22,500 seats, still disappoints me

I hate to seem pesimistic, but 22,500 still bothers me to no end when I think of IW2! With all the B.S. that flew trying to land IW2, it cost us what is really deserved. Like come on, thats almost 1/3 of a chop to our potential fan base. Even 25,000 was still a tad low, but tolerable. Then they went 22,500. What a kick in the head!!! The CFL is growing and our stadium is shrinking.....PLEASE! I almost feel embarrassed, I'm sorry to say.

Again please don't get me wrong. I love that we are finally getting IW2! And a proud Ticats fan, and that for that i am greatful!

Why would they want a bigger stadium and have to see empty seats in a new stadium.
Embarasment is spelled T-O-R-O-N-T-O, 15,000 or so paid tickets in a 50,000 seat stadium. Even in Montreal when they expanded their stadium from 21,000, which they were selling out every game , to 24,000 they now have empty seats.
Last years attendance at IWS was around 23,000 with 20% of the tickets were "give aways"
The team is counting on much higher prices for the seats plus there will be the Premium seating in the new Private Boxes and the Box seats so the team wants to finally get serious about generating some revenue and making money for the first time. So lets' fill the 22,500 seats every game and prove that we can fill it first before talking about more seats.

The question is - How much is it worth to watch decent entertainment? We know that the average NFL ticket is $60 and people come out in droves to watch it, NHL tickets in Ottawa and Toronto cost over $100 and they have 42 home games!!
So let's start paying a decent price to watch good entertainment, surely there are 22,500 fans out there that are willing to pay over $60 for only 9 games????

The stadium will be 22,500 for the Pan Am games. After the games the Ticats and the city have both said the stadium will increase to 25,000.

I hear your logic, MikeM, and don’t necessarily disagree with it. However, if the team increases it’s prices considerably, I would tend to think that this move would lower the number of people who could then afford to attend, especially families, thus narrowing your potential customer (fan) base.

Perhaps, I’m more focused on the game itself, but never noticed that many empty seats at Montreal games last season. Toronto, on the other hand, was incredibly ridiculous to watch as the number of empty seats stood out like a sore thumb to even me. But that issue is a long standing one that has withstood much money and many attempts to correct.

I guess, they think themselves too much an NFL expansion or relocation candidate to give this league serious consideration. Alas, that thought is destined for another thread.

P.S…hasn’t there been some discussion about adding temporary or rollout seating to this new stadium to increase the capacity or is that already figured into the 22,500 total?? Sorry, once again victim of a bad memory!!

Hi Mikem,

I think I am going to appoint myself as your evil twin. :slight_smile: (Or at least as your opposite doppelganger.)

Every time you promote the idea that it is best for the team to have higher prices, a smaller stadium, and a sense of exclusivity, I will promote the idea of accessibility and affordability and building the fan base through structured ways of using that approach.

Different routes to success. Different approaches to fan bases. You will be at the new stadium in your season seats once the price hikes go into effect. I won’t be in mine. Oh well…

All the best.

22,500 is very small. If it goes to 25,000 after the PA Games, that will be better.

Concerning the alternative business strategies of limited access to create scarcity and charging a premium price, versus keeping prices low and working to increase volume, I suppose each is valid.

The scarcity/ high price approach is easier in some respects-- you don't have to work as hard to sell, your marketing is based on creating an image, not on finding people and working to get their bums in the seats. Not that creating a premium image is easy-- you have to have a product you can position as highly desirable.

But the other approach is harder work-- finding people, appealing to them, convincing them to buy-- is labour-intensive (and can be very expensive and time-consuming). The revenue (and income) per person is lower that way, but the potential for longer term growth is greater-- you can hope to increase prices down the road.

I don't know what the economics of the team are, as a business. Bob and Scott Mitchell have to determine that. Is there a minimum attendance level at which a team can be viable in the CFL? What is it? Is there a price threshold beyond which people just won't pay? What is it?

