Major resurgence of the CFL in southern Ontario!

Perhaps the CFL's $1 million investment to promote the league in southern Ontario last year is paying off?

After the incredible success of the 100th Grey Cup in Toronto, which drew record TV ratings, including 2.6 million viewers from the extended GTA who watched the GC game (which is about half the population!), the Ticats have announced some impressive growth of the CFL in the Hamilton market.

According to the Ticats "State-of-the Franchise" event yesterday:

• the Ticats have doubled both revenues and season ticket holders in the last four years.

• the team had $1.3 million in gross revenue in merchandise last year, good enough for third in the CFL, after losing money as recently as five years ago.

• team expects 80 per cent of 2012 season seat holders will make it to multiple games in Guelph. Sixty per cent have either renewed their seats or bought multi-game packs.

• describing the Ticats as a “regional team? Mitchell says 50 per cent of fan base and revenue comes from outside of Hamilton.

The Argos also announced their season ticket renewals are matching last season's pace, which were up considerably from previous seasons. It was reported the Argos made up to $12 million in profit for the 100th GC game last year.

With Ottawa slated to rejoin the CFL next season, along with a brand new stadium in Hamilton (and a new TV contract which will double or triple revenue), happy times are truly here again for football fans in Ontario! :thup:

Not wanting to pessimistic , but until I see Toronto averaging 25,000 paid per game (btw, I do believe they are on the way to that this year) and Hamilton selling out their 24,000 seat stadium next year and beyond for every game , I think it is purdent to be cautious of the indicators, when the proof is in the pudding we will truely be able to say progress has been made.

Quite the difference from mikem's assertion that the Argos are in their 'death throws(sic)'... :lol:

Good news but I would hardly call it a resurgence. For instance the scratching post blog from which you copied the info also stated on the May 20, 2013 post that it has been 40 years since the Ticats have turned a profit. They face a tough year economically playing outside of their home site for this season in a smaller venue. Fewer seats means fewer paying butts, regardless of how many season ticket holders have renewed for this season, though kudos to those that have and will be making the trek to Guelph. It'll help the Ticats to have the city of Hamilton paying some of their expenses while the new stadium is going up. Still, it'll probably be a tough year financially for the 'Cats.

Argos made a nice profit, well deserved. Though I don't believe that has as much to do with the $1 mil investment the CFL made in S. Ont as it does hosting a successful . This news suggests that feeling have quickly disappeared and the Argos may not have been able to cash in on that with ticket sales. It'll be interesting to see, as Mr Pike said, if their attendance overall will exceed their usual averages. We'll see what the Argos do over the course of the year when not hosting a Grey Cup before I agree they are in a resurgence.

A major resurgence would be , 35 000 paid attendance in Toronto and Hamilton sells out their 22 500 stadium every game for 10 years and a person can walk in to a lounge in Southern Ontario and for eg, Watch a BC and Sk game or at least it's on along side a NFL game .... and not get laughed out of the lounge for asking to watch it !

While I see your point I think we need to be in touch with reality. NFL is NFL. MLB is MLB. They're like two mastadons. NFL is not going away and the Jays bring big league ball right into Toronto.

I support the Argos. A revival would mean high 20s average. That's where we are.

Funny story, I was in Toronto back in 2009 (when things were worse) in the summer. There was a Sask @ BC game on a TV at a lounge and I watched it; didn't even have to ask. So I guess one part is good to go.

I will say this about the Argo's ------I went to ticketmaster interactive seat map for the opening game against the Ti-cats to see availability of tickets for that game , now I am not sure whether one can trust the map but the way it stands right now most of the Argo side of the dome is sold , in fact , there were a couple of sections in the 200 level that had only singles ---I was amazed at how many seats in general were sold via presale and season ticket holders-------tickets are not even on sale to the general public till June 1st---I would not be suprised if this game sells out (lower bowl)-----The Ticats on the other hand are in tough playing in Guelph, having lost a significant amount of seasons tickets holders for this year at least , due to the travel factor.

