Game play in general

Last evening I attended the BC Lions vs Calgary Stampeders game at BC Place. Having been to games other years as well as one earlier this year I was kind of surprised by the lack of attendance. I began looking for reasons. I observed that between almost every change of possession there was an on field sort of time-out. Refs gather at Center of play, sip some water or whatever, teams casually stand around doing nothing except chatting about where they are going after the game. I mean come on! Totally ruined the flow of play resulting in one of the most boring games I have ever attended. What is with all the delay/stoppage in play?


welcome to the CFL pleasure dome!

i tend to agree somewhat, but last nights game was exceptionally slow moving. i think injured players on the field and the general atmosphere of a defensive battle contributed to the perception of interrupted, slow moving play. i do think the overall quality of play of in the CFL is down from pre-pandemic time due to a number of factors, including XFL and USFL, and even the growth of the game in europe.


as a lions fan, i can also say with some confidence that attendance and general fan enthusiasm has suffered since Nathan Rourke went down.


That’s interesting. I go to a lot of high school games (I’m the scoreboard operator) but I go to very few college or pro games. When I do, I notice how many stoppages in play there are. You don’t notice it as much at home because the commercials are a form of entertainment or you can go to the kitchen or bathroom.

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That's one of the reasons I only go to one or two games a year. Even in Regina, which has a pretty good atmosphere, I still prefer to see the game on my couch. I notice the delays a lot less at home.

I’ve noticed a big increase in play stoppages and TV/ commercial time outs as well. Seems like every change of possession they cut away to commercial for a couple of minutes. If you have a game with a lot of punting it becomes an extra slog especially when you’re at the game itself and twiddling your thumbs waiting for the play to get blown back in. And there is a lot of time spent by referees having a conference after even seemingly straightforward penalty calls. It was never like this when I grew up watching the league. Games used to be over in 2.5, maybe 2-3/4 hrs. Now they’re mostly 3 hrs or more.
It’s been mentioned here in a lot of different threads. League needs to do something to speed up the pacing of the game.


i suspect that league and TSN have increased stoppages for commercial revenue since pre-pandemic in an effort to recoup lost revenue.


I'd say you are correct. But it really does suck the life out of the stadium experience, unfortunately.

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I'm surprised that during game stoppages the scoreboard doesn't flash: 'Talk Like a Pirate For Two Minutes' or some other fun time waster. Has the 'Kiss Cam' totally dissappeared now? How 'bout a quick Mascot race down the sidelines?


found this article from a month ago regarding Ambrosie’s 5 years as league commissioner: It's a mixed bag of results after five years with Randy Ambrosie as commissioner of the Canadian Football League | Toronto Sun

some interesting points related to attendance and revenue, etc.


It's a mixed bag of results after five years with Randy Ambrosie as commissioner of the Canadian Football League
Sep 01, 2022 • September 1, 2022

On the one hand: seven years of labour peace, an extended TV deal with TSN that delivers about $50 million annually through 2025, a substantive revenue-sharing program, a promising business partnership with technology company Genius Sports and a more entertaining on-field product than last year.

On the other hand: still no closer to a team in the Maritimes, troubling long-term attendance slides in most cities, the likelihood of another ‘for sale’ sign in Montreal, and every reason to believe the Canadian Football League will once again lose millions.

In a nutshell, which is occasionally an apt descriptor for the CFL ecosystem, that’s how the nine-team loop looks after five years with Randy Ambrosie as commissioner. Only three men have served longer terms in the big chair: Sydney Halter, Jake Gaudaur and Mark Cohon.

“I felt from the very beginning that I wanted to do this as long as I could add value to the league and I’m excited about what’s in front of us,” Ambrosie said Thursday. “Again, I serve at the pleasure of the board of governors and I intend on doing that to the very best of my ability until the day comes when it’s decided either by myself or by the governors to do something different. For now, I’m focused on all the opportunities in front of us.”

