Could the league survive with 7 teams?

The CFL could not survive if Hamilton and Toronto died if they were part of the 7 .

The league would try to regroup with a different moniker but by then the NFL would put a stadium and team close to Pickering far enough away from Buffalo .

The stadium has to go far enough toward eastern Ontario so Buffalo is not impacted .

I am sure they have already looked into it .

I’m not arguing that star players with NFL or big-name NCAA pedigree don’t get some attention. It’s just that it’s fleeting. Williams came to the league, was about the tenth best RB, left the league and was forgotten. As I recall, Ackles and the acquisition of Buono, Dickenson, and Anderson from Calgary made a big impact in BC. But those were home-grown names.

I think the Radically Canadian campaign of the late 90s had impact for years and helped set the stage for the resurgence in BC and Toronto in the early 2000s. This opinion, admittedly, is just based on my own memories of the attitudes people had regarding the league around that time–no stats or hard facts to solidly back up that connection.

I agree 100%! I’d even bring back the wildly successful “Radically Canadian” campaign, but other posters have told me that terminology is now “dated”.

Failure in Toronto?! But I even saw women happily wearing Radically Canadian T-shirts (particularly the “We have bigger ball!” one) in downtown Toronto. It was very good indeed for merchandise sales.


My memory is the campaign was in 1996 and 1997 in the two years immediately after the American expansion experiment failed.


I meant in terms of game attendance, it was not a success. Attendance was at its lowest point then (and did not improve).

Flutie not so temporary I think

Yes. i.e. the late 90’s. And the Argos boasted one of the greatest teams in league history at that time But we’re playing in front of friends and family

BC, Winnipeg, and Toronto (Toronto has to demolish and then rebuild a suitable stadium) could merge with the NFL and play 11-man ball.

I got a feeling the average Canadian wants that to happen. Of course the diehards on this board do not want that. The ones that want a merger do not visit this site.

That’s my opinion and educated guess on how things play out.

Yes for sure the money men are just waiting in the wings .

Toronto for sure but the stadium has to be in a location that makes it harder for southern Ontario to get to as the BILLs have territorial rights .

My feeling is that a stadium 401 East somewhere far enough away and still close enough to the Toronto area like Foxboro with Boston 30 miles away or further . I am thinking Pickering or Oshawa .

The BILLs will get a significant distance that getting to the stadium for the NFL team wll be significant that they can still keep their Canadian fans because of the distance and trouble to get to the Toronto area stadium on the other side . I can see that as a caveat for a Toronto team to exist that does the least amount of damage with the Canadian fan base for the Bills .

Just idle speculation how it would work out and Nope I don’t want it to happen ;I love the CFL but I know there are desires and plans in place for the NFL for some time it’s no secret .

The opportunity would come with the CFL collapsing .


If you’re saying Vancouver has attendance problems, then you have to include Montreal.

B.C. drew an average of 17,803 per game in 2019 in a 5-win season. Montreal drew 17,574. In 2018, B.C. drew an average of 19,975 per game while Montreal drew 17,332.

The Als were the feel-good story this season and tarped sections of Percival Molson stadium with everyone cheering and packed in tight. Hence, they were viewed as a success story.

I’m not denying sub-20K is a problem, but if we can ever get new owners here with a fresh approach, I think B.C. has a higher ceiling.

Misperceptions in the big markets abound. Plenty of people think CFLers get paid under $30,000, that it’s 3rd rate or “bush league” (that tired old trope ::)) and that only players who aren’t good enough to play down south come up here.

As much as I tirelessly defend the league when I hear these lazy jabs at the league, I can’t entirely blame people. The league (yea, Ambrosie, this means you too) only have themselves to blame. All this bluster about “world-class” athletes and I haven’t seen a single campaign touting our talented players and all the engaging personalities we have up here. Sell the sizzle, not (yawn) diversity!

Yes, the Lions go to the schools every winter and interact with the kids but there’s only so much they can do. They’re only engaging with about 0.02% of the population. CFL do something!!

7 teams? lol BC is a big football province and yes CFL football. Vancouver’s problems fall into 2 categories. Travel to downtown Vancouver for games. Nobody that I know makes the drive. Canucks are feeling the same effect. Secondly the team has been horrible. The Lions get a great share of media attention.

Toronto is a complete different story. You have about 1 million people in Toronto. Then you have 4 million outside the area. Everyone that spends money on sports are Leafs and Blue Jays fans as they make the drive once or twice a season and there are a bunch of people to pool from. Raptors are not that popular in Toronto as many think but they have a strong following of about 400,000 people which is proven with their horrible tv ratings. The Argos were very popular in Toronto but they were always off and on. Most of those fans have moved outside the area including many people I know and they do not go to games. I don’t understand it but the problem is the Argos brand is not what it once was and they need ownership to build it up. MLSE is not the group to do it. They are horrible owners for all their sports teams.
Montreal is a huge CFL city. I’ve been to Montreal numerous times and can’t believe how much they love the Alouettes. The city showed this year that they create a new era of football for the city, the city turns out in big numbers, and the interest goes high.
If anything Quebec City should be the next CFL franchise and they would be one of the best football towns in the league. In my mind its one of the worst decisions ever for the CFL not focusing on expanding to Quebec.