For anyone CFL fans living below Hamilton would be considered a regional area in which Hamilton has worked on developing and it apparently has worked going down to London, over to St. Catherines to Niagra area.
With Hamilton playing this season inGuelph could also grab a strong hold of fans from that part of Ontario especially if they decide to move training camp to Guelph and not hidden at MAC.
Western also has the modern facilities in which Hamilton could hold training camp.
Montreal has taken their TC to Sherbrooke while BC is two ours away from vancouver in Kamloops.
The Riders have even moved TC to Saskatoon this year in the year they are hosting the Grey cup and starting riderville Saskatoon.

Would love to watch the Cats play the Argos in Toronto but can't do it at the RC, not my cup of tea. I had a hard time stomaching all the Blue Jays stuff at the 100th Grey Cup including sipping a beer out of a cup with a BJ's insignia on it. No thank you. Yuck. :thdn:

When the Argos play out of a gridiron stadium where the cups have an Argo insignia on them, I will be the first one or close to the first one in line though. Never going to happen I bet, at least in Toronto.

Weird...when I went to the Vanier Cup, I was drinking an ice tea in a...100th Grey Cup souvenir cup...

I suspect what happened was the ran out of the souvenir cups, no doubt due to the larger than expected crowd at the Vanier.

Honestly, I don't get your dislike for watching football there. The Vanier Cup was the first real football game I saw at the Skydome, and it wasn't too bad (once all the university kids in the very front rows were told by security to sit down), and I was sitting in row 11. I'm seriously thinking about going again this year for a game.

Bob Young said with the increased attendance last year the Ticats were close to breaking even and will be in a position to be profitable with the revenue streams from the new stadium.

Bob wrote on his tumblr blog, the financial future for the Cats looks bright. On his blog there's a link to video of the new stadium. Pretty impressive, even if it isn't an architectural marvel.

We can't just rate the popularity of the Argos by attendance alone. There are many factors which contribute to the smallish crowds in Toronto. Like, the Argos lifting the blackout to all home games, which probably doesn't help ticket sales, especially seasons tickets. Fans know they can stay home and watch the game on TV if they don't feel like fighting the traffic. The Argos also have an irregular schedule with sometimes a month between home games. Other football teams have more continuity in their schedule from week to week, which is easier for the fans to follow.

I'm not arguing what the future is or isn't for the Ticats. The original point was that it was that there was a major resurgence underway. Until both franchises are posting profits without the aid of hosting a Grey cup I wouldn't call it a resurgence. Coming close to making a profit last year isn't a resurgency IMO. A resurgency would be actually posting the first profit in 40 years. As for what caretaker Bob says, that's obviously the hope of the new stadium offers, but it requires fans coming in, paying the higher priced tickets that comes with a new stadium and all its amenities, and doing so. For as long as that happens, the Ticats could have a very good future indeed.

As for no blackouts encouraging fans to sit home and watch and irregular scheduling with inconsistent home games all costing the Argos attendance, how is the Argos situation different than any other teams? Every team in the CFL has to deal with those issues. It's been a while since a Bombers game has been blacked out, even on games with not so great attendance. Other than BC, all the other teams face hits to attendance caused by bad weather which the Argos have the luxury of not needing to deal with. Not knowing when its gameday because of an irregular schedule? In this day and age, its so much easier to find out or get a notice when it's game day, between facebook, twitter, downloading the schedule to outlook calendar, not to mention all the other methods of advertising that's not a valid excuse anymore. And fighting traffic? That's absurd when you consider fans can make it to Blue Jays games and other events at the dome or getting to the ACC. Traffic here in Wpg was terrible getting in/out of CanadInns and will only get worse getting to IGF where there's limited parking. My understanding was the IWS required "creative" parking measures which usually required a bit of a walk for a lot of fans. I'm sure traffic is unpleasant in most cities trying to get into the stadium. Every city has its own issues filling their stadium. Basically the difference you're saying is that the Argos fans are too lazy to make the effort to come out to the games compared to everyone else's fans.

I don't know if major resurgance is the right word but there certainly is some positive momentum happening.

Sometimes I wonder if our aging population is turning more people into CFL fans. Older people tend to appreciate quality more (CFL) and not buy into hype (NFL). This is something I have noticed among some of my friends. What do you guys think?

