The Rise not Demise of the CFL

I realize I am a little optimistic but I really think all the naysayers who are predicting the emminent demise of the CFL I think they are absolutely wrong.

I present just a few reasons: (others may have many more than I do)

How about a new or major renovations to the stadiums in

Vancouver, Regina, Winnipeg, Hamilton and Ottawa and throw Moncton in for fun.

Increased ratings for C.I.S. football as well as major rises in kids playing football in Quebec and Ontario at all levels. (Side note: it's ridiculous to consider reducing the Canadian player ratio but that's another thread) I submit for evidence my own son's league which according to officials had its highest enrolment ever this year.

Continuing great T.V. ratings on TSN

The major concern Toronto - in many ways, ownership, talent etc... However the Bills in Toronto has been a dismal failure which indirectly benefits the Argos and CFL. Why anyone would pay good money to go see the Bills is beyond me. Please tell me when the BIlls have played any game in the last five years as good as the Ticat/BC game last Sunday. And yes I admit we had not played to many good ones until this year. But there were at least five good home games or more this year.

Overall, I believe the CFl is rising in a major way. With that said a lockout or a strike would be very foolish.

Long live the CFL

The CFL is ready to take advantage of the greed from all the other pro teams that have priced tickets out of reach for the average working family.

As far as I know, and I've been there, they've been predicting the end of Canadian Pro Football since the 80's. It's as strong as it's been since then and common sense willing, Ottawa will have a team soon. Don't worry about it.

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These articles prove the Rev's point.

It's great news!

One thing I took from the first article, though, was that more work needs to be done to get people watching the Eastern Division games. There were 5 games that broke the 1,000,000 viewer mark, and they were all between Western Division teams.

Hey Picat,

What was the Labour Day game - Argos Ticats?

According to this,

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it was 844,000.

Man, if I was a company other than the NHL, I would be advertising in the CFL if those increases over the last couple of years are any indication. Better than the Jays, soccer, basketball, if I read them correctly? The CFL is what people are watching according to those statistics.

The CFL would benefit from a year when both the TC and Argos both do well. I don't remember the last time that happened. Their success is like a see-saw. One does well, the other tanks, and vice versa.

Having said that...

Years ago the TC drew 15K a game. Now it is ~23K at a higher price. This is the first year the TC exceeded $10M in revenue. Things are looking up.

As for the CFL... Years ago, only Edmonton made money, this year every team not named Hamilton or Toronto did.

Keep costs at current levels (no players strike) and let Hamilton and Toronto's revenues catch up to their expenses. If the league can also find a way to funnel more money to Toronto and Hamilton and allow them to break even, all will be well.

With the new rating the CFL can expect a boost in TSN dollars when the contract ends - I know it is a while off. That will help.

It is not perfect but things are miles ahead of the way they were.

Last, the CFL should sell the Grey Cup Name. Charge $10M for the rights and call it the Google Grey Cup, The Canadian National Grey Cup, the RIM Grey Cup. Take that money and help ensure all teams, at least, break even. I have never understood why they don't do this.

This is a good point. Two strong teams in southern Ontario --nay, two non-pathetic teams in Southern Ontario would do the league wonders. But, a testament to how far this league has come can really be seen in the Argonauts.

Back when Doug Flutie was the QB for them, they may have had one of the best CFL teams ever assembled. Yet, cracking 20,000 was nearly impossible. This season, after two years where they combined for 7 wins, they drew 27,000 for a meaningless late season game. With a decent team, they'd be up around 33,000.

Plus, all the other teams in Toronto are doing their best to anger their fan bases.

All you have to do is look at the entire league schedule -- I think there were about 2 sub-20,000 crowds all season. That's a pretty big difference from 15 years ago or so.

I, too, am very optimistic. I was a bit worried about the Bills foray into Toronto, but I think that whole initiative has resulted in nothing more than yawns. It's also made me believe that, even if Toronto got a full time NFL team, I think we'd all be okay. It wouldn't be ideal -- and I really hope it doesn't happen, but I don't think it's anything the CFL couldn't overcome. In fact, it could help the Argos get a more appropriate stadium.

I agree, but humbly suggest that the Grey Cup name should be: "The Grey Cup, presented by Google" etc. This would continue to give preference to the Grey Cup name and still obtain further sponsorship dollars.

When I read this post my initial response was a two word explative directed at the author, but let me continue in a more diceplined manner.

Selling the naming rights to a national chamionship not only tarnishes the tradtion and history of the championship, but also shamefully detracts from the prestigiousness of that award.

If you have ever seen the Cup with your own eyes, you would know that inscribed are the words "Presented by his Excelency Earl Grey for the Amateur Rugby Football Championship of Canada", and that it is (at least in this posters opinion) the single most elegant trophie in all of professional sports.

The honour of being named Canada's best football team became so sought after that eventually pro's petitioned for the right to compete, and it was that level of regard that raised the historic award permanently to the professional level so that now only the best, and most dedicated would hoist the Cup each year.

