Filling BC Place Again

What would it take to refill the Dome? It won't be the new roof; that's for sure. If the Lions don't pick it up the rest of this season, BC Place might look dismally-empty next year. The timing couldn't be worse for business. If this season finishes for the Lions with mediocrity, and if they fail to make the playoffs or perform miserably should they manage to squeek in, I sincerely hope Mr Braley makes some major changes to re-tweak the interest level of this town.

Refilling the stadium is going to be impossible. Lions will be fortunate to get 35-40,000 against a good team. This is going to be my last year as a season ticket holder (4) tickets. Kids are growing up and year after year have trouble unloading them or finding someone to go with. There are not enough hard core fans in BC to fill a stadium that size and many Lions fans are very fickle. A few things this organization need to look at: 1. They need to implement the entertainment they used to have for families on the concourse…there is lots of room. Having the party in the Plaza is not enough to entertain families with young kids. 2. Improve the half time show…many fans who bring wives. girlfriends etc…need that. Market market market! 3. They grossly need to improve the food in the concession. I don’t care if I pay $6 bucks for a hot dog but it better be a dam good one. 4. Probably unable to do anything but that track around the stadium just makes everything seem so far away. Dishing out money is not a problem for most people but Lions need a make-over for off field entertainment.

what world do you live in. Are you so rich you cant see the people below you???

There was a track at B.C. Place Emptyset??


Short of a total collapse I think the Lions will squeak into the playoffs again this season. But, like last year they will be blown out either in the semi-final or the western final. Montreal, Saskatchewan and Calgary are just too darn good. This is a rebuilding year for the Lions so next year will hopefully be even stronger.

Attendance has dropped off at Empire field during the last 2-3 games compared to the first half of the season even though the Lions have won 4 of their last 5 games. Attendance in B.C. Place last year was on average much higher. Only on July 31/2009 did they have a crowd of about 20,000. The rest of the games were 25,000- 30,000+. A good turn out was 30,000+. Next year with the new roof a good turn out may still be 30,000+ early in the season as fans come to see the new surroundings and hopefully a new Lions team. But I think a lot of this will be single game tickets or walk up sales.

What may help prop up season’s ticket sales for the 2011 season is the Grey Cup which will be in Vancouver in 2011. People may want to secure the best seats possible as they hope the Lions get to the Grey Cup.

Regardless of the kind of marketing the organization tries, the best marketing is to present a winning team. Everyone likes a winner.

The goal should be to fill the lower bowl. Filling the stadium for a regular season game will never happen anytime soon.

In order to "fill the stands", changes need to made at the league level. The perception still exists amongst some in Vancouver that the CFL just isn't "Big League" enough. Having an 8 team league doesn't help matters any. From the Lions point of view, they have done a weak to poor job of attempting to fill the stands promotion wise. One idea which is long overdue is a true "fan appreciation night". Two for one ticket vouchers or reduced concession stand items for that one game would be a big draw and would only grow each year as it has in other CFL cities. (this however would require some form of co-operation from Pavco since they operate the concession stands). But not to worry, since the Lions will probably average at least 40,000 the first year in the renovated dome since most of the people will come out just to see the new roof just like they did when the stadium first opened (albeit on a smaller scale). Now this all assumes that the dome will even be ready for the start of the next football season. Rumours have it that the roof won't be ready until mid-season next year and that possibly even then the roof won't be fully operational.

My understanding is that a number of games in the 2011 season will be played out at Empire Field. B.C. Place “may” be ready in early October of 2011.

As far as “averaging” 40,000 during the first year with a retractable roof I cannot see this happening next year- not even close to that. A new roof will no doubt attract spectators because they’ll be curious to see the new look. But the novelty will wear off. When the Lions began playing in B.C. place they had some very huge crowds and did average over 40,000+ a season from '83 through '86 but in my opinion it was combination of the Lions new digs [B.C. Place] and more importantly because the Lions were a powerhouse during those years.

