Toronto, June 29, 2004 The Canadian Football League (CFL) and the National Football League (NFL) announced today they have reached an agreement on the terms of their alliance continuing through to the 2006 season. The new Agreement carries forward the cooperative venture established in 1997.

With growth of the sport of football in Canada as the primary objective, the new partnership establishes a Football Development Management Council (FDMC). Working in conjunction with Football Canada, the FDMC will explore the creation of programs to engage more Canadians in the game, and will be comprised of an equal number of appointees from both leagues with a Canadian Chair. The FDMC will also initiate a comprehensive national study to research amateur football and football participation across Canada.

‘The Canadian Football League is in a new and stronger position,’ said CFL Commissioner Tom Wright. ‘We look forward to the continued development of our game in Canada with recent solid results as our foundation. Better business performance in broadcast, at the gate and in retail has changed our focus to expansion of the Canadian game at the professional and amateur levels. To that end, our partnership with the NFL will play an important role in allowing us to better understand and prepare for the future of football in Canada.’

‘We support the CFL and its unique role in Canada, and share its goal of strengthening the interest and support of football among Canadians,’ said NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. ‘As partners we have worked successfully to strengthen the sport of football in Canada, and the NFL looks forward to working with the CFL to build on these programs.’

Under this new agreement, both leagues will support mutually agreed, co-branded grassroots programs in Canada. In addition to the continuation of Reebok NFL/CFL Flag Football, NFL/CFL Practice with the Pros, NFL/CFL High School Coach of the Year, the new NFL/CFL Junior Player Development and, the FDMC will further promote the development of amateur tackle football.

Reebok NFL/CFL Flag Football Canada ( is an elementary in-school phys-ed program currently active in more than 1,300 schools and involving more than 300,000 Canadian youth. Practice with the Pros pairs NFL and CFL players for free introductory football clinics in CFL cities. The NFL/CFL High School Coach of the Year program supports Canadian high school football by recognizing its most dedicated coaches with thousands of dollars in new equipment each year (

The partnership maintains current player transfer guidelines and marks the end of any financial obligation between the leagues from the original 1997 agreement.

On the player transfer front, Commissioner Wright was clear. ‘We’ve consulted with each of our teams and the CFL Board of Governors, and as a league have elected to maintain the current set of guidelines governing player transfer between the CFL and the NFL, as we consider it an element of the agreement which is beneficial to both parties. When players know they can move between the NFL and the CFL in an organized fashion, it helps them optimize their careers.’

CFL players with an option year remaining on their CFL contracts will continue to be permitted to sign contracts with NFL teams through the 2006 season. As in the past, these CFL players will not be allocated to NFL Europe League teams.

In addition to grassroots development and player transfer rules, the NFL will also provide exposure for live CFL games (including the Grey Cup, on a non-exclusive basis) through the NFL Network in the United States.

For more details contact:

Canadian Football League
Alexis Redmond Director, Marketing & Communications
Tel: (416) 322-9650 Fax: (416) 322-9651

National Football League International
Gordon Smeaton Vice President, NFL International
Tel: (212) 450-2129 Fax: (212) 681-7582