Problem The CFL Faces in Toronto

I think its obvious what the problem is with the Argos being unable to get bigger crowds out to their games. Along with the baseball and basketball.

Its the fact that a census released this week showed that almost half of Toronto was made up of new CAnadians. Meaning that half the city has no idea what a football is, what a CFL is or what an Argonaut is.

It seems the only sport that has continued being popular is hockey. Becuase new Canadians, like my relatives were in the 50's, for some reason find hockey easier to understand. Its sorta like soccer.

So unless the CFL can get these new Canadians interested in football, support for football and especailly baseball and basketball could continue sliding. Toronto may be a big city, but its becoming a smaller CAnadian city.

You can’t blame the lack of CFL fans on “new Canadians?. Older generation Canadians don’t even follow the CFL, the media doesn’t give it the coverage it deserves, so why should new Canadians pay attention? As for baseball, it’s the same thing. The popularity of the sport has dropped considerably since the strike in 1994 and across Canada baseball has still not recuperated.

Basketball on the other hand is fine. The Raps sellout most nights, and you can probably make the argument that immigration helps grow basketball in this country the most, along with soccer, as these are the two sports that are followed around the globe.

Not a fan of your: Toronto being a smaller Canadian city because of immigration idea. I don’t wanna harp on this too much, but alls I gotta say is that immigrants do not make a city less Canadian. If anything, with regards to Toronto, the element that makes them less Canadian is the city’s desire to be American. Blame guys like Godfrey, the media, and some businessmen and politicians for that one.

I do agree though that the CFL should market more to immigrants (and older generation Canadians too for that matter). But with respect to new Canadians, the CFL does have some potential poster boys that they could use to bring new fans in.

It really goes a long way to have people playing something that look like you do, and it really helps if these guys are amongst the best in the league at their position.

Unfortunately I don't think that there are any players of Asian decent, but you do have some players originally from Africa and plenty of African Canadian and Americas. And the Argos do a great job at being involved in the black community - so perhaps we are on the right track there.

Also, Obby Khan is Muslim and can be a huge role model for young Canadian kids with a similar background. But again, you really gotta market and promote this to the fullest degree, and the CFL has never done that for anyone.

If Timmy Chang ever catches on as a starting QB in the CFL, that could get a lot of Asians interested. I heard that when he was being touted as Hamilton's next star QB, there was a lot of CFL interest among the Asian community, as well as in Hawaii.


One of the greatest CFL players ever and now Lieutenant Governor of Alberta (Normie Kwong) is a Canadian of Asian decent born in Calgary. No reason they couldn't get him involved in marketing.

Whatever happened to Timmy Chang anyway? He never got a fair shot in Hamilton and they threw him to the wolves long before he was ready. I think he had some potential, at least as a reliable backup with a few more years of seasoning.

They should have a Tuque Day!And a Turban Day! So as to draw interest from the east India community!

You disappoint me with comments like that, massdestruction. I'm sure they can find better ways to attract people of different cultures to the games. Maybe they can send players or coaches out to schools to tell them about our game, how fun it is to play and to watch.

They could have some kind of contest in each CFL cityarea between schools with the winning school in each city getting 200 - 500 tickets to a game, each season. Something like raising money or collecting food for charity, or something that takes many weeks. Kids like contests, that would keep them talking about the prize IE cfl, and then of course the going to the game experience, etc.

If it was successful, the could try expanding, area, number of tickets, number of games, etc. The more the better. Who knows how many future ST holders this might create. Could the media help but jump on board??

Ignore Massdestruction. He has shown his true colours.

Exactly Sambo and FYB. Sending players to schools and talking about the game and promoting contests and other participatory events would be good for all kids.

Some people like to whine about over-accommodating other cultures, but when given the opportunity to show children of all cultures the fun they can have playing historically Canadian sports, they have little to contribute except more whining.

Flag football in schools would be a great thing, and nearly everyone - male, female, different cultures - can play.

Massdestruction, your first post was edited for a reason.

There is nothing wrong with what i posted get of the pedestal,!, I'm talking the reality that southern Ontario Already has specific cultural days at amusement parks!so i should have said cultural days ??? :twisted:

Makes sense to me.
The Argos have to go out into these communities and turn these people onto the CFL.
Have different days where so many seats are put aside for each group.
But this 50% is a large untapped fanbase.

