Alouettes need new ownership

Having followed this team for a long time I can say that at this point unless Wetenhall sells this football team, this team will be as worthless as the Argos in two to three years at most. This is a team that use to have a waiting list for most its best stadium sections, a team that could draw close to 60 000 paying fans for playoff games.

The situation today is much different. The team may not even sellout its University stadium for a playoff game. The media's interest for the team is only marginally better than Toronto's interest in the Argos. The team has absolutely no "connections" in political circles or municipal, provincial power brokers . Its merchandising program is in shambles. Try to purchase Alouette gear in MOntreal...

Wetenhall needs to sell this football team before the fans turn the lights out on him. MOntreal fans aren't going to put up with an Al Davis clone.

I may be blasted for this, but were the good things that you mentioned not happening during Larry Smith tenures?

I applied for season tickets in 2000 and was called in 2002.

I hear what you're saying, Hfx, and agree with you for the most part.

However, we have had success in the past with a less talented team when we had the Burgers. In the 1977 season, we drew close to 60,000 average per game, which rivaled the NFL at the time.

From where I sit, and I apologize in advance for repeating myself, but I think the problem is with football in this country. The CFL seems to draw better out West, although there is only one franchise that sells out regularly - Regina. Nobody else does that! TSN has done what it can to promote the game, and the CFL panel does a bang-up job with their analysis and even humour.

The biggest problem with the CFL is the NHL; not that the NHL is a problem, but it happens to be the number 1 draw, sports-wise, in this country. Basketball has become popular in Toronto and the Blue Jays seem to draw fairly well, but hockey is in a league of its own where popularity is concerned. I have often said that even medium-sized cities would draw well with an NHL franchise. Compare, for example, the press coverage of the Habs versus the Als. Hardly any comparison, right? That tells us something right there.

Look at the absymal state of the CFL in Toronto, a city with over 5,000,000 population in the GTA. They can barely draw 20,000 fans for home games. Ottawa this year was a novelty; I wonder how long it will take for that to wear off. Lest we forget, both Ottawa and Montreal were without professional football for years and life went on.

IMO, football itself has to be better promoted and in the public eye more. We should invite HS/college players to home games at reduced rates; HS/college players should be invited to special training camps to learn various positions; there should be more indoor facilities where future players can hone their skills during the colder months of the year... When we start approaching a point where thousands upon thousands of kids are playing football, things can/will change.

Definitely, we need better people involved from ownership, management... BUT - buying a CFL franchise is definitely a crap shoot with no guarantee of a return. It's very hard to attract someone with deep pockets and football savvy under those conditions. Hard to attract sponsors with deep pockets also when they see small crowds. At the end of the day, a professional sports franchise is a business. For owners to take the plunge, they have to see a future in it and even the possibility of making a few shekels in the process.

Sorry to sound pessimistic about this, but I have always felt that the CFL is in many ways hanging on. I know I may well be ruffling feathers by saying that, but this is what I perceive, season in and season out. The product on the field is very exciting and I have enjoyed the play of our athletes.

I sincerely hope that the CFL brand gains in popularity and interest. I would like nothing better than to see thousands and thousands of season-ticket requests, resulting in building new, larger, state-on-the-art stadia and even expansion into other cities. Is that realistic in the short and medium term? For the sake of the CFL, I sure hope so.

I think Ottawa is for real as long as they keep treating fans the way they do and offer a competitive (improving) product on the field. The fan experience is so so much superior to what you get in Montreal. Part of that of course is having their own state of the art facility but the other is Local ownership that run their football club like it is owned by the community and not a play toy.

Seriously, the Ottawa fan experience is better than in Montreal? The Alouettes ownership has given us 9 wins this year, 2 more than the Argos and 7 more than the Redblacks. I bet the Trawno and Ottawa fans are jealous of our ownership, which is reponsible for how many consecutive years of playoff football in Montreal? Or perhaps losing in a nice new stadium packed with drunkards is more pleasant than compertitive football at Molson stadium?

