Ideas for growing football in Canada without the XFL

John Hodge of 3DN; a guy I rarely agree with, wrote an opinion piece about the CFL investing in itself: Forget the XFL: it’s time for the CFL to invest in itself | 3DownNation
Aside from his wild speculations, he makes some good points at the end in investing in amateur and flag football.

I think it needs to go a few steps further. I'm talking about real partnerships with the various Junior leagues, Football Canada, USports, high school programs, and the Global initiative. Personally, with the numbers of injuries - especially concussions - inherent with contact sports (even so-called "non-contact" ones like soccer and basketball), I would advocate for playing flag football with all the same positions and schemes, just with zero hitting. You can still learn the basics of the sport, but without the higher potential for traumatic brain and other injuries. Kids would be almost as skilled, and perhaps even more so, if they learned the skills while having fun safely.

My younger brother played for (I think) the Stampeders Junior team out of either Burlington or Oakville (can't really remember which, but they played games at IWS. Probably one of the only two games I ever attended in the South grandstand). It was pretty good football, but I could see the potential for more. Better equipment, coaching, trainers, etc. All that costs money, but I believe that it's an investment in the future for Canadian players. I remember my old CANUSA Games years, where we billeted athletes from Flint, MI every other year. Imagine if the same thing could happen with Global players of a comparable age? And Canadian kids doing the same in other countries, playing football in other cultures? What an educational (ie: real-world experience) that would be.

USports is, IMHO, a bigger fish to fry. The years when the VC was played on Saturday, with the GC played the day after were some of the best years for watching Canadian football. Unfortunately, a certain telecommunications company has the broadcasting rights for USports football, and pretty much only broadcasts the championship Bowl games and the VC - and barely advertise them nor have the games in a prime viewing slot. It's annoying, because there are at least two personalities in that company, Arash Madani and Tim McCallif are huge USports football fans. I crap on Madani often for his assaults on the CFL (probably sour grapes because he didn't last long on any team he was affiliated with) but his passion for USports is true.

So, what are YOUR ideas on how to invest and grow the game, without the XFL or any other league?

Another new CFL-XFL thread??
Sorry but heard all this before. Everyone talks about "the CFL needs a new business model" "they need to market" "they need a bigger TV contract"
The reality is the CFL does not have a big TV contract and that is not going to change in the near future. Young fans are not attracted to the CFL and that's not going to change over night. Getting kids to play flag football or partnerships with junior football does not solve any of the current problems. That maybe a long term goal that goes hand in hand with getting younger people interested.
The CFL relies on fans in the stands, look what happened last year, no fans in the stands and no football. Again likely to happen this year, no fans in the stands no football.
The only way to play football will be an infusion of cash to play with or without fans in the stands. The only possible way to get an infusion of cash is a merger with the XFL and it's backers.


I love the paragraph near the end of the article that he is not a CFL owner nor a wealthy business owner and it's easier to spend other people's money.

The league and have teams already participate in flag and minor football initiaves

Yes there are always ways to improve on these fronts but regarding a potential XFL partnership/merger, it's not an either/or situation.

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Those are all pretty small-scale investments. I'm thinking on a grander scale with REAL dollars invested.

To the other...individual...who wrote the trollish comment: if you don't like reading something, give yourself and everyone else a break and simply ignore the posting without venting your spleen. Your posts have been the most derogative that I have been reading recently, and your post above is unwelcome. If that's all that you have to offer, then I feel sorry for you. One would think that you have a certain agenda...

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The discussion according to Drew's article is invest in growing football 'instead' of discussing a merger/partnership.

Consider there is less real dollars to spend, wouldn't looking at path to stabilize the league give more money to invest in amateur football?

Sounds like he read some of that on the forum but left out the sponsorship part and the entire amateur apparatus under the name CFL minor Football with a title sponsorship coast to coast .

Nissan had built fields and Paid for equipment in the past . Not sure if they were given the proper exposure nor the resolve to make sure the task was given a broader reach with more community attachment like minor hockey , minor soccer or minor baseball does .

It needs a proper steward within the CFL to make this a national enterprise that kids play under the banner CFL minor football that would include a invested CDN partner who would sponsor certain heavy costs involved with the sport .

Communities would gravitate towards it at the lower age levels with flag football like other minor sports and they may need to consolidate with other communities more for the higher cost tackle football .

They should see at the higher age bracket to somehow get Junior and U sport to compete with some cooperative coordination of programs and see if there could be some interplay . IMO .


I have been giving this a bit more thought.
I am getting tired of all the Country music involved in virtually EVERY TSN broadcast. I am tired hearing the Reklaws(?) at almost every commercial break. Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver all have an enormous demographic that doesn't listen to Country. Perhaps those teams should include other music genres in their marketing; you know, appeal to the younger, more urban population.

I'm with you. Dislike 'country' music.

Jazz drummer extraordinaire Buddy Rich was once hospitalized, and the nurse asked him if he had any allergies. His response: "Yes; country music."


Other than The Reklaws who else was featured? I don't recall the others.

Please, please do not suggest Drake, Weekend, Bieber, or Mendes. And no rap, ever. And no, I am not suggesting the 60s, either. Well, maybe some early R&B😉


Bieber :joy:, the only CDN to be booed from the time he entered, through all his songs, and when he left the field at a Grey Cup. Booed and laughed all the way through it.

That was embarrassing for Canada and CFL. Typic Canadian thought process. Criticize their own when they reach US success. Not his fault his fans don't meet the CFL desired demographics. At least, Bieber lives in Canada unlike another former Grey Cup halftime performer, Shania Twain who lives in Switzerland and New Zealand


They should sell all the teams to a single entity. They as a collective have proven to be unable to grow their business for 60 years. This also brings into question the ownership model of community owned teams who unable or unwilling to show a profit, spend every Nickle, inflating the cost of doing business on private owners.

Alternatively, set the league as a public company and trade the ownership in individual teams for shares of this new entity.

This will increase stability and set up a common vision and pool of money.

You can't run sport franchises like the fast food industry. Revenue sharing is the most simple solution because the NFL has done it since the 90's. The CFL will see that is the proper solution to their woes

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Revenue sharing? are you talking about gross revenue? revenue after expenses?
How would it work in the CFL?

Fans in Sask were not happy that the Riders and the other teams had to pay over $600K each to keep the Als afloat. Sharing revenue to teams like the Argos with 12k average attendance and owned by MLSE won't be very popular either.

The same MLSE pays into revenue sharing from the Leafs to keep the Coyotes and Panthers of the world afloat. It made going back to Winnipeg possible.

Same league that just finished collecting installments of a 650 million expansion franchise last week.


So do the Yankees, The Lakers... that's how modern pro leagues work. It isn't based on the wealth of the owner but on the revenues of individual teams.

The decision to pay to keep Montreal upright was the first smart business decision the league made as a group in a long time. 600k is a bargain compared to finding yourself in breach with your single broadcaster and standing to lose 5 million a year. This wasn't charity...


What about the 50+1 model the German League uses when it comes to ownership of teams.

Sorry, I'm not familiar.

In that model fans own just over 50% (50+1) of the team.