CFL 2016 final attendance - who's trending up/down for 2017?

Here is last year's gate by club with increases/decreases from the previous year.

* Riders will obviously be up huge this year.

* Argos can improve with a more favourable 2017 schedule. On field performance may take some time, but they'll eventually get there with Popp/Trestman and should see commensurate growth.

* Bombers' attendance should also improve as they have a more than capable quarterback in Nichols, a stable front office, and have really improved their Canadian talent.

* Lions have been trending down the last few years due to lower stadium capacity (lower bowl only) and decreased marketing efforts. However, if they continue to be an exciting team to watch, attendance should improve slightly. More Saturday games in 2017 should help.

* Eskimos? I wonder if they're trending down? Could season ticket renewals be decreasing? I thought that perhaps this was the impetus for letting go of Hervey, when Rhodes referenced having to "expose our product" and "access" or lack thereof, despite on-field success.

The three biggest cities with the lowest attendance, that has to be a concern.
BC had 12 wins yet their attendance dropped and you would think after a 12 win season that more than 20k would have shown up for a home playoff game.
I'ts always easy to blame the lack of marketing. The CFL and the new Argo owners marketed the team to death before last season. There was tons of news about the sale of the Argos, the exit from the Rogers Centre, the transformation of BMO stadium for CFL football, the tail gating, the pre-game concerts, the $4 beers, the ads on the TTC the TV etc .
If the Argos couldn't draw 17k last season in their inaugural, they won't draw 17k this year, especially with only one home game against the Ticats and only one game during the Ex. Last year two games against the Ticats which added at least 4,000 Ticat fans coming from Hamilton and two games during the Ex which included free entrance.

Saskatchewan - sellout all home games - 33,000+ so an increase
BC - will see a minor bump in attendance as I think the team will do very well this year - 22,000 per game so an increase
Calgary - will continue to see a decline in attendance as fans have become bored with winning and tired of the antiquated stadium - 26,500 per game so a decrease
Edmonton - will see a further decline in attendance as many fans will turn their backs on Rhodes and the organization with their handling of Hervey's departure. Team will only be .500 or so as Canadian content is average. Rhodes will be fired at the end of the season - 28,000 per game so a decrease
Winnipeg - will probably have a similar record to last year with a slight possibility for improvement. Back-to-back winning seasons would bring a small bump in attendance - 27,000 per game so an increase
Ottawa - sellout every game - 24,500+ per game plus extras sold when temp seats are in place for Grey Cup so an increase
Hamilton - I see an 8-10 or 7-11 season upcoming and the number of empty seats last season even though the games were "soldout" is the canary in the coal mine. 23,000 per game so a decrease
Toronto - despite all the momentum going into last season - new stadium, better schedule than 2015, tonnes of marketing - the team averaged only 17,000 per game. The resignation of Milanovich and the delayed firing of Barker, along with the poorly executed search for replacements by Copeland have led to a reinforced view among the public that the Argos are an amateur organization. There is no positive momentum to speak of this year and the team will have a losing record - 14,000 per game so a decrease
Montreal - With a quality QB at the helm, and less turmoil in the clubhouse, this team should see significant improvement. Over .500 for the season and a good shot a first place. I see a small bump in attendance. 21,500 per game so an increase

I agree except for Hamilton and Toronto. Toronto this year has given 4 free flex tickets for every season seat plus the schedule is quite good, lots of Sat games, no running across the race track to get to the stadium this year and was told that the ST are on track with last year. If true I will say that it increases. I am going from 5 flex packs last year to 3 ST with the 12 free flex tickets.

Ticats fans most likely will fill the stadium. I think they have improved in some areas so I will say up.
I will also be at some of there games

I'd like to see teams show both paid attendance and actual attendance.

For example in Calgary there is NO WAY they average that many ppull at the games. I've had CFL season tickets in Calgary since I moved here 20 years ago and for the past few seasons they barely get 20,000 in actual attendance unless the Roughriders are the "visiting" team.

They really really need to better address their declining attendance.

I get that they are at least selling the tickets but the way it's going now is not viable longer term.

I say this out of concern for the league, not as a slam on them.

I dunno. I go to 4 - 5 Stamp games a year just because I'm there also. To say there is only 22 - 23 thousand there
seems a little far fetched to me. The place always seems as full as announced to me. Remember 28,000 still leaves 8,000 empty so it my seem a little emptier than actual.

Running across the track? why? I was at the game and it was a weekday game and they were setting up for the race track, it had zero affect on the game. Big deal they had to change the location of the Shipyard.

4 Flex tickets for every season ticket holder? will that make a difference? "ST on track with last year" remember last year at this time we heard about 15k sold but there were 7k and that included the flex packs.
Ticat fans fill the stadium? the Argo played the Ticats twice last season but only once this year.
Yes, the schedule is good, but it was good last year too with the two games during the Ex and the two games against the Ticats.
Attendance will be down in Toronto.

Il y a certainement une erreur dans le tableau. Si on additionne l'assistance moyenne à Montréal avec la baisse moyenne de l'année, on arrive à un total qui excède la capacité du stade Percival-Molson. Il y a eu une baisse, mais elle ne peut pas être de cette amplitude. Aucune partie n'a été jouée à pleine capacité en 2015.

