CFL Needs more teams?

The Canadian Football League needs more teams added to the current eight, I know Ottawa is a given and will return in 2014 and great to see and welcome back Ottawa but how about a few more and make expansion in Canada the goal of the CFL now that we have celebrated the 100th Grey Cup. I know this discussion has gone on a long time about other markets but I think the fans in the CFL and Canada are hungry for it. I would much rather see expansion here than that effort by Larry Smith as Comminsh to expand to the States in the mid-nineties.

How about Quebec City, Moncton or Halifax instead of having nine teams with Ottawa in 2014 how about having 12 teams by 2015 or 2016 and maybe a three division league instead of the two East/West? I'm sure there are other Western Cities in Canada that have the potential for a team and other markets in Ontario?

The most teams the CFL will ever have are 10 and quite OK with me. To compare with Canada, the US would need roughly 72 teams; they have 32. Unless the population of Canada was to grow by another 10 or so millions,in the next 10 years, there will never be more than 10 CFL teams.


What's important because CFL teams are SMB is that they all turn a profit yearly.

With stadium talks going on in Halifax. Maybe, just maybe the Atlantic Schooners will finally become a reality in a few years.

Until there is a place for these teams to play in these new citys, why even discuss it. Lets move on to more pressing issues

You nailed it HfxTC. Now with 6 out of 8 teams making money, soon to be 7 out 8 when Hamilton gets in their new digs,that is the priority. Show that the CFL as a business model works, and it does. Leagues like the NHL would love to have the same % of teams as the CFL turn a profit, but the NHL only has 8 teams make money

Population wise the NFL would have 72 teams be equal to the CFL having 10 teams. That would be if the CFL rosters were made up of all canadian players but 50% plus of each roster are made up of imports from the US. So that would mean that 10 teams in the CFL would mean the NFL would have 36 teams which is close to where they are with 32 teams. but You cant compare apples and oranges.
The fact is there are two places that could support a CFL team the 600K population of QC and the 1.5million in the Atlantic region.
The CFL and everyone involved wants that 10th team more than ever now that the CFL has finally grown into the TV ERA of sports to give them that 5th game each week and a schedule that could eliminate the 3 games a year between teams. A nice neat home and home with every team. The 9 team league will rid the CFL of the one 4 game series for each team

In the past 6 years alone, the population of Canada has increased nearly 2 million during this period.
while in the past 60 years, Canada has basically tripled it’s population base.

and Statistics Canada projects the population to be as high as 47.7 million by 2036 and 63.8 million by 2061, thus not unfathomable for the CFL to attain a 10-12 team league in a few short decades.

Many of the new Canadians though are immigrants where soccer is the game so I don't think it necessarily translates that an increased population of Canada means more gridiron fans necessarily, Canadian or American versions.

What this argument fails to consider is that there are many large NCAA football (and basketball) programs that operate with pro-sized budgets. I do agree that the CFL will probably never expand beyond 10 or 12 teams.

People don't realize how big Canada is. Its easy to say there is a couple million people in Atlantic Canada but the distances are huge People look at the map and think its tiny but it isn't. Do people drive from Thunder bay or Timmins to an Argos game ???

That is exactly what has happend over the past 5 or 6 years is that the Canadian Gridiron fans has grown massively as seen by the TV ratings for games on TSN/RDS. before TSN the average TV numbers were below 300K now they are up to well over 700K and even hit a peak of 800K average in 2010 before leveling off a an awesome 700K plus. The playoff ratings were up as well as the 100th Grey cup. Ottawa's return will bring more fans to the TV ratings but hitting an untapped market in Halifax is what will take the CFL to the next level where we may be looking to push the 1 million mark in avg TV ratings. !0 teams also means 5 games a week instead of 4

This country was built on soccer-cultivated immigrants Earl, many of which became gridiron fans and helped propagate the CFL game to what it is today.

My father was one of them.