Outstanding comments - very insightful. It is true isn't it, that ET marketing plays such an important role in drawing people.
I totally agree with the poor marketing of entertainment. They seem so out of touch. Sometimes I wonder WHO discusses and makes these decisions. It appears to me that they are seriously uninformed and unaware of the amazing home-grown amateur and professional talent we have. I have 2 kids that went through dance; both are now professional choreographers. There are literally hundreds of studios throughout the lower mainland and Fraser Valley that would jump at the opportunity to put their very best on the field at halftime. In recent years the PNE Finale 'Rollin Thunder 'and the now 'Kaboom' entourage are all kids from the LM and FV areas. Talk about ET value!! I wonder: Were THEY ever approached about providing any ET? It would seem a no brainer and great advertising to bring people out to the PNE. Besides dance, there are many talented community football programs; my 2 youngest are nw in PeeWee and JB's. Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Kelowna, and South Surrey programs are huge - not to mention South Delta, Cloverdale, Langley, and the North Shore. The growing quality and talent among these kids is staggering; it really is. Why not have some halftime scrimmages to promote community football? Did you guys know that they also play CFL rules? Most highschool programs play American (??). There are also a number of Martial Arts gyms througout the LM and Valley. Why not have a contest among the gyms to come up with a halftime package - make it fun and competitive? Why not remunerate some of these groups that put their heart and sweat into performing with procedes from the 50-50, and make the crowd aware? Why not have a reunion night of 1020 Olympic atheletes - have them parade around the stadium and have Nicky Yanofsky (sp?) come and sing "I Believe" - whatever?
Why not have a halftime dunk tank evening for MP / MLA politicians - both cabinet and opposition??!! :slight_smile: Yeah, I know - lame!
Bottom line: Let's have some FUN!!
I also agree with the quality of food. I am surprised that with Food-Safe laws that they allow self-service public condiments; and for that matter, for what you pay, why should we have to do that ourselves anyhow? Didn't White Spot once have the contract? Why not go back to someone like them? I think as well that some people stay away from the dome because of the excessive drunkenness, I swear, some people could care less about the game; it's really all about the beer. Interesting that bars attempt to monitor beer consumption on behalf of public safety, and yet the dome provides a free-for-all. Suggestion: Sell beer at a limit: 2 allowed per person - pay for the first, hang on to the cup, the second is free. That's it. We may loose a few with such an idea, but ask yourself: Who are we loosing then?
Oh yeah! I guess SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVING the quality of the Lions wouldn't hurt either.
Do I believe the Dome can be filled? Excuse me for being optomistic about this, but YES!! Let's stop selling ourselves short as Canadians. Let's recognize just how unique and talented we are! Let's STOP comparing ourselves to Americans!!

I wonder if the original artist rendering of the roof lowered to cover the upperbowl is still doable? If it is, the Lions need to go with that for the regular season and create an intimate atmosphere. It worked when Bobby Ackles did it, works for Montreal and it seems to be working at Empire. Only leave the upperbowl opened for playoffs. If you can't see the seats and only the lowerbowl is available, the atmosphere will be great.

Good comment. Too much disconnect of people adds to misperception of interest levels. I would add to that, that perhaps masking the upper seats could be utilized for all the corporate advertising (large banner-draping), so that it doesn't present such a visual distraction at field level - not to mention the safety factor. Done right, it could even enhance the overall presentation.

"Why not have a halftime dunk tank evening for MP / MLA politicians - both cabinet and opposition??!!"~ pastasteve

Cause you wouldn't have any spectators watching the "spectacle". They'd all be lining up on the field for their chance! I'm all for it. I'd even pay!

As far as I'm concerned they can get rid of the booze entirely. I've seen more jerks ruin it for others because of their drunken behavior than I care to see.

Booze doesn't need to be served to enjoy the game any better. There was a time when it wasn't. It's a cash grab and nothing more and they will continue serving it as long as it increases the bottom line. If their research shows that serving it is beginning to discourage fans from coming then things will change.

I've seen very few really good half-time entertainment shows. And how many folks stay in the stands during half-time? Also it isn't easy watching certain kinds of entertainment from so far away. I remember seeing the U of W Huskies band. They were incredible and very exciting to watch.

