-up to its return to play last weekend.

The CFL’s committee made it clear: nobody could get in the inner zone until they’ve gone through the testing procedure and protocols.

How different would it be in the inner zone? The committee recommended the usually busy weight rooms to be limited to 2-3 players at a time, accompanied by a staff member wearing a mask, who would wipe down machines whenever a player had finished with it. Cleaning would be a major emphasis throughout the inner zone, keeping the areas sanitized. Another expense.

“Once in the inner zone, the assumption is the player is COVID-free until they go to the outside world,” said Dr. Copeland.

All team personnel would be reminded and encouraged to continue social distancing, washing of hands and eating in designated areas when in the outside zone.

“Nothing is official because nobody has made anything official yet,” said Dr. Copeland.

There are three key reasons, presumably, why that hasn’t happened: finances, logistics and an agreement with the players.

Making the two-hub format work has so many hurdles to overcome and money is at the centre of it. Multiple league sources tell Sportsnet that they have been told it is not viable economically to pull it off. To lodge, feed and move four organizations into a city, and three into another, has a massive expense that no team has budgeted for — let alone with every organization in the league having little-to-no revenue since late November.

A further wrinkle is the issue of what happens when personnel enter Canada.

With at least half of each team’s roster being comprised of Americans and the mandated spots for ‘Global’ players, each of those athletes coming into the country would have to spend 14 days in quarantine. So too would coaches and assistant coaches. Edmonton head coach Scott Milanovich, for instance, is still with his family in Florida, and at least one other team has all but two coaches still in the U.S.

After crossing the border, each of them would need their own room and meals for the two weeks. Public health officials contacted by Sportsnet forecasted that the federal quarantine policy won’t change by summer, but because it’s a changing dynamic there is no way of definitively knowing.

If the CFL hopes to begin playing a truncated 2020 season in early September, it would mean a shortened training camp — with the likelihood of one pre-season game, not two — beginning around Aug. 10. That would require incoming flights to Canada by late July.

The concern from team sources was about the health of the players coming out of quarantine that has nothing to do with COVID-19.

“After a guy has been laying around a hotel room for two weeks, are we asking them to go right to the field for practice after a few days? They’re not car engines,” said a source. “You can’t just sit them in the garage and then tell them to light it up.”

Training staffs are worried that groin and hamstring issues will be prevalent for the athletes. Losing skilled players to those injuries early gets magnified if the season may only be eight or nine games.

The desire to get games in centres on finances. Blue Bombers CEO Wade Miller has gone on record in the Winnipeg media saying the team would likely have a $10 million deficit in 2020 should they not play, a year after their Grey Cup-winning season provided the club an announced profit of $3.5 million.

The thought is that generating some money from the CFL’s television contract, with the hope that perhaps crowds of up to 5,000 could eventually come to stadiums in a social distancing manner — with fans wearing masks and sitting three seats apart — by late fall to add revenue could be a possibility.

“How much can we not lose? That’s the mode we’re in,” said a source with a team in the league’s West Division.

Should the CFL try and make this work, training camp rosters will likely be slashed from the 85 players (plus draft picks and globals) that regularly compete for jobs. And time is of the essence. In an interview Thursday morning on Sportsnet 590 The Fan, Ambrosie would not offer a drop-dead date of when the league has to decide whether or not they can play this fall.

Many who work for teams across the country believe there has to be momentum by mid-June and a decision by early July.

“The whole conversation changes July 1 if we can’t move forward,” said a league source. “Then we’re in trouble.”

Flights, hotels, meals, work permits — and if the two-hub format actually is in play, approvals from each city — are required. So, too, is a sign-off from the CFL Players Association that has been in contact with both the federal government and the league office over the past two weeks.

As for the medical committee, that believes returning to play relatively safely is quite possible should its recommendations and protocols be followed amidst the virus, they look at what’s happening with soccer re-starting in Europe and baseball playing in South Korea as signs that Canadian football can be next.

“I’m very cautiously optimistic from a medical standpoint that the CFL can do this,” said Dr. Copeland.

Can the league say the same economically and roll it out logistically? Those answers are paramount in determining the CFL’s fate on playing a shortened 2020 season.

