Temporary stadiums could help the CFL grow

There is always a lot of hand-wringing over new stadiums for cities that don’t have CFL teams. Why not build a stadium like Empire Field in Vancouver. It “only” cost $15 million to build and holds 25,000+. I was there last Friday and it’s an excellent facility, the crowd was great and their was a buzz in thge air. Maybe the government could loan or grant $50 million to the CFL for three of these stadiums to help build Canada’s game in the name of culture. Of course you would have to find owners etc., but between the TV money, tickets, merchandise, beer sales,etc. there is money to be made especially with a salary cap. Some established owners might gripe, but with more teams there would be more interest and more prosperity for the league. If the teams did well they could then upgrade on their own as they build success in their communities. You could easily build a 12-team league.

Here’s how the league might look:

West:
BC
Edmonton
Sask
Calgary
Winnipeg
Windsor/London*

East:
Montreal
Hamilton
Toronto
Ottawa
Halifax/Moncton*
Quebec City*

Temporary is the key word here. It's one thing to expand the league and have a team play in a temporary stadium for a season, maybe two max, while they are waiting for the permanent facility to be completed. It's a completely different thing to build a cheap temporary stadium and expect fans and players to embrace it without any long term stadium plan in place.

I could certainly sit and enjoy games in a cheap metal bleacher and use a porta potty for a season, any longer than that and you're going to have fans turn away from the team.

Ok for the second time now, these TEMP stadiums last for 10 years!!!!!!! And yes this is how it will be done here!!!!! Through temp stadiums, believe it or not.

And check this out with the London Olympic stadium. Anyone care to rent a 55,000 seater! :o

[url=http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23419874-olympic-stadium-is-vision-for-citys-future.do]http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/ ... -future.do[/url]

http://i.thisislondon.co.uk/i/pix/2007/11/olympics_530x498.jpg

That's all good and well, but nobody is going to pay good money to crap in a porta potty for 10 years. If you're going to do it, do it right don't skimp and use the lowest of the low. It's a passable solution for a year, maybe two at max, nothing more.

CFL fans are a tough enough and rabid enough to watch a game in a snowstorm. I don't think they need gold plated-toilets to enjoy the game. Again, Empire Field is a really great place to watch a game and it doesn't have a cheap feel to it. I think fans in new CFL cities would be thrilled to have a stadium like Empire to watch their team.

Ok once again for those of you who can't think out of the box, the facilities all of them are built into the structure for long standing temporary stadiums!!!!! NO PORTA POTTIES NEEDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why do some (most of which post on boards) CFL fans have it stuck in their heads that we can't do these things here in Canada!!!! Tempire stadium was built as a temporary structure out of the gate, and the layout for the facilities were designed in that matter due to it was easier and faster to build, and the land was part of the Empire anyways!!!!!

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I'm of two minds on the temporary stadiums.

On the one hand, it alleviates the sticker shock that is so often the stumbling block in getting municipal governments to get on board with a stadium projects or athletic events. It also tosses out the oft-used "this team is going to fold, then we're going to be stuck with this big ugly white elephant". It gives a city a chance to try out being the home to a professional sports franchise and see if the community embraces the team and if it can be a successful operation. This should encourage more cities to give professional sports a try.

On the other, it requires less of a commitment from ownership. You want to attract the owner that is so convinced of the potential of that team that they're willing to front their own cash to make it happen. Once it becomes known that anyone who can scratch together $14M to rent a stadium for 15 years can become the owner of a professional sports team, you need to worry about the type that you're attracting and how willing they are to be a part of the team for the long haul. Finally, there may be problems when it comes to hosting Grey cups. The inexpensive ones seem like bowl-type stadiums, not amenable to temporary expansion to 40k plus. Without hosting the occasional Grey Cup, can these teams survive long term?

My opinion: if you can build an Empire-quality stadium that will stay in good repair for 15-20 years, I say go for it. It's long enough that the fans, community, and politicians can get used to the sports and entertainment events that the facility would draw. It also demands a 20 year commitment on the part of ownership, and even if the team can't manage to get itself a permanent facility after the 20 years is up and has to fold, 20 years is a respectable run for a sports franchise and the league shouldn't feel like it's a failure. Bear in mind I've never been to Empire, so I don't know if the amenities are good enough to be anything but a temporary solution for the fans.

Agreed. When the luster of the "new stadium" wore off in the Lion's first season (about half way through), attendance dropped. So far this second season, its gone down even more. Fans seem to be getting really tired of the temporary stadium.

.....and all for the low, low price of $805 million!! :thdn:

Empire field isn't selling out, in fact attendance is pretty poor there. I think that's not the greatest example to use going forward. I do agree that CFL fans are tough, I myself have sat through many a snow storm or crap weather to watch a game, but that's only a handful of games at most per year.

