CFL's Potential Growth with Ideas

I have ideas on how we can improve and be able sustain the growth in the game, and make the league grow stronger. I asked myself a question: how can we grow this CFL to be able to grow in something bigger? Right scheduling format, right timing and right circumstances will help to foster the growth. With six keys points I will discuss on: expansion affecting league format, “Multi-Flex-Week? format for 9-teams league, Canada Day Kick-off idea, fixed schedule and Labour Day/Thanksgiving Weekend, and import rules. If you don't like one idea, and don't have time to digest these points, skip right to my next idea. There is a new playoff format that might catch your attention as a part of my idea to strengthen the league.

Since Friday Night Football is our signature night for the TV viewing but does it translate into the attendance with the full-house? I would love to see the stadium become a sold-out venture for the league. Of course, we can always expect some bad season that will not result in a sell-outs. What the NFL has worked so well over the years except for an odd Sunday where a certain teams don't sell out due to bad year where they have been knocked out of the playoffs by November. The point is:, we don't want to be a copycat to the NFL but sometimes its own tradition is better than the whole makeover changes. Sometimes we need an adjustments from year to year on what it works, what it doesn't work.

Expansion Team:
(10-team league)

Since the CFL has expansion team planned for Ottawa for 2014, that will create the 9-team league but if they could somehow find a way to expand to the Atlantic province region where it will go up to 10-team league with perfect scheduling scheme for the league. This will create a balanced schedule, and eliminate the division format. There is no need for a divisions set-up because they play against all teams twice a year, one home and one away during the regular season. Top 6 makes the playoffs with top 2 getting the first-round bye. This way you will get the variety of the CFL playoffs match-ups for years to come. For the semi-finals, the top team get to play against the lowest ranked team and second place team will get the next higher first round winner team.

(9-team league)

If we are having a 9-team league, it could create a problems with unbalance schedule and number of teams in a division. So what I am proposing, eliminate the divisions, play every team, twice a year, home and away. The extra two games should be based on rotation basis, one home and one away for next 8 years, at home once every 4 years. This will make for a 18-games regular season.

I would create a 4-year rotation groups so that every team will play the two extra games once every 4 years then reserve it for year 5 to year 8. This does not create the divisions or any sort of weird format. It is for extra games schedule purpose for each group. Keep in mind that the playoffs format is the league-wide. No more divisional playoffs or cross-over kind.

Two Extra Games Rotation (1 Home, 1 Away) (18-game Regular Season)
Year 1 and Year 5
Group A: BC, Edmonton, Calgary
Group B: Saskatchewan, Winnipeg, Hamilton
Group C: Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa

Year 2 and Year 6
Group A: BC, Saskatchewan, Toronto
Group B: Calgary, Winnipeg, Montreal
Group C: Edmonton, Hamilton, Ottawa

Year 3 and Year 7
Group A: BC, Winnipeg, Ottawa
Group B: Saskatchewan, Montreal, Edmonton
Group C: Toronto, Calgary, Hamilton

Year 4 and Year 8
Group A: BC, Montreal, Hamilton
Group B: Calgary, Saskatchewan, Ottawa
Group C: Edmonton, Toronto, Winnipeg

New to the idea: What I am also adding to this schedule is to create a multi-flex week games. The last place team for each group at the end of the Labor Day will get the bye week at the week 20 regardless of where they are in the standings. The week 1 to 17 will be based on the fixed one home and one away. On week 18-20, the rotation based scheduled games that I mentioned above, the two extra games will be held during that week with the last place team getting the bye on the week 20 after Labour Day. Here what it might look like: I will use the Year 1 groups to multi-flex the schedule after Labour Day. First place get week 18 bye, second place gets week 19 Bye and last place gets week 20 bye. Exception: a team gets week 17 bye will play week 18 and get week 19 off regardless. No team will get two weeks off in a row. Teams that comes off the bye will go on the road first for the first 4 years.

