Experiment with this

People react to negative comments about the League on this thread.

How about this. Try some experiments.

One team: try cutting prices by half all around and cut concession prices by half. See what it does. #AtlantaFalcons

Another team: try installing kids playground areas in the stadium and see what happens.

Another team: try some boutique services like better in seat bar service or the like for upper end ticket holders. See what happens.

Another team: try a rich tail gating experience and see what happens.


I’m not sure what you are actually trying to convey in your OP, but THF has a full childrens playground on the west concourse north side, inside the stadium.

it’s actually a no drinking zone as well…can’t even walk near it with a beer in your hand…

also has the face painting section beside it.

and…not surprising, it is always FULL of kids having fun!

A lot of this has been tried.

But I agree with getting the kids out. The 90s and 2000s were such a disaster, there really is a lost generation of CFL fans (I should know, I am 36 and one of them).

If the kids grow up with it like my dad did, they will carry that passion forward.

Youth is the future certainly but my question is how does a playground in the stadium make a kid a football fan?

Is this how the Raptors and TFC cultivated a generation of young fans?

allows young parents to attend CFL games while their young children have fun, build friendships, and get into the stadium vibe at a young age.

I read about the old timers on this board going to games at a very young age, which appears to have generated a lifetime love of the game.

I think that is what they are going for in Hamilton.

Well kinda.

Obviously a slide next to the field won’t do it, but making the game a part of their lives and interacting with the fans would. A kids zone would be a part of that.

I read about older guys here going to a game and getting a coke and a hotdog for $2. Even adjusted for inflation that is still under $20 today. After the game they could go on the field, meet a few players. maybe win a free shirt.

A family of four going to a game for under $80 and having a place to interact and play. MLS has certainly done that with cheap tickets and kid zones. It also might entice the 30 and 40 something parents who dropped out during the 90s and 2000s to give it another chance.

I’ve often argued that the reason the Raptors have become so successful and the Grizzlies packed up for Memphis in less than a decade was the Toronto drafted Vince Carter and Vancouver drafted Steve Francis. Carter embraced Toronto, and after the Grizzlies left Canada. He was out in the community, and got his teammates out there too. The Raptors certainly did have cheap family packs to draw away Leaf fans as well. Kids got to meet him and the Raptors became a part of their life.

So yeah, sticking a slide and a swing set next to the field won’t do anything, but making that kind of family interactive experience would.

In terms of brainstorming the old adage, and it’s a good one, is that “there is no such thing as a bad idea”. Perhaps not, but there are certainly unworkable ideas or ideas that are unlikely to bear fruit. My thoughts on these ideas…

One team: try cutting prices by half all around and cut concession prices by half. See what it does. #AtlantaFalcons

-This assumes that attendance would rise significantly if ticket prices were half the cost they are currently. Are there not a wide range of ticket prices at most, if not all, CFL parks? I just checked three team websites for tickets and here’s what I saw. You can buy a ticket for a BC Lions game for “as low as $25”. Winnipeg, $24. It may be part of a season ticket package but still pretty cheap. And for $66 you can take your family (2 adult & 2 kids) and get parking! Toronto is selling a ticket for tomorrow night’s game for “as low as $29” and Sept 20th’s game vs. Calgary, $21. To me, those are pretty reasonable prices and I’m not even considering other deals from retail partners and desperate scalpers. Can’t imagine cutting the price to $12 a ticket is going to double attendance. Now concession prices? Yeah, I think they’re generally too high but they’re certainly better than NHL prices and I think have come down a bit in recent years. The issue here is that most teams make serious margin on F&B and it’s a critical part of their bottom line…if they get a cut of concessions…some teams may not get the whole enchilada or a small %.

Another team: try installing kids playground areas in the stadium and see what happens.

- Just asking for a lawsuit here from drunken, stupid fans post game. If you bring your kids you want them watching the game with you, not playing on some swings below the concourse.

Another team: try some boutique services like better in seat bar service or the like for upper end ticket holders. See what happens.

-Seat service for drinks certainly works in NHL arenas but I’m not sure it’d make a difference in CFL parks…real different crowd. And, it may already happen in some stadiums, I’m not sure. If not, worth a shot I guess.

Another team: try a rich tail gating experience and see what happens.

- I see what you’re after here but as far as I know, provincial liquor laws probably put a damper on the level of tailgating that you see at NCAA and NFL parks. And even if it were permittable, would teams really want fans filling up on food and booze from home before then enter the stadium? I have to think that would reduce their consumption inside the parks where the teams do make money. I think the big issues is that culturally, tailgating is an American thing. They’re got it down to an art and it’s a very long term tradition down there…not sure you can create such a thing here given our natural tendency to be boring and the weather, which would make tailgating virtually impossible for the last few games of the season in some CFL stadiums. Also, in some CFL parks there’d be no place to set up big time tailgating. Vancouver is a downtown park as is Montreal and both have little in the way of parking next door.

Fair question.

As someone else already said, it’s more of a benefit for adults who can let their kids play in a supervised space while they enjoy the game.