And he’s excited by the brand of football being played most weeks; more first downs, more scoring, fewer two-and-outs, and a healthy majority of games decided in the final three minutes. He said rule changes have been key to the offensive uptick, so too emerging stars like now-injured B.C. quarterback Nathan Rourke.

He also said the league met recently with CFL Players Association leadership to work on leveraging their new, seven-year Collective Bargaining Agreement into a win-win proposition. The players have a seat on the board of CFL Ventures, the company formed to maximize the potential of the league’s partnership with Genius Sports. That gives the players real input on business decisions going forward.

And there is little doubt Ambrosie has always tried to drag the traditional business of the CFL into the future. However, his tenure was broadsided by the COVID pandemic which forced the cancellation of the 2020 season and the shortening of the 2021 regular season campaign and is likely still a drag on league-wide attendance, which is averaging slightly more than 21,000 through 47 of 81 games. The pandemic also laid bare the league’s dire financial reality, as Ambrosie told a Parliamentary committee that the CFL routinely loses $10- to $20 million annually.

That sobering fact makes it all the more important to harvest new streams of revenue while simultaneously rebuilding in-game attendance, which is the league’s lifeblood.

“All around the world of sports and entertainment we’re seeing a bit of a slow rebound, which in some ways is not terribly surprising,” Ambrosie said. “People are being cautious about the return, and I’m using air brackets here, to normal because we’ve been through two of the hardest years in human history with the COVID crisis and it’s left some scar tissue that will take some time to heal.”

He said team presidents and ticketing personnel will convene ahead of this month’s governor’s meeting to share best practices, but it won’t provide an immediate fix. Longer term, Ambrosie said the league’s new revenue sharing program will “build more stability amongst our teams. I think that’s really a step in the right direction.”

Ambrosie’s previous pet project, nicknamed CFL 2.0, was often criticized as a step in the wrong direction. Critics argued the league had too many domestic problems to go looking for solutions in Mexico, South America, Asia and Europe. However, the CFL was building some momentum by holding player combines in several countries and working on a series of small broadcast deals. COVID put a sudden end to their globe-hopping plans, but Ambrosie nonetheless believes the league found “the proper context” for the 2.0 program, which includes a draft and roster designations for international players.

“It was more than an international initiative,” he said. “It was a mindset and maybe a philosophy that we as a league could think big, that we didn’t always have to follow our traditional path. And I would argue that the Genius transaction and creating CFL Ventures is part of that mindset. Because doing things differently and a willingness to try different things is going to be crucial to the future of the league.”

what’s funny is tonight’s MNF game between broncos and niners was packed and full of energy, yet the quality of game play was horrible. one of worst NFL games i’ve seen in recent memory, and even reminded me of some of the poorer CFL games this year.

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Même la mi-temps a été augmentée de 14 à 16 minutes pour plus des annonces

Hier soir c'était dimanche

The CFL should look at the product as entertainment first and foremost for the one's entering the stadium and

secondly for the TV viewer .

Because the first one is a direct correlation to the second ..... .

So if the stadium viewer is saying this is killing atmosphere at the game there is no way the TV viewer is getting a better experience of the actual game ..

They maybe more comfortable at home but that is more a direct comparison to the trouble of sitting at a stadium versus sitting at a sofa at home .

THE in hOUSE stadium/arena /venue experience just like a LIVE concert or any event for that matter should be a BETTER experience at the stadium or venue not less than at home .

So then if the ads and stoppages in general are killing the league's experience in the stadium they are also killing the experience at home .

I host away games and a couple of home games at my cabin where most of the small community attends. The excitement is increased exponentially from the shared experience but doesn't come close to the live game experience shared at the stadium.

Of course, I have the benefit of being a supporter of the current Grey Cup champs and the current successful season they're having so it makes it easier for all the games to be symbiotically enhanced.
I guess that the crowd generated excitement and the success makes the stoppages in play easier to endure.
After a 29 year drought us Bomber fans went through, I certainly understand the dissatisfaction with the flow of the game.