Group A, B, C- last placed team after Labor Day: Edmonton, Saskatchewan, Ottawa

Week 18:
Calgary at Edmonton
Winnipeg at Saskatchewan
Ottawa at Montreal

Bye: BC, Hamilton, Toronto

Week 19
BC at Calgary
Hamilton at Winnipeg
Toronto at Ottawa

Bye: Edmonton, Saskatchewan, Montreal

Week 20
Edmonton at BC
Saskatchewan at Hamilton
Montreal at Toronto

Bye: Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa

So for year 2, the week 18-20 will be different by the groups as I gave you an example above. It will not be the same schedule. When year 5 comes around, the home team will reserve as following: Edmonton at Calgary, Calgary at BC, and BC at Edmonton. You get the idea for rest of the schedule as reserved year 5 to 8.

You might ask me, why am I creating this “multi-flex week schedule?? The purpose is to prevent the first place team getting a first round bye in the playoffs if they are having a week 20 bye thus, creating two-week bye so this is to prevent this from happening. However, the standings can change quickly if the last place team leapfrogged the first place when they had a week 20 bye by that group. This might be very very rare for this to happen.

Canada Day Kickoff:

When 10 Teams league come to a reality, I would schedule the first game of the 10-team league by having all 10 teams playing on the Canada Day to start the season. The earliest they could do is in 2015 or so. On the July 1st, what a way to celebrate the Canada Day by having all teams playing on that day. This will create a quintuple-header day, perfect for TSN. I would schedule the games on that day starting at noon, eastern time. The games might look like this on the Canada Day:

Ottawa at Atlantic, noon Atlantic time, 11 am Eastern time
Toronto at Montreal, 2 pm Eastern time, 2pm Eastern time
Hamilton at Calgary, 2 pm Mountain time, 5pm Eastern time
Edmonton at Winnipeg, 7 pm Central time, 8pm Eastern time
Saskatchewan at BC, 8 pm Pacific time, 11pm Eastern time

With this Canada Day, what a way to kick off from the coast to coast and might get fans interested in the CFL on that day. The CFL needs to market this day properly and create a media hype to get fans riled up for that day. After the Canada Day, in 2015, teams will have 9-10 days off before the week 2 starts on a Friday night to Sunday.

Fixed Schedule:

The CFL needs to create a consistent schedule throughout the season. No more Thursday night or an odd Wednesday night games. From Week 2 to week 19, the CFL needs to be consistent with the schedule except for Labor Day and Thanksgiving Day.

Saturday should be the main day of the football, they can start their games at 1pm, 4pm and 8pm eastern time. Friday night game needs to start with the constant starting time at 8 pm except for Atlatnic hosting a home game on Friday starting at 8pm local and that leaves us with a Sunday night football starting at 7pm eastern time. I think that CFL needs to have a fixed schedule so the fans will know when the game will be on. The CFL could do one double-header on a Friday night when Atlantic team is hosting a home game, then a mountain time zone based team or BC Lions starting at 8pm MST/ 7pm PST. This should be a rare Friday Night double-header, we don't want to watered down the quality of the games on Friday night since it is the Game of the Week.

To recap: Friday night: 8:30pm Eastern game time start from games when a city is hosting from Alberta to Quebec.
Friday night Double-Header: game time start: 8pm Atlantic time in Atlantic / 7pm Pacific time in BC.
Saturday: 1pm, 4pm, and 8pm
Sunday: 6pm start (no Sunday night game if Friday night doubleheader is being on the same week

We can use the months of August with every teams getting a bye week. Two teams should get a bye per week for total of 5 weeks with no Sunday night games, just Friday night and Saturday.

Labur Day

If we are having the 10-team league, we need to stick with the schedule that has been tradition for all teams except a few minor changes: Ottawa and Montreal will have its own Friday night slot on that Labor Day weekend while no games is being played on a Saturday so on Sunday, Saskatchewan can play its usual time slot start. On Labor Day, Atlantic should face BC Lions every year on a Monday. They could alternate the years, BC hosts the odd years while Atlantic host the even years. The schedule could look like this:

Odd Years
Toronto at Hamilton: 1pm eastern
Atlantic at BC, 4pm eastern, 1pm pacific
Edmonton at Calgary 7pm eastern, 5pm mountain

Even Years:
BC at Atlantic: 1pm eastern, noon Atlantic
Edmonton at Calgary: 4pm eastern, 2pm mountain
Toronto at Hamilton: 7pm eastern

Thanksgiving Weekend

As for Thanksgiving Day, should we keep two games on the schedule or add third games if we have a 10-team league? Friday night game and Saturday night games, no afternoon games on Thanksgiving weekend if we schedule a third Monday game. If we keep two games on schedule then Saturday 4pm eastern and 8pm eastern start.

