Commissioner is failing

To the commissioner …
Why are you failing at fixing the following:
1- Ownership for the Montreal Alouettes ( it’s a joke )
2- Ownership for the Lions ( Are you going down the same path as the Al’s)
3- Atlantic Schooners (need you help with stadium issues though it’s been approved)
4- Attendance (you are not attracting younger fans )

Why are you insisting on Global initiative ?
The bigger league has a footprint in all the countries you’e approached plus a clear method to attract those players.
If you don’t pay more attention to Canadian USport players & build our CANADIAN product this league will not last…

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To be fair, he can’t do much about #4, and nothing in regards to #2.

What is your issue with Montreal ownership? montreal ownership is not a joke. Ambrosie is puting together a powerful ownership group in place. This takes time. You think a new ownership group that has informed the CFL they will build a brand new stadium downtown Montreal with team offices and practice field right downtown makes them a joke?
Montreal started the season rough but they compared to other teams are actually better off than others. They have a great staff, roster is in place, fans are back, the enthusiasm for the team all year after week 3-4 was outstanding. The buzz is almost all the way back.

I’m no sure what magic wand the OP expects the commissioner to use. He’s not a dictator.

USport is on board with the global initiative. The benefits for USport programs is to attract more talent ($$$) from overseas and to provide more employment opportunities for graduates. I’m not sure we’ve had a commisioner who’s worked as closely with USport and CJFL officials to create a united national vision for the sport.

The couple of years have seen the league implement programs like Try Football and CFL Futures to increase participation in football, something that the league has ignored to its detriment for many years.

Will have to see what a MLSE charge will bring to the CFL’s future next year .

They have so much clout and influence .

So far they have not done anything of any success in the CFL . They have been a good manager of a philanthropic styled franchise .

Customer service game day and ticket wise I have been impressed with MLSE .They are great at that .

BUT It exists on goodwill alone . No way that franchise comes anywhere close to break even .

As far as Ambrosie he is an ambassador first and foremost whether talking to fans or talking to foreign interests .

My belief is he does not have that much power but can influence the small things at a lower level and try to influence the market with the future belief that

(A) TSN wants the same thing that the CFL wants and is in the CFL’s best interest

(B) That the governors have no idea about growth and need to be hand fed ideas whether they work or not and some are frighteningly indifferent to their own finances it seems .

I’d love to be a fly on the wall in MLSE meetings about the Argos.

I also can’t see the Argos coming close to breaking even based on their football operations, unless they’re getting some crazy sponsorship dollars.

I’ve always suspected that Bell purchased the team to protect their revenues from broadcasting Argos games specifically and league games in general (under the theory that losing the Argos would also harm the advertising rates they could get for other teams’ games in an Argo-less league).

But when Rogers came on board in ownership, what do they get out of it? They can’t be seeing any profits from football operations and they don’t reap the broadcasting benefits like Bell does. In fact, for Rogers, the stronger the Argos and CFL are, the weaker their own properties like the Jays and NHL are (at least to some degree).

The fear of Braley going into BMO when they knew (a) they had to let him in (b) the NFL dream died with Pegula out bidding them are stories completely ignored by media for LT and Rogers .

Then shortly after Bells exclusive rights deal on the NFL to cut off Rogers interest in the NFL was epic maneuvering .

Yes sir the Rogers deal isextremelyodd .

What’s in it for them .

I never understand CDN sports journalists or just CDN journalists in general not questioning that move or digging up some answers to Area 51 of the CFL .

Lawson and Tim Leiweke more so missed the communications class where they don’t speak in specifics and interests .

They both leaked some closed door thoughts .

I don’t think you can fault Ambrosie for a lot of the problems the league has been facing predate him. That said he hasn’t been the solution.

I would give him the benefit of the doubt with his global initiative if he just got rid of video review and coaches challenges. With MLB umps agreeing to work with that league to develop an computerized strike zone, how I think I would feel about that and what it brings to my mind regarding video review in football I really believe we have to keep the human element in our game.

It all goes back to the Olympics and the human competitive spirit.

