CFL Expansion to 10+ teams (within Canada)

i feel like all the CFL business plans can be summed up with this hotheaded untactful post



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Almost like the old Soviet Union and the five-year plans.


remember, this is a commissioner who said that their Genius Sports deal has “outperformed in every respect”, then a few paragraphs later, conceded that their agreement lacked in “setting up expectations”.


Shoot for the floor and you'll never miss. I actually like the commissioner more than many people on this board, but I don't really know if this Genius deal is much more than some hot air and PR mumbo jumbo


The latter was referring to the fact that the expectations weren't communicated in the original press release, which is fair comment. The announcement was most likely rubber stamped by Ambrosie but the original author was most likely an underling.

The main issue with Ambrosie is that he's a politician type and you can't really believe what he's saying at any moment.

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I don't have an issue with Randy, to me it is the "The devil you know vs the devil you don't know". Maybe there is someone better out there for the job but I can't imagine there are a ton of people lining up to take the job knowing that the CFL has a habit of firing Commissioners after three or 4 years.

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Truth-be-told, I think Ambrosie came into the job with good intentions, and the reality of the situation overtook him. The BOG/owners don't want a "strong commissioner", they want a puppet. Toeing the line and cashing paycheques is likely far more appealing than being ambitious and unemployed.


Totally agree, the owners are slowly killing the league through stagnation. They wont get truly serious until the next crisis and odds are the next true crisis will be the last. The league can only save itself from ruin so many times and the landscape is changing in the world too much and they seem determined to continue to act like it is 1960.

I still believe that either the USFL and or XFL will be successful this time, which i believe will cut off the CFL forever from tapping the US market if they don't get it in gear immediately. Followed by NFL expansion into Canada will trigger a crisis that the CFL will have no path to recover from.

The NFL has begun the path to 40 teams. They are going to baby step it but all the signs are there, expanding their season to 17 games is just a step to copying the CFL and getting to 18, and at 18 games 40 teams works well for scheduling. The NFL expressed interest in playing international games in Canada beyond Toronto.

Montreal is a top 20 media market, so is Vancouver and so is Alberta if you combine the Edmonton and Calgary markets. If the CFL hasn't resolved long standing issues and fixed its problems with its three largest markets and expansion south is cut off where else does it go?

A strong commissioner at that point will be the definition of futile. The issues the league has are essentially the same issues its had for over 40 years now. Nothing has been done to change anything which only ensures the future of the league is not likely rosey. I dont get why owners dont get that, the MLS is an excellent example of what the league could be.

20 years ago the MLS could barely get a franchise fee of the value of a single CFL team, now they likely can command a fee for a single franchise worth more than the entire league combined. Most of that growth happening just in the last decade, meanwhile we are still rehashing the same conversations about the same issues we were in the 1980s.

Why owners think this a recipe for success or even healthy let alone an actual future is just mind blowing. Clearly they dont care and sadly I believe obvious that most are just in it to milk what they can while they can then when things fall apart shut the doors and use their teams as a tax write offs.

The NFL gave us a gift horse of opening up not one but 3 markets at the same time, even better unlike Baltimore these three markets aren't likely to get another NFL team anytime soon and two likely not ever. We ignore perfectly viable makrets right here in Canada as well, or are the owners seriously going to keep trying to convince us Halifax is better than Quebec City or London/Kitchener?

The XFL talks revealed a lot, it should have been the wake call and motivation to get serious about expansion and getting this league to finally rise to what it could be. Yet same story, exactly how many years can we go without addressing our issues before the cause becomes lost?

It would be nice to have a commissioner that at least goes out fighting and calls out the owners and pushes them to at least try to get the league secure let alone basking in the glory we all know it could be. Hell I would argue expansion to Quebec City could help with Montreal creating a natural rival that could spark renewed interest, not to mention I believe we could beat the NFL to European expansion if we wanted.

But then again that's just my opinion and I could be wrong.


Totally disagree.

