Actual suggestions on how to improve CFL attendance/ratings

Forde's not bad, and getting better. Black is hopeles and should have stayed calling figure skating.

Tonight Miller and Dunigan were as good as Cuthbert and Suitor.

No Blackouts ever. Need to be on TV for so many reasons. IF 500 fans don't go because the game is blacked out many, many times that watched your game and either bought tickets in the future or merchandise. Plus TSN just paid a lot for TV rights so blackouts should be a thing of the past.

I would like to see BC, Edmonton, and Toronto (if they are stuck at Rogers Centre for a while longer) tarp off sections of the stadiums in a more professional way like Seattle Sounders do in MLS. Toronto used to a few years back and apparently those tarps got ruined. Yes actual people in those seats would be better but realistically they are not going to fill those stadiums on a regular basis. Would look better on TV and add to atmosphere at games. (I realize there are tarps by sponsors but they look cheap - I'm talking about something much more professional looking).

10th team would equal a perfect schedule of a home and away game against every other team. I could be wrong as rivalries are great but I think sometimes if you see your team play another team 3 or even 4 times interest can go down especially if one team is dominant.

And of course the ever elusive video game which would sell the game to a future generation.

Yes I agree Rod Black should not be calling a football game!

I'd like to point out what I think the problem may be. That will help people come up with a way to try and fix things. I don't know how bad it is in Calgary but I've been to Toronto and it's depressing being in that huge cavern with only 18,000 people at a game and all that advertising tarpaulin covering the empty seats looks like crap. Canada's biggest city should be able to bring in at least 40,000. It's not just the stadium. It's a total lack of interest. I mean come on... The Argos are a good team coming off a Grey cup win and still no one go's. If they can fix the problems in Toronto the rest of the Eastern teams will fallow. I think one of the main problems is the competition from the NFL. I have friends in Toronto and I've been to sports bars there. On any given Sunday they will be full of Canadians watching NFL. Ive been down to Buffalo to see Bills games they average over 20,000 Canadians at every Bills home game, they even sing the Canadian National anthem. They play one game a year at rogers centre and get close to 50,000 or more some years. The reason it doesn't get more is because the cheapest seat up in the 500 level is over $90 with tax's. If your a football fan it's hard not to get caught up in the NFL hype. How does the CFL win back the Canadian football fans? Were asking football fans to spend their money on the CFL and not on the NFL or to watch both. The problem with that is most people only have so much entertainment money to spend.

Attendance: - None or fewer midweek games. Play only on fri/sat/sun/holiday monday when possible. Easier for families
to attend, and the league needs to attract a new generation of fans. Also easier if you've got a long travel
to/from games.
- Other than Friday Night Football, no night games after Thanksgiving unless indoors. Why subject your fans
to cold, night games if you don't have to?
- New or renovated stadiums. This has been/is being addressed in BC, Edm, Wpg, Ham, Ott and Sask. Calgary
has well-heeled owners who have stated they would like $100m+ in renos to McMahon, but this will be a
problem as long as UC and the McMahon Stadium Society are involved. Quebec is talking about $300-500m in
renovations to the big owe. Toronto is apparently considering a suburban location.
- Better halftime shows. While this is unlikely ot increase attendance significantly, it would make the gameday
experience more enjoyable. The halftime shows I've seen at Stamps games are generally dreadful.

Ratings: - Consistent game days (see above, pt. 1) and start times. Get people used to tuning in at the same time(s)
and same day(s) every week.
- Kick a couple of games per week to the parent network, CTV. There are still people (both urban and rural)
who don't have cable that the present arrangement leaves out in the cold. Let Rogers have the NFL.
- Pregame shows for each and every game and doubleheader.
- Fire Rod Black. The man is brutal. Duane Forde is getting better. Gord Miller and Matt Devlin have shown
that they can call a game well.

I've been a football fan since about the age of five - fifty years - and never found it at all hard to resist the NFL's hype. And how many Canadians actually regularly attend NFL games? A few thousand (maybe) from Southern Ontario, a few hundred from Vancouver, a few dozen (if that) from elsewhere? I've only met one person who's been to more than a handful of NFL games, and that's because he has business interests in Texas. Most Canadian NFL fans are armchair fans or just like the betting.

One thing I'd like to see the league implement is a late-spring ad campaign focusing on the fun, outdoor, summer gameday experience, especially after a long Canadian winter with maybe too much sitting around the TV watching hockey. They could focus on how the whole family gets involved and how there is a sense of community (particularly in cities where they like to tailgate).