Great, but does the CFL have any strategy for reaching out to the multitudes of newcomers to interest them in the game? Or will soccer fandom reach critical mass and shift the whole sports market?

I think that's already started. Quebec has tons of "New Canadians" playing the game. From my friends who arrive to Canada many feel that kids need to focus on school. Many don't understand this organized sports culture that we have. Soccer is not a treat IMO. The minute a boy joins a football team he will pick football over soccer 9 times out of 10. In Quebec Football is stealing most of their kids from hockey !

well, the CFL needs to capitalize on the momentum built over the past few years otherwise it could be 1995 all over again.
This is a golden opportunity for the League to encapsulate public consciousness to another level, increase partnerships, raise media awareness and possibly add the ever eluded 10th team.

A great number of immigrants during the 50's/60's eagerly embraced the CFL, and with some due diligence, may once again.

The problem is that CFL and CFL teams don't generally form a main part of the culture in their markets. An exception being Saskatchewan (maybe Winnipeg to a degree too?) where it is. I see many new immigrants to Saskatchewan sporting Rider hats or shirts, asking questions, going to games, etc. If it becomes part of fitting in and "joining society" it isn't as hard to attract new-comers to the league.

Well way back when the first immigrants started coming over to populate this country, there were no pro leagues around in soccer like the MLS. Soccer is more organized now as a spectator sport in NA.

I agree Hf where you say more kids eventually will turn onto football rather than soccer as football just seems more interesting combined with pure contact. A good case in point is I think generally speaking, football is an easier game to learn off the bat than soccer. Meaning I never played organized football until I got to grade 9 but made the starting lineup for the junior football team. I was a good runner in track and played hockey and baseball a lot, football sort of came naturally. but no way in heck could I have made a soccer team in grade 9 as the skill set I think is more intricate with the feet and that and everyone is in cardio shape for that sport. In football, if you can run a bit, not afraid of contact and like it actually, you're almost good to go, which is one of the good things about the sport, as well you can be overweight and play on the line, at least at the beginning stages it doesn't take a bunch of skill.

I just don't know though how the CFL can get in the consiousness of say a city like London, Ont. I go there for Christmas, a couple of my family bet on the NFL sort of thing and talk about even though they are hockey first fans. But the CFL? They didn't even know who Jon Cornish was because a city like London with no team and close to the US doesn't watch or follow the CFL much from what I can see. My cousin admitted the betting has helped him follow the NFL and he wasn't a big football fan before but without really being a true gridiron fan, the follows baseball and the Jays in the summer. One reason as much as I don't really or haven't liked Rogers Comm much for obvious reasons as a big CFL fan, I'd like them to own the Argos and Jays and co-promote, it would help here in s. Ont.

Ottawa Rivermen - 2014
Quebec Gris et Noir - Needs new stadium
Halifax/Moncton Loyalists - Needs new stadium in Halifax, expand Moncton (5 games each)
London/Kitchener/Guelph/Waterloo Rebels - Expand University stadums in London & Guelph (5 games each)

New stadiums are possible in Quebec and Halifax with infrastructure, regional development and heritage funding. The existing stadiums in Moncton, London and Guelph could be expanded to 20,000 seats through grants, sponsorships and seat licensing.

When the Ottawa Renegades franchise was suspended and offered for sale, there were over 20 credible bids submitted, including the French lady who wanted to move the team to Quebec City. If the bidding process was opened up for the new franchises, there would likely be dozens of bidders.

Another idea is community ownership which has worked so well in Edm, Sask & Wpg, which are the most financially stable franchises in the league. Also being community owned might make it easier to justify government funding.

We should remember Canadian football dates back to the 1870's in both Quebec and in London and Guelph which had franchises in the first proto-league in the 1880's playing against the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tigers. London had a popular senior football team until the 1960's, the London Lords. Here is a video clip of the team: :)

The status quo is no longer acceptable.
A minimum of 12 teams is needed, and if we have to go the US route to achieve then so be it.