I do in fact think that a temporary stadium could sell out for a few seasons, but after that the novelty of a facility that is terrible will start to grate on people and they will stop showing up. Even in what I consider the oldest and probably most run down stadium in the league at Mosaic, we have novelties that these temporary stadiums will never have, in shelter from a storm and actual washrooms.

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Bear in mind, though, we're not talking about building temporary stadiums in enormous metropolises here. The people of Vancouver might be used to better, but places like Halifax, Moncton, Quebec City, London, Kitchener/Waterloo, Windsor, Saskatoon, Victoria don't have the BC Places and Air Canada Centres that might make an Empire Field feel like roughing it. They would represent entirely new experiences and entertainment.

People will know crap when they see it. It's not like people in smaller markets have never been to proper sports stadiums. Heck almost all have state-of-the-art- arenas for their local hockey teams so they would be able to spot the difference right away.

the porta potty thing to me is a big part why temp stadiums dont work…pay60 bucks to pee in an outhouse? why/? when i can stay home, watch the game for free and actually not get soaked while taking a leak. GAME DAY EXPERIENCE INCLUDES HOW GOOD THE BATHROOMS AND CONCESSIONS ARE. 60 BUCKS? RUNNING WATER PLEASE.

Agreed. 2 games ago in Vancouver, in the portables which contain actual toilet facilities (i.e. sinks with water and toilets that actually flush) starting leaking water from the underneath (unknown as to whether or not from the intake pipes or the outake pipes YUK! :twisted: ). It was interesting to say the least to see hundreds of fans running away from the oncoming stream. Then of course some drunk decided to jump into the middle of it to soak as many people as he possibly could. Last year, one of the port-a-potties got tipped over. Luckily, nobody was inside at the time. Hard to expect people to keep shilling out top dollar when things like that occur (especially for casual fans)

People will know crap when they see it. It's not like people in smaller markets have never been to proper sports stadiums. Heck almost all have state-of-the-art- arenas for their local hockey teams so they would be able to spot the difference right away

True EastVan although the definition of "proper" is somewhat ambiguous. I find IWS more "proper" than the Rogers Centre for watching sports myself despite it being not as fancy.

The other thing is many people in Canada, those with time and money, prefer often to travel outside of their city to go to a sporting event, in the case of football many go to the US to soak in the culture of American football at the college and NFL games. Last time I went to Notre Dame stadium before it was upgraded it certainly was no where near as plush as the Rogers Centre but it's packed for every college game and Canadians love going there I think mainly just for the atmosphere, other universities as well. For me this helped turn me more onto football in Canada and going to our highest level of games here in the CFL but many will just turn a blind eye and say the only "real" football experience they get is in the US and maybe part of that is that these stadiums are usually "proper" in the sense of being packed with large crowds and therefore the atmosphere is super. We don't have that football culture here in Canada as much I'm afraid often with as large numbers which I don't care about but I can see why some are turned onto this if they aren't really into football but want the football culture experience. Tough to beat that as you find in the US.

Even baseball, I know people in Toronto who rarely go to Blue Jay games at the RC but travel to Detroit or Boston a few times a year to go to games. I know myself growing up with a father who used to go to Detroit to watch baseball and I tagged along, a better atmosphere there than I've ever experienced in Toronto at the RC for a few reasons.

Odd how important bathrooms and the hot dog lines are to people here. I usually go to a game to watch football. I don't
care about the venue much as long as there is a field, goal posts and good players, which the CFL has. I'd rather see a CFL game at Empire than an Arena League game at a fancy corporate arena. I think most CFL fans would agree.

Interesting points Earl, although its great that Canadians travel to the US for sporting events; the problem is that FAR too many bypass domestic sporting entities in the process. Although its has grown stronger in recent years, the CFL still sometimes struggles to be considered "major league" by some Canadian sports fans. Temporary stadiums will do nothing to change this and only give more ammo to cynics.

And yes, the football culture found south of the border is much more prevalent than what is found in Canada which is all the more reason to try to create a better game-day experience. We don't have the history of fan loyalty that exists in the US, so its all the more more important to use every possible tool at our disposal to get one going.

Your statements about baseball illustrates my point perfectly. Stadiums in Detroit or Boston are actual ballparks where RC is a multi-purpose stadium that stinks for BOTH baseball & football. If Toronto was to ever build a proper ballpark, you would see vast improvement in both crowds & atmosphere.

Honestly I rarely eat anything at the game or buy any beer, but you are trying to cater to families as well. Running water and proper washrooms are needed to attract a wider range of people to the game. You need to be a little more open minded about all different types of people that will go to a game. Why turn away a potential paying customer by denying them the simple amenities that all stadiums should have.

To me the magic is on the field and in the stands amongst friends, family and fellow fans, not in the "proper washrooms." Football is about passion and civic pride. I think with that a team can succeed anywhere.