Sometimes you might prefer one strategy but be driven to the other by external factors you can't control. That may be the case in Hamilton now. Maybe Bob would like to go for high attendance/ low price, but because the stadium size is limited he can't, and so has to take the other approach.

The high attendance-/ ow price strategy is appealing to me as a fan. It's nice to be part of a big noisy crowd of fellow Ticat fans. It feels better to me than being in a smaller crowd where the gratification comes from feeling part of an "exclusive" club. Somehow, the "exclusive" strategy seems like a second-best solution to me. Once upon a time IWS held 34,000 and we could fill it-- and not just on Labour Day. But it's not my money invested in the team. It's Bob's.

In evaluating a CFL franchise as a business, what is the rate of return Bob wants on his invested capital? Is it attainable? If it's say 5%, then he could get that in much less risky ways than by owning the Tiger-Cats. A good mixed portfolio well managed would do that for you. If it's lower, I'm guessing he probably has a pretty good chance. If it's higher, he probably will never make it. Either way, we're lucky to have him. Without people like him and David Braley it would not be possible for the CFL to exist.

So what about Grey Cups? Will the new IW2 be expandable to house 45-50,000 for a grey cup? If not more?


Average ticket prices for all NFL teams are $113.17 The median ticket price is $105.43, indicating a skew right in all ticket prices.

I'm with Moonbase001. This is the best year for revenue for the Cats. That means the business continues to get better with a crappy stadium and mediocre team. Also, the CFL as a whole contnues to grow, so it stands to reason that with a new stadium, a winning team and continued league growth, we should expect more than the 23,500 or so that is the IWS average crowd now.

[url=http://www.thespec.com/sports/ticats/article/537639--ticat-ticket-sales-up-mitchell]http://www.thespec.com/sports/ticats/ar ... p-mitchell[/url] [url=http://ticats.ca/article/tiger-cats-season-preview-conference-call-transcript]http://ticats.ca/article/tiger-cats-sea ... transcript[/url]

To suggest anyone is asking for A 50,000 seat stadium like Toronto's is disingenuous. Something like Winnipeg, that currently IS selling out at record levels at 27,000+, is building a 33,000 or so seat stadium. I also will be embarrassed with 7,000 or so fewer seats.

But keep in mind that Scott Mitchell has said that there is a good chance at getting more seats than the currently stated 22,500.

Link please??

The lower price and higher volume approach that Steve is speaking, I agree, is better for short and long term growth for the team and the league. This strategy with more economical pricing and a better choice of seats will hopefully bring in more young people and families. The families will then have an opportunity to expose their children to this game. Those children will perhaps, in time, become fans in their adulthood and they in turn will bring their children, and on and on it grows. Your fanbase not only blossoms in the present, but in the future as well. Not to mention concession and apparel sales that they could contribute to as well along the way.

The "exclusive club" plan is the complete opposite of above and, as such, limits not only who can come presently by price and availability, but also constrains the team from bringing in new and later potential customers. I believe, the best sales pitch for the CFL is watching the product live at the stadium and once you go "exclusive" that takes this pitch away.

One of the CFL's best selling points is it's pricing and value. Start to eat away at that and it becomes less reachable and attractive to many.

The CFL, as has been pointed out numerous times, is a gate driven league. Limit the gate and, I think, you have then limited your revenue and even your future.

Found this one. Steve Milton http://www.thespec.com/sports/ticats/ar ... -questions

I don't have the links anymore, but this was in the Spec and Scott Mitchel was on Prime Time Sports and said this. Also, I was sitting in a private suite during the Labour Day game and Peggy Chapman and Mark Bodden were there and the topic of the stadium came up and they both said the city and the team are working together to add extra seating after the games. They both said that the capacity would be 25,000.