Also, remember that kids today are a completely different animal, with attention spans about that long. Asking these ADD meerkats to sit in uncomfortable seats for three hours at a throw is not going to be an enjoyable experience for anyone. But if they start in the playground then bounce back to their seats, hopefully as they age the football-watching segments will grow and the swingset segments will shrink. (Just in time to be old enough for the social media areas of the stadium, where they can mingle and text and occasionally even watch some football).

The important thing is attendance, and getting that ticket payment to keep the game alive for those of us who really enjoy it. (Sort of like letting the non-football-fans subsidize the game for us old coots, which thrills me.)

I’ve already stated I’m no fan of stadium playground, but your point about cultivating the young is bang on. I recall vividly as a ten year old (with a pal or on my own…but no parents)in the 60’s walking the 45 minutes to Winnipeg Stadium and using my ticket in the Salisbury House endzone (purchased for a buck or two) to watch Ploen, Ulmer,Funston, Lewis et al in all their glory…and then walking 45 minutes home in all kinds of weather

I can’t imagine allowing a 10 year old to do a similar thing these days even if they were prone to do such a thing. Growing a new generation of fans to replace us old “coots” is the biggest challenge for the league…and I wish them luck

Good points.

I would say however plenty of kids are patient enough to sit through a 2 hour Marvel movie. The games just need to get a bit shorter with less of the long interruptions.

Finding a way to generate the same revenues without in game commercial breaks can get the games down to around 2 hours.

Basically every non-North American sport manages to get itself on TV without in game commercials. There has to be a way to import this to gridiron.

Real football fans of the golden age focussed on the game. Todays short attention spans found in all ages of people today need games to end in 2 hours to avoid fun overload? Quick fix - reduce the game to 3 15 minute “quarters” with a 5 min break between them. To aid profitability all the team owns can open a family oriented sports themed restaurant by the stadium and feed the exiting mob in the hour they gained being in a hurry to get out of the park. A win, win situation.

As long as it’s “fast food.”


Kids under 10 can spend 8 straight hours on the xBox so shortening the length of a CFL game isn’t going to make a difference to them…if they’re not interested they won’t stick around for 3 minutes much less three hours.

Besides, with PVRs one can skoot view a game in 75 minutes if time is the issue for the viewer. Time IS the issue for the broadcaster who needs a three hour broadcast for commercial revenue. Shortening the game only reduces revenue…that’s not what the clubs or the players want.

To suggest “every non-North American game manages to get itself on TV without in game commercials” is gross over-simplification. With the obvious exception of state-run countries like Russia, Cuba, China and KSA, most other broadcasters still work off a commercial revenue model and they work their sponsor profile/commercials one way or the other. Either with extreme numbers of spots in the pre and post game and/or loading half time with dozens of straight spots, or slapping sponsor logos on players, fields (either for real or CG) or screen crawls or pop up spots…you name it, broadcaster’s gotta get paid.

I’ve lived in Japan, Mexico and Germany and seen it first hand. Granted, leading sports there are soccer and rugby, but the spots show up.

Many pro sports face this same challenge BTW, not just Cdn football…getting younger demos interested is tough and their options for viewing are almost unlimited…much unlike when I was a young Blue Bombers fan.

Shortening the game? Lord no. Can you imagine baseball cutting two innings off the game? Soccer reducing to two 30 min halfs? Nope. Golf 14 holes? Much as I think that’s perfect when I play, it ain’t happening on a pro level. Stop screwing with the game…it’s great. Work on connective marketing and promotions to get youth into the three down game…that’s the ticket. Literally.

You are suggesting drunk fans post game are going to climb on the childrens playground?

And that is a reason not to have an area for children? Because of drunken fans post game?

Man…glad you are not at the helm of the league!

(btw, you can see the game from the childrens area, which is located ON the concourse…so parents can still watch the game while watching their kids…crazy eh!)

artist rendering, but you get the idea.

Here’s a video of what’s in Hamilton. It is popular. I’ve never heard of an issue with drunks, and the fans at Ticat games have been known to put back a couple of beers.

Or worse yet, a $10m lawsuit for neglect by a drunk fan whose kid fell on his head in the kids zone, eating up the teams next 20 years profits.

Aah, leave it to the Good Hands people.

(Who IS the big insurer in Canada? State Farm? Allstate? Nationwide?)

Intact is Canada’s largest P&C Insurer.

Next is Aviva, RSA Group, Wawanesa, and TD (not in any specific order)

That’s exactly what I’m suggesting. Maybe you don’t care about potential liability but I can guarantee you the teams are…and should be. People are people. Sports, high emotions and booze are a dangerous combination and clubs need to protect themselves against the lowest common denominators…that’s life.

And where in the other 8 CFL parks would something like this go? Sports fans are suing pro teams all over the place…why do you think netting has been put up in NHL rinks? Why do you think additional netting is being considered at MLB parks? And those are the result of “natural hazards” of the game in progress.

Creating a playground on site in hopes a few (additional) fans will bring their kids?

Glad you’re not at the helm of the league either.

Want to encourage family attendance? Create packages that make it more affordable. Create bigger family (booze free) zones. More halftime shows with kids playing ball to get families to attend and support and bring the grandparents.