Said a league source: “Every answer has 10 questions. I’m not being negative, it’s just the reality.”
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #365  
Old Posted May 22, 2020, 2:58 PM
esquire's Avatar
esquire esquire is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 26,328
I'm glad the CFL is thinking things through and trying to make it work, but the logistics are just harrowing. One of the challenges will be housing players... neither Mosaic Stadium or IG Field has any large hotels nearby the way that downtown NHL rinks like Rogers Place do. I suppose IG Field at least has the benefit of being on the University of Manitoba campus which gives it access to student dormitories, practice fields and fitness facilities, but I'm not sure Mosaic has that. Then factor in the large numbers of players, coaches and other staff, the cross-border challenges... it's going to be incredibly hard to pull off a season of any kind under these circumstances. But I suppose the league has no choice but to try.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #366  
Old Posted May 22, 2020, 3:28 PM
thurmas's Avatar
thurmas thurmas is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Posts: 2,089
Quote:
Originally Posted by esquire View Post
I'm glad the CFL is thinking things through and trying to make it work, but the logistics are just harrowing. One of the challenges will be housing players... neither Mosaic Stadium or IG Field has any large hotels nearby the way that downtown NHL rinks like Rogers Place do. I suppose IG Field at least has the benefit of being on the University of Manitoba campus which gives it access to student dormitories, practice fields and fitness facilities, but I'm not sure Mosaic has that. Then factor in the large numbers of players, coaches and other staff, the cross-border challenges... it's going to be incredibly hard to pull off a season of any kind under these circumstances. But I suppose the league has no choice but to try.
With no tourism this year I am sure hotels have the space to do this. In south Winnipeg there is the large Holiday Inn by Vincent Massey collegiate and a few other smaller hotels on Pembina Highway. Regina I think would have a lot of hotel space available as well.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #367  
Old Posted May 22, 2020, 4:05 PM
esquire's Avatar
esquire esquire is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 26,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by thurmas View Post
With no tourism this year I am sure hotels have the space to do this. In south Winnipeg there is the large Holiday Inn by Vincent Massey collegiate and a few other smaller hotels on Pembina Highway. Regina I think would have a lot of hotel space available as well.
There are hotels which will undoubtedly have room, just not on or next to campus which makes creating a secure bubble that much harder. Between players, coaches and staff I'm assuming there would be over 100 people per team which is an awful lot of people to corral if they're basically out in public.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #368  
Old Posted May 22, 2020, 7:05 PM
craner's Avatar
craner craner is offline
Go Tall or Go Home
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Calgary
Posts: 5,278
Why would they try and travel (by bus) Between the two hubs ?
Just play a truncated season within the divisions with the West teams in one hub and the east in the other.
My $0.02.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #369  
Old Posted May 22, 2020, 7:12 PM
esquire's Avatar
esquire esquire is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 26,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by craner View Post
Why would they try and travel (by bus) Between the two hubs ?
Just play a truncated season within the divisions with the West teams in one hub and the east in the other.
My $0.02.
That would mean having either the Bombers playing all their games in Regina or the Riders playing all their games in Winnipeg which would not be ideal.

It's about a 6 hour bus ride from Winnipeg to Regina... it would be much cheaper to go by bus while giving players and staff something close to social distancing. You could get extra buses to space things out with the savings.

I have to admit I'd be a little leery of going to a game in these conditions... I'm not sure if I'd want to go to a Bomber game when capacity is maxed out, but I might be more inclined to watch two other random teams which I can see drawing less than the 5,000 or so maximum capacity the league has been mulling over.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #370  
Old Posted May 22, 2020, 7:31 PM
thurmas's Avatar
thurmas thurmas is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Posts: 2,089
I have heard rumors they would only sell every third seat in a stadium and another rumor I heard was 16% of seats could be sold.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #371  
Old Posted May 22, 2020, 8:59 PM
jonny24 jonny24 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Hamilton, formerly Norfolk County
Posts: 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by thurmas View Post
I have heard rumors they would only sell every third seat in a stadium and another rumor I heard was 16% of seats could be sold.
I think that roughly makes sense. Every other row has got to be around 2m spacing front-to back, and seats are generally 20-24" wide, so you're approaching 6ft side to side. That's 1/6 of the seats or 16.67%.

I wonder if they'd allow for more based on people in the same household sitting directly next to each other.

That all assumes that the risks of passing people if you go to the washroom are small enough to be acceptable. To my mind they are, based on what I've read (mostly here on SSP), but that would need to be backed up with data and medical opinion and very clearly communicated to fans/media/general public.

It would be very easy for a lot of people to hop down into the empty row and use that to get to/from their sets, but they obviously can't encourage that for liability reasons, nor is everyone mobile enough to do that (especially so for the people most at risk).