Brian Chiu.

Brian Chiu is my fav player by far, i think he would be a great player to market to the Asian community. Too bad he is getting old

This topic is being discussed on a different forum, but I will summarise a few things that were mentioned.

  1. The CFL is not being promoted in Ontario bars. The NFL is. In fact many bar owners have pouring rights agreements with breweries (the ones that have commercials during NFL broadcasts) to show NFL games exclusively on Sundays.

  2. The CFL does not seem to have any beer companies sponsoring them. At least, there were no beer commercials during the Grey Cup telecast.

  3. In Ontario, if you go into the Beer Store, you will see a big merchandise rack with NHL and NFL mugs, keychains, alarm clocks, etc. No CFL stuff. In fact, there is some well thought subliminal advertising here. You will see a large NHL logo, and right beside it, a large NFL logo. Everyone knows the NHL is the number one league in Canada, but putting the NFL logo right beside it is suggesting that the NFL is just as big as the NHL in Canada. These advertisers have done their homework. The CFL has some work to do to play catch up.

And the Skydome is too small

The CFL should also be making sure the CFL-branded footballs are everywhere in the schools. Don't even make the schools ask - just give them to every school in the country.

The Argos averaged 31,000 last season.....this is a problem?
The capacity in Montreal is just a shade over 20,000.
The Ti-Cats, Bombers and Roughriders both averaged less than the Argos last year.
So....the Argos outdraw Winnipeg, Hamilton, Regina and Montreal.
How is this a problem?
It's an 8 team league and the Argos draw more than 4 teams....and we're questioning their attendance?
It's also pretty narrow minded to believe "new Canadians" can't grasp football.
Wouldn't all those "new Canadians" have a solid understanding, passion and will to follow soccer? Since it is the world's most popular sport?
Why is it then that the Argos average 31,000 and the MLS team in Toronto only built a stadium to hold just over 20,000?
With all these "new Canadians" that are supposedly not intelligent enough to grasp the CFL game....but would have already been familiar with soccer....shouldn't BMO Field seat more than the Argos average?

The NFL reaches more people and is therefore the better bet when spending advertising dollars or picking which game to put on the idiot box at the bar.
Personally...I have been to many bars where I have been able to see the CFL game on numerous TV's. Why? Because the TV's are tuned to Canadian sports stations that cover the CFL.
So that argument doesn't go too far. Are the NFL games on the big screens on Sundays? They sure are....but the CFL isn't stupid and doesn't try to compete with the NFL for television. The games aren't even on at the same times. If you walk into any Canadian bar/sports bar on a Friday night you will see a CFL game on the TV. Guaranteed. Why? Because there isn't much else on as far as sports go and the Canadian stations are typically on in Canadian bars.
I haven't been to too many standard Canadian bars where ESPN is on the TV showing their latest cheer leading competition and the CFL game isn't on a TV.

The Argo's averaged 31,000 in a stadium that seats over 50,000. The Riders averaged 28,500 in a stadium that seats 28,800. Getting Riders tickets this year was almost as hard as getting Leafs tickets.

You're right, they did bring in more...but not if you compare the market size, etc...

The fact still remains that the CFL needs to get more/better marketing done. We should see as many CFL logos in pubs, bars, liquor stores, sports stores, etc... as we see NFL logos. The games might be on TV, but it's never marketed.

I could name all kinds of bars in Vancouver that advertise the fact that they have NFL Sundays. I have yet to find one that tries to do any sort of promotion around the Friday Night Football on TSN. The games might be on TV, but that's just because their TV's happen to be on TSN. If Skate-Canada were happening at Copps Coloseum, it would be on TV too. If Ernie Afaghanis were covering 5 pin bowling from the Sioux, it would be on TV too... Big funking deal.

There are over 5 million people in the Grater Toronto Area. Even if half are new Canadians that still leaves 2.5 million who are not and the Argos can barely attract 25,000 to a game in one of the best venues for football in Canada. Do the math,.5% of the population is interested in the CFL. When the NFL has a team, the new stadium will be full with at least 75,000.