For now I think they just try and fill in the mandatory 15 minutes rest the players get at half-time with whoever is available.

Have you ever thought of forwarding your comments to management Pastasteve?

[ Dishing out money is not a problem for most people but Lions need a make-over for off field entertainment.
what world do you live in. Are you so rich you cant see the people below you???
Aahh we are talking about the CFL one of the last affordable professional game to take a family. Not quite sure what you trying to say here. Maybe should have said people don't mind paying if the entertainment factor is there.

Anyways Beaglehound I was referring to that cement slab they have circling the outside part of the field that could almost be the size of a race track. I call it a track puts people way to far back.

Regarding the closing of the upper bowl and trying to fill the bottom half... you have to remember that by closing the upper level it will eliminate some quality seats. Would you want to sit on the upper 50 40 or 30 yard line or sit in the end zone with the screen to your back?

Oh, okay…I see. And yes, I agree. I’ve always disliked how far back we are from the field in B.C. Place. And my sentiments exactly regarding the upper sections. Sitting up in level 4 at mid-field [especially in Row A] provides a fantastic unobstructed view of the entire field. In fact I think the view is better up there than down in level 2

but surely no one can possible expect them to go to the extra expense of opening up the top when the attendance numbers dont warrent it??

Well I can say I would never purchase and end zone seat with the screen behind me. If the play is in the red zone on the other end you need the screen to see... it's just too far. Partition the upper from 30 yard line to 30 yard line ,open a few concession stands hiring a few extra guards and attendants should not be a major expense. Increase the entertainment value in hopes of getting more bums in the seats. Offering corner end zone seats will not do it. Pasta Steve had some refreshing ideas above and I swear to god if I see one more Subway race I will never buy a sandwich from there again.

if you build it, they will come, does not work in this situation.

Maybe so nothing is guaranteed in business. All I know everyone here probably do not purchase corner ticket end zones especially with the screen behind you. I think it’s in agreement that the marketing is very archaic and winning a few games will not be enough to begin to fill the stadium.

Shrum bowl tonight…GO CLAN GO!!! Alumni 81

I know two people with degrees in marketing - one with a Masters. Both are brilliant 'analytical' guys. They approach most everything with a systematic mindset; they love to obtain empirical stats to channel consumerism in a particular direction. They rely heavily on the results of surveys and get bogged down with paperwork. They also often delegate recruitment to professional promoters (the Bruce Allens and likewise) that require huge money to find acts to facilitate entertainment.
Hey, I'm not one to discredit what that brings to the table, but sometimes creativity and 'thinking outside the box' is far more intuitive. If the Lions want to attract families, then get into the heads of parents and kids, get in touch with after school and weekend community activities. What are kids into? That's the question, because I can guarantee you whatever they're into the parents are as well. I have six kids, and I've been following them around for over 30 years to practices, rehearsals, tournaments, games, and festivals, and haven't stopped (6 more years to go). When I see them excited about something, I get on board immediately and put my support behind it. I'm sure you guys know what I'm talking about. As 'unprofessional' as this may sound, if the Lions developed a Community Action Team (sounds better than 'committee') - a group of active parents and kids with a well-rounded list of community involvements, who come together to share their passion(s) with management, and even to brainstorm ways to consider drawing families, I believe we would begin to see a huge improvement in the existing product.

The first thing I’d do is set up one endzone as the home base for all minor league (HS-down) players who are accompanied by the coaches. They get in for free. I’d set up membership and give it a name: say The Players Zone and it is Province wide.
Then for each player who is a member of Player Zone -their parents get two-for one tix for the game that the team attends.

NOW THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKIN' ABOUT!! Great idea, Flag! That idea alone would fill if not more than fill one end zone; the spin-offs would exponentially grow and benefit attendance. These kinds of offers may not initially reap the full benefit, but in the long run it inevitably will. That's what the bigger picture is all about: Think beyond the immediate (fill BC Place), and set objectives to accomplish that goal; create a journey that initially gives most people the 'perception' that it is growing, and in time it naturally will.