Less than Full House

It is now two weeks of regular season in a row in a row that the game is not sold out. Sure, it was only 300 tickets unsold, making it 98.8% sold. With the highest ticket prices in the league the gate revenue may exceed games in other cities. But still, Percival-Molson is the smallest venue in the CFL.

Should we start to worry about the popularity - and therefore the business feasibility - of the team? Last night was the perfect night for football, with Calvillo chasing the record and tribute to Ben Cahoon, and the weather was perfect. What will happen when Calvillo eventually retire? There will be slump on the performance, for sure. Will the fans still come to the game?

The important question is:
Under Larry Smith...would last night have been a sellout?


First, that's 2000 tickets sold better than the previous game, that's an increase of 10% in sales. So the new team is doing good work. It isn't a trend downwards...

Second: Reporting 300 unsold (probably all single tickets) is just more honnest than being stupid and telling the populace that there are no tickets available to stroke your own ego.

Third: The drop off in interest, corporate sponsorship and ticket sales, hasn't materialised like magic since King Larry "moved on". This is a cumulative result of the previous 24 months of neglect.

Bob looked better than he has in a long time and seemed to be enjoying himself last night.

I do not want to speculate, but in 2010 it was 25 012 attendance for 9 games.

Pardon my ignorance, I know nothing other than on-field appearance. However, in addition to my answer above for the last two years, in 2009 it was 20 202 attendance for 9 games. Please enlighten.

"Announced" attendance has always been a tricky thing. This has been a problem in many major professional leagues. The stadium appeared to be full, with a few empty seats here and there. Declaring a "paid" attendance X may have repercussions for the team where revenue sharing exists in some leagues, not to mention profit/loss considerations.

As to the popularity of football in Montreal, I would have to say the return of the Als to Montreal was a catalyst for the revival/stimulus of football interest in Quebec. Montreal did, after all, inherit an already talented team. Further, I cannot recall seeing so many Quebec-born players in the league; the succes of football programmes at Laval and U de M are cases in point. Does that mean a future CFL team in Quebec city? Well, Mr. Labeaume, maybe you should be thinking about that - I'm sure a football stadium would be a much better bargain than a new arena!

Except for hockey, I'm not sure about Montreal fans; they seem to back a winner. Eventually, AC will be gone from the scene and the Als will be rebuilding, although AD seems poised to assume that role. Another factor is the coaching staff. They are, after all, the braintrust of the organization and devise O and D schemes which can prove to be either highly successful or catastrophic. And then, of course, there is Jim Popp. I have often likened him to the football equivalent of Sam Pollock. For a team to be successful, you need great coaching and great personnel who can execute. Now, to maintain momentum and interest, it is not unexpected that after successful seasons, coaching staffs and players will seek better contracts. Translation? More money!! Football is brutal to the body and a 10-year career is a long career, so I can't blame players and coaches for trying to make hay while the sun shines. Now, the question is: can the CFL, with its salary cap situation, allow this to happen? It is always a little easier to attract or keep players and staff to/on a winning team. The answer to many of these considerations may well determine the continued and future interest in football in Montreal.

I'm sure that no one at this point is unaware of the allegations that Larry Smitth rigged the attendance figures to make it appear that the Alouettes were selling out every night and therefore needed public money to expand the stadium.
So (I think) my point was well taken
Last night's attendance would have been declared a sellout
And there is probably no dropoff in attendance from previous years

On a personal note I was going to go to the game
But when a neighbor pointed out that Ben Cahoon night would likely be sold out...
I decided he was probably right and didn't bother
So declaring a constant sellout situation will certainly discourage game-day seat sales
And I wouldn't be surprised if the Alouettes actually started selling out regularly
Once people realize there are seats available
And they're less likely to be turned away at the door

Lalonde will turn it around and won't need to pad attendance figures to do so. Like Hfx said, what's happening now didn't spring up overnight. It will take time to rebuild our relationship with Montreal's corporate community.

We're also only talking about a few hundred end-zone singles unsold, not thousands and thousands of empty seats in prime areas in the stadium. Not a big deal at all, especially when you consider that Als tickets aren't cheap. Not like we're giving away $10 tickets and we still can't pack the house.

You guys have the highest ticket prices in the CFL, by far. All the 185 buck tickets are sold out. The Al's even at 24,000 bring a game gate of over 2 million. Most other CFL team are in the 1.2 too 1.5 game gate. The Al's needed to look like they lose money to get the Goverment support for the expansion. If the Al's are really doing 24,000 paid, at their ticket price base, then the profit is well in the 7 figures