All of this talk about expansion and stadiums ... Why not force the issue.
Why not set up a second tier CFL? The USL operates on a player budget of less then 200K per team, and they draw players from all over the world. The Whitecaps average under 5000 fans per game and still make money.. so why not take a shot.
Obviously you would match each team as a feeder team to a specific CFL team. BC/Victoria... Calgary? Red Deer or Lethbridge.... Edmonton/ Grande Praire.... Saskatchewan/Saskatoon... Winnipeg/ Monton or Halifax.... Toronto/London... Hamilton/ Windsor...Montreal/ Quebec.
These feeder teams would be great for showing talented Americans the ropes... Furthermore to develop Canadians at a much higher level then CIS.
The league could have a single owner so that teams like Halifax, Quebec, and London that would hopfully average beween 8-15K could subsidize small market teams like Grande Praire that would be lucky to draw 5K.
Of course the main goal would be to eventually graduate Quebec , Halifax and London to the big league once proper staduims are built. The site of 15000 people showing up at crap staduims could motivate politicians better.
Besides if the crap AFL2 can get players to play for 200 dollars a game and the USL can get guys from Europe to play for 20K per season... then Maybe we could get young guys to play for 10K per season with free rooming and lease car throwin in.
Don't forget the CFL salary cap will take a significant jump next season because of the extra TV money this year... Players could see CFL 2 as a shot at making over 10 times as much in the big league.
All of this talk about expansion and stadiums ... Why not force the issue.
Wow i've never once thought of that? I'm impressed....i wonder what the start up costs of such a league would be? and instead of starting a new league why not just convert over teams like the saskatoon hilltops or regina praire thunder (sorry can't remember the name of the league).
The costs would be less and all the admin would already be inplace
I'm sure these teams would draw more then a few hundred fans....and they're paying guys 1500/month with house/car.
Obviously travel expenses would be several times more.... but the ECHL has a team in Alaska and the USL has a team in Puerto Rico.....
I have to admit, I've been thinking the same thing lately. Although I would recommend it be done a little differently.
Teams should be put in divisional geographical clusters so that the travel costs would be less. I would also recommend less money and really focus on developing the Canadian talent with import rules and Canadian quarterbacks.
Also, I think the criteria would be to have 5,000 seat stadiums or close to and a decent university program and/or junior football market.
I would think 8 teams would do it, 4 in each division. Something like this...
4 from these cities
Saint John, NB
and 4 from these cities...
Something like that....I know it's pretty creepy that this is what I was thinking when the regular season is about to start. You see what happens when you guys dog us for making expansion threads....we start going crazy.
Overall your version is more well thought out than Blin's or Green2thebone's, but you leave out western Canada. And thank God! You are 100% right about the regions and how they are more friendly with the travel costs.
Heres an idea. Get Greyhound to kick in tons of dollars and make it a bus league(natural gas buses) until the playoffs where the western champs could meet the eastern champs in the first ever Greyhound Cup(like the Air Canada Cup piggybacking notoriety off of the more famous Canada Cup).
Also an idea is to make the new clubs affiliates for CFL clubs. Say the west looked like this:
Then each CFL club could have an affiliate from both western and eastern Canada and we could force the 2nd tear clubs to draft regionally as well. Hypothetically speaking, Winnipeg could have S'toon and Halifax. Or BC could have Kamloops and London???
There are some aspects of Canadian football that would make this league difficult. Soccer teams like the Whitecaps keep maybe 20 players on the roster. A full football team is over 40 players. That's a big stretch for a 200k budget.
I also question the kind of support this league would get. Sometimes it seems Canadians barely support the CFL, and in many parts of the country CIS teams are struggling with fan support. I doubt there's room for a second tier of professional football in Canada... it seems there's barely room for one.
Instead, I would like to see a greater effort made with the CJFL. Canadians don't seem to support AHL teams (some notable exceptions) but junior hockey is widely supported.
High school football in Canada is a joke. The damn teachers unions have ensured that only teachers get to coach the teams, teachers who have no idea how to coach positions like quarterback.
Set the age range between 16-22. That allows players from the mid-high school range to end of trade school. This age range should make for a good level of competition without drawing from the CIS talent pool. Better public support could lead to better coaching and more prepared players for NCAA and CIS. CIS still had the best infrastructure in place in Canada to train our players for the highest level. They just need players to be better prepared once they arrive.