Then there's the question of, who gets to go? When (most) teams have well over 16% of seats sold to season seat holders, we may see teams playing half a season but each fan only getting to attend a 1/4 season live.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #372  
Old Posted May 22, 2020, 9:05 PM
esquire's Avatar
esquire esquire is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 26,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by thurmas View Post
I have heard rumors they would only sell every third seat in a stadium and another rumor I heard was 16% of seats could be sold.
So realistically the number would be somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 capacity. I would think that if fans are allowed, the home-team games (SSK and WPG) would easily sell out just based on season ticket holders but I can't imagine there would be much of a crowd for the other teams, particularly if the league is charging normal prices. I guess it could end up being a mix of diehard football fans willing to watch any teams and those who couldn't get Rider/Bomber tickets.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #373  
Old Posted May 22, 2020, 9:05 PM
UrbanClimate's Avatar
UrbanClimate UrbanClimate is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Toronto
Posts: 322
An item about the CFL aired on CBC's The National a couple of nights ago:

https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1740601923975
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #374  
Old Posted May 22, 2020, 9:08 PM
thurmas's Avatar
thurmas thurmas is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Posts: 2,089
Quote:
Originally Posted by esquire View Post
So realistically the number would be somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 capacity. I would think that if fans are allowed, the home-team games (SSK and WPG) would easily sell out but I can't imagine there would be much of a crowd for the other teams, particularly if the league is charging normal prices.
tough to say but the demand for sports right now is huge as NASCAR ratings are up 40% since they came back this week and the CFL and NFL drafts had massive increases in tv ratings last month.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #375  
Old Posted May 22, 2020, 9:10 PM
esquire's Avatar
esquire esquire is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 26,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by thurmas View Post
tough to say but the demand for sports right now is huge as NASCAR ratings are up 40% since they came back this week and the CFL and NFL drafts had massive increases in tv ratings last month.
Different with attending games in person though given the general concern over health risks.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #376  
Old Posted May 22, 2020, 10:45 PM
UrbanClimate's Avatar
UrbanClimate UrbanClimate is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Toronto
Posts: 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by esquire View Post
So realistically the number would be somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 capacity. I would think that if fans are allowed, the home-team games (SSK and WPG) would easily sell out just based on season ticket holders but I can't imagine there would be much of a crowd for the other teams, particularly if the league is charging normal prices. I guess it could end up being a mix of diehard football fans willing to watch any teams and those who couldn't get Rider/Bomber tickets.
This is probably true of most cities but Regina is a special case. There are tens of thousands of football nuts in the city who are passionate for the local team and for the sport itself. I would think attendances of 5,000 people for any game is realistic, especially because (as you say) tickets for the Roughrider games will be impossible to get for most people. I believe the Roughies have a season ticket base approaching 20,000 which makes it a good choice for a CFL hub city, if the 2020 season goes ahead.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #377  
Old Posted May 23, 2020, 1:10 AM
craner's Avatar
craner craner is offline
Go Tall or Go Home
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Calgary
Posts: 5,278
Quote:
Originally Posted by esquire View Post
That would mean having either the Bombers playing all their games in Regina or the Riders playing all their games in Winnipeg which would not be ideal.

It's about a 6 hour bus ride from Winnipeg to Regina... it would be much cheaper to go by bus while giving players and staff something close to social distancing. You could get extra buses to space things out with the savings.

I have to admit I'd be a little leery of going to a game in these conditions... I'm not sure if I'd want to go to a Bomber game when capacity is maxed out, but I might be more inclined to watch two other random teams which I can see drawing less than the 5,000 or so maximum capacity the league has been mulling over.
Ok - I was assuming no fans in the stands.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #378  
Old Posted May 23, 2020, 3:42 PM
esquire's Avatar
esquire esquire is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 26,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanClimate View Post
This is probably true of most cities but Regina is a special case. There are tens of thousands of football nuts in the city who are passionate for the local team and for the sport itself. I would think attendances of 5,000 people for any game is realistic, especially because (as you say) tickets for the Roughrider games will be impossible to get for most people. I believe the Roughies have a season ticket base approaching 20,000 which makes it a good choice for a CFL hub city, if the 2020 season goes ahead.
The Redblacks played their very first preseason game in Sask back in 2013 because TD Place wasn't ready and it drew a pretty modest crowd by Sask standards, like around 13,000. Mind you supply of football games wasn't an issue that year, though neither were covid-related health concerns.

I don't know, I think in Winnipeg any football games not involving the Bombers or the Riders in these circumstances would be lucky to crack 5,000, unless tickets were marked down. I would probably spring for a neutral site game or two just for a rare evening out at an event, but I suspect I'd be in the minority on that one. However, at this point I don't think the league is terribly concerned about whether there are 3,000 fans in the stands vs. 8,000 or whatever.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #379  
Old Posted May 25, 2020, 2:15 PM
thurmas's Avatar
thurmas thurmas is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Posts: 2,089
Reports coming out NFL could lose up to $5.5 Billion this season if there are no fans in the stands. CFL sure has it's work cut out to save this season and the talk of NFL helping them looks doubtful if they are going to lose this much this season.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaQlFFVQ3kc
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #380  
Old Posted May 25, 2020, 2:17 PM
esquire's Avatar
esquire esquire is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 26,328
$5.5 billion!??!?!?

The way things are going this could become an extinction level event for a lot of sports leagues. Although I'd imagine they'd spring back pretty quickly for the most part once the pandemic situation settles down.
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 2:11 PM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.