It's Sad When We Have to Treat a Pro team as a Charity

I have worked in the non-profit and charitable sector for years. The pay ain't great but the satisfaction is really wonderful because one feels that they are making a difference. I've also worked in the for-profit sector. The motivations and rewards differ.

I have no problem in asking people to donate to a legitimate charity because its doing good work that can't be done without support.

Whenever the state of the 'Cats is discussed, some people announce that they have given up going to games and others get angry and say that tickets have to be bought to support the team. The team is treated as if it is a worthy charity.

I love the 'Cats. I understand that if tickets aren't sold that their future is dim. What I find quite sad is that we discuss them as a charity rather than as a business. If I were an employee of the team this would make me feel ashamed. I hope that - at senior management - it does.

What complicates feeling on this issue is that the 'Cats are part of a business structure - the CFL - that has local franchises and so runs the market. Most businesses must keep the customer happy or go out of business works because there is almost always another business to provide the goods or services.

In Hamilton, the 'Cats are more equivalent to the lone general store in a small town. Everyone thinks that it's important - and everyone will miss it if it goes - but if it closes there isn't much likelihood that somebody else will open another. Indeed, the presence of a Wal-Mart 10 minutes away pretty much guarantees that there won't be another little store opening. People will still get their goods- but in a different way that's divorced from the local community.

In a sense, the role of that lone store is one of being a community service - even though it's structured as a business.

That's what the 'Cats are. They provide an emotional service and sense of connectivity to the community even though they are a business.

We will NEVER find agreement on this board because the situation itself is so complicated. That's why I get frustrated when somebody announces they are 'leaving' for a while and others call them down for doing so. Can we please stop seeing people with a different perspective on this difficult issue as blithering idiots and instead see the problem for what it is.

It's structural, ladies and gentlemen. We have a business that is seen as a community service. In good times that's no problem. In bad times... that's a disaster waiting to happen.

What a load of CRAP

Leave Walmart alone!! they create a lot of jobs and have done a lot for communities in this country.
Do you know that they were the ones who started up the Juno Beach Memorial.
When times are tough people shop at Walmart and they have a lot better service than the other place that begins with a Z.
Why don't you complain about Z ???

Not charity, Hobby.

It is a business...unfortunately like any other business if it doesn't receive any support they go bankrupt. Just so happens that that their disappearance would mean something to the community toutside of just providing jobs i.e. home town football team, player appearances, charity work, etc.

Oh yeah...don't get me started with walmart. A brutal company. Lump Zellers in there too if you want.

walmart is pretty evil. when times are tough we will all be working for wal mart making minimum wage, that is if they dont hire illegal aliens instead and then lock them inside the store.


Yes it is a business. In this case, it's a business trying to sell a lousy product. No one wants to buy a lousy product and so boosters resort to the old "if you don't buy tix, we'll lose the team" threats. So in that sense, the Cats are a charity for a lot of folks--they don't really care about buying the lousy product but they don't want to see the product go away forever either.

There's a basic agreement between teams and their fans. The teams job is to put a decent product on the field that fans want to see. The team's job is not to have its players make community appearances, help old folks cross the street, do charity work, etc. although it's nice if they do.

If the team wants to ensure its survival, field a decent team. This one's not cutting it by a longshot.

Sorry but I don't see any pro sports team as a "community service".

An Argo-Cat fan

If I could tell someone not to be a Cat fan, I know who I would choose.

Sorry but I don't see any pro sports team as a "community service".
I would think the child in the sick ward of a hospital would completely disagree with you. Or the football association looking for fund raising opportunities.
What a load of CRAP

Leave Walmart alone!! they create a lot of jobs and have done a lot for communities in this country.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is what I mean. I didn't attack Wal-Mart. I said that people who bought there would have a different experience (chaper prices and less service likely)and that the small store would probably disappear.

MikeM - Please, please, read what I said. People, we share differing perspectives but sometimes it seems that all we want to do is fight rather than discuss the issue at hand.

THIS ISN'T A THREAD ABOUT WAL-MART. It's about perspectives on a business. Oh.... why bother. Have a nice day all.

