TORONTO — The Canadian Football League’s partnership talks with the XFL have ended.
In March, the CFL and XFL announced they were poised to begin serious talks about a potential partnership. Neither side said who initiated talks, only that they’d agreed to collaborating on ways to grow football. That came to an end Wednesday.
“Our talks with the XFL, exploring the potential for collaboration and innovation, have been positive and constructive,” CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement. “While we remain open to finding new ways to work together in the future, we and our XFL counterparts have jointly decided to not pursue any formal arrangements at this time.
“We at the CFL are now squarely focused on preparing for Aug. 5 and the start of our 2021 regular season, which will culminate Dec. 12 with the playing of the 108th Grey Cup in Hamilton. We are looking forward to this year and a bright future for our league.”
The CFL didn’t play in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s scheduled to begin a 14-game campaign Aug. 5. Training camps are slated to open Saturday.
“While our discussions with the CFL did not immediately lead to a collaboration, the effort reinforced our belief and commitment to developing the XFL for international spring football,” the XFL said in a statement. “We look forward to seeing everyone for kickoff in spring of 2023.”
The CFL’s announcement, though, was welcomed by the Edmonton Elks.
“The Edmonton Elks Football Club is pleased by Wednesday’s announcement by the CFL that discussions with the XFL have ended,” the team said in a statement. “The Elks remain fully committed to the CFL and our treasured brand of Canadian Football.”