CFL Attendance Reporting Procedures

Could the league not standardize it's attendance procedures?
How is it that in Toronto that yes they had a completely empty grandstand, yet had a packed lower bowl on the opposite side, and a packed endzone, is reported at 10000 fans, yet tbe day before Calgary had an announced attendance of 25k, and yet it was clear as day that only 1 in four seats had a fan in it.
I was at the game in Calgary with my friend, and we got free tickets givin to us by a nice little old lady, and were able to move to the opposite side of the sradium and sit in the 7th row on the 55 yardline, right behind the Bombers bench.
Just sheerly from TV pics, it looks like there are honestly just as many fans, if not more in Toronto, as there were in Calgary. How can Calgary bogusly claim to hace 250% more fans at their game than Toronto?

1 Like

I was at the Argos game, 10000 is a generous number


I'm not sure. Are they quoting 'PAID attendence' figures? Sometimes huge blocks of unsold tickets become promotional items given to people who may or may not have the inclination OR the resources to show up.

1 Like


1 Like

Unless those are the scanned ticket numbers, then I simply dont believe any of it.
A guy I talked to at tbe game, said there was only 2000 fans at the Elks game. He knew because he counted them.

1 Like

However they report them, it is fairly obvious from first hand Viewing that this league is in tough. Status Quo not going to cut it much longer IMO.

1 Like

Put it this way.. If the CFL had these attendance numbers back in 96, it would have died then.
The only thing that is keeping this league alive is that sports programing is more valuable now on TV because it is PVR proof.
A great example is how the USFL will most likely come back for a second season despite the fact that it's championship game only drew half as many viewers as the one and done XFL championship game in 2001.

1 Like

I’m a STH in Hamilton… in my section I’m seat 7 and 8… seats 1-6 never had anyone sit in them in a year and 1/3rd so far this year but when you go to ticket master to look at what seats are purchased I think in those games we have had since beginning of last season maybe 1 person has sat beside me in seat 6.. the rest of the time it’s been empty but yah ticket master says it’s sold

In some stadiums the empty seats don't mean a lot, they are likely bought but fans standing instead. In Ottawa, fans buy tickets and then they crowd along the deck between the upper and lower deck or stand around the round tables outside the concession and watch the game. Many stand behind the end zones.
In Hamilton the walkway beteween decks is on either side and lots of fans will stand there. You can buy the cheapest seats and then stand between decks on the 55 yard line.
At BMO there is no place to stand except behind the end zones and when you see all the empty seats, they are truly empty.

Winnipeg is another stadium where many watch from the walkway that rings the entire stadium. Crowds also gather at the Rum Hut.

1 Like

The strangest thing happened on July 9 in Vancouver. Lions hosted Bombers. I looked at the game recap the next day at saw attendance: 17,603. I thought there must be some kind of error. It looked and felt like 22K in BC Place. Other fans agreed (crowded concourse, long food lines). I've been to Lions games with 17K in the stadium and know that it looked nothing like that game.

One thing you will notice this season about Lions games. When the club decided to move its bench from the south stands to the north, many fans (including me) went with them. So the cameras (like BMO Field) face the less crowded grandstand.


Any reason why they changed sidelines? The half empty stands facing the tv doesn't look good.

1 Like

They are offering sideline seats from 20 to 20 yard lines for about $1800 per person.

Their fans don’t give a crap about their team

And where is coming from?

If the teams are privately owned...they can "buffalo" those attendance numbers

1 Like

Not entirely sure. I thought it had something to do with Covid at the time and not wanting the players to have to cross over from the locker rooms/tunnel area to the sidelines (this way they can go separately without co-mingling). Don't quote me on that but I believe that's what I heard.

There are several types of tickets which may or may not be counted in so-called "Attendance" figures:

  1. Season Ticket Holder (STH) - these tickets are usually paid in advance by life long fans or new enthusiasts. On expensive plans (cheap as borscht by NFL standards) there may be some season long financing.

  2. Pre-game walk-ups - tickets sold between the conclusion of the prior home game and the day prior to the current game

  3. Game-day walk ups - tickets sold only 8 hours to beginning of game (or prior to beginning of 2nd quarter).

  4. Promo tickets sold - these can usually be accounted in categories #2 or #3 but they are sold - usually at a moderate to substantial discount.

  5. Promotional ticket giveaways - can be given away any time prior to game-time. Usually distributed in small to large trunches to game sponsors, media & various team personnel & executives. This is the trickiest number because its also the number where most of the no-shows exist.

To be clear - no-shows can exist in any category of ticket, paid or un-paid.

But teams have all the information on these various categories. They could easily issue a game-day attendance comprised of:

  1. Actual people in stands
  2. Actual paid ticket purchases
  3. Tickets advanced FREE for promotional purposes.
  4. Percentage of FREE tickets that end up being used.
1 Like

This is 25k in Calgary apparently. I took the second pic with about 6 mins left on tbe clock before halftime, and the first with about the same amount of time left in tbe third quarter. For the first one I moved to the opposite side of the stadium and sat about six rows up from the Bombers bench.
Apparently 7 out of 10 seats has a patron in it

1 Like

But what happens when a game is sold out days or weeks in advance, like the Labour Day game in Hamilton plus they sell standing room only. They report 24k a sell out
But there are always people that can't show up and if the weather is bad people change their mind and watch on TV. They don't report how many actually showed up they report how many tickets were sold.