Is the CFL for older folks?

This was a topic brought up on an Edmonton sports show. Now, my wife and I are Esks season ticket holders and are in our mid to late 20s. Alot of the season ticket holders howerver are older. I like how Commisioner Cohon is trying to get younger fans to CFL games but here in Edmonton, the Eskimos do nothing to attract the younger demographic. How is it in the other cities? IS it the same way?

well in the peg alot of season ticket holder shave been for many many years. i know alot of younger people who will go to games just don;t give the team alot of support until they letsd say get the the gc and jump on the bandwagon.

Well here in Toronto I can tell you as a season ticket holder for some 13 years, there is a great mixture. Sure the old reliables, but I have noticed a great number of kids with their parents, which of course is the future.

I would say that the CFL fits well with the digital age. The short play clock, pre-snap motion, and big plays would certainly seem to fit better than a methodical sport like the NFL or Major League Baseball.

Great post Steve. Was just thinking the same thing at this year's Grey Cup festivities. You see plenty of older faces but not too many younger ones.

Your point goes far to illustrate how the CFL must adapt to continue to appeal to younger fans. It is especially important for them to avoid incidents that make the league look anything less than "big league". This is especially true in the larger markets where a wider variety of sporting options exist.

I'd imagine cost is a factor there. Not many university students have $400 laying around for a couple of tickets, and even young workers might find it a challenge to gather the $1200+ needed for it if it's out of town.

I can't say what it's like in Saskatoon (although from some vids I've seen it looks to be the same), but for Regina, age has absolutely no bearing on it. There are plenty of young people at the games and wearing clothes elsewhere.

But like someone said earlier, with university and the like, it is a little more difficult to be a young season ticket holder. I was lucky in that my mom paid for mine when I was young and in university. However, now that I am on a work term and have been making decent money, I have taken over my ticket.

Take a look at some of the Albert Street or Downtown Regina youtube videos after the Grey Cup win, or the video of the Regina Airport after the win in BC. Pretty well mixed crowd.

At this years grey Cup I think I saw way more younger folks then in previous years. Grey Cup is an annual event for a lot of people, so obviously there would be more older people as they go every year, but this year there was a lot of the 20-30 yr olds there. I saw way more. There was way more females as well, which was definetly not a bad thing.
I think it had a lot to do with the Riders being there. I think the Riders have a lot of younger fans. I know I was raised on the Riders and a lot of my friends were the same. I know of a lot of the 22-30 yr old crowd that have season tickets.

Are you kidding me? lol

I don't think the CFL is just for old people, but I do think they are losing the battle with the NFL in bringing the younger crowd on board - at least in Ontario - because we don't have a video game. That is the best way to get kids involved, pure an simple.

Another thing that will help is the whole party aspect that can surround the game, which I think is why the Riders are so popular with younger people - every Rider game is a giant party. Tailgating would also be a big drawer.

I don't know, here at Lion's games we seem to have a nice mix. I'd actually say it's more younger people in attendance...late teens-20's.

The marketing here does seem geared towards a younger crowd - the TV commercials certainly are.

Personally, I think a lot of the younger fans have parents who are/were into the team and it's "handed down" to them. At least that's the case in our family...I remember going to games back at Empire Stadium. Now I take my kids to games at BC Place.

Many young people can't afford season tickets. They're busy going to school, raising families, working long and weird hours, basically trying to get ahead.

The best thing the CFL can do is lobby cities to relax their rules on tailgate parties. Not sure what they are everywhere, but I bet they are generally pretty conservative. Conservative talegate rules, particularly with regard to outdoor cooking and drinking in public, are a real buzz kill. If you want lots of young people, let 'em party; provide good public transportation to and from the game; tell the cops to leave 'em alone unless there is violence involved. If they start that nonesense of handing out tickets and generally harassing fans for no good reason, the fans won't be back.

As for video games, that's not going to help much. It will get some interested, but generally only in playing sports video games, and if they play them enough they'll be too pasty and antisocial to go to games anyway :wink:

Get more companies to buy season tickets and give them out to employees. It will help get them interested in going if they have a good time (see above). Some will eventually buy their own tickets and get their friends to buy some too.