It’s what drives us, gets us interested and keep us engaged. Having video review in football cuts into that cycle. It becomes a sport of video review instead of a sport of football as now all we have to complain about is whether the video review got it right, which is really pathetic when you think about it. It should be fans getting riled up at the refs for missing a call, a blown game costing the home team the game. Not debating inconsistencies in protocol or what’s or what’s not reviewable.

The league committed a real cardinal sin by not having the most up-to-date technology. You certainly can’t have it where you cannot even sneeze on a player without getting a penalty flag, yet that’s where the league’s at.

People will complain; that’s human nature. The league has to learn to turn a bit of a blind eye towards this kind of stuff as that’s what builds up the action, creates a little controversy. Now there’s no controversy. Everything fits or is supposed to fit in a tight, little box. And our new enemy sits unseen in another box. Our enemy, or at least our true enemy, is not the refs anymore, which leads me to ask, Are the refs even necessary anymore or should we go all in with the robots like MLB? Maybe we’ll keep the guy who flips the coin, you know, for tradition’s sake and all.

In the meantime we have a man who’s too overly jolly when it comes to the sport of football, despite undeniable truths of declining viewership and attendance issues confronting him. Our commissioner might as well be an ostrich with its head in the sand. He’s either apathetic (Halifax) or pathetic (Calgary) on the stadium front–beggars can’t be choosers, but still he opens his mouth. You can’t blame him for Braley; not unless there’s some way to force him out. He’ll have to wait for the man to die to get him out. And any smart man willing to buy the Alouettes will see there’s a good chance he’ll end up having to pay for the Lions down the road if like the Alouettes they can’t find an competent, locally sourced owner willing to take them off the league’s hands when they inevitably have to assume ownership. Never mind you don’t want to get into a league with 3/9ths of its teams having attendance problems!

RE: Ambrosie’s global initiative… if global players can’t contribute in year 2 we can fix that easy. It’s simple. We’ll keep the “underground railroad” as that’s all and good, but they’ll have to beat out Canadians and we’ll probably have to lower the ratio as well due to low football participation in Canada. We can fix that too, but it’ll probably take twenty years to see if current efforts best the latest trends on concussion numbers before those in football are willing to make the necessary change. At the very least a sports innovator should be on the hiring docket, if not yesterday, as research is important. But I don’t think numbers will so Try Football might as well be Give Yourself a Concussion. Not that it will matter, really. Perception trumps reality, and parents will believe playing football is hazardous for brain health as long as players wear armor and use such armor as weapons.

Sports goers want to see the best available players, anyway, which is another fault for Ambrosie. He’s doing this global initiative for all the wrong reasons. I don’t think he cares if global players affect the quality of the league (is this the first pro, semi-pro league???). He’s sold the BOG on the prospect of rich foreign television deals, but I don’t think they’ll get them. He says he wants to make this league global, but I don’t think you can without international competitions. Going back to the sport’s rugby roots would help this. I imagine a slower paced version of rugby. I can’t imagine the rugby world switching to a theoretical Canadian brand of rugby, but I could see Canadian CFLers switching from more exciting Canadian football + rugby to the mundane version that is internationally accepted (football being turned based is just more strategically inclined to my analytical mind).

If cost is proving prohibitive to the CFL’s business plan, which it is in Montreal, then not having to buy concussion helmets, which I imagine are expensive, would be a plus. Not to mention I would imagine Canadian university players would not be able to easily assimilate to the American game if the games were more drastically different; and you would finally be able to rid yourself of comparisons that the CFL is a minor league compared to the NFL, which I’m sure drives league office to nauseum.

So unless the CFL wants to be arena league tier and just not pay their players well, I see no other way for the league to survive. But I wouldn’t fire Ambrosie just yet. I think he could be great. I can’t imagine comissioner being an easy job. He just needs to be reigned in a little and someone to tell him he’s not a cheerleader.

He does need to put the Ottawa-Montreal game back on the Labour Day slate.

And more Sunday games, at 2 p.m.

what time zone?

Well said, Ed. I agree BUT is that for you/me or 5,000 extra game-day attendance or 50,000 more viewers on tv. Our local pub is small with about 150 seats, 18 TV screens. They will only play NFL games on Sunday. No hockey, No baseball, No soccer, and No CFL games. Most pubs are the same in BC. Commissioner is failing for sure! Having a few players from around the world doesn’t excite me. I want the best quality available at a reasonable cost. Could care less were there from!!
And please forgive me! How in the heck would a team in Halifax help sell fans in BC and Western Canada?? Commissioner is just using them and the 20 million dollar stadium with seating for 12,000 as
a backup plan for Montreal. Lots of talk and planning need to jump-start CFL.

