The CFL Expansion Thread

CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon met with the Mayor of Halifax on Monday but apparently it's still a long process before anyone will see a team in that area. I think the CFL should just adapt a mandate that they are open to expansion anywhere in Canada in the next three years or by 2017? Why Halifax, Yes it would be nice but maybe their just not that interested to put their money with their mouth is at this point and I think the CFL now is in good shape with it's marketing and continued growth to open up to other Canadian markets and plan for a tenth team by 2017? Moncton, Quebec City, St. John's, London, Windsor wherever?

I believe the Ontario market is saturated at this point. 3 teams with Ottawa coming back this summer and Toronto and Hamilton having a strong footing in their respective areas. Windsor, although did some lobbying I believe in 2006 for a team I think will never be on the CFL's radar. Neither will the Tri-City area.

I don't think the CFL has every been opposed to other cities OUTSIDE of Halifax being expanded to. Cohon mentioned Quebec City after the 100th Grey Cup. But the problem will always remain the same. Owners and Stadiums. None of these cities (Halifax included) have any of these. The whole point surrounding putting a 10th team in Halifax is one of increasing the value of the CFL brand. With the CFL truly becoming a national league, from coast to coast, it increases its perception and therefore value. Furthermore, the east coast is an untapped market by any sports league. This means the CFL has a chance to walk in and be top dog (See: Saskatchewan).

After this mythical 10th team happens. I think the CFL needs to sit back and reinvest in itself. There are many areas that the CFL has fallen behind in the curb. Before we start thinking bout 11 and 12 teams in this league we need to further establish this league as a legitimate place for players to play. Not just NFL busts.

Kinda all over the place here. But, the point is, nobody has said Halifax HAS to be the 10th team. Just that it's the most logical and has the potential to be the most beneficial for the league.

Yeah, Tri-City’s boom has sorta stalled a bit due to Blackberry’s hardships, and they are only a hour to 45 minutes from both Toronto and Hamilton either via the 401 or 401/Hwy 6. If you are going to expand again in Ontario, London is the only place. They have a university stadium that could be parternered with/expanded with arguably the strongest University Football program in Ontario and they are a solid hour and a half to two hours from Hamilton. Long enough you’re not stealing fans from Hamilton, but not so short that you don’t have a rivalry you can build and also about an hour from Kitchener.

@stach I completely agree, the #CFL needs to take a few years after the tenth team is established to let sponsors build up. This team will likely come after this current tv deal expires and if viewership continues to rise after this contract period, then the CFL can get more out of it from TSN and possibly another network (maybe even US) to help a tenth team enter the league with an even greater boost.
After which point the CFL needs to grow the grassroots, and market itself to the younger demographics that will ultimately be what drives the league forward. Once it has reached its maximum in terms of revenue with the resources it has, It can look to expansion. Otherwise it will keep playing catchup with the revenue it needs and the revenue it has.

@Hammer, I think London could definitely work, it's having its own little boom, and it certainly has the population base with a good history of Gridiron football. Likewise we might be able to get Victoria on the other coast, that one is less likely, but you never know, the CFL Could be a completely different league after the 10th team comes in. Maybe potential owners will be flocking to buy a team or expand into a market. Fingers crossed.

The only issue I see with London is does it fall under either Hamilton or Toronto's territorial rights. Does anyone have a map of who owns what territory?

i think the tabbies held a practice here a few years back in an effort to paint London as part of Tiger-town.

From my understanding the league doesn't have territory rights in Ontario. Broadcast revenues in the league are shared equally and there aren't any restrictions of viewing apart from blackouts which haven't been done in ages.That being said, there are marketing forces at work in the region. I know Scotiabank used to brand tellers with Ti-Cat tickets and Argo tickets where you went.

Unofficially, this image here pretty much sums it up with oddly enough almost the exact opposite colours being appropriate in this case. Red being Ti-Cat territory and Yellow being Argo territory and Blue being Ottawa terrirtory.

[url=http://www.billavista.com/atv/Articles/Ontario_Trails/maps/Ontario_Counties.jpg]http://www.billavista.com/atv/Articles/ ... unties.jpg[/url]

The only changes is make Halton and Dufferin Orange (indicating that both Hamilton and Argo fans are kinda in force there, Burlington is a Ti-Cat city, Oakville more Argo) and make Kawartha Lakes Green (to indicate it's disputed between Ottawa and Toronto) and make all of Northern Ontario a giant question mark.

That being said, realistically you don't typically see a lot of interest beyond Guelph/Waterloo/Brantford for the Ti-Cats and tend to get odd looks that you're a CFL fan when you get past Woodstock. London works, not only because of London, but it's proximity to Woodstock, Ingersoll, St. Mary's ,Stratford, Strathroy and St Thomas, which if they grow would make a decent metro area and might be able to attract from Sarnia or Chatham.

Halifax doesn't have any guarantee for the 10th franchise. Sure the league would like a team in the maritimes to make it truly coast to coast but if anyone elsewhere is willing to set up shop in another city and can get a deal in place for an appropriate stadium I doubt the league would turn them away. Problem is that while there are other cities or municipalities that may be capable of supporting a CFL team there's no one willing to put up the expansion fee and the work needed to get a stadium built.

