But the tune has changed quite a bit from 40+ years ago.
As far as I understand it (not old enough to have seen it in action), the NASL was an attempt to make a league virtually from scratch and relying on the "star power" of players who were starting, or already in, their career decline and saw the chance of easy money. Obviously, things failed.
Go back 25 years or so with MLS, the USA was coming off the World Cup hosting but the league definitely had growing pains and It's really only in the last few years that It's shaken off the image (among UK/Euro fans anyway) of the "retirement home league" for European stars and is becoming respected as a competition in its own right.
Fast forward to now, and the league is expanding, getting a truly national footprint and arguably challenging the US "big leagues" in certain regions - in the Deep South and Florida, for instance, can you honestly say something like NHL is bigger than MLS?
Geography also really helps the USA (and Canada to an extent) as arguably Concacaf has the most favourable qualifying draw - three guaranteed spots where aside from Mexico, you have inconsistent (and much less populated) central American/Caribbean nations to contend with) and a playoff spot against Asia or the weakest region of all in Oceania.
Point taken, but I'd argue that among - how can I put this? - "region-specific sports" that the NFL is the absolute freak outlier in its worldwide following.
Examples I can think of - Kabaddi in the Indo-Pak region, Gaelic Games in Ireland, Aussie Rules in Australia. In those particular countries/regions, the sports have huge following, but in the wider world, unless you happen to be part of that particular ethnic community/diaspora, virtually no-one cares (or may not even know the sport exists).
You might spend another ten years trying to fix the three weakest markets - The only problem with US Stadiums is finding one that will fit the CFL field - Usually if there is a track around the field you can fit a CFL field - and I am pretty sure you could find solid ownership groups - don't just do a 1990's cash grab - get good owners - close to Canada and help stabilize the league -
USL Championship soccer expansion fees were $12 million in 2020 the CFL could get that much - which would help with the losses from the last couple of years - also having American teams might put a little in the coffers from a US TV deal - better than the 200K the CFL gets from ESPN -
Soccer has the tribal feel of us versus you down pat . They do that well .
MLS did one thing the CFL needs to emulate the MLS business plan changed to one thing over everything else infrastructure .
The team specific stadium for some reason was bought into by communities in the states .
They aren't cheap either but compared to the NFL or MLB they are very reasonable .
Do the same here with the CFL only bring it down even more from the MLS level costs and make it reasonable to build smaller 16 to 20 k CFL stadiums with community use and good player locker rooms training etc which should be on the owners shoulders alone who will be more likely to be on board for that cost to make the team better .
They need to apply themselves more in the build it now phase for that content for genius sports if they are serious about growth .
After this sweep of covid finally there will be building explosion once the gates open with the backlog of supply and demand .
Ride that wave with a few communities and grow the game to 6 games a week .
I agree with the smaller stadiums motto making it easier to potentially create more teams in Canada although I don't know if this is feasible and keeping the player contracts as high as now if this is possible. Part of me would like to see a CFL/XFL merger and the CFL relinquish the Grey Cup to a pure amateur status in Canada and allow the universities and juniors to vie for it and the new CFL/XFL can then have their own championship trophy. But I hear the XFL merger idea isn't going to happen, correct, in all probability?
When I heard the CFL might die last year my feeling is make the Grey Cup the U sports winner .
I am on board with that if the day comes .
But I think the business case for live sports is extremely high .
CPL is growing and the CFL should also . I think they could easily change the Can con for pro sports so leagues in Canada pro / amateur receive the full benefit of Canadian participation in the sport being televised .
It will be a game changer as Toronto centric pro sports will be nicely put out of our misery and the landscape of domestic content will change to give proper value to real domestic content that will help with production costs and help communities grow their own sports properties .
This is interesting because in all of the discussions I think it's really necessary to talk about the Grey Cup rather than just "how can the CFL survive" sort of thing. I was just wondering if there is some sort of U.S. "national" if you will soccer championship and lo and behold, old news to those who follow soccer I'm sure but news to me, is the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup that yes, is vied for by both professional AND amateur teams. Interesting concept I say and perhaps one that Canadian football could adopt in some way for the Grey Cup. Link below (also check out Wikipedia entry for further information):
"Embarking on its 107th edition, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is U.S. Soccer's National Championship. The history-filled tournament is conducted on a single-game, knockout basis and open to all professional and amateur teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer, with pro sides receiving byes to the later rounds. Having crowned its first champion in 1914, the oldest national soccer competition in the USA was renamed in 1999 to honor American soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.
Atlanta United FC is the reigning Open Cup champion, having earned the club's first tournament title with a 2-1 victory against Minnesota United FC on Aug. 27, 2019, in front of an Open Cup Final record 35,709 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta."
Nope I am suggesting that getting new teams in Canada for domestic expansion does not require that type of high investment for a team just starting out that doesn't have 50 or 80 years worth of time under it's belt of community connection .