I posted this on a similar thread in 2008:
The 1993-1995 "US Experiment" failed, a view that I think many Canadian CFL fans agree with & are even short sightedly happy about. I think the CFL's 90's expansion to the USA was amazingly ill-conceived, out of a desire to rake in some quick & easy expansion fees. Planning of this experiment, if there was any at all, bordered on the non-existent. The American cities involved were all very far from Canada in Southern & Western cities with no affinity for Canada at all, no sense of familiarity or of being neighbors. This is a sense I can tell you is very well developed in Ohio, my native home state; where people vacation, honeymoon & fish in Canada all the time. It's also even stronger in places like Michigan & New York, where Canadian TV can be seen, & the CFL & Canada are things that are familiar.
My point here is that expansion to the USA could have been a wild success in every city it was done in, not just the fluke of Baltimore trying to prove to the NFL that it could & would support a team if given another chance. By expanding only into US cities & areas that are close enough to Canada to have an affinity for it, the CFL would have had a much better chance to grow support for its game, and with that get a lucrative TV deal of some sort in the bordering states (to start with at least, perhaps grow that out farther with time)
Cities like Rochester NY, Spokane WA, Boise ID, Fargo-Moorhead ND-Minn, Portland Maine, maybe even Anchorage Alaska, all of which have no current professional major league sports would/could probably have a genuine fanaticism ala' Saskatchewan for a CFL team, if an expansion was handled right & marketed well. (Please dont bring up the "Import Quota". The US and Canada could work out a Trade Exemption for all teams US & Canadian alike to have even playing conditions roster wise. Nations do this kind of thing all the time. Or, perhaps Canada has some field they could allow comparable US employment in, in exchange for the employment of Canadian football players by a US team or teams. People always cite the Import Quota as a deal killer, almost invariably without mentioning even the possibility that the 2 governments could work something equitable out.)
Whatever else you want to say about it, growing interest in the game anywhere you can is a good thing. Maybe the hard-core Canadian CFL fans dont think so, but I can guarantee you the owners & Commissioner do. (Or should, if they are smart.) Money always talks, despite wherever it comes from. If I can sell CFL merchandise in quantity in the States, or get a TV contract from there that lines my pockets as a CFL owner with more $$, I'd have to be insane to say no to that. The NFL wants to grow interest in IT'S game in Canada, in Mexico, in Europe, in South America, in Asia, wherever it can. One day there will probably be Penguins in Antarctica sporting "Minnesota Vikings" (or even "Duluth Eskimos") Classic NFL Sweatshirts or jersies.
Meanwhile, readily accessible CFL TV in the USA, (which failed back in the 1950's. Failed because people got tired of watching the "Big Four" Eastern teams play each other all the time. NBC's TV deal, signed at the height of the Canada-NFL playing signing war, was only with the "Big Four" which was just the Eastern teams, Hamilton Toronto Montreal and Ottawa. This was prior to the combination of the late 1950's with the WIFU that led to "The CFL".) is virtually non-existent. Today there are 8 teams in the league with 1 more coming. The old and tired joke "All the teams are called the Rough Riders!" , one that I just heard Colin Cowherd on ESPN radio say in all seriousness! very recently to diss the league isnt even valid any more, & hasnt been for a long time. Isnt it about time that people, especially media people; outside Canada KNEW that?
I think the CFL should aggressively & intelligently do whatever it could to sell the game anywhere it can. The logical place to start is in the massive market right next door. You dont have to sell out your game & your pride in Canadian culture to do that. It's gotta beat the 25 years & still counting wait for someone with money, be it a corporation, an individual or a community group, or the Federal or Provincial Governments to decide that a NEW CFL team (& more importantly, a real CFL quality Stadium of 30 to 35,000 seats, with of course; the Grey Cup expansion room.) in Halifax, or Moncton or Quebec City, etc etc or anywhere else in Canada besides Ottawa or Montreal is a viable business opportunity. The League hasnt expanded to a new Canadian city since 1954. Quite frankly, it doesnt look like it soon will. Its time to do something smart to try and grow interest in the game.