2014 may see both Hamilton and Ottawa without a home stadium for Pre-Season games.
I have heard that Ottawa has already stated that they will play both their Pre-Season games on the road. This could probably mean playing the game as close to Ottawa as possible which would be in Montreal.
Where will Hamilton play. Will they return to Guelph to play their Pre-Season home game after a season their that produced Hamilton's first Grey Cup Appearance in Years.
Another team that may be without a home for the pre season could be Toronto again. I suspect that Toronto may just do the same thing they did last year and play their pre season game at Varsity for a much cheaper rent and give season ticket holders a choice between that game or Comp tickets to a regular season game most likely against Hamilton.
Will the CFL play a pre season game in London at TD Waterhouse, where it is expandable to 16K, with a game involving Hamilton. Whether it be Hamilton's Home game or Ottawa game vs Hamilton. This would be in the effort of the Ti Cats and the CFL to expand them as a regional team to draw TV viewers from the London as well as the Guelph area.
Will the Riders want to play both their home games in the province? Would they possibly pay the cost to host Ottawa, a team without a field for pre season anyway, to come and play a game in Saskatoon. The U of S Huskies have been inviting a team from the OUA for a pre season game paying the expenses of the visiting team. This game would be considered an away game for the Riders for scheduling purposes and still will play their regular Home pre season game in Regina where they draw a great crowd for a pre season game and make a profit off of.
These appear to be scheduling conflicts that will happen better to start.
Hamilton should play at Western U in London and Ottawa should play at Queen's in Kingston. Both would draw well and would help regionalize both franchises.
I remember starting a thread about a year ago here where I brought up the idea of regionalizing preseason across the country. I still think it's a very interesting idea and would be wonderful for the league and all of it's teams.
If the stadium is ready or not,regardless,I think it would be a great good will gesture to play our preseason game in Guelph as a final thank you to the city for taking us in this year and adopting us for the season.Thanks to the city of Guelph for making this one of the most memorable seasons the Cats have had in years.The league should have the Cats play the REDBLACKS in Guelph,with it declared a neutral site game and then the two teams could play the away preseason game portion as Ottawa vs Montreal and Hamilton vs Toronto. Then just to play it save,in case either stadium isn't quite ready yet the league could schedule both teams first two games on the road to start out the regular season.
Queens would be out until they get the stadium up to par but Western U in London at TD Waterhouse would be perfect for this season.
Have it as Ottawa's home game but play Hamilton.
Hamilton in Guelph vs who ever.
Toronto staying at Varsity with the same deal that they had last season for the 10 game season ticket plan the choice to go to varsity or use the already paid for ticket for extra comp tickets to another home regular season game.
Once the new stadium is built in York have Toronto move its pre season game to the new stadium at York. Probably 2016 after the Pan Am games and hopefully shortly before the move to a new planned stadium.
I like the idea of playing at Neutral sites for pre season games but teams may not want to give up the home pre season game, especially the ones that draw a decent enough crowd where it is a profitable game.
I still would like to see the Riders host a home game in Saskatoon for a pre season game but can't give up their pre season game in Regina as it is a game that does draw and does make money.
With the Pre season stadium conflicts in 2014 and also in 2015 with the WWC in June these would be the two years where games like this can be scheduled and organized.
Edmonton has already scheduled, organized, and have an agreement, I think, that TSN will televise their game in the venue outside of Edmonton with Commonwealth booked for the Month of June.
Yes that was very disappointing that all the games were not Televised. Even if the TSN schedule line up was full for live tape delay or VOD would be available. I like to watch the pre season games to see rookies and new imports in the league.
I think going back to Guelph one last time to say thank you would be classy move by the Ti-Cats. Even a Guelph East Division championship banner would be a nice reminder of the history the univeristy made this season. However I could see them playing at London to expand the footprint.
If there was a way to sneak into the univeristy, having an Ottawa vs Montreal preseason game in QC would be clever and maybe sell that town on the CFL, or even another neutral site game in Moncton during the summer, if there think it would work. I know Edmonton is going up to Fort McMurray vs the Riders soon too for the pre-season, so I think every team doing an "away from home" pre-season game would be cool, Toronto can go back to Varsity again, etc.
In 2015 Ottawa, BC, As well as Edmonton will be displaced from their stadium for the entire month of June do to the WWC schedule. The use of Investors Group Field in Winnipeg will be for only about half of the month of June so it will remain to be seen if they can get a pre season game at home. So like Edmonton it is better to plan early as that is quite a few games that will need a place to play.
Tim Horton's will be busy with the Pan Am soccer for the whole month of July so while Hamilton will be able to get an early pre season game in at Tim Horton's it could be a long road trip to start the season.
In Toronto RC will only be used for opening and closing ceromonies for the Pan AM on the weekend and the Jays will probably use the other dates in July. So there may not be a regular season game in S. Ontario until August.
With the Pan Am games starting in July and Varsity field will be used there still may be time for the Argos to host a early pre season home game.
I do think that Toronto should continue to use Varsity as this season for the pre season game and then to the new York venue while they are still residents of RC. Just not enough people go to pre season games at RC and most likely lose money on the game. I also think the season ticket holders liked the idea of having a choice to go to the pre season game or get those as extra comp tickets to another game.
At this point if the CFL does continue the Moncton game Toronto should sign a deal to be the home team for a span of three seasons or until there is any movement in their new stadium or an outside chance that something in Halifax can be ironed out for a stadium and a set date. Toronto benefiting from the Moncton game financially. First it would eliminate at least one of those odd tuesday games. Second the CFL takes care of all the promotion and accommodations for the home team in Moncton leaving Toronto with no rent to pay for that game and the profits from the game go to the team that sacrifices a home game to play there. Montreal would probably be best as their yearly opponent or even a Sask as an opponent.
As much as it may be good for one of these games to be in Quebec City I think the strain between the Rouge et OR and the CFL will keep it from happening. Anythin that may happen in the Future in QC will not include Laval is pretty clear at this point.
With the Lions being displaced for their 2015 pre season may be a better time to have a game in Saskatoon. The Riders I am sure would love to have a game in Saskatoon but financially they just make to much of a profit for even a pre season game in Regina. The only other thing I could see the Lions do is to schedule a game in Victoria. Royal Athletic park may be the only stadium that can be expanded for reasonable seating for the game. The question is will anyone go.
I am not sure if any other of the smaller football/soccer fields in BC are up to par for a CFL game at his point anyway. It would be nice if they could play the game in Kamloops where their TC is but not sure the stadium would be feasible for a game but who knows.
Once all of the stadiums are complete it will be hard pressed for anyone to give up a home game to play in Montcton or anywhere else. Toronto is the only teams present where it would make sense while at RC.
2014 and 2015 is a chance for the CFL to bring a pre season game at least to a city that has no CFL team, whether it be in London to help expand the Ticats regional fan base or in Saskatoon for the Riders to give the fans in the northern part of the province a nice gift.