Tanenbaum (MLSE) Not Happy With CFL and XFL/USFL Discussion

MLSE could easily promote the Argos by having some of their stable of Leafs and Raptor superstars attend some of the games (but they won't)!
Having Marner, Reilly, Van Vleet etc.,etc. attend some games, sign autographs and pictures, the place would be packed!
Then the people take in the game and see what a great game it is

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My understanding is the proposed merged league would be an April to September window and rules would be hybrid but it never got that far.

Saying that I think April is too early here. Early May to October could work and they already have the OK from the PA.

Hence I wonder if they'll look at US expansion with that window if short term Canadian expansion is deemed not possible. The rules can stay the same and depending on their findings could keep MLSE involved


I think the Lions experience the same challenges in Vancouver. Not to the same degree that the Argos face in Toronto, granted, but similar.

The difference, and what Doman pointed out in the interview, is that he has implemented a strategy that includes making the Lions more visible at the grassroots level and giving game nights more of a festival feel. He also emphasizes that he's investing in the sport and team to help make it grow over the long haul. We don't get that from the Argos. They've tried to make games more festival like (with varying degress of success), but have not shown real commitment to the market and to the grassroots.


Empty seats don’t always equate to lack of marketing. This is simply a case of Torontonians not be interested in the product anymore.This isn’t prior to the late 80s when you only had to sports teams. I remember listening to David Cynaman , one of the former owner of the Argos.!They asked him if he was interested in buying the Argos again. He said it just doesn’t work anymore in a big city like Toronto. And I said years ago it’s only going to get worse, and it has.


The TV #'s of Argo games are actually pretty good
They draw good #'s, Fans just aren't going to the games.
And in the words of modern philospher Amar Doman
They have to find a way to FIX IT!

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Part of the internal struggle for the CFL is the CFL mission statement - is it to maintain and be a part of the Canadian Cultural fabric - don't worry about profit just keep it alive. Or is the mission statement to make money and have 3 or 4 down football in Canada as part of a cross border league. The community based teams just need to break even or something like that but MLSE in my opinion sees and opportunity to merge with the XFL and then grow the value of the franchise as they have done with their other properties.


Once the XFL kicks off if there is a merger or teams go to the XFL it will be 4 downs the XFL with ESPN backing I think is going to do dramatically better than the USFL/Alabama football League did and with that I think that the money that the Argos and Als could make by jumping ship will be a lot bigger number than the $5 million cdn they make on the current TV deal. I don't think that the XFL will stay with a february kickoff if they end up with Canadian teams. They will shift the schedule to mid April early May.

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How many of those viewers are in Toronto?

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Toronto proper? likely not a ton. Downtown toronto kids too cool for the CFL. But a ton from the greater GTA I'm sure.

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I know. That's similar to what's happened in Vancouver. But the right marketing can make them interested again.

I’ll believe when I see it.

I hear ya on that.

I give up,
I guess you're right
The reason no one from Toronto goes to the games is because,
The ARGOS SUCK! :rofl:

My belief is more basic . Braley was seen with LT before LT and Bell bought them .

Braley was getting boxed in ; Rogers wanted them out of the dome .

BMO was not going to expand for the CFL .

Braley was gesturing " I will build my own stadium " .

Some where after the Bills sale was done the politics of exhibition place started to work out and again Braley was saying fine we will go there and workout our own terms .

So two of the partners saw a non partner moving into BMO and decided to act and build the necessary locker rooms and expand BMO for CFL football when they saw it was inevitable .

Now they can still control the venue they manage to their own desires .

But I think LT thought hey if they get 18 k at Rogers now 25 k at BMO will be a walk in the park .

After the move the Argos lost half or even more of their fan support .

That's the real question . Why was BMO such a negative when everyone thought it would be a positive .

I personally like BMO but I do see Rogers was way more accessible for me personally it is just easier to get to compared to Rogers .

Even with the roof at BMO which I really like the one side of BMO is an oven in the summer .

Rogers after all was just a better venue for the smaller fan base and BMO turned 10 k of support off after the move .

