The CFL Expansion Thread

Not saying it is a great market - or even that the CFL should go there - but even though it is not a great market I would put it up against Halifax - or Kamloops or Quebec City in terms of viability and strength of market - Once again we have been talking Halifax and Moncton for 40+ years no stadium no owners nothing - If Shreveport is the bottom of the barrel you only need 5 markets in the USA - that is it - 5 - there are 180 million Americans east of the Mississippi River - you need 5 markets east of the Mississippi - that is it - maybe 7 if you get crazy with it - and a TV/Streaming deal -

2 Likes

Yes, that's what I'm telling you.

XFL, AAF or CFL - you can get 20K Americans to a non NFL game - you are not getting Alabama or Michigan numbers 90K but you can get CFL attendance numbers - Once again I would roll the dice on getting 25K a game for a franchise in Texas, Louisville or Shreveport vs a franchise in Moncton, Halifax or Kamloops -

1 Like

I don't think you can. Maybe if you give tickets away for free, but even then, not for long.

I mean, if I were running the league and someone from the US offered to pay a sizeable expansion fee for a franchise, I'd certainly listen. But I'd also be prepared for the inevitable failure of that franchise (again, see that very long list of failed NFL competitors) after a season or two.

Some questions I'd have to consider would be: What kind of damage to the CFL brand would that US team(s) folding have on the league? Would that expansion fee(s) be worth sustaining that damage?

1 Like

The Last iteration of the XFL failed because of covid - Covid shut down Canada - Shut down Vegas - Covid Shut down Disneyland - and shut down March Madness - Vince had a choice to make - save WWE or save the XFL - so can we at least from a math standpoint agree that the XFL was drawing CFL numbers of fans to the stands and reasonable ratings? So if the Americans will support the XFL why wouldn't they support the CFL? Because it is from Canada? Americans watch the EPL, Mexican Soccer and read Japanese graphic novels - so they aren't going to watch Americans playing football with American players because the the League has a "C" at the front as opposed to an "X"?
Americans love going to football games - it is their thing - they know the CFL is not the NFL but they like to go to games on all levels with the kids and grand-kids and not go broke - maybe I am the eternal optimist and patron saint of lost causes but I believe in the CFL and believe that it can be sold in the States -

2 Likes

The XFL was in decline already. Covid hastened its demise. But even with no Covid, I don't think we'd have seen a 2022 XFL season. Novelty and the desire to "stick it" to the NFL after being snubbed only lasts so long.

image
:smiley:

True! It put Birmingham, Shreveport and Sacramento on the map. Next up is Ogdenville, North Haverbook and Brockway! :rofl:

3 Likes

Dude that is awesome - good shot - LOL - seriously that is a great comeback -

1 Like

You have to wait and see what happens with the XFL and USFL. Right now the CFL is in a holding pattern as far as U. S expansion goes. I’ve said before that if one of these leagues sticks, it will change the football landscape.The CFL will be pushed down the Football pecking order.If none of these leagues succeed, then there’s no way the CFL would succeed in the U.S. And they have T.V contracts. If the CFL wants to expand to the U.S it needs an allie. The XFL has the money and connections , but it means you have to make concessions on the field. Rules, quotas, stadium infrastructure. The owners have to decide what the want the CFL to be. Do they want to become more of a domestic league for Canadians or something bigger and enter the U.S market.

3 Likes

Fox is bringing back the USFL because they liked the XFL numbers - Fox has been broadcasting football for 30 years - Maybe Fox and the Murdochs are idiots but they didn't build a media empire in Australia, England and the USA on luck - or because they don't know how to read data - Fox saw something they liked in the XFL numbers so did NBC - Alt Football is happening down south - this will be the 4th year with spring football in the States - either they are all idiots or someone sees TV numbers they like - XFL is next year - Also you are not going against the NFL you are going against the NBA, WNBA and Baseball - some MLS - but football people like football -

This is not 1995 everything is different - Polaroid and Blockbuster are toast - what worked in the 1990s won't work today and things that might not have worked back then work now - How many Japanese comic book novels could you sell in 1990 in the USA and Canada? Go to a book store and they have shelves of that stuff - Kids love that stuff - Just saying that we need to get over "Vegas" - put it behind us and move forward -

3 Likes

You're certainly more optimistic about the potential of these ventures than I am. We shall see how things go, but I suspect that both the USFL and XFL will not be fielding teams come 2025. There have been plenty of failed US leagues since the 80s and 90s. They all went under.

1 Like

Ironically it was one of these failures that played a role in the US Expansion efforts.

WLAF ownership from Sacramento and San Antonio pledged to join with the later dropping out.

Vetting ownership that's in it for the long haul is key to any attempt again. Though I can't see it happening in the near future

1 Like

The world is changing, we just watched KSW66 in full HD out of Poland for 40 slotny or whatever it was (12 bucks).

1 Like

I think the difference this time is that Fox is involved and sports are the only thing that are DVR proof - so in my opinion you can't look at it from a strictly football context - you look at it from an entertainment standpoint - and that landscape has changed drastically since 1995 - all of the TV shows are now on streaming so you can binge watch whatever TV show you want but sports is a different animal - and I think that is the difference between now and 25 years ago -

1 Like

That's true. The streaming services might make some difference. Again, though, we've seen leagues fail in the past few years. No need to go back 25 years for examples.

1 Like

Most of the pre-made content and properties has been bought and solidified, now only properties left to buy are live content and the reach is now Global via streaming and ppv or subscription.

1 Like

And the CFL could be next.
No business retains the right to solvency in perpetuity, no matter how many years established. (i.e. Eatons)
Many fans falsely believe that the CFL will never die due to its longevity and resilience in the face of perennial financial difficulties.
The CFL can ill afford to lose any franchises at this stage especially in the major markets where the bleeding is most prominent.

The issues that seem to come up regularly when speaking with friends and acquaintances are:
Lack of teams, playing same teams too often, no OTA/Network broadcasts, requiring paid subscriptions to watch, perceived as minor/bush league, lack of International contests or American teams, concussions/CTE, constant player movement within the CFL and exodus to the NFL.
It feels to me as though the CFL rested on its laurels 50 years ago and steadfastly refuses to adapt, evolve or grow the game or the league.

Interest in the CFL per capita was much much higher in 1972 than it is today and that is very troubling.

4 Likes

All good points. The league can't just rest on its laurels. But I don't think that means trying something that has failed so many times and expecting it to magically work this time.

Interest in the CFL was higher in 1972 than it is today. But it hit perhaps its lowest point in the wake of the failed US expansion. I think the league needs to re-investigate what it did to rebound from that low and apply those lessons to today.

1 Like

I disagree. The lowest point was before U.S. expansion. The reason they expanded was out of desperation and it wasn't well thought out. Boom all of a sudden there was a team in Sacramento. CFL U.S. expansion despite it's crazy geographical locations still did better than the recent spring leagues and equaled the 3 years that the original USFL had in the 80's. The CFL came out of the expansion era stronger and there was a renewed interest in the league. The 1994 Grey Cup was recently ranked the greatest Grey Cup in the last 29 years by 3 down nation. The problem is that the CFL makes decisions with reckless abandon. If they had a well thought out plan then it might work but I have my doubts that former football players in charge of the league (possibly with CTE) can make these intelligent decisions.

2 Likes

You really want to end with that or even include it?

So..uh..
When can we expect the announcement of your placement as the new CFL commish?