American city's in CFL

I think Canadian football will not fly in the US because it is not American football.

To Americans, football means 11 players, a field that's 100 yards long with 10 yard endzones, fair catches, touchbacks, limited motion and all the rest of the elements of their game. Our game, with all its unique aspects, is just "funny football" to them.

In the 1990s the CFL didnt go to the US because of any great demand for it there, though of course the CFL tried to play that up. In fact, the league went there because they were on the verge of financial disaster and needed the expansion money desperately. It was a fundamentally flawed idea. In addition to issues such as the ratio mentioned above, it was also hard to find suitable stadiums to accommodate the large CFL field, plus officials who could referee our games.

The basic problem then was, and still is, that there is no appetite for Canadian football on a large scale in the US. With the exception of Baltimore, (where fans had recently lost their NFL Colts team in the dead of night to Indianapolis and so were quick to latch on to the CFL Colts, so named initially, before a court injunction forced a name change to Stallions), attendance at CFL games in US cities wasn't just mediocre, it was lousy. I remember reading about games in Shreveport with 8,000 fans, and near the end Las Vegas had 2,500.

I don't see why people expect Americans to adopt a brand of football that is foreign to them in more ways than one. They don't see it as neat or interesting, they see it as basically incorrect. You might engage an American fan in 15 minutes of conversation about the differences in nuance between the two games, but after that short time is up they will lose interest, become bored and return to their own game which they know and love. And why should they do anything else? Their game is pervasively present on TV and at stadiums all over the country, with rabid fans at all levels, and is a game they have known for a century, as we've known ours. There is no sustained room in that saturated market even for alternative pro leagues of US football-- the WFL, USFL, XFL and various other leagues all folded after a time. To think they will ever make room for a different variant of the game that they neither know nor care about is just a pipe dream. It's like trying to make hockey sustainable in Phoenix, Atlanta or Nashville... and we know how badly that is working, even with a league like the NHL which is much wealthier than the CFL.

We have a hard enough time getting back to nine teams in the CFL, and ten is a distant goal. We know the game and have loved it for decades, and we still can't fill 30,000 seat stadiums most of the time. Spending energy on trying to plant Canadian football firmly in the US would be a colossal waste of time. The CFL can't afford to squander its slender resources on a venture that has little or no chance of lasting success.

Good post, stevehvh.

One additional problem is that the overlap of the CFL, NFL and NCAA schedules would make it difficult to sustain American fan interest in the CFL after Labour Day each year.

I fear the import rules will be different between the 2 countries. (Can anyone enlighten me as to whether or not that was the case before?) Keep all the teams in Canada. Get a team (somehow) in the East Coast to bring the league, including Ottawa, up to 10 teams. As much as possible, play regular season games 2 on Friday, 2 on Saturday, 1 on Sunday.

If the CFL wants to expand to the US in the future, it has to look at the smaller cities, nearer the Canadian border!
So true!

I hear that Detroit and Buffalo both need football teams! :smiley:

The U.S.-based team did not have to employ Canadian players.

At the time, Canadian teams had to start eleven [11] Canadians
but I don't recall how many Non-imports were on the roster.

When the U.S. teams folded, the CFL reduced
the number of Canadian starters to seven. [7]

I guess the owners wanted to keep a lot of the U.S. born
CFL trained players from the folded U.S. CFL teams

because they can usually be paid less than Canadians.


It's not bad enough that the number of starting Canadians
was reduced by 4 players to accomodate these players

Next year, apparently, the owners want to reduce
the starting Canadians from 7 to 4, to save money,

or to, theoretically, improve their talent base

and leave 80% of our Canadian players as back ups.

Ok thats not the first time i heard someone on here say that americans get paid less than the canadians .. but after about 30 minutes of googling i cannot find a source that says as much. Not 1 !!!

CFL salaries are terrible ... and to imagine someone coming up from the US to make less. If you fill the team with rookies yes they make the least if thats what people are referring to but so does a canadian rookie ...

I cannot find any source that even comes close to suggesting that Americans are getting less than Canadians

I agree that the focus should be on current teams and expansion into other Canadian markets. The only problem I see is that the number of potential cities is weighed heavily in the east. So, it might be hard to maintain the east vs west format.
I would really like to see Ottawa and an Atlantic team join the league.

A 10 team league would be nice. I think that would be the end of it. London certainly represents what could be a solid CFL city, as does Quebec City. But, logistically, I'm not sure how that would work.

I'm not sure what cities could enter the league in the West --- without upsetting current teams. I'd be very hesitant to touch Saskatchewan, since they have such a good thing going in that province. Alberta is pretty saturated as well. I guess the only place I see for the West is Victoria. That would finally give the Lions a natural rival. But really, not sure people out there would want another team. Looks like the Lions work pretty hard for their fans -- probably don't need any competition.