I agree with 99% of what you said, except for Europe. The NFL has already cornered that market. The CFL might have a fighting chance with Mexico though.

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You noticed that too, huh?

And it’s great to hear that they’ve met or exceeded expectations but we have no idea what those “expectations” were.

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I'm somewhere in the middle. I agree that the owners still operate like it's the past. I also think that the CFL needs to straighten out the game. You can't bring the game to a new market because they aren't in love with the game yet. They aren't going to put up with the stoppages in play that CFL fans put up with currently. The minute there's a flagfest, they won't go back to the stadium or they'll turn the channel.

As far as Europe goes, I have a hard time believing that Toronto will give up playing Hamilton 4 times a year to travel thousands of km's over the ocean. It's baby steps. Maybe get rid of the entry level deal so the CFL can compete with the spring leagues. If they stay around and dare to expand that'll make it all the more necessary.

I'm sure that Ambrosie was talking about CFL expectations. The CFL doesn't care about fan expectations.

Agreed but what were those expectations? Increased sponsorship, lucrative American TV deal? Staying in business? Returning phone calls? What?

Europe is just pipe dreams and the reality is cost the CFL and owners would notspend to send teams over seas at a hiigh cost on if's. It is bad enough the cost for BC to Play in Montreal or TO this truly is dumb. Agin have a cfl made team not belonging to any city at this time. Have them play in Stadiums with the team that has an game off week. So in otherwords establish the team and the interest to the point a city be it Quebec or St Johns etc wanting that entertainment dollar enough to set up a stadium and build on that stadium each year. Going to Europe makes me laugh.

I totally agree Mexico is currently our for the taking, or ours to lose for sure.

Europe would be a fight, but i believe one we could beat the NFL to but one that I think could support both of us.

The NFL needs an entire division there to make work, they are going to need a lot of time to make that work and get to that point. Time in which we could easily exploit.

The advantage of the CFL has is that it is smaller and flexible on who can own a team. We aren't a monolith and allow corporations to own a team whete the NFL doesn't and its size requires it to go at it at a snails pace.

Yes if it were head to head we'd lose no question, but if the CFL had a half dozen teams in the US, a TV deal worth triple it could easily afford to start hosting games in Europe well within the next decade.

The NFL probably closer to 15 to 20 years away from getting truly serious about putting actual franchises in Europe. Where us going from a 16 team league to 20 is far easier for us say than the NFL going from 36 to 40.

We actually can leach off their work and promotion while showing off a faster pace more fun version of gridiron. Also big difference in getting ownership interest when a CFL franchise is in low hundreds of millions where by that time an NFL franchise will be several billion.

The CFL would allow Red Bull to buy a franchise, the NFL would not. This means even if it takes us nearly the same time as the NFL to get ready for it we can do it faster. We could add 4 teams at once, not ideal but possible for us to do. The NFL would have serious issues more than one at a time with two at a time likely being as far as they could stretch it let alone a whole division all at once without doing something truly unprecedented for their league to make that work, we wont have that problem.

The NFL would not go beyond 4 teams and like those will be limited to UK and German markets, where we could offer more than 4 tapping into other interested markets that evolve interest. We play during the summer giving us all that time when soccer is out of season to be the only game in town.

So i do believe we could beat the NFL in putting a team there and that Europe could support both us being there, but yes for it to work we need to start thinking about it and get on it before the NFL truly gets ready to put a team there, otherwise yeah we are too late to the party.

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This is all based on the assumption that there is an appetite for CFL. I haven’t done any marketing on it , but I can almost guarantee that the would prefer the NFL. You have a hard enough time getting Canadians to go to CFL games never mind foreigners.Just because you and I love it , doesn’t mean others do. Unfortunately as long as the CFL is seen as minor league against the NFL, it’s a fight you don’t want.


It's a big city with a large populationl. Lots of different people with different tastes. You don't need them all to choose the CFL. But you need to treat the ones who do like football in general and Canadian football in particular like you care about their business.

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I think we were talking about Europe