The Canadian Premier League, like Major League Soccer, is planning to play all games in one venue. While the CPL has not decided that venue or specifications out, it’s becoming increasingly likely that the CPL will have a season this year.
This is especially true when the coronavirus cases in the four provinces mentioned below are considerably lower than most of the U.S. There are four cities that have been mentioned as a possible CPL hub cities. Also, three of these four cities are considered frontrunners. Furthermore, two of them currently do not have a CPL team.
The Four Potential Canadian Premier League Sites
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (PEI)
One of two cities without a CPL team in this list, Charlottetown could very well host the CPL this summer. The province of PEI had only 27 cases in total and no deaths reported. According to CBC News, their last case was reported on April 28. It’s a realistic potential site for the CPL.
According to Statistics Canada, the capital city of PEI has a population of 44,739 people in 2016. This would make Charlottetown the city with the second-smallest population on this list just ahead of Langford. However, it is also known that the city of Charlottetown is interested in becoming a potential CPL site.
— Oliver Platt (@plattoli) June 5, 2020
Moncton, New Brunswick
Moncton is one of three cities currently a frontrunner to host the CPL. The city, like Charlottetown, currently doesn’t have a CPL team. The province of New Brunswick currently has 164 cases, with 135 of them recovered and unfortunately two of them passed away.
According to Laura Brown from CTV News, more cases started to appear after someone failed to isolate in late May. This happened after New Brunswick was able to flatten the curve.
However, it seems that New Brunswick has flattened the curve again. According to CTVNewsAtlantic.ca Staff, there were no cases reported in New Brunswick on Monday. Still, one must wonder if Moncton is the favorite to host the CPL in Atlantic Canada. This is especially true with Charlottetown not having a case since April 28.
Moncton does have a larger population than Charlottetown, though. According to Statistics Canada, the 2016 population of Moncton was recorded at 108,620. It also has a stadium that hosted the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada. This might play a big factor for them to host the 2020 CPL season.
New Brunswick is where the Canadian Premier League is looking. They have a 2015 WWC stadium in the province.
— Duane Rollins (@24thminute) June 22, 2020
Langford, British Columbia (BC)
Langford, which is part of the Capital Regional District (CRD), has a CPL team called Pacific FC. Of the four provinces, British Columbia has been the most impacted province in this list. Canada’s third most populous province, British Columbia has reported 2,790 cases (up to date on June 22). A total of 2,444 people have recovered. However, 168 people have died from the virus.
Langford has the smallest population of the four cities. It has a population of 35,342 in 2016, according to Statistics Canada. However, one needs to keep in mind that Langford is part of the CRD. Victoria, which is close to Langford, has a population of 85,792 in 2016 according to Statistics Canada. Add Victoria’s population to Langford and it would be the second biggest city in this list with a population of 121,134.
Duane Rollins reported back in May that Winnipeg, along with Moncton and Langford, were the favorites to host the CPL this year.
Hearing that there was a meeting today to discuss #CanPL re-start.
They are now looking at a neutral site to start. They are primarily looking at three possibilities: New Brunswick, Vancouver Island or Winnipeg. Timeline is dependent on Public Health officials.
— Duane Rollins (@24thminute) May 14, 2020
However, few people have talked about Winnipeg as a possible CPL site. Even CPL David Clanachan — who is the Commissioner — did not mention Winnipeg as a site. It seems that Charlottetown has taken the place of Winnipeg for the race to host the CPL. This is despite Winnipeg having a CPL team with Valour FC.
Furthermore, recent news in Manitoba might mean Winnipeg is out of the running. According to Nicholas Frew of CBC News, there were two residents who failed to self-isolate. Both residents travelled to another province and back without following the self-isolation rule. According to Scott Bileck of the Winnipeg Sun, there are currently 14 active cases in Manitoba. There were 314 confirmed cases overall in Manitoba with seven deaths reported.
Winnipeg has some advantage over other CPL cities. Most notably, Manitoba’s capital city has by far the largest population compared to the other three cities on this list. According to Statistics Canada in 2016, Winnipeg has a population of 705,244 people. Also, unlike the other three cities, Winnipeg has a CFL-sized stadium that can house CPL teams in Winnipeg. Furthermore, Winnipeg is also one of only two cities on this list to host the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Overview of the Canadian Premier League playing in 2020
While things can change with the COVID-19 pandemic, the chances of the CPL playing are extremely high. All four of these cities have coronavirus cases low enough for all eight CPL teams to play in. This is especially true for Charlottetown, which has not had a coronavirus case since April.
In an interview with the Guardian (PEI) today, #CanPL commissioner David Clanachan lists Moncton, as well as Charlottetown and Langford, in contention to host the single-site tournament/season. The league hopes to make an announcement within two weeks.
— Oliver Platt (@plattoli) June 18, 2020
In Canada’s case, the plan to play all games in one venue is the right move. Playing in all eight CPL cities this year would probably increase the possibility of a player testing positive for the coronavirus. This is especially true when most of the coronavirus cases and fatalities have been in Ontario and Quebec.