Has the MLS had any affect on MTL, TOR and the Leos?

Just throwing this out there - I don't believe anything happens in a vacuum - even what we consider small things - since the MLS has moved into the CFL's three largest markets has this had a negative effect on the CFL and CFL attendance?

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It certainly hasn't helped, but attendance problems in those three markets existed long before MLS set up shop.

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It's more about the failure of the CFL to grab immigrants coming into the major markets I think. Everyone in the world knows about soccer so they gravitate towards it. I was thinking last night that it would be nice if there was one week around Canada Day where the CFL had Citizenship ceremonies either pre-game or during half time. That way some new Canadians would be exposed to the game.

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I'm going to say yes unequivocally.

The Argos were averaging nearly 30,000 per game at the dome when TFC debuted. The Alouettes had some ridiculous sellout streak at Molson Stadium in the 2000s before the Impact went to MLS while the Lions were averaging mid 20,000s range with Bob Ackles running the organization prior to the Whitecaps being elevated to MLS.

The CFL was in the midst of a mini renaissance during the Mark Cohon years. While the death of Bob Ackles in BC, the lack of actual finances on the part of the Cinammon and Sokolowski group in Toronto and the end of the Calvillo era in Montreal can't be under stated, MLS in Canada's largest markets have swallowed up the youth and new Canadian consumer for the sort of affordable summer time live sporting experience market segment.

You have to imagine had the soccer teams not existed that some of these folks would have gravitated to the lively football stadium environments of the CFL and formed the basis of new lifeblood for the respective fan bases.

I also believe in the modern ADHD world we live in, there is something higher quality in the fact a soccer game is played out over 2 hours with the only stop coming for halftime. It's something that can and should be employed in other North American sport.

I wish the CFL and TSN would work out a way to be leaders in this respect by reducing TV timeouts and augmenting ad revenue elsewhere.


I'm pretty sure some team(s) did that this year. Maybe Ottawa?

Here's what Google had to say:

According to that last article, Montreal and BC held similar ceremonies in 2018.


Thank you for the research. Back to the drawing board for me lol

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But I agree it's a good idea. Most of the markets that have used it are the stronger ones. If the league's various markets continue to do that annually, it might produce a positive effect long-term.

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It can't hurt. I understand not doing it for this year. I remember attending these ceremonies when I was in high school so they can't cost lots of money to put on and who doesn't love watching people happy to become Canadians?

I'm not sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if holding such ceremonies would qualify teams for some government subsidies.

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They would do it every game then lol

No affect at all, it's a different crowd, different demographic.
The MLS crowd is what the CFL needs, young enthusiastic, loyal.
The CFL might have more fans but the CFL fans are older.
The MLS teams in Mtl, Tor and Vancouver are outdrawing the CFL teams, that would've been unheard of 10 years ago.

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Yes, the younger crowd in the Canadian MLS cities is very noticeable on television, that's for sure. Soccer is going to be a huge spectator sport in Canada as time progresses if not for that very reason it's attracting a younger crowd. The CFL was smart to start the Canadian Premier League if I'm correct with this, I know the CFL has had some major financial and operational aspect to the CPL or maybe it was just Bob Young and the Cats, I'd have to look this up. Hey, it's all football afterall. :slight_smile:

Difference is MLS teams don't have all their games broadcasted in 4k. The CFL's attendance decline in big congested markets is in part due to that every game ison TV for free. Enjoyed watching games in the gazeebo at the side of the pool this summer... Beer was ice cold and cost me a buck a piece, when missed something I could rewind it or freeze it and the Brisket and ribs came out of the smoker just perfect.

MLS has no fans in Canada. They have some diehard fans in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and a few USA cities.

But they literally are a handful and are the ones that go to the games.

MLS game on ESPN this year got a 12k average for 2 months same time each week.

There is literally no threat to CFL or any other sport in north america

Looking at the coverage they receive in Canada its at the CIS level

That doesn't solve anything. If you can't maintain interest with the existing citizens it's just a matter of time before new people will gravitate away from the CFL after the initial introduction.

It's like a restaurant that has problems and poor reviews but the management can never seem to identify the REAL problem (and not symptoms) to fix things.

I'm against any tactics to attract new fans to replace the ones that left. The real problem is the ones that left.

Yikes, that ain't good!

It's not an either or proposition. The league should be implementing strategies to retain current fans in addition to implementing strategies to attract new fans.

It's very important to attract new fans when your old/existing fans are leaving because they're getting old and dying. The league ignored my suggestion to create their own covid vaccine, so I doubt they're now going to try to cure cancer. Better to focus on attracting new, young fans.

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I accept that an maybe these younger fans want some different things than we did and that's ok.

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I'm no huge MLS fan by any means, but this is factually incorrect. MLS averaged around 350k viewers in the U.S. this year, up a bit more 2019 and condiserably from the Covid 2020 season. I'm watching MLS CUP on ABC right now, over 2500 fans flew in from NYC to watch in Portland, average ticket price in the area of $750. MLS isn't going to take over the world, but it's a league on the rise and has the metrics to show it.

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