Import rules

With 10 teams league, we need to reduce import rules from 19 to 15 when two expansion teams so the quality of the game remain higher but more jobs to the Canadian football players. If we are expanding up to 9 teams, we need to reduce from 19 to 17 imports to keep the game quality high.

I believe with this key points, the fans will be more interested in the game with Canada Day Kickoff hoopla and more stability to the schedule knowing when the game is on rather than an educated guess on which day they play in and might as well recheck the schedule for the Multi-Flex Week format after Labour Day so they will know which day they will play. During the Multi-Flex Schedule, all teams must play on Saturday, rather than Friday night football. To conclude my points, I must expect some sort of disagreement on what format will work well for the league.

The CFL needs that 10th team. immediately after the 100th Grey Cup everyone involved with the CFL from the league office, to the CFLPA, to the owners should do what ever is needed to make sure that the league has 10 teams. If that means that each current team put up the money to get the team started and have the league appoint a front office to run the team until an owner is found to but the team then so be it. If and owner does buy the team he can pay back what each of the other franchises have put up to get the team started. As for the stadium in the proposed 10th city of Halifax they have already placed up a proposed 20 million to start. The CFL should get invoolved full force to find the money needed to complete the stadium. Scotia Bank is one of the leagues bigest sponsors and is based out of Nova Scotia lets put the rumors to resst and see if they are indeed going to help fund the stadium.

awesome ^^ so instead of just supporting toronto and hamilton the rest of the league can support another team. GREAT. thats spectacular, recipe for success for sure. CFL HAS NO POTENTIAL GROWTH because more and more people are realizing its very much a bush league.

East, West is a HUGE part of the CFL and it's tradition. That won't be changed if the CFL ever get to 10. There will be 2 divisions, makes for great marketing and it will be simple playoff format, top 3 in ea division and keep the crossover, if 4th has a better record than 3rd in other division, they get the spot. . ! I still consider Winnipeg a West div team. We are just filling a void due to the East losing teams. I think we need to worry about getting to 9 healthy franchises first and we had 9 for a long time in this league and it was fine, probably be a few scheduling quirks, but no biggie.

CFL HAS NO POTENTIAL GROWTH because more and more people are realizing its very much a bush league.
Yes, a 100 year-old bush league.

If you don't like the product, then watch something else.

Another Disgruntled blue bombers Fan !! :thdn:

If our team wasn't embarrassing enough , this moron is making things worse. Which I didn't think was possible this year. :wink:

Having too many games on special occasions such as Canada day or Labour day, I think is just too much work for the league and broadcasters all at once. Also it is alot of football overload for CFL diehards.

If a team runs into trouble i have no issues with the league taking control however i think its a bit risky if the league was to go all in by that i mean build a stadium your then locked in and hope you can find a owner within 5 years if not there may be a issue.

I don't know why he always needs to get nasty. His point has a lot of merit but he burries it in excrement... Strange dude.

I believe for the league to grow it does need 10 teams. For the league to take it to a new level of "major league status" it needs the best possible talent outside of the NFL. No matter if your Cdn,American, or if your from Russia. I don't think the best possible talent is being allowed to play because they are not born in Canada. I respect the league and I want to see this league grow to it's full potential. Some of the players that are on the field are a embarrassment to the league. That's why the league gets no respect from the media in this country.

I don't know where you live, but in Vancouver the Lions get a ton of press coverage, in newspapers and on the radio. They take it seriously too. If you eliminate the import ratio, then we really will become Minor League NFL. Canadians are an integral part of our game.

There were a lot of ideas presented there, so I'll try to make this concise.

As kasps said, the East-West format has been a big part of professional football in Canada for the last hundred years. The East division alone (formerly IRFU) has been in existence since 1907, so to abolish that would be ill-advised. Be it nine teams or ten, divisions work and they work well.

