Could the CFL be better off without a team in Hamilton?

Sounds like a crazy idea, heck I'm a Cats season ticket holder, but I'm wondering if Ottawa comes back with a new stadium or totally refurbished stadium and Hamilton can't do anything with a major upgrade of a stadium or getting fans to the games if the team continues to stink and attendance falls back over the next year or two to the 10,000 level, would the CFL just be better off without the Cats? Assuming Hamilton also has no prospects of a new stadium if the Pan Am Games bid fails. Right now also there is no chance Hamilton can host a Grey Cup with no vision of a refurbished stadium or new one.

New stadium are overrated. As long as Hamilton hangs around the 20,000 mark they're good. Also, new stadium cost money. I doubt residents in the Hamilton area would support a new stadium or major renovation until Hamition Ti-Cats are willing to make a committment to winning instead of mediocrity.

I think this league should shoot for 10 solid teams. That way there is a good mixture you're not playing the same teams all the time.

I just don't believe that Hamilton franchise is in disrepair.

Peter, if this team doesn't win and soon, I think you will see attendance go down to the 10,000 mark, not this season but next. Combine that with if there are no new prospects for a new stadium and no Grey Cup for Hamilton to host, and that's a recipe for disaster. Also consider this is with a well-heeled owner and if he leaves, well who in their right mind would own the team really. also consider Toronto is very close and with the Argos and Bills playing there, the true football fan to get a game fix here and there each year, doesn't need to travel far.

Not saying I want this to happen but I think it's a distinct possibility. Also, Hamilton's image so to speak as a steel town on the way down as the steel industry isn't what it used to be, well, not good. I'm starting to think the end is coming to be honest. A new stadium is a must IMHO with the hope of hosting a Grey Cup.

Well Earl, if the economy is struggling in Hamilton then I don't think a new stadium will be in the works, thats the sad truth. The taxpayers would have a stroke at the tought of building a stadium with a struggling economy. Being a CFL fan I want to see Hamilton prevail. Well we will see, its still to early to tell how the Ti-cats will do.

I agree with Peter. I bleed Green, but it would be a very sad day without Hamilton. Further, we need more teams. I hate the current playoff format (yet optimal for a 8 team league). Contraction is a word we don't need floating around. I personally don't support Ottawa getting yet another franchise, especially one that is rushed into and still with the same old style of management. At the end of the day, the fans support the team, and the revenues require decent management. Ottawa has proven time and time again, they just don't deserve a team, at least not tirght now. (Save the Glieberman vs. Hunt et al comments, my opinion is that at the end of the day either the community makes the team profitable or it doesn't.) Going back to the Hamilton situation, Hamilton has been around since 1950, is severly disadvantaged compared to Ottawa (in terms of fiscal ability) and yet just simply makes it happen. Why? Because the fanbase is solid, in good times and bad. Hamilton has probably the most deciated fanbase in the CFL (next to Riderville of course :slight_smile:

The CFL has no margin for error. With 9 teams, as we have seen, there is some flexibility. Montreal, and Ottawa folded with the buffer of that 8th team. Hamilton, and the league, are not afforded that luxury.

Hamilton has to be successful. Failure is not an option at this point.

But to be more direct to the point of this thread. If the situation becomes as dire as you suggest it may (and it sounds reasonable), perhaps the league would do better without Hamilton. This of course doesn't take into account the optics of another team folding. Which could hurt the league even more than keeping the team operational. This is to say nothing of losing a major chunk of the ever important southern Ontario market. Short answer: who knows.

I'd like to see a successful Hamilton. Hamilton has shown it can support a team.

I live in Hamilton and it's funny with the city being in a fairly well-to-do area of the Golden Horseshoe, money here and with Toronto close and other fairly large cities like Kitchener and London, Hamilton is like 2 or 3 different cities with the location of the steel factories (where the stadium is closely situated) and the escarpment. The city has so many beautiful areas and there is money here with the university and health care and many industries. But I don't think a lot of people like going to where the stadium is. If the team isn't winning, yikes. We may have missed our chance on a new stadium with the Common Games loss. I think this city needs a Grey Cup soon, to host one at least (winning one, well, don't see that happening any time soon). And our owner has said no Grey Cup in the stadium as it is now.

If Ottawa decides on a new stadium, there is buzz in the league and I think Hamilton is expandable honestly. Vancouver getting a retractable roof, Winnipeg getting a new one etc. lots of other new or newer stadium buzzes. Does southern Ontario really need 2 teams?