To sell the name of your championship is an insult to the sport, it's history, it's players, it's supporters, and would effectively undermine, defame, and denigrate a proud Canadian Institution along with it's history and tradition.

If you want an endorsement then reflect upon the fact that 100 years ago a man of status and influence once loved Canadian football so much, he made a contribution that would ensure the names of it's greatest players and champions would forever be engraved and placed in the annals of history.

And yes, this is an open opinion forum, and you are entitled to your opinion. Although it is my firm belief that it is one that is ill advised and poorly reflected upon. Maybe it's a bit harsh for me to say so, but at least I didn't blut out the first two words that came to mind.


This was posted before i was finished

The trophy was presented, in 1909 by Earl Grey, Governer General of Canada.

Great post :thup: What makes the CFL so good is the Canadian players,who must maintain the majority on CFL team,s :thup: AS for Toronto,well what can be said, they have no civic pride in their own University team,s , None of their teams, in any league are competitive, and until Toronto get,s some civic pride back, they will continue to covet the Giants , Cowboy,s , and even the terrible Bill,s. BUT what a time to be a TiCats fan , Saying goodby to Ivor Wynn and looking forward to the New TiCat home , and a contending Ticat team 8)

Remember guys, the Argos and Toronto have a solid core of great Argo fans and CFL fans as good as any you'll find in this country. Also, why should people who are Bills fans and big fans of the team desert the team through tough times, like fans of any team, as long as they feel the organization is trying as best it can to win? I don't get that. Now I don't watch much Bills stuff or follow the team close but I don't think they are tanking the team at all, I don't know.

Toronto and university sports just seems to be a disconnect, which is unfortunate. Is this a pride issue? I don't know.

Good post. You have to becareful not to cheapen this. Sometimes tacking a name onto something historical results in nothing more than corporate vandalism.

if its done tastefully, and maybe more on the periphery (as has been suggested) you may still reap much of the rewards without compromising the honour of the prize.

back when the CFL had real financial problems (the U.S. expansion failure) wasn't it the NFL that gave them the money 2 continue????The NFL knows that it recieves alot of talent VIA the CFL - especially QB's; They're not enemies.The promotion of the BIlls in Toronto is just 2 further the Bill's fanbase,not 2 "test" if the Bills could play their. The CFL is not going anywhere; and i would never, ever sell the Grey Cup title 2 a corporation; The Grey Cup is the oldest, longest championship/trophy in North American history, i have a little more respect then that...

On the the past Saturday the local cable channel 10 covered high school 10 man @ 12 man football finals. During one of the games the announcer said the attendance was between 3@ 4 thousand. I am by no means an expert but that sounds like a good crowd for high school football and it seems the Canadian game is alive and well in New Brunswick. Sussex High won the 10 man and Moncton High won the 12 man.

I don't know what naysayers you are talking about.
I haven't heard any talk of the demise of the CFL in the past few years. Overall the league is in good shape. Yes Southern Ontario should have more support for the two team. Considering that both the ARgos and Ticats have by far the largest market in Canada and a population base larger than most NFL cities it is kind of pathetic but it's a great league and I continue to support it.
The thing that does bother me is the so-called CFL fans who just want to talk trash about the NFL. Singing the praises of the CFL is what its all about not mean mouthing the NFL, I just don't get that.
Can't you love both leagues???

I agree mike but I think what bothers people, myself included, is that we come across people who don't give the CFL the time of day and don't take the time to read the history and understand it's about winning a great Canadian championship and trophy... All they do is trash talk the CFL because it's not a big American run league with all the hype. When I meet these people I have to admit I get my knickers in a knot and want to trash talk the NFL even though I actually enjoy watching it and following it as well, maybe not as much as the CFL but still like it.

I know, everyone has to get thick skinned more, I understand, sometimes it's tough and you end up behaving in a way you don't really want to. I just have to admit it bugs me that some people don't try and put some effort into some things in their own country even if it's not a big and glamourous American thing.

To be clear, I happen to like the Cowboys but I much prefer the CFL. My son and I very rarely miss any CFL game but might watch the Cowboys or a really interesting match up in the NFL. I simply have no rooting interest for an American team including the Bills. I am pro CFL not anti-NFL and I really think there is a difference.

As far as the Grey Cup, I think it stands alone. The "presented by,' idea perhaps but the Grey Cup comes first for me.

Interesting responses everybody thanks!

Perspective though. If this were an NFL market, it would be considered a single market. We have two CFL teams. Combined, we average about 55,000 per weekend. That's not bad.

Especially considering that the marketing and overall dollars that most NFL teams would spend, I'd say we do pretty well by any standard. Obviously, there's room to improve. I think the high-water mark would be the Argos averaging 35,000 and us averaging almost 30,000. And really, we aren't an enormous distance away from that.