Scott Mitchell's words:

the capacity is going to be much higher, or certainly somewhat higher than what's being reported and of course there's nothing to prevent us from augmenting the stadium ourselves.
At 3:35 of the interview. [url=http://www.sportsnet.ca/video/36625003001/40223747001/PTS-Ticats-new-stadium]http://www.sportsnet.ca/video/366250030 ... ew-stadium[/url]


For what it's worth, Moscamania, I seem to recall that number as well.

I'm sure the supporting information can be found in the stadium thread for those fiercely interested.

Scott Mitchell:

I think the 23, 25 number is about the wheel house for us
At 4:20 of the interview. [url=http://www.sportsnet.ca/video/36625003001/40223747001/PTS-Ticats-new-stadium]http://www.sportsnet.ca/video/366250030 ... ew-stadium[/url]

In checking for further confirmation, I found this piece from Drew Edwards scratching post...the actual item was contributed by Steve Milton..

"Mitchell also said that the $1.3 million rent the Cats will pay the city in the new stadium will be the highest in the CFL and that the more income the club makes, the more the city will make on their rake-off of the profit, over and above the rental agreement.
And, he says, the seating capacity on opening day doesn't have to remain that way. He wouldn't comment directly, but the new stadium has to include room for enough temporary seating to reach the 40,000 minimum required to play host to a Grey Cup Game.
"Infrastructure Ontario will deliver a great stadium, but obviously there'd be nothing stopping us, as far as far as post-Pan Am Games go, from adding more seating ourselves."

Here's the link, if you would like to check it out yourself...

[url=http://scratchingpost.thespec.com/2011/09/morning-reading-uncle-milty-on-the-stadium-radley-on-the-moncton-ticats-and-the-argos-hurling-insult.html]http://scratchingpost.thespec.com/2011/ ... nsult.html[/url]

Great research!!
So IWS2 will be 25,000 permanent seats expandable to 40,000 for Grey Cups.(Labour Day and Playoffs)
Perfect size. :thup: :thup:

Haven't read exactly that anywhere, but at the very least we're getting 22,500, and likely more.

I'd imagine there's still lots of wiggle room between now, the design process, and the actual construction process. As time passes, costs get more certain and there's even the potential for private investment that could change things too.

No doubt about it, a seating capacity of 22,500 simply won't cut it in Hamilton, It never entered
my mind that that figure was serious. It was simply put out there to affirm Hamilton's hold on
securing a new stadium. This stadium must be a money making venture for our Caretaker and Hamilton
so I always clung to the idea that at some time during initial construction or following the Pan Am
games, the stadium's capacity would rise to 25,000 seats.

Thanks to those of you who added links showing that this is indeed what "should" happen.

I don't know about the rest of you, but personally, my only interest in the Pan Am games is getting
a long overdue updated venue from which to watch our Ticats do their thing.
I do respect the local taxpayers however, and understand that most of them will be paying the freight
on this venture; that is, over and above what we fans pay for construction. Some of these folks who
actually look forward to the Pan Am games may then get a look at the new facility and then never see it
again. Most of them will never see it, meaning that they are spending their tax dollars on what they
may call another white elephant. This is why it becomes imperative that we build a money making
facility that will benefit everyone.

Expanding seating capacity to 40,000 for Grey Cup games doesn't work for me and I don't think the CFL
will have much interest in that small a crowd at a GC event, even if they have already indicated that
they would. I think we have to be expandable to at least 45,000 seats for Grey Cups.

With this in mind, anyone sitting on a building committee for this project should do their best to design
the facility in such a way that it can be appropriately expanded if and when we secure the monies to do so.

I agree Cap'n, we will have to wait until around June or July probably before designs will be released.

But as I have stated before and will say again.

What we are getting is replacing an old outdated yet historical Stadium, with a new modern state of the art Stadium capable of expansion for Grey Cups on the existing site to carry all that tremendous history of the Stadium forward.
All this and not raising City taxes one thin dime.

In this day and age that last statement is unheard of!

If IWS2 is operated properly the City should actually make money for taxpayers as there will be no loan to service and should be a busy place if operated to its full potential.