Wolverine, I spend a lot of time explaining to people from various locations across this country how difficult it is to get to downtown Toronto. Relatives from Cal., Edm. and down east can't understand why I try to avoid a trip to Tor. I live about 65 miles north of TO. and just recently it took me 2.5 hrs. to get to my Mother's place downtown. Besides the millions of people and their cars, there is also hundreds of traffic lights and stop signs to hold you up. If one person has a flat tire on a major artery to the city, both north and southbound lanes come to a crawl so people can gawk. I'm talking 6 lanes wide or more. I also drove truck in Tor. for years, so I know where i'm going and all the shortcuts. I will gladly drive the extra distance to Guelph to see a CFL game, because it means I will be avoiding TOR.... As for the Skydump, I agree with Earl. I've stated before that besides the bad sight lines, narrow seats, parking and terrible location, you have to deal with the attitude of the security and food servers. I had seasons tickets for 3 years and finally had enough. Also, when the games are scheduled has an effect on people getting there. The Dump was built for the Jays, the Argos were just an afterthought and they are still treated that way. It's a shame.

Dan, you may be right. I've been to Toronto a few times for exams, the last World cup of hockey final, and TIFF. I though traffic was tough but doable. But I don't live there every day so I'm not privy to how things are on a daily basis for the locals. However, I did live in LA for 10 years. Traffic is just as bad trying to get in/out of staples centre, the coliseum for USC football games, or even going down the 5 into san diego for chargers games. San Diego was basically an hrs trip from where i lived if traffic moved at the posted speeds. Unfortunately there is traffic and unless i got on the roads by 6 on a wkday or 8 on a wkd, that trip was stretched out to 2-2.5 hrs. The 10 Fwy alongside staples centre is a massive parking lot in rush hour. I've lived those slow crawls on the Fwys where everyone has to gawk at the massive accident off to the side. It's not a pleasant way to live, but it is what it is. The GTA has well over 5 million people. To get 30K to an Argos game would require significantly less than 1% of the population to actually make the effort. And I don't see those traffic woes affecting people getting to ACC for leafs games. Is it that much easier to get there? I think we'll have to agree to disagree.

Agreed. Encouraging news no question, but something along what you're talking about would be more of along the lines of a "major" resurgence

I'm not disagreeing with you Wolverine, I'm just giving the side of the fans who would go if they lived closer and unfortunately , these are the fans that moved out of Toronto and who are moving out on a regular basis. I'm not trying to be disrespectful, but the term used in more than one city is " the great white exodus." A lot of the people who live in Toronto didn't grow up there... Transit is great close to the core. The ACC is a stones throw from the Dump... If you know someone who has Leaf season tickets, usually you will get the seats for games not on Saturday night and not for big draw teams. For some reason the Argos don't draw well. My theory is that they are the only Pro team that plays solely against other Canadian teams and is therefore not seen as world class. We all know how important that is to some.... I've stated often that it is embarrassing that Toronto doesn't support the CFL

In terms of Toronto, they have the Blue Jays with so many games in the spring, summer and fall and really, they don't need the Argos or football as much as I think football is better entertainment. Now MLB won't be going to the other cities that have CFL teams so I don't think we have to worry about that. The CFL and MLS provides the stadium experience (and all are better than the circular Dump IMHO) in these cities and minor league baseball, lacrosse etc.

I don't think we need to worry too much, Toronto will always be a tough sell for the CFL as long as the Jays are there. Yes, it was built for the Jays and with them in mind, it's their stadium really.

I remember having to buy scalpers tickets to get in to see the Bombers play at the old Ex stadium. It was a great stadium before they put in the seats for the Jays. Funny, I remember when they did put in those seats on the south and west sides for baseball. Colour TV was coming on, so they had to put in fancy lights to show up on TV. My father who was a Tor. firefighter, was best friends with a guy who worked for CFTO, who were installing the lights on the tall towers. They decided to hire firefighters to take up the lights and screw them in. My Dad got 90 dollars for every light he installed. That was a small fortune back then. He was also called in every time a light burnt out. They were huge bulbs, maybe a couple of feet wide. Sorry guys, just drifting away… Once, just after buying my season’s tickets for the Argos, my wife won another pair of seasons tickets seated in the south stands. The seats were metal benches, brutal. She won them on a promo on a Sunday morning. If she called in and ordered 2 pizzas, they would give us the seats. 9 am on a Sunday, I’m paying this guy for 2 pizzas and he hands me the tickets. I gave most away to friends. Sorry guys, drifting again…