Why in the world would the league even think about another Ontario team at this point ?
Ottawa is just restarting and the Argos and Ticats have had issues for about 30 years. Yeah, let's bring in another team to over saturate the market. :roll:

Saskatoon won't work, until the population base increases significantly and when there's more corporate money to play with it's a pipedream. How much corporate revenue would each team get if there were two teams in Saskatchewan ?

Victoria won't work for a lot of reasons, population base, income, corporate base etc. The Okanagan region theoretically does have a potential population base to draw from and some decent income to draw from, but not enough corporate revenue.

Halifax and Quebec are 1 and 2 currently, for so many more reasons than "they're in the east", Quebec is focused on the NHL currently so that kind of puts them behind as of right now and probably for the next 10+ years. Halifax is focused on building a CFL ready venue and having a CFL team, hence why the league is putting all their focus into them. If someone or some other city expressed interest in the CFL, maybe the league would talk to them as well..................... but since there isn't anyone else, that's why Halifax and the league are where they are.

When you consider the size of the southern Ontario economy and population, it's not unreasonable to think of adding an additional team there, though it is impractical at this moment. I do agree that Quebec and Halifax should be given priority though.

I think the league is waiting to see Ottawa succeed ( and it will) and then Halifax will come on board when the CFL is hotter than it ever has been , and ratings will be higher next year also , do not expand too fast ( look what happened in the states)

If the TSN ratings go higher every year I can see Halifax getting a stadium and a team ready to go in about 4 years.

And everyone remember a knew stadium brings in more jobs , more events, which means more visitors to your area , everyone wins.

Oh I agree, I mean Hamilton and Toronto will only just in theory start to break even this coming season, and while THF will help the Tabbies out, Toronto is still a serious problem. Halifax or Quebec City are much higher up this list. There simply is no conversation about London and it's surrounding town grows and builds more density. I wouldn't expect such an expansion to be a serious conversation until at least 2020 though.

I'm just saying, the only remaining market in Ontario, is London. Windsor and Sarina simply aren't big enough and any CFL team would directly compete with the Detroit sports teams, which means a Riders level of regional support is unlikely, unlike in the maritimes. Tri-City is too close to Hamilton and Toronto to be a likely market and they aren't too intrigued with chasing a team or building a stadium as far as I am aware. London on the other hand has a large enough population, a region it can draw from without being too close to Hamilton or Toronto.

I believe Halifax shouldn't wait that long. They have enough market research to show that the CFL can be profitable and successful. The hotter and more prominent the CFL is, the more a franchise will cost them. Instead of waiting they need to solidify their plan now so they're not stuck with a bigger bill in expansion fees and we have to deal with this situation again thanks to Halifax's mind numbingly frugal government in the next 20 years.

But you forgot the most important thing - AN OWNER - do you think that Halifax or the CFL is going to run a team or bring a team in????
It's a huge risk running a football team, large rosters, large number of coaches and a league that is gate driven.
As Cohon stated in his address to the business community - it will cost around $16 Million to $20 million to run a CFL team.

Can a team in Halifax with a 20,000 seat stadium generate $20 Million in revenue? Are there enough rich people or the corporate community willing to buy the "Private Suites" and Club Seats?

They need a owner and a stadium still, until that is in place it will be few years yet. just be happy ,Halifax has met with cfl officials and are interested. They are still at least 5 years away .

It has been proven time and again, sports teams don’t add much or anything in the way of taxes and growth to an area, even the Grey Cup. It simply redistributes wealth from one are to another.

The exception may be a stadium, but that would be assuming that money would not have been spent elsewhere. That being said, if they can lure people to Halifax versus it being spent in surrounding areas there could be a benefit, but the region itself and province would not see any difference.

London is so far superior to Halifax and Quebec as potential CFL expansion cities, it's not even close. For starters there are about 20 million people within a 90-minute drive of London. Also London is a much more convenient travel location for most CFL teams over Halifax.

London offers a large local population who have large disposable incomes, along with a vibrant corporate sector. They have a long history with Canadian football dating back to the early 1880's, when London had a team in the first city football league, playing the Toronto Argos and Hamilton Tigers (along with Guelph). London also supported Junior and Senior Football teams over the years. They currently draw huge crowds for CIS football games and sold-out their CFL exhibition game a couple years ago.

The populous London area could easily support a CFL team while not cannibalizing Argo and Ticat support. Having another Ontario team would probably help attendance, witnessed by the 15,000 Ticat fans who invaded Toronto last Nov. The same thing could happen with a London or Guelph CFL team.

For comparison, Melbourne has nine (9) teams in the AFL, with six stadiums in the downtown core alone. They don't seem to suffer from fan support, drawing over 90,000 fans to the Grande National Final, all this in a city smaller than Toronto.

Southern Ontario could easily support 1 or 2 more CFL teams, which would likely bolster Toronto and Hamilton fan support, not hinder them. :thup:

While I find your points about London interesting, I disagree about Guelph. Guelph would never be on the CFL's radar. Way too small of a population. Way to small of a corporate presence. The only two viable cities left in Ontario that I believe could support a CFL team (in a perfect world) is Windsor and London. The former was lobbying for a team but never picked up speed.

But is there anyone in London, with resources, who's driving any sort of discussion about getting a stadium built and bringing a CFL franchise to the area? Until there's some form of ownership group or drive to build a stadium, it's nothing more than a fantasy discussion in a forum. No will, no way.

Not another expansion thread :roll: :thdn: and the same old lame arguments.