You are correct, the table that he quoted can't be right.
I'm glad someone challenges figures on these boards that don't have a link. !!
The Als attendance was 20k down by 4300 the previous year? The Als never had a 24,300 the year before.
It also shows the Riders at 31k up 6k? I don't think the Riders had 25k average in the last few years.
Same with the Esks, the table shows 31k up by 6k from the previous year which would make their attendance 25k in 2015. They averaged well over 30k in 2015.

I think the big problem is that in the 3 biggest cities, there are too many other options to spend your entertainment dollar on... not necessarily sports either... Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg have the NHL... during winter months, and the Riders almost have a monopoly on pro sports in Sask... we have the NLL's Rush, in Saskatoon, but their season is almost finished, + playoffs... the CFL needs to become relevant again in Vancouver, Toronto & Montreal... no easy task for the new commish and the league as whole.

I actually think the Ti-Cats attendance will decrease this year. Last year, everyone got put onto the new stadium pricing, and I think anyone who felt the pinch last year, might not be as inclined towards renewal. Then add the the fact that the Argos are offering fire sale prices, it may not sit as well with the season ticket holder base, although that's probably not a major factor, as having a profitable CFL team while Toronto flounders is a point of pride with many Hamiltonians. That and the last few years have been injury plagued seasons marked by several cases of officials screwing Hamilton on multiple, crucial calls (although screwing though failure, not maliciousness). Also, unless Austin manages to bring in some hot young talent, I have doubts of us producing a dominant season. I get the feeling another close but no cigar season is coming down the pipe.

My prediction is the Riders, Argos, Bombers, & Alouettes attendance will increase, Riders are looking at a possible soldout season given that they've dipped into the season ticket waitlist.

I see Calgary, Hamilton, Ottawa, & BC attendance staying the same.

Eskimos attendance will nosedive, that franchise is a dumpster fire right now.

No problem, we'll just have to disagree......I've been going to CFL games for close to 50 years so I feel I have a good guage on it but as much as I don't think so maybe I'm wrong.

I've also had a Stump fan who is 'supposedly' "in the know" who has admitted to me that I'm right. :rockin:

Je m'excuse LeStaf, mais j'ai oublié to provide the link to my data source. It's from the league's own database, CFLdb LINK HERE, so I can't speak to the reasons for the variance or its accuracy, other than to say the source itself is credible.

I took the numbers directly from column B (2016 attendance) and column D (home variance - which I assumed meant net increases/decreases from the previous (2015) year) for my table.

  • if you scroll to the bottom of any page of the CFLdb site you will find this disclaimer
CFLdb is not affiliated with the CFL, CFLPA, any other Canadian Football organization or really anybody at all.
- as for the variance, it appears to be how much the attendance varies from the league average. It is not an indication of change in attendance from one season to the next.

Yes, now that would make sense, the variance in the table would be the difference between the individual teams attendance and the average league attendance. The Als would be 4,300 below the average CFL attendance, the Argos 8,300 below, Ottawa at the average and teams like the Esks and Riders 4k above the league average.

Okay, thanks for pointing this out. :thup:

I had assumed (with only a cursory review) that "home variance" meant the YOY difference for each team, not the change from the league average (which now makes sense). Regardless, the main idea here was to report 2016 attendance numbers and, while not coming from a direct league source, I have found CFLdb data to be accurate in the past for other projects that I have used it for.

RedBlacks sold out every game and the Sens are 2000 short in the 2nd round of the playoffs, go figure. :o

Chris Johnston?Verified account
Announced attendance was 16,744 in Ottawa tonight – almost 2,000 below capacity.

Yep - Spend $96 for a 300-level seat plus $20-$30 for parking (a fan sore point) and $10 for a beer? Or catch the game for free on Elgin Street or the ByWard Market and enjoy a $7 domestic pint in 24C weather?

With the Sens making $50 Million from the TSN and Rogers TV deals, I don’t think they are too worried about 2k empty seats.

Wow! 2000 unsold seats. I only saw the highlights and when they panned the crowd after one Ottawa goal I noted a few of the private boxes looked at least half empty too - and that surprised me. I didn't realize there were so many unsold seats too. Shocking really for a Canadian NHL team - especially one with a bunch of really great Masterton Award - type stories surrounding the team's roster too. Having just beat Boston in an exciting first round series - to have 2,000 empty seats for a second round playoff game...... That is shocking. Most other Canadian arenas (heck - most NHL arenas - period) the tickets would sell out in minutes from the time they went on sale.

This would sort of be like the Riders having thousands of unsold seats for a Western final game.

Add to that the embarrassing scene of apparently having arena staff sent around to recover rally towels that were left on unsold seats part way through the first period. I can just see it - staff walking up the aisles 'Excuse me folks - could you please pass me those towels that are on seats 8 and 9 over there'.

The local Ottawa media's take. - ... st-rangers

Hundreds of empty seats stood out like very sore thumbs at the top of the upper bowls at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday night, a fact that is sad, disgraceful and embarrassing for both Ottawa and the Senators organization.

It also likely led to very sore thumbs for arena employees who, eight minutes after the opening face-off, were ordered to walk around picking up all the extra souvenir wave towels. Make sure nobody gets two, right? Save them for Saturday.

Seriously, what’s going on here people? How is it possible that the first game of Round 2 was not sold out? Did we forget to mention only eight teams remain in the hunt for the coveted Stanley Cup?

The Redblacks should take note and not take sellouts for granted. Apparently Ottawa sports fans are rather ....... I can't think of the best word. Fickle doesn't really cover it.