You've got to be kidding, right?

Fan experience has nothing to do with the team's record and we are not going to compare Montreal with an expansion team on the field. I certainly am not.

I would argue the opposite. Winning is everything.

That is not what I was referring to. But in any case Hunt didn't inherit the Baltimore Stallions. Let's give them at least 3 years.

Since I've been to both this year. Here is how Ottawa's experience was superior Covered parking for free. RB employee at teh parking directing Free Coach ride from the parking to the stadium. A warm welcome and assistance when arriving at the stadium. Great choice of cold beer served in tall boys. fantastic seats and multimedia. A thank you email , then a survey about my experience... Regular updates from the Team and an apology letter from the HC...

You know I wonder something. Could this failure of ticket sales or revenue generating that you speak of be tied in to Calvillo's retirement at all?

I mean, there's a reason they call players faces of franchises, and Calvillo beyond just bringing in wins for Montreal, had to have become the celebrity around the league that fans would've enjoyed paying to go see play. I don't know what would be the case, but I certainly would have to think he had something to do with that, and Chad Ochocinco may not have been quite the hit they thought he would be to take that spot.

Certainly Crompton if he built a legacy could be that player, but I don't think his own version of the stache quite rivals that of AC.

[i]Johnny agrees 100% with you HFXtc! Wetenhall used to be the best owner, and the Alouettes were the model franchise of the CFL.

Those days are gone. Wetenhall has gotten bored with his team. The interest just isn't there anymore. He should have fun with his latest trophy girlfriend, keep chain smoking and sell the team.

Johnny would wager someone like Larry Smith and/or Serge Savard would put an ownership group together and the team would belong to local, or mostly local interests. There are some pretty good business people in Montreal who could rejuvenate the team. [/i]

I started noticing around the 3rd year or 4th year of Trestman's tenure. The year the Als saw a huge drop in their attendance at the Big O for their post season game. I've also read many fans say they gave up season tickets because of pricing and mucking around with sections. There was a resurgence in the popularity of the Canadians, Soccer grew and now there is a big push to bring back MLB to Montreal. Then there is the problem with the musical chair at President. (Really President in title only) since the last one got publicly chastised for buying a phone system! Add the increased coverage of the NFL which is not covered better in French media and on the Als own broadcast partners than the Als are.

Basically for over a decade the Als have relied on good will and word of mouth and they shrunk, add some tough couple of seasons and here we are.

As for Crompton he won't be "the guy". I went and read Tennessee archives and he is what he is. In fact I will be very surprised if he's the starter by the fourth game of next season.

An apology letter contributes to a great fan experience? Yikes. :expressionless:

Obviously the RedBlacks are doing great things in terms of off-the field fan experience. Without trying to compare, the Als have also improved quite a bit with the fan zone, online parking reservations, etc. and have always done excellent with public transit - a model I would suggest.

The Als ownership has distinguished itself in offering a competitive product: In the last 2 years, it has diligently sought to fix coaching issues, at substantial cost, resulting in a competitive team that keeps making the playoffs. Compare that to organizations that have wallowed in the basement for years, waiting for the off-season to perhaps, maybe, remedy issues. To me, this is part of a great fan experience, and the Als have been tops in Montreal for years now, far better than the Habs.

In short, I completely disagree with your assessment of the Als ownership.

Call them today, different story.

Hunt certainly knows how to market and how to treat fans, but it remains to be seen how much of this season's attendance, and frankly next, is the novelty factor (new team/new stadium) and how much is deeply rooted football fans.

Just out of curiosity what would a new owner be buying that is not able to be moved on two semis? Do the Als actually own anything actually other than contracts and equipment?

