Edmonton's capacity

I'm certainly no expert, and don't live in Edmonton, but have the Eskimos ever thought of tarping off seats in the upper deck to reduce the capacity to around 40K? I know they do it in the endzones right now, but tarping off big portions of the upper deck. Kinda like they do in Oakland with the A's.

Reducing inventory to increase demand and make it look fuller.

just a thought.

I wouldn't tarp the entire upper deck as they would lose thousands of in demand seats mid field and would have a big drop off in attendance like BC did a few years ago.

Keep those seats say between the 20s, tarp the rest and open them up depending on the demand.

Too bad the business model has changed and 40-50K seat stadiums are no longer needed outside of Grey Cups and perhaps division finals.


First you have the cost of purchasing of the tarps and then the insulation, taking them out for winter.

There has never been a need for tarps in Edmonton and really its just a waste of money.

Exactly, just train the cameramen not to pan the empty seats. Whatever who cares , keep showing the people that are there .

I've already discussed this with someone in another thread, tarping off the entire upper deck like the Lions do looks terrible on TV and is a STUPID marketing move, it cuts out inexpensive seats and forces people to sit in the corners of the lower bowl. Who are we trying to attract again? OH RIGHT! Young people! Who do you think sits in the upper decks between the 20's? Young people my age and young families predominantly. I sit on the 25 yard line on the north east side in the lower bowl (family tickets for over 50 years thanks to my grandpa), good sight-lines but anything further north by 2 sections would be awful unless you watch on the big screen when the teams are on the south end.

The upper deck has really good sight-lines between the 10's as I've wandered up there from time to time because of friends up there. I would be in favor in tarping off the corners and keeping the upper deck open between the 20's but tarping off the entire thing is stupid beyond belief. I would suggest the Lions do the same in their stadium, no one wants to sit in the corners on the lower bowl and you just lose income and fan support to the people you want most.

You make some good points. The problem with watching CFL football on a 110 yard field plus the 25 yard lines, is that the fans are going to be spread out. The end zone seats behind the end zones are useless because you are 25 yards behind the field of play, the end zone seats on the sides of the end zone aren't good either because you are trying to look sideways most of the time.
Only way to fix it is to go to a 100 yard field with 10 yard end zones...................... :stuck_out_tongue:

Not suggesting tarping the entire upper deck. Could do a version of what they did in Washington and Jacksonville. I agree with Eskimosrock, BC place looks terrible and I'm sure I wouldnt be very happy about closing the entire upper deck. I know from my experience at the Rogers centre, the atmosphere in that building was different when they closed off some seats in the upper deck and tarped them. Made the building feel smaller.

After the reno of BC Place, the upper deck canopy/cover was only used for Whitecap games, but last year they started using it for the Lions also. My guess, it came from ownership with lowering attendance.

The lower bowl on it's own is bigger than half of the stadiums in the CFL - holding around 27-28,000.

In fact it was to lower costs. Overhead and staffing.

There were many that liked and enjoyed the upper view.

However , not enough to keep the upper bowl open.

There were enough empty seats in the lower bowl to " merge " the fans.

The lower bowl is listed at 27,500. Even with the merger, there are still empty seats.

It is all about supply and demand. Or as I like to call it Economics 101.

The issue was with BC, the fans sitting in the upper bowl, on the most part didn't not move down as it's pretty much corners and deep end zones left.

From what I understand on the Lions lease rent payments kick-in and increments from there happen once ticket revenues reach a certain threshold so they don't make much of an incentive to keep attendance up.

Since 2013, the threshold of $9 million in net ticket sales has been tied to inflation and is the first of a six-step rent calculation for the 10 scheduled Canadian Football League home games. After the rent-free $9 million, the Lions are charged 10 per cent on the next million, 12.5 per cent on the next million, 15 per cent on the next million, 17.5 per cent on the next million and 20 per cent on all amounts over $13 million.
If it was just to justify keeping the place staffed, then they overpriced the corners and end zones to make up for the view. That would have had a better chance of bringing in the same amount of fans as before and keep ticket revenues low enough to avoid the 'higher tax bracket'.

Hopefully the Lions next ownership will understand this or maybe the next lease won't be designed to discourage attendance.

there is a lot of merit to only having so many tickets available to sell.

if you only lets say have 40,000 available for Western opponents and 35,000 available for the East it actually gives people the idea that there is no guarantee you can get a ticket.

Edmonton should never have increased their stadium from 48,000 to 60,000

was a big mistake.

besides the only time they ever get near 40,000 fans is when Saskatchewan comes to town. hell not even Calgary can get those #'s anymore, pretty pitiful.