Also: who cares what some member of the British aristocracy wanted anyway?

I think expansion into America is a bad idea just because generally speaking there is a cultural prejudice against the Canadian game.

Actually the problem down here is there is no exposure to it....

theres no news about it .. maybe a blurb or 2 ...

rarely see a game .. 1-perhaps 2 before the NFL starts

It's very hard to get anykind of enjoyment out a a league that you do not have access to ... the NFL is all over in the States and Canada ..

But the CFL is moreso only in the cities in which they play and only regularily on 2 canadian tv channels unless the cbc stopped showing them.

it's not a prejudice... it's a lack of knowledge about the league. And the fact that we have enough football here in the USA to satisfy anyone .. hell even the high school ball is a big deal here. I'd equate it to selling an ice cube to an eskimo better either be a great salesman or you better have one heck of an icecube

And hence the crux of the issue of the potential lock out next year…It’s all about the money…

Sorry to jump into this late. The Baltimore franchise was successful because they had a coach with CFL experience (Don Mathews). The other teams... not so much ...if any. The other american teams tried to implement NFL style offenses and defenses..... and we all know... that doesn't work with the Canadian league rule set. (Just ask Bart Andrus.) However, I really believe, once those coaches figured out the Canadian game's nuances... the Canadian teams would not be able to complete on a level playing field.

Don't be sorry for jumping in, everyones opinion is of value. However I disagree on one point, the US cities could be successful however I don't see any reason they would dominate the league.

Re the salaries paid the American players.

When the American teams folded, and the players were drafted into Canadian teams, it turns out that the player contracts were written in terms of "x"$$$. Well, there was a 30% or so difference in the US and Canadian $s and since the player contracts did not specify US$$s, they were paid in Cdn $$s . players involved were very frustrated to say the least.

BTW, great to see Joe Montford rallying the troops for the Semi-final game.


The CFL Needs to Stay in Canada
There too many Fly by night leagues Coming and Going with a lack of resources They Fold Quicky

The CFL has Problems Keeping Teams A Float in Here In Hamilton and Down the QEW in Hogtown.

We need to have Stable Team for ateast 10 to 15 years before Even we look at The US.
There are better Canadian Markets where the CFL can keep our Canadian Rules.
Windor Hailfax St Johns Quebec City Victora BC.
I hope CFL Never go back 0to US Cause The Americans will want to change everything
Field side
The Rouge
Every Rule will be turned NFL Like

No Thanks if wanted to see NFL Type Football I go to buffalo or Lions
I go to 3 Lions games a year a Gift from Dad's Brother who loves in The Motor City.

I dont think they would get to far changing the rules!

"I go to 3 Lions games a year a Gift from Dad's Brother [b][i]who loves in The Motor City.[/i][/b]
I thought Paris, Las Vegas and Niagara Falls were the top places for that.

Oh well, tough economic times all around I guess :wink: :lol:

The NFL feels big competition from the NCAA as an entertainment package. The only places I could see a CFL team working in the US are close to border states that don't have a college team that people support within striking distance of the city. That's the only way I think.

Yes I agree any potential US teams must be on border states and the CFL potential team must be the only pro team around.
With a minimum 30,000 seater stadiumn of which there has to be 20,000 minimum season ticket holders guaranteed for three years.
A franchise fee of $25M and a further $10M posted bond to aviod any financial misconduct.

I understand your thinking re these conditions, but there is no chance of that happening.

Guaranteed season ticket base of 20,000 for three years? No way anyone can promise that, certainly not in advance as a condition of entry, because there's no way it will happen for the CFL in any US market. Hell, it doesn't even happen in Canada, with few exceptions. In which US border city with no pro football team nearby do you expect to find 20,000 long-term season ticket buyers for a new team in Canadian football? Bismark, North Dakota? Calais, Maine? Boise, Idaho? Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan? Yikes!

$35 M in franchise expansion fees? Why would anyone pay anything like that? There is no prospect of a team ever earning it back on CFL revenue streams. Last time fees charged were in the vicinity of $5M, and even then the teams folded. Existing Canadian teams that bear no costs of expansion fee investment at all struggle to break even as it is.

It's nice to dream and speculate about this concept, but I'm afraid it has no basis in reality.

I don't disagree with your evaluation.
My concept though is based on if someone, in this instance an American owner and city want in bad enough, well then the league has to set up conditions which will guarantee success much more so than any Canadian similar expansion and especially when dealing with the often hated return of American expansion.