Should the CFL pivot from Halifax and expand to Chicago?

You should find that hard to believe because that's not what I'm basically saying at all.

I don't think we're too far apart then. I have conditions that I would want to have met before an American franchise would be granted if I was an owner. It's not something you can just do without careful study.

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I hear you. I am just skeptical that any owners could meet the conditions that I think the league should look for in potential expansion to the US.

You have good reason to be skeptical based on their past.

I think if the league does try the US again they need to position it as not just US expansion but expansion in general with the goal of creating an even number of teams to improve scheduling etc....

1 Canadian team will do it however if Canadian expansion is not realistic right now, do a maximum of 3 US teams. I don't see any investor wanting to be the only American franchise.

If they limit it to 3 they'll have a much better chance at vetting ownership groups instead of awarding a team to anyone who raises their hand. That alone is an improved approach to the 90s


I agree

As you said to Ted, we have a difference of opinion and you are not raining on anything with your opinion, nor am I with mine. We see things differently. Most importantly, I see being against US expansion as practically being against all expansion as Canadian expansion is the pipiest of dreams. Perhaps that will change in 5-10 years but you will have to explain, or as you say, provide evidence, as to how any Canadian city and owner might step forward to obtain a team and build/expand a stadium, even with government assistance. It won’t happen in the 2020’s.

And I think your observation about the CFL having less in person and TV fans is correct. Obviously they are surviving better because TV money pays approximately 90% of the salary cap, a situation the past CFL had never come close to enjoying.

I would also address your comments about how the US didn’t care about football as being mostly true, but that is because of where the CFL expanded, for the most part. It was clearly done in haste and desperation to most of the wrong cities and no one is advocating a similar expansion. Arguably it did save the league financially and as Ted pointed out, it gave us a Montreal franchise. Hardly a total failure. The CFL was right in choosing Baltimore at the time and also showed incredible foresight in choosing Vegas. If you will recall, back then Vegas was the black sheep of sports cities because of misguided puritan BS about gambling connections. After the NHL went there successfully the NFL couldn’t wait to get there. Vegas is money and if the CFL had expanded there properly they would have almost a 20 year old successful franchise there today I expect. I recall jammed cheap flights from Winnipeg to Vegas for every one of their home games and you couldn’t book a flight if the Bombers were playing there. In my experience, having been to Vegas over 20 times, it is the hardest city in North America to obtain a good scalped ticket to anything as a huge percentage of any crowd is not local and does not want to give up their tickets. It is now too late, however, it successfully expand to Vegas. The CFL was first, but blew it.

In answer to your question, I have zero evidence that anyone in the US wants to play Canadian version football from May (not June) until October (not November). Outside of eight existing CFL cities (Toronto not caring about CFL) you have zero evidence that anyone in Canada wants to as well. If an Atlantic franchise brings exposure to 2 million people then surely a Chicago franchise brings exposure to 8-10 million people. And the US market is far more football crazy and knowledgeable than any Canadian market, existing or potential.

There are also many Canadian cities, including Winnipeg and I expect Regina, that would have more of an affiliation with Chicago than Halifax or Quebec City. It is geographically closer and Chicago is a sister city to Winnipeg. Very similar ethnically, culturally and architecturally. Chicago is just much bigger. Winnipeg is Chicago lite and more similar to that city than any Canadian city. There are also numerous direct cheap daily flights between the two cities (at least pre pandemic there were and there will be again) that cost about a third of what a flight to Halifax or Quebec City costs. I don’t understand the leanings of many members of this forum to the East and kowtowing to Toronto specifically. This has been a disaster and embarrassment to the league for decades in all ways. The fact is that the CFL has the best fan bases in Winnipeg and Saskatchewan and also the best TV audiences and therefore those two cities create the most revenue for the league. What doesn’t the East understand about this? They usually understand money very well. The West drives the CFL bus and as of this year also subsidizes the East. If US expansion is good for Winnipeg and Regina, why does it matter what Toronto thinks? They are irrelevant (not to be crass-well maybe just a little). And I guarantee that Chicago would have more fans in the stands than Toronto.


