An idea to fill the Dome for the first home game...

I posted this on but I thought I'd post it here as well since there doesn't seem to be too many people who go to both forums.

I was thinking that football season always seems to start slowly each year and by the time we get big crowds (40k-50k) the season is over. Here's an idea I've been thinking might work... I'd be interested hear your thoughts...

The premise is to start the first reg season home game with a big bang. If we get people talking football in early summer, and get that electric feeling in the Dome, then I think that would help boost crowds all year. What about if the Lions teamed up with a big and worthwhile charity to offer "a Lion sized 50/50 draw". Basically, 100% of any ticket sales over say 30,000 seats goes into a giant pot - if we could get 45,000 ppl at the game that would be a pot of ~$370,000. Half of that money goes to the charity and half is drawn at the game for one lucky fan.

The event could be something like "kickoff for kids" with the charity being Children's Hospital, for example. If it is a big and worthwhile cause, it would probably be possible to get tons of media coverage and lots of sponsoship, in addition to all of the publicity that would naturally surround such an event. With some work, some big-name performers or celebs could be asked to add their names to the event, possibly contributing towards a big halftime show.

The reason I suggested a charity event is that it could easily come with lots of free promotion outside the normal circles (e.g. the game would surely be promoted on segments such as "Out There" on Global, or "Community M" on Channel M). Basically, for very little cost, game promotion would start to include mainstream media as well as sports media. I think that is a big thing about attracting a large crowd - get the average person talking about the game.

The other reason I suggested something like this is because it becomes more than just a football game; its a big event. I agree that getting people into BC Place in the summer is difficult so this gives them more reason to go: see a football game, be part of a good cause, see a great show (e.g. halftime show by performers lending their support), and win some huge prizes.

Anyway, it was just an idea of a way to kickoff the season with a bang that would get folks talking Lions while doing something good for the community at the same time. Your thoughts?

Good idea, sounds like it could be a success if done properly. I don't know but maybe the fact that it's warm outside in the summer deters some people from wanting to go indoors to watch a football game.

I'd like to see bigger crowds throughout the summer too. I think it will improve for 07 because the Lions are champs and because we are still hearing radio ads for season tickets and merchandise sales. I have a feeling they won't be packing up for the winter like in years past.

Personally I'd prefer if the Lions sell the public on Lions football. Not to sound callous but I don't know if appealing to someone's sense of charity will translate into more ticket sales. Tackle Hunger and Making the Connection are noble ventures and some people get excited by the Wendy's Kick for a Million but I don't think much of it increased attendence. Consistently producing a good team, in a safe, clean and fun atmosphere and having a good stable management team, I think will do more to increasing the crowds. Keep the tickets reasonable and reinvest in the game-day product. In other words, continue doing what they are doing now. If there's one thing I'd love to see them do ( and its costly) it would be to do something about the temperature inside the dome. I don't mind being inside on a summer night but it is uncomfortable and I know others who wait until the fall for that very reason.

I think if you hype Opening Game as Championship Banner Night and have say, Willie Fleming or the 85 Lions team there they would get a better crowd than hyping it as a "Let's End Poverty with Nickelback" or whatever charitible cause.

Good points appleby and I agree with many of the things you said. I disagree that you need to sell fans on Lions football - I think you need to entertain the fans for 3 hours with the focus on football but with other things to keep their attention as well. I guess I'm thinking of things from the point of view of the average Joe that rarely pays attention to Lions. For example, I routinely bring friends (who don't know much about football) to the games with me in an effort to try to stir their interest in the Lions and the CFL. The most common thing I hear from them that the game is slow and there is nothing else going on. My point in this post was that if you make the game more of an event, something more than just football, you have a better chance of entertaining those casual fans and having them come back again.

Sadly, I don't think a Willie Fleming night or an '85 Lions night would create any additional draw in this town. The people who care enough about those things will already be at the game. I think you would see a difference if Nickelback was doing the halftime show though.

In my opinion, the order of priority is: (a) get fans in the stands, (b) give them an entertaining 3-hours, (c) get them turned onto the Lions and the CFL. I'm convinced that if you do (a) and (b), (c) will follow naturally.