Another example on how CFL is not for the older crowd. Amatuer football is on the rise. Well at least in Saskatchewan, and I think all over the west. Saskatchewan has so many kids playing football right now its crazy. Kinsmen football (before high school) has really taken off in Saskatoon and Regina, and 6-man 9-man and 12-man programs all over the province for high school. Tiny towns have 6 man teams playing against Texas teams. Every year they have a game between a texas team and a sask all-star team. we are the only 2 places to play 6-man I believe. And all of these kids just love football. And I don't care, if you love football you love football, regardless if its canadian and nfl. So ya, Canadian viewership of nfl is up (not actually sure of that, but I think that is right) but so is CFL numbers. Thats just because more people are watching more football.
Kids all over want to watch football, and its a lot easier to get to a cfl game then a nfl game, so kids are going to those games. Kids will love anything they get to watch live, attendance is up (in sask, not sure of all other teams), more kids playing and begging mommy and daddy to take them to ball games. kids falling in love going to games, once have drivers liscense, or move out, start going and having fun. lots of fun. people like it more. young and old.

sorry about the over-simplified rant

I agree that money is a problem for younger people for seasons tickets. That's an issue for sure.
Also, regardless, I think the NFL still generates more interest in much of Canada for football just because it is a big American league paying big money to the players. That is good though, this helps high schools still wanting football in the programs. Does it matter though what league does what? As long as young kids are into football, that's mainly what matters. Yes, the CFL should be promoting younger kids into the game and doing community stuff at schools etc. But as someone said, Madden NFL probably has more to do than anything with getting young people into football these days.

The fact that younger people may or may not be CFL fans is debatable, until you get some kind of a survey done. And to say they are all flocking to the NFL is debatable. Beause I highly doubt that.

But I think alot of young people don't even follow football. Alot of high schools have dumped football. Kids are more interested in video games or those extreme sports.

And Earl. The NFL generates more interest in CAnada? Check out this link I posted elsewhere. It proves your theory, and many others who spout it, totally wrong.

[url=http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2006/11/10/toronto-doesnt-want-the-nfl/]http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2006/11/ ... t-the-nfl/[/url]

berezin, I hear what you're saying but in Hamilton, a city that has a CFL team, I see way more young people wearing NFL stuff than CFL stuff. And I bet this is the same way in just about all CFL cities. But I don't care really what the situation is. My thinking is different, the NFL to me generates interest for me in the CFL so I don't care if more people are into the CFL or NFL or what. Bottom line, I love the CFL, am a season ticket holder, and now the season is over and I'm watching all NFL, it just makes me want the CFL season to start again so I can go to games. The NFL is no enemy to me, it's a catalyst to some degree for my loving the CFL. And I'm not BS'ing. I love watching the basic aspects of football more than anything and the more I watch regardless of the rules, the more I want live in my home town, up close and personal.

Good post Deb! Also, the Lions have really put an effort marketing themselves to Minor Football. The last five years, they have given the Community League free tickets to the Exhibition game. As well, they have made the players available to attend Registration and practices. Out of my Grandson's team of 32 players 8 are season ticket holders. To me, thats a pretty good percentage!

The Esks used to give away game tickets to the schools back when I was in elementary and junior high, to get kids to the games. I dunno if they still do that though.

Thanks sporty.

You know, they also really cater to the young girls...my daughter participated in a program with the Felions and she absolutely loved it. The kids got to go down to BC Place for the day and learn a cheerleading routine (right down on the field - they thought it was totally cool). They got tours of the Lion's locker room, lunch was provided and they then got tickets to a game, where they performed on the sidelines and at half time.

So they even made a fan out of my daughter!

I know the Lions are also very accessible and do a lot of work in the schools.

I really think they do reach out to the younger generation.

I am one of the"older folks" but when I was a teenager I recall plenty of young folks joining me at Molson in the end zone for $2.00 per seat.