How Many Fans Needed To Sustain our Teams

There is an interesting article ( Economist, Business Section ) examining how many paid fans are required to sustain a CFL team in Canada.. it examines both football and hockey. According to their study, a CFL team needs a fan base of at least 250 000 and requires a minimum of 25 000 paid seats at every game to sustain a CFL team. Lower figures would indicate that the franchise is not sustainable. In the east, Toronto, Montreal and Hamilton do not attract 25 000 paid seats per game and, require owners with huge pockets to keep the team going. I'm wondering about the Ottawa franchise. In thinking back I don't think the Renegades had this attendance. Have they acquired the " big pocketed "owners to help sustain the team?

Things like corporate sponsorship and ticket prices come into play. Grey Cup games for teams who have a venue to host them are big money. 2 to 3 million. Each market has its formula. Edmonton has lower ticket prices than Montreal but more butts in the seats. Hamilton hosting he Grey Cup will make a big difference.

But if you have low attendance, low ticket prices and can't host a GC. Your gonna lose your shirt.

Good points HfxTC

Is there a database/site that reveals the average ticket prices charged per team?

This would go a long way in determining gate driven revenues accumulated and which teams need to rely moreso on corporate sponsorship/playoffs/Grey Cup hosting/ etc etc

and does this article/study reflect on broadcast licenses, merchandising etc etc?

Here's an example on the Eskimos of what they charge/savings..ect.; scroll the page.

Edmonton Gate receipts

Gate 2011: $7,834,505 Total revenues 17,567,433 ( home playoff game )

Gate 2010: $7,920,999 Total revenues 15,763,126

2011 they had a home playoff game: Gate was 954 274 divided by attendance of 30 183 for average of $31.61 per head.

Here are the complete financial statement for the Edmonton Eskimos for this past season

[url=] ... ements.pdf[/url]

The 2007 G.C. in T.O. made 5 million. Teams also get a lot of money from T.V. contracts every 5 years or so.

They get the TV money in anual instalments....
Anyways, a team like the Aloutes brings in way more gate revenue then a team like BC.... For one the Als don't give any seats away, secondly, their seatas(exspecially the premium ones) are much more expensive then BC's... Yet the Lions average quite a few thousand fans more, but there is no comparrison... Don't even get me started on corporate sponsorship, the Als destroy everybody at that as well. The Riders definately have the merchandise market conered... But it would be a toss up to see who really makes more money, The Riders or the Als.

Teams get their cut of tV money and merchandise sales once a year, in Edmonton’s case its 2 million dollars a year. I just posted the financials which shows the 2011 Grey Cup Numbers. Five million in revenues yes but they have to pay the league for the game and incur the costs of hosting it. there isn’t five million left to the team.

I honestly believe that those financial statements are complete hogwash.. The most common story floated this last Greycup was in how $10 million of tickets was sold.... Are we to believe that the average ticket price for the GreyCup in Edmonton was $80....Like COMEON!!!!!

Have you done research on this or did you pull this out of your posterior? BC only has 5 price buckets which are as follows:

Club Lounge = $125
Coaches Sideline = $85
Red Zone = $65
Touchdown = $45
Touchdown Endzone = $35

It's the most expensive cheap ticket in the CFL.

BC averaged 29,725 (at Empire and BC Place) in 2011. Montreal averaged 24,058.

rymes with orange wrote: BC averaged 29,725 (at Empire and BC Place) in 2011
and I would imagine the Leos will average at least 35,000+ (possibly near 40,000) now that the team is playing out of BC Place full time this season.

Coming off a Cinderella story season doesn’t hurt either. :thup:

CFL Attendance 2011

Edmonton Eskimos Capacity: 60,081 / Average : 34,625
Home Games: (1) 26,059. (2) 32,297. (3) 32,478. (4) 35,216. (5) 45,672. (6) 40,274. (7) 38,054. (8 ) 30,734. (9) 30,845. Total: 311,629

Saskatchewan Rough Riders Capacity: 30,048 / Average : 29,939
Home Games: (1) 30,048. (2) 30,045. (3) 30,048. (4) 30,048. (5) 30,048. (6) 30,048. (7) 30,048. (8 ) 30,048. (9) 29,073. Total: 269,454

Calgary Stampeders Capacity: 35,650 / Average : 30,601
Home Games: (1) 27,984. (2) 29,910. (3) 29,307. (4) 30,386. (5) 35,650. (6) 29,929. (7) 33,469. (8 ) 29,698. (9) 29,076. Total: 275,409

Winnipeg Blue Bombers Capacity: 29,533 / Average : 29,556
Home Games: (1) 27,638. (2) 27,890. (3) 29,533. (4) 29,533. (5) 30,338. (6) 30,518. (7) 30,447. (8 ) 30,360. (9) 29,751. Total: 266,008

BC Lions Capacity 29,517 (Empire) / 54,500 (BC Place) / Average : 29,725
Home Games: (1) 22,738. (2) 24,117. (3) 25,238. (4) 24,131. (5) 25,263. (6) 50,213. (7) 30,622. (8 ) 29,749. (9) 35,454. Total: 267,525

Montreal Alouettes Capacity: 25,012 / Average : 24,058
Home Games: (1) 22,317. (2) 24,698. (3) 24,434. (4) 24,448. (5) 24,304. (6) 24,642. (7) 23,960. (8 ) 23,668. (9) 24,051. Total: 216,522

Hamilton Tiger Cats Capacity: 29,600 / Average : 24,116
Home Games: (1) 23,852. (2) 22,245. (3) 24,068. (4) 24,347. (5) 26,964. (6) 22,654. (7) 23,268. (8 ) 25,536. Total:192,934

Toronto Argos Capacity: 45,000 / Average : 20,017
Home Games: (1) 21,189. (2) 19,204. (3) 20,482. (4) 19,593. (5) 19,108. (6) 21,853. (7) 18,720. (8 ) 19,176. (9) 20,833. Total: 180,158

Its a community owned team financial statements arent fudged.

Here are the exact figures

[url=] ... ements.pdf[/url] go to page 6

Looks like there was over 5.3 million left to the eskimos after they paid all costs associated with GC game. so five million is correct.

Montreal averaged just over 20,000 for several years because that was their capacity. The ticket prices were higher. So you cant say that a team needs to average 25,000 to make money ! Every market and team situations is different !!

Still though, one would think how on average the required tickets sold to a point of break even is 25k, factoring in how the corporate seats etc. will be extra income.
So the new Ottawa team coming in even though the refurb stadium will only have about 21k, there will be several corporate boxes and presumed corporate seating that will make up financially for the difference.

Montreal has averaged a lot more than 20k. Everyone always forgets the game at the big O that has drawn between 38 and 53k. some seasons they've played two games at the Big O.

There is no way to break even with 20 000 fans.

Montreal while playing at Molson Stadium otherwise known as McGill University had the Capacity of just over 20,000 up untill last year when it was renovated to 25,000.
The only difference in Montreal is ticket prices are almost double that of other teams, so in reality the revenue is like 40,000. So, Ya, It can ge done with 20,000 !

All these arguements about ticket sales are moot if Cohon can sign the TV deal the league should get.
If the league can at least double or hopefully triple what it gets in a year, the reliance on butts in the seat is alot less.
They say NFL teams make money before they even sell a ticket because of TV money.
CFL can't get that much in Canada, but what they can get will make owning a CFL team a profitable business.

According to the T.O. Star the 2007 G.C. made $5 million PROFIT after costs.
It is still a CFL record [maybe]. They also make some money from the festival events.