Another thing I'd like to see is the schedule become more regular. What I mean by this is have the same match ups during the same week of the sched every year. We already do this with Labour Day. Let's do it with more dates. Thanksgiving would be an obvious one to start with. Make it another important rivalry date. For example, we could have Cal-BC, Edm-Sask, Tor-Mon, Ham-Ott (sorry Winnipeg) year after year, so that the fans can plan well ahead. We don't have to only use holidays either. For example, week 3 could always be Cal-Sask (or whatever matchup, whatever week, but make it a predictable, plannable, tradition). Of course, until all the teams get control of their scheduling, this will be difficult. But it looks like we might get there.

It also means Ryckman signing Flutie in Calgary, Kent Austin in BC, good players in their prime not nearly always in Ontario winning Grey Cups beating up on teams that didn't have the money to sign a marquee player in the first place, defeating the entire purpose of a salary cap.

Why are the Labor Day games so exciting and popular and so well attended in Hamilton? It's the game that eveyone wanted to go to. TV ratings almost double too for all the Labor Day games.
Why can't they get the same demand and excitement for say a Canada Day game or a Thanksgiving Day game in Ham orTo?
TV ratings for summer CFL games are low but double for Labor Day and after, that's one reason why the bye is in Aug, the slowest month on TV.

A new stadium in Hamilton will help the interest in the Ticats but its still a tough sell in Toronto. Spending a lot of money on Argo promotion in To hasn't helped, signing Ray, hasn't helped, winning the Grey Cup hasn't helped, an exciting 1st place team this season hasn't helped. The excuses about low attendance for Tues/Wed games doesn't make sense, the Jays, leafs, Tfc, Raps don't seem to be affected by Tues/Wed games.

As for a salary cap and the marquee player, they could pay a star player from a different pot of money to get around the cap. Its not right that they were paying Chris Williams around 48k a year and yet they pay Fantuz three times that much and Giguere twice as much. Fans want to see an exciting player like him that has you on the edge of your seat every time he gets his hands on the ball. They don't want to cometo see a player just because he's Canadian.

Yeah, just rip up a contract of a first year or 2 player if he excels and beef it up :roll:
Is a player not playing well going to give some money back then?
You compare players that re-signed contracts after proving themselves vs a player nobody knew signing anything he could get his hands on. As in any job...prove yourself to make more money...he'd done thins and was offered a very nice reward for his efforts. He chose to spit at it.

I also think something that would help is building up the CIS and what not.

Sorry but the numbers don't lie. I'm not only going by what I see and hear, but actual statistics. Here is just one example of how much of an impact the NFL has on the average Canadian football fan. Last seasons Grey Cup game only managed to sell out days before the game started in Toronto. These are the actual TV ratings for the Grey Cup game 4,384,000 Canadian TV's were on for that game. Here is how many Canadian TV's were on for the Super Bowl 7,280,000. Thats Canadian TV's only. These numbers come from the official BBM data Canada TV rating source. I can give you the link if you want to look it up yourself. Once again I'm only trying to point out where the problem lays so we can come up with ways of fixing it.

Toronto likes to see itself as a world class city, whatever that means ? The Leafs play in a league with American teams that are from “world class cities.” The same can be said for the Blue Jays, the Raptors and now the soccer team, too! Perception is the key and the Argos are not “world class” in many eyes because they play against the likes of Regina, Winnipeg, Hamilton and soon to be Ottawa. I am not slighting the cities in the CFL, but the TO fans don’t perceive any of the other cities as "world class or the league for that matter. The centre of the universe thinks they need an NFL team to put them on par with other “world class” cities and then they probably won’t attend those games either !!!


Even if you look at attendance for the Jays/Toronto Fc its not great same with many teams around Toronto is it a world class city no thats not to say its not a good city it is just not the city many think it is.

I made a post. Someone deleted it. If it really was so awful, a mod couldn't have done an edit, even the whole thing and man up saying he did it? Instead we can pretend it never happened? And really what was wrong with it? I filtered my own f-bomb, you didn't like that? So the WHOLE POST had to go bye bye? :roll:

After all the moronic bickering and blatant name calling that goes on around here goes completely uncensored, an articulate post with one single self censored cuss word gets wiped. Lots of folks around here censor their own cusses and never get touched. Come on ...