You may be right, but I am not aware of any potential Canadian franchise that would be able to meet the proper conditions as well, and they should. There is no point expanding in Canada to an unsuitable money losing location just to put a back bacon sticker on it. I don’t see a suitable stadium anywhere in any Canadian city in the near future and that is a must. Ted and I are saying that any expansion must be properly vetted in order to happen. I think US cities are more likely to meet the conditions than Canadian ones. I have seen considerable talk about playing out of 5,000 to 10,000 seat pop up Canadian stadiums. That is just silly. I remain of the view that US expansion should be explored. It is currently the best option and really the only option.


Pretty much what I have been saying. Add three US teams. It may also serve as an incentive to expansion deadbeat cities such as Halifax and Quebec City to get their act together.


True, that would be a logical next step. The league would need to know they're still open for business in Canada

So if Halifax/Moncton/QC comes together, pair it up with a 4th US city


Yup. And I agree with you two on this point.

But here, I don't agree. To me, US expansion is the pipiest of pipe dreams.

Disagree on both counts.

It is amazing that Queens built a fantastic 8.5 k stadium with all the locker room etc , video replay etc .....

How can the CFL interests not build 18 k to 20 k stadium using the same template with some private loges and get this off the ground .

or even saputo stadium .

Why are these not capable of filling the CFL needs to today ?

I just don't get it they are within reach financially ( reasonable cost ) , are community friendly , are enough to make a profit gameday for the CFL and lastly are an easier quick build .

Why is the league not measuring expansion correctly and using the new Bomber , Cats ,Redblacks (one side )and Riders stadiums as anything but a future goal after the team has been established** and there is an appetite for such a expensive build with tax payer money .


Yes, it was paid for with alumni donations. ... Queens' student popultion is about four times the size of Saint Mary's in Halifax. If Saint Mary's is even a possibility for expansion (expanding their field for the CFL), donations would likely be a drop in the bucket compared to Queens.


I think one or two large donations ponied up some money too for Queens .

Nova Scotia have friends I would hope to think the wealthy industry in Nova Scotia could throw some coin in the mix if they were given a solid plan .

But the cost is very reasonable .

The city of Halifax was in it for 20 m with a loose plan presented .

If they ever get local ownership with realistic aspirations the buy in day one should be reasonable for the partnership to work .

They never really even knew where they were putting the stadium .
I found the plan had too many ifs by SSE . They didn't seem to have the private backing required to build a stadium .

They should have never announced a team without stadium approval .

Initial cost for Richardson stadium was 20 m in 2015 .

That will be way up today .

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Amar Doman thinks a 10th team will eventually be located in the Atlantic region. Fans just have to be patient.

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We have been patient for 40 years. Pretty soon the fans progeny are the ones that will have to be patient.


I agree that it should be easier to build and finance a stadium in Canada than it apparently is. But this is Canada. That is the country where a road construction project takes 3-4 months when it would take 2-4 weeks in the US or China with work going on 24 hours a day.

I am not sure about your point about there being an appetite to spend taxpayer money in stadiums among the general public. I have even read many posts on this forum from diehard fans that think it is a bad idea. Winnipeg needs over $1 billion to fix their antiquated dangerous and environmentally unfriendly water and sewage system, but luckily for football fans we got our stadium. I am sure every city has infrastructure issues that are objectively more important than spending huge amounts of taxpayer money to build a stadium for a team the has 10 or less home games a year.

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I think the appetite will be voters once they build a loyal fan base .

Right now they have no one .

The bare bones stadium like a Saputo or Richardson that I propose is sufficient and reasonable priced to build until there is a sufficient want to have something more like the current builds in a Regina ,Hamilton and Winnipeg or maybe even better depending on what the future brings to the east coast or the CFL .

I also liked Tempire if it was made to be permanent with the required amenities .

Very reasonably priced for the CFL and community needs .

I say go to 15 yard end zones, keep the playing surface at 110 yards but narrow the field by 3 yards a side. That still leaves the field as six yards wider than the NFL and keep 12 players a side.


Heard Bears' Roquan Smith is looking to be traded from the Bears. The McCaskeys are running a shit show in the Windy City. Bears fans deserve better.

All the more reason for the CFL to put a team there before either the XFL or USFL wise up and put a franchise there.