Nine Teams: Play two division teams three times, play everybody else twice. This has been done every year that there has been nine teams since 1988 and it is a proven formula that works. As for the week 20 bye team, just have the last place team from the previous year take the bye. They would be least likely to claim first (even though Winnipeg did it in 2011). Flex-scheduling in a nine-team league would be tricky.

Ten teams: To keep division rivalries intact, play division opponents three times (12 games), play one interdivision opponent twice, play the four other interdivision opponents once. Again, the division rivalries are important, so I think this is the way to go about it. It keeps divisions meaningful because with a home and home setup, they would be worthless. This one is my opinion, people are welcome to disagree with it.

Canada Day Kickoff: And I'm sorry, but the Canada Day quintuple-header seems horrible. When CBC used to do triple-headers, I didn't even like that. As other people mentioned, it would be a broadcasting nightmare and even I couldn't watch 15+ hours of football in one day. That, and July 1, 2015 is a Wednesday, so that doesn't make sense.

Fixed schedule: I agree that that the CFL needs to move toward a fixed schedule. The NFL is successful because you always know when games will be on. Unfortunately, because of stadium availability (Rogers Centre) and time zone issues, this may not be entirely feasible. I personally like the games to be stretched out over four days because it means more days with football, but I would imagine the CFL does studies on these.

Labour Day: With ten teams, this one is easy.

Friday: Montreal at Ottawa 7:30pm EDT (the host should be constant year-to-year, despite these teams historically alternating)
Saturday: BC vs Atlantic 1pm PDT/5pm ADT (BC Host) or 3pm ADT/11am PDT (Atlantic host)
Sunday: Winnipeg at Saskatchewan 4pm EDT/2pm CST
Monday: Toronto at Hamilton 1pm EDT, Edmonton at Calgary 2:30 MDT/4:30 EDT

Thanksgiving: two games on Monday.

Import rules: keep this the same.

When I presented that idea of the league running and owning the 10th team I realize tat would never happen I was just pointing out the Importance of gaining a 10th expansion team. Having a 10th team is that Bif to the CFL. It gives them double digigts in teams it evens out the divisions and the league.
I really dont think that this will ever happen but being involved in an aggresive searh for an ownership group is impoertan and it would benefit the entire CFL.
It would take away the idea, which is not true, that the CFL is bush league. 10 teams 2 5 team divisions will give the league more credibility to those envision the CFL as bush league.
I am sure the players in the league would not consider it a bush league. When JC SHerrit or Adam Bighill put a hit on you I do not think the players taking the Hits would consider it Bush league.
Chad Simpson and Korey sheets for example have had solid carers in the NFL before coming to the CFL I would ask them if the CFL was Bush league and I would think they would have to disagree.
The Atlantic Region has been the region that Commish Cohon has targeted as the 10th franchise. there have been 2 regular season games in Montcton and a pre season Game in Halifax.
There is a Stdium alreday built in Moncton. The seatng capacity would have to be adjusted. Halifx is the place where Cohon wants that team by having the games in Moncton it got people in Halifax to at least begin to get thing stirring for the building of a Stadium.
With everything else accomplished that Cohon has had on his check list. Stabilize financially, Inherited the TSN TV deal ut will be n a great position to improve that deal which has been fantastic for the CFL and TSN has given the CFL porfesional coverage of every game for the first time. Modern Stadiums are being built and current stadiums have been upgraded.
Ottawa is now coming back.
Cohon's statements were that there would be no work on epansion until after the 100th Grey Cup and until the Ottawa stadium issue has been resolved. both will be done soon. SO next on the Agenda is to the CFL to 10 teams. Cohon has also carved out part of his legacy and placing a 10th team n the CFL in Halifax would complete his legacyy as the greaes commisioner in the hisory of the CFL.
He has done everything right, has been patient and everything he does has a purpose and is in th best interst of the CFL

While I agree that it's important to keep divisions significant, a big complaint people have against the CFL is that we see the same teams play each other too often. Because of this, I don't really like the idea of playing the other four teams in your division three times each. However, I don't have a solution to this.