As for CFL involvement, I'd like to take a page from soccer's book and set up a CFL Academy. Make Academy East and West teams that play in the CJFL. Have a residency system so the teams can make sure the players are attending and doing well at the highschool/trade school level. Outstanding coaching will lead to experienced Canadians at every position heading to CIS and NCAA.
CFL2 is a great concept, there are several, Citeis who arenot big enouph to support a cfl team but a second teir would fit well, AND there are lots of CIs talent to fill the rosters
You are wrong about teachers being the only coaches at the disposal of high school players. While it may be that way where you live, take back what you said about H.S. football being a joke. MY Canadian high school, in Regina, has produced around 15 CFL'ers give or take, some of them all stars. We had Riders and Rider coaches in attendance as guest coaches. When I went out to help last year they had 2 very notable names out.
You could be right, it might be specific to where i live. the Teachers Union in Ontario have the government by the balls, it wouldn't surprise me if it's an Ontario thing.
Regardless, kids in American high schools are getting much better prepared for college ball than our Canadian kids. Probably the big reason is that there's so much public interest that schools are motivated to provide good funding. No such motivation exists here in Toronto, that's for sure.
High school teams in Ontario seem to be poorly coached and underfunded. Better that these kids play on a CJFL team instead and get a better coach than Mr. Williams the chemistry teacher. CFL should invest in the CJFL.
Anybody like my academy idea?
I said before that they should raise the age of junior football and stick a few developement players on those teams. I know in Kelowna theyd get more people out.
Perhaps the CFL2 league would allow Canadian university qb's a chance to develop. Currently Marko Glavsic, the alltime leading passer of Lehigh U is toiling in Europe as a qb. CFL2 could keep players like him in Canada where we can follow their development.
re-gilthethrill "Perhaps the CFL2 league would allow Canadian university qb's a chance to develop. Currently Marko Glavsic, the alltime leading passer of Lehigh U is toiling in Europe as a qb. CFL2 could keep players like him in Canada where we can follow their development."------ Several recent CIS qb prospects have come and gone with no attention from the CFL, these Talented intelegennt qb,s could strengthen the CFL let a teir 2 cfl. but if thats the way into the CFL why NOT set it up, lots of 1oo_k Population)cities in canada
not only that but this would be a very good way to develop young Canadian coaches.
I just wonder where the money is going to come from to start up these teams. You would have to build stadiums, to which someone suggested a team in Moose Jaw. We are having enough problems building a new hockey rink for eff sakes!!! Just who is going to bankroll the franchises? Its not a bad idea, but its not practical- there is not enough people with the deep pockets to put regular CFL franchises in place, never mind a CFL minor league!
to be honest most cities probably already have a decent sized soccer stadium or stadium used by the local university within the range of a 5,000-15, 000 capacity. Maybe moosejaw doesn’t, but i know Kingston has Queens stadium, London has TD waterhouse, and i am sure there are many others in many other cities.
Sadly Sambo42 has some valid points...I also wonder when would the season take place? During CFL season it would be overshadowed..or during the CIS season, where it may be overshadowed yet again...football weather in Canada is only so long I am afraid.
junior hockey manages to co-exist with with the nhl during the season, the reason? the teams are in small towns where nhl teams are either to far or to expensive. why can't the same be done here? it's not like you need to build 25, 000 seat stadiums, you need 10, 000 seats tops, which alot of cities already have. What is there to do in Kingston during the summer? well Kingston (insert names) football would be something fun to do with the family on a friday night, with the blue jays and argos much to far away to see, families just have to walk down the street and see the Kingston (insert names)for a fun friday night. Heck maybe they could get the local television station to broadcast it like they do in junior hockey.
There are other problems as well, do the players play for half the salary they receive if they played in the CFL? How many QBs are going to play for less than 100 thousand? If a CFL team signs a player to play in this league, does it count against the SMS? Do all salaries count against the SMS? If its a CFL run-league, then all the cap amount would have to be raised to accomodate all those other players. Even if you get stadiums that hold 10 to 15 K, would it even be worth it to start with? You have to look at all the possibilites before you even start a league like CFL 2.
Just build on the CJFL. Infrastructure in place, and many teams coast to coast. Bring the Quebec League and the Maritime league into the fold and you'd have a huge league. keep them aged 16 - 22, improve the product, improve the coaching, start marketing.