All good comments. Thanks for the input. Just want to see the league thrive. Canadian football is so much more fun to watch than the 4-down stuff I played down here. Have to make a trip to Regina or Winnipeg some day to see a game in person.

Indeed! I don’t understand why there’s no marketing of the sizzle.

And to whom was the league marketing “diversity”? I don’t think that concept resonates strongly with the people most likely to attend sports events.


Yay! Please do so. American sports fans invariably find our cities very appealing locales to view a game.


The Lions (and the Whitecaps) have been known to fib with the attendance numbers. So we don’t really know what their true attendance is. 17,803 average could really mean 15,803 average (paid).

I really wouldn’t be surprised if the league ended up owning the Alouettes heading into year 2. Who would buy into any franchise right now when, for lack of a better term, you have Braley shitting the bed?

CFL is onto something with CFL 2.0, but the league has so many other marks against it (only 9 teams, an old boys club not earning their paycheques and declining enrollment in football).

If Canadians stop playing football the league could always go with mostly American players as Americans will always play football and Canadians will still watch, just not play, but CFL 2.0 the CFL could be the “underground railway” to the NFL for Europeans, especially if the NFL got on board with transfer fees and vice versa with the CFL going on down to make grassroots football more attractive to more players.

Again, transfer fees can always come out of the players’ paycheque if they hit it big (like LFA already does for its players playing this year in the CFL).

To be clear, I was not trying to discredit the Diversity is Strength message - just point out that it would not be my first choice when trying to sell the league to Canadians.

“Real People. Unreal Athletes.” would be my first choice.

Or a campaign that asks, “Can your neighbour…?” meaning these great athletes live in and are active in our CFL communities, but are normal approachable guys. For example…

Can your neighbour run a 4.35/40? (showing say, a Brandon Banks)
Can your neighbour throw a football 60 yards in the air? (showing say, a Mike Reilly)

Something along these lines. Just an idea.

What kind of people are those, pray tell? Don’t be coy. Say what you mean.

On another note, I don’t want teams to fold, but sometimes I wish there was an alternate universe in which two eastern teams folded just so all those sad fans out west would a. be deprived of something to feel superior about and b. discover that the health and prosperity of the league, which powers the teams they love, depends on those so-called weak eastern teams just as much as it does on the powerhouses.

I mean, God, you want to go back to the '90s era of telethons and such? Was the league in phenomenal shape before the Alouettes came back? Has Ottawa’s success been such a disaster for the league?

Got news for anyone who whines about eastern teams getting “handouts.” The salary cap is a giant handout. The very notion of a level playing field in pro sports is a handout. So get over it and let other teams be.

Well. Shrinking opposed to growing is never a good thing for any league.
The CFL really only needs to grow by 1 team in the only region in the CFL that doesnt have a team.
10 teams with it being in Atlantic region should be an all hands on deck CFL priority of anyone who is involved.
No need to explain wat the Argos problem in Toronto is. They are a far 5th from the other US based leagues.
Cant jam 5 pro sports teams in one tiny downtown area. 6 if ya include NLL.
In BC the proximity to Seatlle to Vancouver makes it rough for Lions to compete with NFL seahawks & MLS.
In short cutting off The two coast regions of BC & Atlantic region would be a very BAD scenerio for the CFL.

Alright. People who agitate strongly for an “inclusive” society aren’t the CFL’s target market. They instead overlap with those who push for “social justice”, i.e. government mandated equality of result to the exclusion of all else. These groups are not likely to be part of the CFL’s target market. Since they have a strong overriding interest in social equity issues to the exclusion of most other things, they don’t tend to be ardent sports fans. For example, you’re not going to find too many hard core Argo fans among anti-Ford demonstrators at Queens Park or anti-Trump demonstrators in front of the U.S. consulate. Argo fans are more likely to protest an increase in the price of beer.

And the CFL’s diversity campaign seemed to be aimed at that segment of the population who are U.S. Democrat party supporters and Donald Trump haters! But guess what? Publicity and a pat on the back from U.S. Democrats doesn’t translate into ticket sales. And the overlap between that market segment and Canadians who might potentially take in CFL games is haphazard. So why do it? What was the point of a campaign that wouldn’t act to enhance ticket sales?

The CFL would therefore be better off advertising in the Hockey News rather than in the Canadian edition of Ms. magazine, the Marxist Times or Vintners Daily.

Yes, yes, I’m sure exceptions can be found. But it’s a dumb businessman who doesn’t look at tendencies and play the odds when it comes to market segmentation. In order to target your market, you must know your market first.