Moe open to hosting CFL as hub city

Photo courtesy Judith Bond Joshua Bond, grandson of Judith Bond, chats with Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe.

Saskatchewan would gladly host the Canadian Football League if asked to serve as a hub, Premier Scott Moe said Thursday.

Moe’s comments came during a wide-ranging press conference updating residents regarding the province’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

While the CFL hasn’t made a formal ask for host cities in an effort to hold the 2020 season, Moe said Regina would be a perfect option.

According to TSN, the CFL is considering a hub-city model for a return to play this season, with Regina and Winnipeg as likely candidates. Each hub would need to host as many as five CFL teams at one time.

The National Hockey League is also pursuing a hub model as it looks to hold a modified Stanley Cup Playoffs sometime this calendar year.

“We would consider it and I would suggest…that Saskatchewan would be the place to have the western CFL hub due to the strength of our organization and what we represent in the league,” he said, vowing to stop there and go no further in espousing his “loyalty” to the province’s “beloved Roughriders.”

He did not stop there.

“We are very hopeful that we would be able to move forward with some type of CFL season here, not just in Regina and in Saskatchewan, but in general,” he said.

“For many years that has been our only professional team in our province and it is a team that is very beloved to all of us.”

Any proposal would have to have safety in mind, Moe said, and proper precautions would have to be put in place.

He said the CFL would be considered a workplace, and that the province would work with the league if it wanted to host a hub in Saskatchewan.

Regina was set to host the 2020 Grey Cup in November, but the celebration was cancelled.

Instead, the city’s official hosting duties have been moved to 2022.

This year’s host will be the team with the better regular season record that is playing in the game.

In Moe’s mind, that team will be the Riders.

“It’s quite likely, I might add, that our Saskatchewan Roughriders would not only be able to host the Grey Cup in 2022, but if we’re in a winner host situation this year, it is quite likely that…we would likely host this year in Regina as well,” he said.

“That’s a real positive for not only the CFL, but our winning Saskatchewan Roughriders.”

Any games played in Regina — Grey Cup or not — are likely to be held without fans this year due to COVID-19 restrictions on crowd sizes.