I believe that Hamiton is fine. The Ti-Cats have a solid fanbase. Of course they get tired of losing, but this team I believe will be alright.

How solid is the real fan-base though Peter? That is the question I think.

Hey, if Hamiltom can’t support a team, move them to Buffalo. :wink:
(sorry couldn’t resist)
When they were having problems in the '90s, there was talk of moving them to Toronto to keep the rivalry going (I think York U stadium was mentioned as where they would play). Anyone remember that?

If I had lots of money, here's a plan. Ok, both the Cats and the Argos have stadium issues, albeit in completely different senses. So what I would do is combine the franchises, build a beautiful 40,000-45,000 seat stadium somewhere in southern Ontario in the Golden Horseshoe where tailgaiting (not that I need it but a lot seem to) can happen and that. Seriously folks! Southern Ontario's team!

Hmm, heres something to back Earl's Idea....Dont the Giants and Jets of the NFL play out of the same Stadium? Both Argos and Cats could share. Could it work?

Earl, there is too much tradition to lose if the Ti-Cats fold. I hope the Stadium issues get worked out. A grey Cup would boost the area, but how many temperary seats could they add? (Winnipeg did, Saskatchewan did).

Yup Sporty and it’s no coincidence that there is the talk of a joint Pan-Am Games bid with Hamilton, Toronto, St. Kitts (rowing). I bet my bottom dollar if this goes through with one stadium idea, the stadium might not be in downtown Hamilton unless there is a lot of money from Hamilton put into the stadium, if it’s more provinical/fed governement money, look for it to be outside the city I think.

Honestly I also have been a bit worried about the future of Hamilton. If attandance can stay at the 20k mark even when the team continues to lose then I think things will be ok. But if it falls and falls hard, like say the 10k Earl suggests we could see, then the team is probably done for. If a new stadium was to be built then that would no doubt fix things for awhile but in the end the city needs a winning team, at least for a season or 2.
Back to the original topic...there is no way in hell that the CFL is better without Hamilton. This league can't afford the black eye of another failed franchise. This is a time where the CFL needs to look at growing itself in new markets where there has never been a CFL team before (Quebec City, Halifax, London, Moncton...wherever) as well as re-establishing itself successfully back in Ottawa again. This is a time of strength in the CFL that has not been seen for quite some time and a lost franchise in Hamilton would damage that in a very severe way.
Come on fans, get out and keep supporting your team. The players are not trying to lose, they will continue to battle on the field and hope for the best result for the team and your support does help.

I don't really see a scenario where the league is better off without Hamilton. Mostly because of the optics thing. No matter how you spin it, Sportsman has it right - it is history and the hit to the league's credibility for another long-established, once solid franchise going under would be a jolt. That is not to say the league would not survive, but that does not make it "better off".

You cannot compare Toronto and New York. Toronto metro area has about 5.5 million and New York metro is 19 million. New York and easily support 2 teams, I would argue they could support another team too. Those are 2 established franchises. I don't see Toronto supporting 2 CFL teams and a part time NFL team, it just will not happen. You cannot oversaturate an area.

I think Hamilton will be fine. One thing about those old steel cities is that they are loyal to there teams.

That, and the league (read: other CFL teams, including Ottawa) bailed them out financially in 2003.

Trust someone who 'bleeds green' to not have his facts straight.

Wait....there's a CFL team in Hamilton? :lol:

Sorry...I couldn't resist.

oh man earl, I know you dissappointed about some things in Ham right now, but I just cant beleive this topic.

For me, I think I lose interest in CFL without Hamilton. I just cannot imagine CFL without Hamilton. I would rather lose the argos, or montreal. Not that I wanna lose anyone. Hamilton and the prairie teams represent the core of the spirit of the CFL and what the CFL is all about.

To disregard the impact of ownership is foolish.

Fans stopped supporting the Ti-Cats pre-Bob Young. Attendance was what? 15,000? That’s not supporting through “good times and bad?.

Bob Young arrived, gave them a reason to be optimistic about supporting the team, and so they returned. That’s how it’s done. Like any other business, it is up to management to make the consumer confident that they’re going to get their money’s worth.

Bob Young, being a good owner, gets this. No one in any business is entitled to consumer support so he bent over backwards to give people a reason to attend games. He made popular moves and showed dedication. Those moves haven’t ultimately paid off but at the time they were made they seemed solid enough for the fans to feel they could invest time and money in this operation.

For that reason, I don’t think the Ti-Cats are going anywhere even if attendance continues to drop. Bob Young will think of something and I believe he’s too image conscious to just walk away from it.