I am really looking forward to a professional sport team in Quebec City. Quebec City - Montreal rivalry will certainly be fun. With all the hoopla about bringing back the Nordiques, I think that city does need a pro team. However, IMHO it will be more feasible, easier and cheaper to give QC a CFL team before an NHL one. I know that there are investors interested to do so, but they have no stadium. Rector of Laval so far is not cooperative and the governments seem to be more focused in NHL arena.
So I am quite surprised to learn that there is another obstacle, namely Quebec territorial rights that Commissioner Cohon says belong to the Aloeuettes. Can somebody explain what is it all about? I would think that if such right exist, what about Ontario and Alberta? Those provinces have two teams each. Do teams then share the rights? Does that also mean that the Argos and Ticats had to approve the Ottawa expansion too?
And if Ottawa comes back in, as it is expected to do, that would make 3 Ontario teams! Perhaps Cohon is referring to the fact that in Quebec, for many years, football was a sport struggling for recognition. The culture has changed over the years, and Montreal, who inherited a good team in 1996, has been selling out ever since. The Rouge et Or seem to be doing the same on the University scene. For that matter, U de M is also packing them in! I do not know exactly what Cohon is talking about either.
I have addressed the issue of the popularity of football in Canada in previous posts. Outside of Montreal, with a small stadium (25,000), the only other CFL franchise that regularly sells out is Regina, where an entire province supports the team. Toronto rarely draws more than 25,000, which, in a 50,000+ capacity stadium, looks empty. While BC and Edmonton, both with 60,000+ capacity stadia have not had the greatest years, they don't sell out either. I look at the NCAA and NFL stadia and regularly see 80,000 - 100,000 fans attending each game. I would like to see that here. I would also like to see the CFL expand into other Canadian cities, but my basic question is the same - would it sell? Would it draw great numbers of fans?
The territorial rights are drawn up to ensure that no other franchises are established that could potentially hurt the income and attendance draw of a particular franchise. As a similar example; Roughriders have territorial rights to Saskatchewan. Meaning that even if the league had strong investors and the necessary infrastructure was in place to start a franchise in Saskatoon, they could not do so without the consent of the Roughriders. This clause is there to protect the owners interest and is pretty standard in all professional sports.
This was an continues to be an issue at the forefront of adding a Hockey team to Hamilton which falls within the territorial right of the Toronto Maple leafs.
It would be interesting to hear how much the Alouettes organisation attributes that territorial draw to they regular attendance, as that will be the determinant regarding whether or not they are willing to waive those rights.
Sincèrement, je crois qu'il pourrait être payant pour les Alouettes qu'il y ait une équipe à Québec. La rivalité entraînerait un intérêt accru pour le football et la valeur publicitaire de l'équipe augmenterait.
I am with Lestef on this. I am fairly certain that these rules are something that is part of the new era CFL. The area around Ottawa has probably not been re-assigned since the Renegades left the league. But again this is just speculation.
Keep in mind that teams can always waive the rights to their territory, ie. The Als could waive their claim to area surrounding Quebec city and allow a team to enter the league.
Toronto and Hamilton have had teams for somewhere around 100 years, so I don't think it was ever an issue between them, and it would have been well ahead of anyone ever thinking of territorial rights.
I would have to think no one owns any territorial rights to the Ottawa area except maybe the CFL itself.
Ottawa has had a team there for the better part of 100 years as well, so for Montreal or Toronto to try to claim compensation would be ridiculous.
Quebec City is not interested in a CFL franchise. Right now Bettman and Labaume are determined to try and stick us with a 500 million dollar bill for an NHL team.
Le maire Labeaume a déjà manifesté de l'intérêt pour une équipe de la LCF à Québec. Mais du point de vue de la ville, le projet LNH est plus structurant, plus rentablepolitiquement et plus avancé dans sa préparation. Mais avec le retrait du gouvernement fédéral, le projet LNH va finir par mourir de sa belle mort et tant Charest que Labeaume pourront casser du sucre sur le dos des réformistes. Le projet LCF pourrait alors regagner un certain intérêt.
Si la ligue et la ville ne semblent pas avoir d'agenda vers ce projet, c'est que les Alouettes ne veulent pas avoir d'équipe concurrente à Québec pour l'instant. Est-ce qu'on peut blâmer M. Wetenhall de vouloir un jour faire des profits avec les Alouettes? La réponse est aussi simple que ça.
Lorsque les Alouettes engrangeront des profits année après année, peut-être verront-ils d'un bon oeil l'idée d'une équipe concurrente à Québec pour susciter encore plus d'intérêt pour le football canadien dans la province. Avant ça, il faut d'abord se concentrer sur la rentabilité de l'équipe.