Lions need to get out of Vancouver

Hey, just to come clean, I’m a Rider fan living in BC. The Lions so far this season are the real deal. Sound on all sides of the ball. Only problem is, your customer won’t come to you and support you. So you need to move to your customer.

Lower mainlanders are not big football fans due to many reasons. Demographics is the biggest issue in my opinion. Ethnic diversity is dense in GRVD and let’s face it, football is not a choice for many of them. It’s time for the Lions to GO to their customer.

Imagine this:

  • 30,000 seat open air stadium in the heart of the Okanagan valley.
  • summer nights sipping BC wines and craft beers while watching the BC Lions (cause we are still in BC) entertain the 10’s of thousands transplanted prairie folks and hard core Lion’s fans who live there.
  • a days drive for Eskimo and Stamp fans to join the tailgating and fun.
  • a half million people in a two hour drive from Kelowna to support the Lions.
  • a multi use stadium that supports the terrific legacy of the Okanagan Sun as well
  • fantastic climate that supports outdoor sports.

All I need to to is win the Lotto MAX, buy the Lions, convince the province and the city of Kelowna to construct a 30,000 seat stadium and the Lions will have an outstanding future.

Oh, and if you’re a billionaire reading this, I’ll take just 5 percent in royalties for the idea and y’er welcome!

Nonsense. There are lots of football fans in Vancouver. Lions President (Skulsky) recently said Vancouver (proper) is where most of their ticket holders come from (followed by Surrey and Burnaby). Fans just need a reason to come out. Now that the club is winning and playing exciting football again, we should see attendance increase. It wasn’t that long ago they were averaging 34K a game. Not likely to see that again (no blackouts, cost of tickets vs cost of living etc.), but 25-26K should be their goal. That is not unrealistic.

The Lions have played 2 home games this season, both of which were early in the season coming off several dull, disappointing seasons. That said, I do think the club needs to organize charter buses from the Interior to Saturday home games. But move there? Never!

:thup: :thup:

I will be going to the BC/ TiCats game on Saturday night.
To watch my Cats declaw the Lions :thup:
Looking forward to it.

Don’t bet any money on it there Riley. Enjoy the game. Wish I were going.

I hope the Lions Fans pack the place…
It should be one hell of a game…
Zac is returning to starter… at this game for the Cats.
Could wind up going right down to the wire.
And yes…I will be betting for the Cats to win this one…by 3 points. :thup:

lions had a pretty bad five seasons since grey cup and managed 3 games over 30,000 just 2 seasons ago.

If this teams keeps playing like this people be crazy NOT to come back

Lions games are highly entertaining yet they can’t draw fans. I stand by my first post in this thread. Time to face reality and the future.

pat-I don’t disagree with you that Van has a soft sports market and the Lions are not a hot ticket.
I like the visuals you present of a summer night, sipping a drink in the warmth of the Okanagan. However the area is full of tourists in the summer, all doing just that. What I don’t necessarily correlate to is them going to a football game.

In my time of sitting in bars in the Okanagan I always have to ask them if they can turn on a game. I have seen virtually no interest in the CFL outside of a few groups of old rounders in Sask gear getting pleasantly soused in O’Flannigans in Kelowna for an afternoon game.

I do think there may be a market for someone to get a bus, get a cut rate at a downtown Vancouver hotel, game tickets and sell that package to Kelowna and area fans. Might get 50 out.

This is the most exciting Lions team in a decade, the stadium is world class. It should be working. And I guess it is for 20,000. The Lions should make sure those 20,000 enjoy the time spent at the stadium. I’d be concentrating on knowing what they want and not assume that non stop music between every play is that desirable for most. I could be wrong.

And I’d set up an area where every BC HS football team can come for next to nothing.

If the Lions draw 26,000 for Saskatchewan on Nov 5, they will have averaged 21,000 for the season (21,002 to be exact). While that is soft to be sure, they won’t exactly be light years behind the 23K and 24K that Hamilton and Ottawa average.