I am looking at the Jays attendance and I see an average of over 31,000 after 56 home games, you don't think that is good for a sport that plays over 80 games a year and double header afternoon games and weeknight games.
They are in the middle of MLB attendance figures.
TFC with a terrible team are averaging over 19k and that is in the top half of MLS attendance, and they have a long season and have to play early season games in the cold.

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For a city that many say is one of the bests sports amrkets no 31,000 is not great same with the soccer just don't act like your this great sports market i could be wrong but i think Espn ranked Toronto as the worst sports market yet people down played it and acted like theys ell out every game.

Read my post again, and your own as well.

You stated that most fans only had so many entertainment dollars to spend. I countered that most Canadian NFL fans didn't attend games, that they were armchair, i.e. stay at home TV fans.

So how does watching TV directly equate to spending money on entertainment?

Btw, BBM's official website,, gives the number of viewers for the 2012 GC and 2013 SB as 5,464,000 and 6,447,000, not the figures you quoted. Your figures are from 2011 and 2012. Figures from 2010 and 2011 are SB - 6,537,000 and GC - 4,941,000. From 2009 and 2010 it's SB - 6,017,000 and GC - 5,087,000. That would indicate that while NFL numbers have levelled, CFL numbers are climbing. While I'm sure there numbers ar a bit of a disappointment to the CFL, it's not particularly surprising, given the absurdly hyped game in the US, and the admittedly entertaining halfitime shows and commercials. The CFL regularly draws more viewers than the NFL throughout the season, even on days when the play head to head. And I seem to remember hearing early in the season the the GC had been sold out hen.

I belive the Grey Cup game was sold out in June of last year.

As for the tv ratingings of Grey Cup vs Super Bowl, you are right. I was dissappointed that the Grey Cup is not being broadcast on CTV under the new tv contract. Certinally, a game of the week on CTV would help as well. But the Super Bowl has this odd culture around it, where its viewed as an excuse for a party by non-football fans.

A marketing strategy centered around premier events works as we know, so a Canada Day Game, the Labour Day Games, a Thanksgiving Game and the Grey Cup. I also agree that more player promotion is needed, and not just on TSN. And finally, wear your t-shirt/jersey in public!

Using the entertainment dollar excuse is lame, especially since the TV numbers are so high, as GernB stated.... What the Argos did with the school kids in one preseason game was a great idea ! More of that kind of promotion is needed. The biggest problem is Toronto. With the vast population, they still have the poorest attendance !

@GernB... Yes the numbers I gave were from 2011/12 but they are correct. Thanks for giving me the numbers for 2012/13 and 2010/11 and as we can see it still shows that the majority of Canadian football fans are more interested in the NFL than the CFL. All I'm trying to point out is thats where a big problem lays. The NFL is drawing attention and fans away from the CFL. Don't get me wrong I'm a big CFL fan going back to the early 80's and even have season tickets. But I'm also a football fan so yes I'm one of those guys that will plan my Sunday around watching the NFL as well as make a trip down to the US to watch at least one game a year live with some friends. How do we compete with the NFL or can we? I for one have no problem supporting both but it seems lots can't or won't. It's the Canadians that would rather watch NFL than CFL that the CFL has to try and win over. As you and I pointed out with the BBS TV ratings their are around 1 million football fans in Canada that would rather watch NFL than CFL.

I see people advocating for CTV to broadcast some games for higher visibility. While I agree over the air stations can potentially reach more people anyone who wants to see CTV broadcast any sport are either too young to remember when they did or have forgotten. This is the network that brought us Sportsnet, the worst all sports network in history. Ever wonder why TSN has a monopoly on the high profile leagues and events? Sportsnet has no clue how to broadcast sports and never have, TSN remains successful because after they were acquired by CTV they left them alone to run their own show.

CTV was involved with CFL in the pre cable days, splitting games with CBC and sharing the Grey Cup (game was broadcast on both networks with each taking the booth for one half). CTV's broadcasts were always a disaster. They are the people responsible for dumping Pat Marsden on an unsuspecting public. Might I remind you the only reason Rod Black has any involvement with CFL broadcasts is he was already under contract to CTV. Imagine an entire game done by Rod Blacks. Direction, cameramen, replays and broadcasting because that would be a CTV game.

If CTV were to broadcast a TSN feed that would be fine, but if CTV ever tried to do a football game on their own I would stop watching those games. Leave the main network to figure skating, Olympics and reality TV and leave real sports to the professionals, TSN.