Article- CFL in Saskatoon: Possibility or Pipe Dream?

Here is a link to an article in today's Saskatoon Star-Phoenix newspaper in which Calgary billionaire Brett Wilson, a native of Saskatoon, talks about his possible interest if the right business partnership came along to pursue a CFL franchise for Saskatoon.

[url=] ... story.html[/url]

It is more pipe dream than possibility at this stage but it will be interesting to see whether the concept gathers any steam over the next few years.

That could only be bad for Riderville. It would split many loyal fans and I doubt the Saskatoon team would succeed.

The Saskatoon team would have more money at it's disposal than the Riders, shiny new stadium and all the workings to turn Saskatchewan into a north vs south civil war twice a year in football. Would be fun to watch for sure!

Huskies vs. Rams games are always interesting and I think if this ever gets off the ground that it would build on that at the pro level.

My point is that any football fan in Saskatoon would be a Rider fan. Can people just dump the team they already love?

I am from Ontario originally but moved to BC in 2003. I am still 100% a Ti-Cat fan because I could never just stop cheering on the team I have been since I was about 7. The Lions are my 2nd team but they will NEVER replace the spot in my heart the Cats hold. Sadly I only get to see my Cats live once a year when they play in BC. :frowning:

Population wouldn't support to teams. Saskatoon wont happen for a few decades.

Nothing like a good inter-provincial rivalry to heat things up. Go Eskies! Calgary sucks! Out East there used to be a rivalry down the QEW. Back in the day when they had teams that is. Could be better this year I suppose. :cowboy:

So I guess you think the Eskies 5-13 record in 07 makes them a good team? Did Edmonton not have a team that year?? :wink:

Agreed. It’s easy for people to throw around ideas like this when times are good (in terms of level of support the Riders are enjoying), but it feels like it wasn’t too long ago the Riders were staging telethons to save the team.

If Saskatoon and Regina each were to grow in a sustainable manner to roughly triple their current populations, something like this might become viable.

Here’s an interesting read on the relative strength of Saskatchewan’s economy right now:

[url=] ... index.html[/url]

Pipe dream

There are around 300 000 people within an hour's drive of Saskatoon. With how football mad that province is, you'd have to think it would do just as well as the Riders. Plus, adding the element of an obvious rivalry makes it a bit more viable.

I also have a feeling that a lot of people cheer for the Riders because they're the only gig in town. From what I understand, people from outside Regina view Regina the way we view Toronto. Many would jump at the chance to cheer against the capitol.

They also wouldn't have to compete with as many other entertainment options as there are here.

I still say pipe dream. You're looking at getting at least 10% of the population within an hour...yep, an hour, drive into the stadium every game.

That'd be like drawing about 500,000 for 10 nights of the year for something around here. Sure, apples to oranges, but still seems like it'd be difficult.
Would there be the corporate support to handle it? Would the CFL really benefit by having a team in Saskatoon?

Perhaps after an Ottawa and a Halifax join in the east it could make sense. Still don't think there's a viable business case there.

Cohon should try to get this billionaire to build the stadium out East in Moncton or Halifax (where the next CFL team HAS to go to make it a truly coast-to-coast league). No one out there is stepping up to do it.

Why should he be directed to put a team out there? This guy is a businessman and my guess is, he's done his homework and the fact that no local East Coast billionaires have stepped forward may have something to do with the fact that none of them figure they can make a go of it. If the McCains and Irvings are not interested then maybe there's a reason.

That being said, Saskatoon is a vibrant and growing city. There are many who feel it surpasses Regina in some respects. It often hosts events that Regina doesn't or events that Regina can't attract. Given how crazed Saskatcewan fans can be, and how far a large majority of them are willing to travel to see a game, I'd be willing to bet that Saskatoon could make a go of it.

Anyone remember someone named Hunter who for years was trying to get an NHL team into Saskatoon (and not Regina). Maybe he knew something way back then too.

Heh. I was in school in Saskatoon when Bill Hunter's "Saskatoon's got the Blues" campaign was going on. Can't remember if that was going on before the modern arena got built, or if the hope of getting the Blues was part of the motivation for building one.

Part of the problem is that a big part of the Riders' current fanbase is from outside Regina already, so any support a Saskatoon team got might be subtracted from the Riders. Of course there are probably some folks who would get season tickets for both teams, but I couldn't see that being the norm.

The Riders are called the Saskatchewan Roughriders for a reason. They attract fans from all over the province to their games. Lots come in from Saskatoon for every game. Neither Saskatoon nor Regina is big enough to support a team on its own (roughly a quarter million population each). The population and fan base in the province isn't big enough to support two teams.

The Riders are publicly owned. If I were the government there, I sure would not provide any public funding for another team that competes with one that the public already owns.

It's a neat idea, and fun to contemplate, along with putting teams in any or all of Halifax, Moncton, Quebec, London, Windsor, or Victoria. I've even seen people here talk about teams in Sudbury and Thunder Bay. I'm surprised Peterborough and Sault Ste. Marie haven't come up yet.

I'd be very happy if we can get Ottawa back, which has a population equal to the province of Saskatchewan and an existing stadium in not much worse shape than IWS. If we can ever get to ten CFL teams in my lifetime (which has a few decades to run yet I hope), that would be terrific. Saskatoon is highly unlikely to be among them.