Just a though … its funny or is it a warning but the three cities with the largest populations in Canada are the ones (cities) where the CFL is a essentially an after though … However, all the CFL western teams / fans will never agree … also these same cities all have MLS teams…interesting…The CFL would rise if the commissioner and BOG will get together and DO THE RIGHT THING

Yes, we get it, MLS is taking over and the CFL is dying. Except for the fact that all three MLS teams’ honeymoons are over and all three have falling attendance, Vancouver and Montreal now below the CFL.

TFC trolls loved reveling in the fact that Argos attendance fell after winning the Grey Cup, so what happened then? In the irony of all ironies, TFC attendance has fallen in both of the years since their title and after getting a pretty good TV rating for their championship win, this year in the championship game they only managed to get what amounted to a pretty good CFL regular season TV rating.

I’m wondering who is failing? It’s not like any MLS team is getting support outside their home area, and looking at TFC TV ratings, their numbers don’t extend beyond the stadium.

Attendance in these three markets was falling long before Ambrosie came along and long before they had MLS teams. Sorry to disrupt your agenda, Rasta, but you’ll still have the support of the usual suspects who tell us in every thread that they don’t like the CFL 2.0 initiative.

Oh ya MLSE is an odd situation with
1/3 owned by Bell
1/3 owned by Rogers.
Alot of conflicts of intetests between those two. Lol.

As far as it goes for the CFL.
The next time MLSE makes a bid to host the GC.
The MLSE side of Rogers should offer to host the gamr at ROGERS CENTER.

After the 2021 GC in Hamilton it will be close to a decade since a GC was held indoors.

Rogers could benefit in a couple ways.
First and foremost FREE ADVERTISING.
The GC will be Promoted All season at ROGERS CENTER.

Toronto is a world class city so access into Toronto is alot easier than most.
& an indoor game imo will help with attendence massively.
Easy and close access for the other 3 eastern teams for sure.
Of course every CFL city definetely should get their turn to host the GC as long as their stadium is up to standards for such an event. Some really great outdoor stadiums have been built the last decade.
But wouldnt it be great to have the GC in a major city that has it all on a regular turn basis.
Montreal will be able to host a GC again at Big O thanks to Fifa World cup requirements in the near future indoors.
Toronto already has the Venue already owned and named ROGERS CENTRE.

Wow. Brian and any others in BC like FYB and Rhymes, I am well aware of the high interest in the NFL, but just how big or small outside of Vancouver is the CFL?

Is the NHL bigger still there than the NFL? Has the gap closed?

And is the CFL in BC even in third place?

This is all a problem for the game in BC.

Every so often I see BC Lions merch, and occasionally others, in the Okanagan. Not as much as I used to though, definitely more NFL merch nowadays, but not all of it is Seahawks gear. Used to have the odd client that loved the CFL, but they were all older. So there is definitely support for the league-- I have only ever seen a Whitecaps jersey once, a year, maybe two ago. You can occasionally hear people talking about the Canucks at the grocery store, but then you could find a group, again older, talking Grey Cup or Reilly taking a beating. The Canucks used to be a joke before their most recent Cup run.

  1. cant just hand the team over to anyone, and even if it has dragged, Its because it needs to be done right. No use getting salty over it.

  2. do agree this has dragged on, but Its on braley more than the commish

  3. nothing has been approved, so there is nothing to be done until SSE resolves everything. Good or bad

  4. this has been an issue por a while, and the point of 2.0 is to internationalize the game so that international attention leads to more attention domestically.

Its definitely taking the long road around instead of trying to target youth more directly- which clubs are trying to do anyways. Ive seen quite an increase in kids at Argos games.

Considering how overdo the CFL’s ascendence into the international markets is, this is a no brainer to me. We should have been going global in the 90’s when satellite became big. Because we didnt, we’re in a situation where every major league on the planet has more international relevance than us. We just need our foot in the door, our product can sell itself.