Actually, I have started thinking of the Cats as a lottery.

When the 6/49 jackpot gets over ten million or so, I’ll go into the store after filling up, buy my gas and then throw down a twoonie for a quick pick number. Usually I stuff it in the glove box and leave it there for awhile.

Having that ticket somewhere in my possession allows me to day dream once and awhile about winning. What would I do with the money, how would my life change, crazy things like that.

Lately I have been having similar day dreams about the Cats. What would a winning season feel like? What if we ever hit the jack pot and won the Grey Cup?

One obvious difference is a 6/49 quick pick number costs two dollars and my season tickets cost over a grand. Same dream, different cost.

When I purchase tickets it is not just to buy "the game" that is being played that day. It is to spend some quality time with 20,000 friends that are all connected together by "the team." Some are close friends, some not so close, and some are from the other side but I accept them (even though they root for the wrong side) while enjoying that we have met doing something we all like; watching the CFL. Sure at times the on field "product" is not what I would like, but the fact that I can be part of a community beyond my "purchasing power" is cool. It is so much more than what is on the field. Who knows, you may be witness to sports history or great plays, even if your team loses.

Compare it to golf. Even if I play badly, which is most of the time, I have just spent 5 hours in the sun with my friends doing something that we enjoy (and drinking beer.) That is the experience I "paid for."

Most insightful comments I've read here for along time. I'll have to reconsider my position. :slight_smile:


An Argo-Cat fan

Mark, I too, get frustrated with posters who call people down
when they announce they are 'leaving' even for a while.

I can hardly believe the amount of bitterness,
and bullying that fellow had to put up with.

If people don't want to buy tickets
at this time, that's their perogative.

The Ticats have to stand on their own as a business.

everyone doesn't have to like it, but that's a fact.

Nobody is obliged to support them out of charity.

Even though they aren't a community service,
they are a part of our cultural community.

They would be missed.


I don't know what mikem interpreted
from what you said about Wal-Mart,

but I interpreted it that you were comparing Wal-Mart
to the Buffalo Bills and the 'General Store' to the Ticats.

If the Buffalo Bills squeezed the Ticats out of business
some of us would get our football product over there.

Careful, barney, you may be drinking bob's Koolaid.

Just kidding. :oops: :lol:

Actually, I agree with this entirely. Great post, A-C fan.

For some men with big pockets it's like buying a lottery ticket. If I win I win, if not who cares. "got my tax wirte off" attitude. Not all though some are in there because of their competitiveness. Oh, I think Walmart and Zellers booth suck, but that just my opionion. :wink:

For every $1,000,000 a sports franchise owner
takes out of his pocket and spends on his team

he can 'write off' that $1,000,000 loss

reducing his overall tax bill by $500,000

He is still out $ 500,000 for every $1,000,000,

After seeing ticket prices go up
even with this team's dismal record,

do you believe Bob Young is one of
these 'who cares' guys, redstallion?

As a converted Ti-Cat fan (former Eskies) I can attest to the feeling of community within the CFL. True, even bad CFL football is better than no CFL football (just ask anyone from Ottawa). But it's been five years of futility (except for Coach Marshall's premier season) and I'm tired of getting kicked around.

Bob has admitted to making some operational mistakes, we've had some bad luck (Maas, Barker, maybe Printers) and obviously it's a competitive business so the other teams aren't about to show mercy.

If patience is indeed a virtue then I believe the faithful who still venture down to IWS are the foundation of this franchise. We'll continue to support this team out of love of league, team, and even community. But memories of 2003 and 13,000 average attendance worry me.

I admire your reflections here, Mark and I completely agree with this expression of your personal thoughts.

I also understand the analogy of Wal Mart vs the Z store. Unfortunately, some here think that this was the focus of your post. These folks aren't likely to ever understand your meaning.

I would also like you to know, Mark, that even if I thought your post totally went against my own personal opinions, (which it in no way, does)I would still respect your right to express your own.

Mark, your initial post here was thoughtful and pretty close to the truth...too close for some I guess...well written