Saskatchewan Roughriders president and CEO Craig Reynolds said the football club has completed the first draft of its return-to-play proposal and is preparing to present it to provincial health officials.
Reynolds also touched on the discussions between the CFL and XFL, exploring opportunities for the two leagues to collaborate. Reynolds did not make any additional comments on the discussions but said CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie has said that these discussions will not affect the upcoming seasons.
Reynolds said while he cannot share specific details on the proposal, he wants fans to know the club is focused on playing football in 2021 and having as many fans in stands as public health deems safe.
“This project is at the core of what we have been working on and is one of the most vital for our future,” Reynolds said in a press release.
The Riders have also reviewed their short-term and long-term finances.
“There is no question that we are in an uphill battle to get ourselves through this financial crisis that COVID-19 has dealt us. This will be a multi-year project and unfortunately will not be solved by simply playing football in 2021,” Reynolds said.
He added that Riders staff have been working to come up with new and innovative ways to boost revenue and raise funds for the club. Reynolds said fans will hear about some of these innovations in the coming weeks and months.
Reynolds also praised the club’s efforts during the free agency period.
“Our football operations department did an exceptional job bringing in the talent we need to pick up where we left off in 2019. This includes work that was done before free agency even began, securing new contracts with players like Shaq Evans, Kyran Moore, Nick Marshall and Ed Gainey before adding players like Saskatchewan-born Evan Johnson, defensive tackle Micah Johnson and linebacker Larry Dean on Feb. 9.”
Reynolds said Riders general manager Jeremy O’Day and his team are preparing for the Global and Canadian drafts, which will take place this spring.