3 times is fine, 4 is too much . Every sport has teams playing more divisional games . Just the way it goes. The issue is , 9 teams is going to be the reality for a long time. Winnipeg back in the west , hopefully to stay for good.

I don't want too many games amongst the divisional oppponents If we have 9 teams in the CFL then it is better to scrap the division and have all teams play against each other twice for 16 games and have two extra games on its rotation basis, one home and one away to any team in the CFL as there will always have the 18 regular season games I stated in the op. The idea of rotation for two extra games for each team once every 4 years cycle unless there is 10th team expansion then reestablish the division format but the schedule format needs to be balanced, and it is a perfect format because if we play two games against every CFL teams (9 teams x 2 games each=18 regular season games)

The CFL needs to talk with the Roger Center about what they can do to make the schedule more constant with the fixed schedule and see if they can give the weekend dates in the throughout the year. If Toronto cannot do it then we can always use the fixed schedule with 7 other teams or 8 (Ottawa) on a certain fixed day (Saturday or Sunday).

I disagree with 3 or 4 divisional games if we have 10 teams because too many divisional games tend to get bored. If we use a division games twice a year then the divisional games become meaningful. I would scrap the divisional format for the post-season purpose. With 10 teams league, we can always play every team twice a year for 18 regular season (9 opponents x 2 games). If there is a divisional format, the regular season games against a divisional opponent can be meaningful with a loss can ruin their season or the home-field advantage in the playoffs. In the past, with 5 teams divisions, the CFL tend to use 4-team divisional playoff bracket on the road to the Grey Cup and I don't want to see that happen again. I would rather 3 teams in each division to make the playoffs or the 6 teams in the league make the playoffs with the league format.

As for your concern about Canada Day. If it is a serious concern with the quintuple-header games is a vaild one for broadcaster, either, have a second network to carry half of the the league games while the primary network carry their obligation to show other sports on July 1st or use a double-header on a June 30th and a triple-header on July 1. It should become a fixed date every year so the fans will celebrate Canada Day, even it is a Wednesday or a Weekend on a certain year.

While having 10 teams league, it is time for the CFL to start bidding wars for a second network to carry the game. I don't think TSN can carry all CFL games with 9 or 10 teams league.

If we have 9 teams in the CFL then it is better to [b]scrap the divisions [/b]and have all teams play against each other twice for 16 games and have two extra games on its rotation basis, one home and one away to any team in the CFL as there will always have the 18 regular season games
Absolutely, 100% the best option ... in a 9 team league, the East / West Divisions are entirely STUPID, and only detract from the overall reputation, and perception of the league ... With the advent of the 'cross-over' rule - the East /West division is merely window dressing, and a totally forced concept.

Only when there are 10 teams, and a TRUE ability to make East / West distinctions, and a balanced schedule - should the divisions return.

With regards to how to fill out the remaining 2 games, in a 9 team league, after all 9 play each other twice (16 games) ... schedule the remaining 2 games based on the previous year's standings ... Top 3 teams play each other ... 4th, 5th, 6th play each other ... 7th,8th,9th play each other ... and voila ! - a fairly balanced, if not totally rational schedule !

In the event the CFL ever does make it to 10 teams ... re-establish the East / West divisions ... each team plays the other teams in its' division 3 times (12 games) ... then they play the opposite Division's team 1 time each (5 games)(alternating home and away every other year) ... then have the Labour Day Classic games be the 18th match-up ... and voila another balanced, and rational schedule !

By playing the opposite division's team only once - it makes the Grey Cup that much more unique of a game ... knowing that the two teams will have only played each other 1 time during the regular season. Although - the one quirk would be the Lions versus the Atlantic team ... as they would also have played their Labour Day Classic against each other ( assuming Montreal always plays Ottawa ) - but heh, it's the CFL - there will be a quirk no matter what.


P.S If you really wanted to make things interesting ... make the Labour Day Classic a special part of the tie breaking system ... ie . in the event of a tie between teams - the winner of the Labour Day Classic games get an extra point !!

The East winner VS the West winner is a big part of the attraction of the CUP. They can still keep the divisions and still be able to play each team twice and only divisional rivals three times as before. 9 teams will however get the league out of playing the same team 4 times.