That's depressing, but not surprising. I have seen zero progression in his game through the season. When he's on, he does the same things he was good at when he started -- pushing the ball downfield, being decisive, throwing fastballs. But there are a ton of things that need improvement in his game -- touch passes (esp. to the flat, LOL), pre-snap reads, snap cadence, protecting audibles, checking down post-snap -- and I haven't seen any improvement. Garcia and Dinwiddie have basically bent over backwards to simplify the offense so he can run it, but as others have noted, simplifying also means making your offense easier to read and stop. At some point, the QB of this team has to be able to run a pro offense like a pro.

Believe this topic had been discussed in a similar thread sometime ago.

I recall the organization teaming up with it's corporate sponsors such as Telus, Casino de Montreal and others, having give aways during certain games. They had mini footballs with Telus logo, rain ponchos with Casino de Montreal amongst others.
It is not the value rather the notion. My son who was around the age of 8 at the time of the mini footballs loved them.
What does this little gesture do, makes the young fans think of the Alouettes and football and as they get old enough will give some thought to spending money on purchasing a ticket or maybe even a season ticket. Parapanelia, food, beverages ...

Today do they still give anything away?

I also recall seeing billboards along highway 20 promoting the team. The odd tv commercial, Larry Smith on the radio.
Today, I see or hear none of it. In fact, I can not say when I have heard the President talk about the organization.

As a former season ticket holder, they use to give little thank you gestures when you renewed. Slowly but surely as Larry Smith exited, these went away and the prices started climbing.

I also use to get emails from time to time. Those too went away.

As HfxTc mentioned, try finding Alouettes merchandise outside the stadium. I sound like a broken record, but there was a retail outlet who use to carry plenty. Today you are lucky to find a hat or T that was not printed last year.

All these factors along with others surely have an effect on the overall financial status of the organization today.

A week before the ESF game and just over 16k tickets sold in a stadium that holds 24k +.

Je crois que c'est exactement ça. Le football de la LCF est l'affaire d'une poignée de supporteurs dans l'Est et de plus de supporteurs dans l'Ouest. Pour ma part, je trouve que les Wetenhall en ont fait beaucoup pour le football à Montréal et je crois qu'ils sauront montrer leur implication encore dans les saisons qui viennent.

La diminution de support, comme l'a souligné NCBF, est passablement due au fait que les Alouettes n'ont plus un quart-arrière établi à la barre de l'attaque. Les Alouettes devront choisir entre développer un "jeune" quart comme Crompton ou aller en pêcher un ailleurs en espérant qu'il devienne un quart de concession. Mais on ne trouve pas un Calvillo à chaque jubilé, alors il faudra avoir la sagesse de supporter notre équipe jusqu'à ce que les Alouettes aient trouvé le gars qui puisse amener l'équipe plus loin si Crompton s'avère avoir plafonné.

Wow! I guess I havn't been going to the same games a lot of you have cuz my ''Fan experience '' has been much different.This is my first season as a season ticket holder after atending most of last season's games with my daughter.Here is what I love about the Als.Great stadium great location. I have been to playoff games and a soccer match at the Big 0 and hate the place with a passion,it is not suited for these sports.I was at the ticats game in Hamilton on saturday and the new stadium is just that new but besides the better seats and bigger screen it doesn't offer anything more than our stadium.On the field the Als started really slow but then they woke up and provided me with more at home wins than last season.Our account reps have gone above + beyond to offer us a great ''Fan experience''.The fans siting in our section have been a blast.As to the sponsorship and promo's I cannot remember a game where we did not get some kind of gimmick/souvenir and the hall of fame game with Cahoon and retirement of AC only added to our ''Fan experience''.We usually get there early and have been able to meet + greet with current and past players (try doing that at a NHL game).We have been on the filed after 2 games this season and the Als players have always been available to take pics or sign autographs.Do I want a 18 and 0 season sure but that is a dream.What do I get for my 30$ per game,I get a fun day with my daughter watching the Als play in a great stadium surrounded by other fans cheering them on.This is best 30$ I have ever spent...