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But is February not the XFL time for their season .

I am confused as all the new league's are winter /spring mix .

I don't see anyone wanting to go against the NFL head on in the schedule with any over lap .

For me the CFL season is just right and blends so well with our climate ending before winter especially in the East .

The west may have more of early winter but the east traditionally is still mild .

I like the feel and atmosphere of November football it's kinda comforting for me to watch Sunday fall football that is ours .

It's a personal nostalgia for me that has deep roots . I watch the CFL over the NFL because it's home for me and has some great memories that have been carried forward .

I still watch the NFL but I would watch a CFL playoff game over any regular season NFL game unless a huge blow out is happening .


Yeah that's very possible with that timeline. With Rogers Centre no longer being available and BMO the only suitable place there no other realistic ownership options.

Why BMO has turned off the fanbase so to say?

A couple of things IMO, one many people thought the move would be an instant success but with the season ticket base so low and it doubling in one season they were nowhere near full right off the back.

Unrealistic messaging along plus change in how attendence was announced (from sold and distributed to scanned) plus more fans sitting opposite to where the camera points hurt l...not to mention a disastrous Grey Cup in 2016 that should have never been awarded hurt the optics and the catch 22 drove things down further a few years later.

Maybe another reason why MLSE liked the XFL talks as it would represent another new start

I agree with you .

Have you heard from any fans that left after the BMO move .

Even on a bad day with only 17 k at Rogers it seemed okay .

If 17 k was at BMO it looks and feels better compared to Rogers with the stands all open in the upper deck .

It feels just more lively .

Why did some not transfer over that first year in casuals .

10 k missing fans that first year was shocking for me .

The only thing I did notice was the stands facing the camera were sun drenched . Now at old exhibition stadium the people didn't seem to care and still sat in the sun instead of under the roof .

Did Rogers controlled atmosphere stop the ageing fans or is it the transportation to the game or the increase of prices year one at BMO that resulted in such a dramatic drop off year one of LT and Bells ownership .

My understanding there were more comps while they were in Rogers Centre. I don't think many dropped off in year one. More came back but it they only report scanned, it will show a sizeable drop even though they sell more tickets.

In my view the optics at BMO turn away potential casual fans after seeing so many empty seats.

BMO Field is a much better in game experience than Rogers Centre but is a worse TV experience


Definitely agree with that with the stands so very empty it's depressing ; like watching a friend faltering away in front of you .

It's very hard to come back and watch .

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I understand that February is the start of the first XFL season but many are saying that if there is some kind of merger that the start will be moved to April. I couldn’t care less what they do. I’m not interested in watching an inferior brand of 4 down football to the NFL. Going the merger way to me seems akin to a corporate takeover as opposed to the discussions we are having on the Halifax/Chicago thread that would retain all CFL characteristics except ratio and start a month earlier.

Like you I am happy to attend football games in the fall and agree it is a good atmosphere. The problem is that generally the fall is over on the prairies come November. You therefore can be faced with -20 or worse weather conditions, like the first Grey Cup in Winnipeg and last year’s Western final, to name but two affected games. This clearly compromises the competitive integrity of the game. Why would any league want to play it’s mist important games in the worst conditions? Why are we forced to watch the run and skate instead of the run and shoot?

Football is a fall sport and maybe even a summer and spring sport. It is not a winter sport. Most of its best players are from much warmer climates. The fans suffer from winter football as do the players. Winnipeg amazingly had 30,000 plus in brutally cold conditions for the Western Final last year. Saskatchewan had almost 10,000 less and no doubt ticket sales were affected by the cold. And Saskatchewan is known for it’s rabid and dedicated fan base, rivaled only by Winnipeg fans.

It’s a no brainer. It shouldn’t matter what a few Eastern fans think or what the weather is like in November in the East, with all due respect. The economic engine of the CFL is the prairies and on that basis alone their wishes and weather should be accommodated. Edmonton and Calgary can also be hit with cold November weather and also historically have a larger fan base than any Eastern team. I’m not against tradition per se, but it doesn’t win out here and costs the league money. Again, it’s a no brainer.