Is the CFL blowing it by not playing at least one game on Canada Day. I know with it falling on a Wednesday this year it is a bit problematic scheduling wise, but it is just a shame IMO that from a sports perspective that the one team that seems to be building a successful relationship with Canada Day are the Blue Jays.
Blue Jays Canada Day games are fast becoming a tradition - at least here in Southern Ontario - with Rogers and the Jays successfully building that relationship. Their game this Canada Day has already been sold out for a couple of weeks now and hundreds of thousands of other sports fans across the country will be watching baseball on Canada Day.
I'm sure they will do their usual routine of having the team wear red Canada uniforms, the crowd will be decked out in red, they'll have members of the Canadian Military there rolling out the giant Canadian flag for the National Anthem.
Shouldn't the biggest all-Canadian league have some relationship with Canada Day?
I think it has more to do with the type of schedule for each sport, rather than targeting the holiday.
MLB plays almost every day during their season. I would guess that the Blue Jays request a home game on Canada Day and receive it because it is usually easy to accommodate.
The CFL clearly prefers to schedule games Thursday - Sunday (pre Labour Day) and Friday - Sunday (post Labour Day), likely due to the nature of the game - required rest and prep time.
Note that the NFL's Thursday night games are usually considered the poorest on the schedule due to lack of time for rest and prep.
Only the Argos scheduling restrictions have introduced Tuesday games, and those should disappear once they move to BMO Field next season.
Besides, the CFL has a grand tradition in the Labour Day Classics. Again, once the Argos move next year, this should return as the tradition it has always been.
More interesting in my mind is that none of the Canadian MLS clubs are playing on Canada Day. Since Wednesday games are common in MLS, I think that is poor planning.
I think the league is dropping the ball when it comes to Canada Day. What can be more Canadian than a game of Canadian football on a national holiday where people (families in particular) are just looking for a thing to do. Not to mention the tie-in/cross promotion opportunities for other Canada Day celebrations in certain markets makes it a seemingly no-brainer.
As mentioned the Blue Jays moved in this direction years ago and they have seen it grow into a major happening.
There is no reason the CFL couldn't do the exact same thing-only bigger
I don’t see why it would be impossible using the example I provided? BC has yet to play anyway and Ottawa would be six days removed from their last game. It’s not significantly different than what the RedBlacks are doing now, playing Saturday then a road game in Edmonton on Thursday. If anything it would improve the schedule for both teams, in this case.
Playing on Wednesday would have been perfect for the reasons CRF mentioned. The league had a Canada Day doubleheader in 2009, so they're not resistant to scheduling games on a holiday Wednesday. Attendance was great for those games too (although Calgary was coming off of a Grey Cup win in the same year they were hosting). And the Blue Jays play at 1PM EDT, so the CFL game could have been scheduled for anything after, say, 5PM EDT to get the maximum viewers. It's such a shame they missed it this year.
The league has been hosting and promoting Canada Day Kickoff to try to make the day an event. Perhaps this year scheduling was too much of a challenge with Canada Day being a Wednesday and the WWC, etc. I hope this is the case and we'll return to it next season when July 1 is a Friday.
They missed it last year too when Canada Day was a Tuesday and in 2013 when Canada Day was on a Monday!! so it doesn't seem to be a priority for teams. They must have done some research and decided that re-arranging the schedule for Canada Day when it falls on a Monday to Thursday is not worth it.
I agree to some extent but really. But after talking ot OSEG when we were reserving our Season's tickets, even they said that on Canada Day...there is way too much to do in Ottawa. That would dilute attendance and was the case in 2005 when we only had 18K announced vs Montreal. In reality, there looked like less than 15K in attendance.
There is a TON of stuff to do on Canada Day all over Southern Ontario and yet the Jays have managed to build their Canada Day Game into one of THE things to do on Canada Day as proven by the game selling out weeks in advance. They likely could have sold 60,000 - 70,000 tickets to the game tomorrow were that many available. Surely in some CFL city something similar could be done to build up a Canada Day game tradition.
I understand Ottawa with its huge Parliament Hill celebrations that might not be the city to try it in - but surely it could work in some CFL city.
The Jays though have something that no CFL team has. They are a Canadian-based team in an American league, which is something that Torontonians absolutely love. Torontonians, by and large, crave American attention but when others claim that they aren't Canadian enough, they can point to something like Canada Day and say, "Hey, we are still Canadian." It is the same with the "We the North" stuff that the Raptors do. The Canada Day game, for Jays' fans, is their way to express their "Canadianness" in an all-American league. If the Argos were allowed all these years to have a "Canada Day" tradition, I doubt that it would have caught on so well in Toronto.
In Ottawa, assuming all parties are willing to play along, I would do it early so that those who want to catch the fireworks or go to a specific party have plenty of time to do so.
Also, where OSEG has the advantage now is that when the game lets out, people are ALREADY in a hot spot. They leave the game and are immediately in an event area in Lansdowne Park. The Gliebergades didn't have that, and if they had, they'd have found a way to blow it anyway, no doubt. That the Gliebermans couldn't make it work doesn't really discourage me because those two couldn't make ice melt in July.
I lived in Ottawa for many years and, to be honest, Canada Day seemed to be a day more for the tourists or the drunken young people than for most residents. I understand Hunt's reluctance to host a game that day as I see his point about there being too much going on in the city. I think that many locals, including many football fans, would just as soon stay out of the centre of the city (and I consider Lansdowne to be in that area) on Canada Day and leave it to the tourists and young drunks.