EDITORIAL – $150-million bailout for Canadian Football League? No thanks

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

SHOULD WE GIVE the Canadian Football League a $150-million handout?

In the words of Al Borland, “I don’t think so, Tim.”

The CFL, which seems to go through a crisis every few years, is going through another one with the shutdown of sports events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Training camps including the Lions camp at TRU have been cancelled, the season is delayed and there’s no money coming in. So, the league is asking taxpayers to front an immediate $30 million to replace season-ticket purchases and corporate sponsorships that would normally be fattening its coffers.

The rest would depend on when the season starts or doesn’t start. It would all be paid back “over time.” Amazingly, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hasn’t closed the door on the idea.

We certainly miss professional sports and grow weary of watching re-runs from games and tournaments that are several years old.

Big-league sports give us pleasure but they aren’t an essential service and they are, mostly at least, a business. Let the CFL get in line with other applicants for the support programs already being made available by the federal government.

Undoubtedly, soccer, tennis, baseball, hockey and many other professional sports would benefit from our money.

But I for one am not enamored at the prospect of bailing out a league whose rosters are filled mostly with American athletes who can’t make the grade in the National Football League.

It isn’t even a Canadian game. Soccer fans would say it isn’t even true football.

CFL teams always seem to be on the verge of financial disaster and needing handouts from somebody. Let them go on fundraising campaigns and let them play in empty stadiums for TV revenue.

I hope they succeed. But putting $150 million of taxpayers’ money on the line? I don’t think so, Tim.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8316 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on EDITORIAL – $150-million bailout for Canadian Football League? No thanks

  1. Beverley Campbell // April 30, 2020 at 9:15 PM // Reply

    Wow, what the Hell, NO NO NO bailout for ANY Pro-sports, thanks for asking but thats a HARD NO.

  2. L Dawne Taylor // April 30, 2020 at 11:43 AM // Reply

    Absolutely no bailout for professional sports. If the players earned average salaries like the rest of us, I might think differently. But not when salaries are many times higher and seat prices through the roof.

  3. For me too…no public money for anything but bare essentials. Certainly none for professional sport leagues!

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