20,000 seat stadiums, I know this model stinks for new teams

Reading these posts about Toronto FC (soccer) on another site. I know, everyone here says 20,000 is too small for the CFL. I'm not so sure to be honest:


Anyone else noticed how hot the demand is for tickets this season? People coming out of the woodwork asking me if I'm willing to sell my seats to any game this season.

Was at 2 charity auctions in the past week, and there were TFC tickets up for sale. In both cases, they went for well above the market price - $600 for 4 tickets to the friendly against Independiente! My favourite though was the other auction, when they were being sold alongside a pair of tickets to Barry Manilow. While the market value of the TFC tickets were half the BM tickets, they ended going at auction for double the price to see Barry. Pretty funny.


I'm in sales and I can say that without question there is interest in my TFC tickets.

I'd put it on par with Leaf tickets at the moment.

Main difference for me is that I don't dare give away my TFC ones, my wife would never forgive me

well consider the fact that the ALs keep losing money with 22,000 seats, even though they are some of the most expensive in the league!

Now the Riders with multiple sell outs and the best concession sales in the league only made around $1.7 million.

I hear ya leeing. I don't know what the answer is as I agree we don't want the cap any lower.
I don't know the MLS situation and whether tams make or lose money. Just find it interesting how hot a ticket is for TFC in Toronto these days, maybe just a fad, who knows.

The Als don't lose money.

One thing to remember is that the MLS plays mtwice the number of games, so even with a smaller stadium, they can still get a lot of people over the season!

The reason TFC is such a huge success is the fact that toronto has the biggest concentration of Italians outside of Italy and an estimated 500,000 people from a decent not of Canada. Their from contries where their "football" is the talk of the town and their passion so they have a huge target market, TFC does.

It's not a Fad boys and girls its gonna stay and theres gonna be teams in Vancouver and Montreal within 5 years. But luckily it appeals to a different market than the CFL so they should both beable to co-exist

Earl that would be a good start I am sure in the design they have the ability to add on if required.

Are you sure about that? I could have sworn I heard the owner say that they lose money each year and that an expanded stadium is the only way to make them viable?

btw, the team is only putting in around 1/5 th of the cost of the renovations which I believe are around $28 million for an extra 5000 seats.

The break even mark for CFL teams is 28,000 and that is based on average type corporate money of between $1M-$2M.
So explain to me how a new CFL team will work with 20,000 seats? Not only that but it looks bush league to go smaller instead of bigger.

earl, i know exactly what your gonna say as uve said it a million times b4...CFL with smaller stadiums, charging more money and adding more teams in smaller venues...

there..saved u the trouble

TFC attendance is nothing, they are not selling out this year

Look -

04/19 - Saturday Real Salt Lake 20,219
04/26 - Saturday Kansas City Wizards 20,045
05/01 - Thursday New York Red Bulls 19,816
05/17 - Saturday Columbus Crew T, 20,358
05/21 - Wednesday D.C. United 19,791

I give the TFC and the MLS a few more years only as the league is bleeding red ink big time.

The Als have stated they needed at least 25,000 seats to ensure the "future" economic viability of the club going forward as they already are at over 100% capacity and moving back into Olympic Stadium is out of the question. That doesn't mean they aren't making any money now. Montreal's ticket prices are by far the highest in the league (almost double what they are in other stadiums). Other teams would have to average in the mid 30,000's to get the same amount of revenue that the Als get from ticket sales. Plus, and most importantly, Larry Smith has quietly admitted that there local broadcast/sponsorship deals might be as good as the other 7 teams combined.

Totally agree. Not to mention as a new franchise, why would they want to strive just barely break even anyways. A new franchise should have a solid stadium that would ensure large revenues with the ability to accommodate larger games. I.E. playoff/Grey Cup games.

Interesting…looks like some of the novelty might be already wearing off

All I'm saying guys is I think the CFL should look at a model whereby a team that puts forward a solid business case with a 20,000 seater TO START OFF WITH with plans on upgrades to 25,000-30,000 in the future. In the beginning if the 20,000 seater model includes bigger prices for tickets to help the team break even or make a bit, then why not look at it, build up the fanbase first. Like what TFC is doing, not building too large of a stadium right off the bat.

That's all I'm say. Yes DG, this is different than what I was saying before about the CFL going into smaller and smaller stadiums with many more teams. I have changed my tune on that one I will say.

But the MLS is a different business model.

Look, 10 games at 28,800 people allow for 288000 tickets to be sold (this is the number the Riders can sell), the Toronton FC can sell 18 games at 20,000 seats or 360,000 tickets.

This means that ticket prices would have to be significantly higher for a CFL game in a 20,000 seat park! Plus just look at Montreal, it is costing them $28 million just to add 5000 seats. It would make far more sense to build a stadium that can handle the number of people that it will take to make the team viable from the start, rather than have a team starting out with a major handicap that seriously impacts their ability to generate enough revenue!

I thought they only had 20,000 seats? seems to me they are basically selling out???

Leeing -
The stadium seats 20,148 officially.
oh yes they are still selling out - -to say otherwise or the attendance is nothing is just wishful thinking on naysayers part. The MLS is not a gate driven league... The CFL is.

05/01 -Thursday and 05/21 Wendesday - both were rainy/cold forcast weeknight games which less than 2% of tickets went unsold.... right this is a fad... the novelty is wearing off. Give me a break people.

bottom line is a 20k seater is too small for the CFL (and TFC as the tickect demand shows). TFC has a waiting list of 9000 for season tickets.

You've said that before and still have yet to prove what "big time is" (PM me on this) - and I've said before the single entity league format is stemming the flow of losses. They have 5 teams that are making money Dallas, LA, Chicago, Calorado and Toronto. Big money losers for them are Chivas and KC and to a lesser extent Columbus. Everybody else are basically breaking even. Microsoft XBox 360 Live just signed on as the Seatle Sounders FC sponsor and FC Barcelona just signed a 5 year deal to tour the MLS... There is a huge interest being taken in the MLS right now. And a lot of $$$$ being generated. Philly is coming into the league with Toronto's financial model in 2010. Montreal and Vancouver soon after that...
So when there are 10/12 of 16 teams making money in the next 2 years then what? Will they still fold?

Fold in a couple of years...
I'll take that bet...
League expansion has been planned through 2012..
How many is a few? 5, 7, 10, 20...