Expand North of the border Don't forget that tsn is partly owned by ESPN so it makes good business sense. If we can ge us dollars and viewership we should aggressively(within probability/practicality) expand our Canadian markets. Only Canadian markets.
U.S. citizen who loves the CFL and its rules.... While I would enjoy seeing a CFL team in a northern U.S. city (providing it abides by CFL rules) my fear is that it would allow the NFL to infiltrate Canada. I would like to see a ten team CFL and more games on regular television down here. And bring back the old logo... While we're at it, can we (NFL) borrow your officials..... The NFL refs have lost the ability to use their common sense.
I disagree that Americans only like NFL and NCAA. I was at the inaugural exhibition game in Sacramento and the crowd was incredible! The tailgate party was probably the biggest in history, literally thousands of partiers and live bands. The fans loved the game and packed the stadium for the next game vs. D. Flutie and the Stamps, with the fans going nuts in the rickety grandstands. They were drawing over 20,000 but Hornet Field was just that, constructed for a reported $1.5M (plus porta-potty rentals) and the crowds started to wane. With a proper stadium Sacramento could still be an attractive franchise location.
The Gold Miners relocated to the Alamodome, becoming the Texans. The team was successful there too, drawing 20,000 for the playoff game. Owner Fred Anderson wanted to continue, he reportedly cried when the league announced the dissolution of the U.S. teams.
Let's not forget that Baltimore lead the CFL in attendance and packed the stadium for their playoff games. The Stallions were 2nd in attendance in Year two, winning the Grey Cup. The CFL awarded the next Grey Cup game to Baltimore.
Other franchises had some successes too, so to characterize the U.S. expansion as a proven failure is off the mark. I'd say it was a moderate success in some markets and a failure in others. The problem was the expansion was handled poorly by the CFL who probably didn't have the resources to do an comprehensive launch into a foreign market.
I believe we should keep the CFL in Canada only. It's a proven success here with all the franchises making money (even the Argos are projected to turn a profit next season). It was reported that half or more NBA and NHL franchises lose money every year.
The CFL could still penetrate the U.S. market by launching an independent 8-team league which would primarily play against other American teams. This new league would play 100% Canadian rules and franchises would be awarded to non-NFL cities only. The CFL would own the league and sell franchises much like how the MLS is doing it. Except we play real football.
The goal shouldn't be to compete with NFL or NCAA but to introduce a new sport into the U.S. which Americans can readily play...and enjoy watching!
With 8-teams that comes with a U.S. TV contract which within a few years could dwarf TSN's deal.
The CFL's advantage is they know how to run a shoe-string football operation, unlike most of the other unsuccessful American football leagues which were modeled more after the NFL.
College and high school football would kill any CFL franchise. NCAA has only become more popular since the CFL had teams in the U.S.. Pile on the NFL fantasy football market and it would never work. Plus for the 356 th time, U.S. LABOUR LAWS! The GoldMiners were not all that successful , averaging 14k to 16k in there time in Sacramento .
You were at the first game in Sacramento . That should be a special moment for you to remember.
However, the reason for the enthusiasm was the Sacramento Surge, just came off winning the 92 WL World Bowl.
The Surge had great crowds in THAT league and it carried over to the start of the 93 CFL season when they became the Gold Miners.
However, once the "US fans" gripped what they felt were strange rules like sympathy points for missed FG's 3 downs, and cities they never heard of , it turned them off.
Empty stadiums in football hotbeds like Birmingham , Shreveport and Memphis shows my point.
Vegas was a joke and 18,000 in San Antonio for a play-off game is a fail.
Baltimore was a good score. Those fans had a little more understanding and respect for the Canadian game.
Perhaps because of PRO football history, close to the Canadian border, or hunger for football to return.
Their COLT team did bolt in the middle of the night in a moving van , and the USFL Stars were to play in Baltimore in 86 when the USFL folded.
They were cheated out of a team twice. Then they got the CFL .Yes , they loved the Stallions and many were hurt when they moved to Montreal.
So, the debate can go on, but I stand by what I stated. NO US EXPANSION AGAIN.
It is important to learn from failures. In sports, business and life.
I sometimes wonder if the long term vision for the CFL is to once again expand into the U.S. In my view, it would make sense. After Halifax and Quebec City, there are really no other practical markets in Canada. If you're going to grow the game globally (isn't that the mantra from the new Commissioner?), then U.S. expansion isn't really a stretch.
The CFL is much different today vs. the early 90s. Slow, targeted expansion with league support would allow for a 4-5 team "South" division to work.
With regards to the ratio, maybe we need to rethink the way we do things. Why not invest in Canadian amateur/university football with real $ instead of simply having a rule that says you need to have x number of Canadians playing. Invest in the sport, grow the game at the grassroots, and Canadians will play in the CFL (and the NFL) ratio or no ratio.