The biggest impediment for Lions growing their attendance numbers is ticket pricing. It’s way too high. Most season ticket holders sit between the 30s in the expensive seats. A large % of those seats are sold out. Fine. That is not the issue.

The issue is everywhere else - where the casual fan does not equate paying $35 - $72 for a CFL game (and really, $35 is that narrow band of seats at the very top of the endzone. Most end zone seats are $43!). It costs $72 to sit on the $5 yard line. These prices are insane when you’re competing with High Def TV in a market with a very high cost of living.

Same stuffthat fans in TO deal with. We lived on Vancouver Island from Oct 02 to Aug 13 and we thought we’d get to a bunch of Lion games but the trip to Vancouver was a pain and expensive. The ferry rates doubled in the time we lived there. Plenty of Lion fans on Van Isle. It can’t be easy for fans living outside of Vancouver to get into town for games. Traffic is nightmarish.

Lions belong right were they are. I’d like to get out to see the Argos in Vancouver next year. Need me some Nats Pizza and Howe Sound Brewery Rail Nut Brown Ale.

And tapas at La Bodega afterward at Howe Street.

Good call on Nat’s pizza. I am from Vancouver but lived for a time in NY. Nat’s is the closest I’ve found (by far) to authentic NY pizza. I believe they have relatives from Yonkers (outside the Bronx) and they imported their pizza oven from there.

Jamie, unfortunately, La Bodega closed about a year or two ago.


Felt like I was just there. Such a great tradition.

I could be perfectly happy with Toronto and BC leaving the CFL. Put a team in Halifax as the CFL’s 8th team as Toronto and BC leave.

Toronto and BC would make great sites for NFL expansion teams…either brand new teams or existing teams that want to move to those two cities.

Your own Simon Fraser University plays the 11-man game. Give your own people what they want.

P.S. Simon Fraser is not to be confused with the sitcom Frasier.

thems fightin words. heresy, pure heresy.

Hi there to those who actuallyread these… I agree with Patcarm. I grew up in Vancouver in the 60’s and 70’s - a die-hard fan of the Lions and the CFL brand. You’re spot-on about the demographics change. Soccer appeals far more to the existing and growing populous, and I don’t think there’s a majic marketing solution to win a significant fan base over unless you’re willing to risk experimenting by changing the game itself, which I think will never happen. It is time to face the music. It’s just a matter of time before BC and TO are x-nay’d from the league. Halifax and Moncton are far less multicultural, and I think might offer the best alternative markets. I’ve thought about Kelowna as well as an alternative site for the Lions, even Langley. Langley is less multicultural, more accessible to Valley folk (huge fan base); and the Golden Ears bridge offers quick access to Burnaby, Coquitlam Maple Ridge fans. BC Place is rapidly becoming the Whitecaps Domain, and BMO the TO FC domain. IT IS WHAT IT IS! The longer we keep our heads in the sand, pretending those markets can be resurrected, tye more it hirts the leaugue. How? Poor support breeds the perception of failure. NOT GOOD. Time to move forward…

I’m still trying to wrap my head around this having the Lions move to Kelowna notion. I’d like to hear more and why some think that is even a viable alternative. I might be missing something here.

I think it would be no better to move the lions away from Vancouver, but I have thought for a few years now that the Argos would do better in Markham.

Can’t comment about the Argos moving FYB. But I simply cannot phathom the B.C. Lions being anywhere else other than Vancouver.
What I’d like to see is a 25000-30000 seat capacity stadium for Lions and Whitecap games. And I’d like it to be an outdoor stadium just like old Empire Stadium. I’d even prefer real grass. I really think something was lost when Empire Stadium was retired.

Having the Lions playing in a 60 000 seat capacity stadium just makes no sense. Especially during the lean years where only 17 000 fans are showing up. Smaller stadiums filled to capacity makes more sense to me. If you look at the stats sometime, attendance for Lions games over the since the clubs beginnings has not change very much and has been around 27 000 on average year to year. In my opinion BC Place is nothing but a white elephant and the 3/4 of a billions spent to upgrade was a complete waste of money.