I doubt it was a "huge mistake". After the expansion, the Eskimos averages massive attendances for 10 years afterwards, mid to high 50's and maybe a few seasons in the 60's. It also brings in massive shows in the summers that sell out. I'm sure it paid itself off a couple years after renovation.

The Eskimos and City of Edmonton IMO should have built a new stadium (without a ridiculous track) as opposed to spending over $120 million on the Commonwealth renos. 30-35k seems to be the right size nowadays for the teams out West - even in Edmonton.

  1. You would be stuck with a pretty small stadium for only $120 million. The new Hamilton stadium was over 150 and only has 22,500 seats. It holds 24,200, but 1700 of that are standing room only.

  2. Commonwealth is the biggest stadium in the CFL, and it would be foolish not to use it. It's certainly a good selling point to host a Grey Cup.

Would you honestly prefer it just rot? That would be a total waste of taxpayer money.

You raise a valid point project.legacy and I'm sure you were meaning that the $120 million would have been put to better use had it gone towards a new stadium. I think your fan attendance makes good sense.

B.C. Place, in Vancouver completed renovations about 5 years ago. The total cost? More than...get this....more than One-half billion dollars!! Mind boggling.

But here is the kicker...

Though the stadium occasionally hosts the Grey Cup and can host around 55, 000 fans for the Grey Cup, the B.C Lions are garnering about 20, 000 a game. In their hay day during the 80s they were bringing 40, 000+ for a regular season game. Not sure why but everyone was having a great time.

If one works out the annual average attendance from the Lions inception [1954] it is around 27, 000. Anything over 30,000 would be considered a good year. Over the Lions 60+ life span the annual average attendance has not changed very much at all. No idea why but it hasn't.

When the Lions were playing at the old Empire Stadium where the seating capacity was around 32,000 the stadium was close to full capacity or it certainly had that appearance.

I have been a season's ticket holder with the Lions and the new retractable roof was "nice" and it was nice to look up and see the night sky. But here is the dumb thing...

The upper deck is closed due to poor sales. they have curtained off the upper deck so you can't see the seats and it gives the illusion of a fuller stadium. The problem is many fans who paid for premium seating [most expensive] cannot see the open roof because the curtains are in the way. A real dumb move.

I love the old stadium where the teams would slug it out in the elements: rains, sleet and yes even sometimes snow in Vancouver. Wind also played a factor. There was nothing like looking up at the full night sky, experiencing the nippy autumn night while taking in the game. There was something nostalgic about bundling up in the elements, sipping hot chocolate and eating a hot dog while watching the game.

The Lions "home" is BC Place. I'd rather be watching in an outdoor stadium with about 25 000 to 30 000 ravenous fans than in a stadium that cannot even make 1/2 capacity.

Glad someone understood what I meant. $120 million is not enough to build a new stadium (not sure why it was assumed I meant otherwise), but that $120+ million reno will give Commonwealth at best another 20 years of usage. Commonwealth is way too big for the regular season - Grey Cups are great there though. Add in another $100-$150 million on top of that $120 million and I think at the time they could have built a 35,000 seat version of Investors Group field (which was originally built for $190 million, then jumped to $210 million a year and a half "after completion", and then another $35 million loan guarantee via the Province to fix all the the current deficiencies.

As for BC, I agree, I would have much rather seen a new stadium built at the current BC place location. The reno cost the Province of British Columbia $514 million - for under $300 million at the time, they could have built a fantastic 30-35,000 outdoor stadium for the Lions and Whitecaps.

Mistakes have been made IMO, with some of the current CFL stadiums, Ottawa should have built their's to at minimum 25,000. Hamilton should have built their's in a better location, and 25-26,000. Investors Group Field in Winnipeg was built too large (Bombers have averaged around 26,000 over the last 2 decades), and in the wrong location IMO. Edmonton needed a new stadium that was built for football and even some soccer, and more importantly without a track. I hope Calgary builds a 30,000 partially covered Stadium at a new location closer to Downtown. But, this is all just my opinion of course.

It is baffling to me that a city that size can't fill that stadium.

You could say the same thing about Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto

And Calgary.

To me its logical why attendance is down.

The game day experience is poor in Vancouver, at least for me. Constant overloud pumped in music, too many interruptions, and you have to overpay for ticket, food and drink. When I go to a game now it seems most people are watching the huge screen or texting someone. A game does not feel like an "event" in any way. Certainly not worth the $100 I drop when I go.
Compared to large screen TV, good seat, watch with whom you want, food and drink of choice at 1/4 the price. Washroom just down the hallway.

If you buy TSN you are still supporting the CFL.