Thinking Ahead: Recommendations For Next CFL Season?

There is much to work out along the lines of public health and labour and funding before CFL play resumes of course.

I started a new thread here to open up discussion with recommendations and ideas for the league upon re-opening.

Use also your observations about what is working or not in other sports worldwide as well if you will. There is no sense, and it is foolhardy, for every league to try to re-invent the wheel.

Please do not drift back into expansion or changes in rules in this thread. There is already at least one thread for those topics with the former being a very tired one every single off-season for the last decade now.

Recommendations For Next Season

  1. No early season bye weeks!

Start the season and play as much as you can because odds are, vaccine or not, of infection anyway such that you will have to build flexibility later in the season into the schedule. There is no sense in having healthy teams take a week off in the first half of the season! The NFL for example botched this one.

These are not normal times and won't be for years not months. Plan on having to reschedule games.

  1. Streamline video review

Less is more. The overriding concept should be to get egregious errors and calls correct for scoring plays and late in the game or upon turnovers including on special teams' plays and on 3rd down altogether. This way we get more of the calls that matter right and keep the game moving instead of plodding away like the NFL and NCAA for too many of their games.

By contrast, recently soccer in Europe has implemented video review a bit better after some truly rocky years and terrible antics last season though still has far to go.

  1. Have At Least A Basic Re-Start Contingency Plan

There is likely any more to be an interruption in the season due to the pandemic or world events in general these days. We are in new times. This is no "phase."

Have a basic plan in place for preservation of records to date and for resumption restart until the smoke clears.

I think the best bet is just to wait until this virus thingy goes away.

Oh yes, but put plans in place while we have the time. And we sure do now.

Also I say restart this next season, not every season, a bit early so as to build in some extra time for delays.

The planning for a start after mid-May instead of June starts now.

Well, I think the cfl is between a rock and a hard place. Economically, they just cannot make it work with empty stadiums, or even lest than usually filled stadiums. No way they can get enough money from tv, not matter who is paying. As for covid spread, bubble doesnt work for NA football with teams only playing less than 1 game a week. NFL is showing us the difficulty of playing without the bubble. I just dont see any successful way for them to play until it is safe to do so business as usual. Not sure I even see the league surviving without a large influx of cash from somewhere.

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It will take much, but Canada is not in economic despair in most places.

Energy prices also will not stay low forever. There will be disruptions again.

As petroleum flows, so do Canada and Australia prosper all the more as does much of the US including TX, LA, and the states along or bordering those along the entire I35 corridor up to the northern border plus PA and a few spots in neighbouring states.

I do not see the funding being delayed perpetually for the CFL. Money even flowed to the recent upstarts south of the border recently and in recent years, and well, that was riskier capital mind you.

Of course we know much has to change and be reformed so as to draw it now including the entire business model.

How about having fans attend CFL games in stadium parking lots and Drive-In theaters and charge by the car. The Las Vegas Raiders are using this method, but combing a tailgate with it. The Toronto Raptors also had drive-in car viewings when they were in the playoffs

The CFL fans attending the offsite viewing get different telecasts with different announcing teams with camera angles like the ref and quarterback cams, It would entice paying fans to the game with a different incentive. I don't think you can allow tailgating without them becoming super spreaders. But, it has to be a different experience for the CFL fan

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I dunno. sittin in a car all game or sitting on my couch. Not very easy to make an alternative broadcast method any more interesting than the regular.

Why do people go to games when they can stay home and watch? I think most of the reasons can not be satisfied by what you are suggesting.

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It gives the people the chance to get out of the house. Spice up the viewing experience with cheerleaders, mascots, live band or DJ to pump up the fans lust for the team and game. Maybe include car concession service for the fans in the vehicles. Have servers on roller skates like those 50's style drive-in restaurants. Retro is cool now these days. But all practice with social distancing of course.

It better than the lame fans sitting in front of a computer camera with the manufactured applause on cue by the network

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well, I am a little dubious but maybe it is better than any other suggested alternative so far.

The Vegas Raiders are charging $400 per vehicle(4 people per vehicle) for their parking lot tailgate(paying fans can bring their own food and beverages, including alcohol). That's lot of coin being generated, I haven't read if Raider fans were complaining about the price.

I know Canadians complained about the high prices for Bills tickets when Rogers promoted the Buffalo Bills in Toronto Series(I know this because I was one of them, but it was Rogers papering the attendance). I think CFL fans won't complain as much it it isn't a total cash grab and if you gave them some value for their money. Can the CFL ignore this revenue stream?

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See here's what you and others overlook. Far from everybody, especially younger folks, wants to stay at home watching the game!

Notice the success at the venues of Hamilton as well as in Winnipeg with the younger crowd like with the Rum Hut.

There remains a huge market to continue to tap, as have done the Raptors, here.

The younger folks want it and will be spending their money for a different entertainment experience than most of us one way or the other. Shoot, even at twice their age, I am game too!

Dave is correct. There is much opportunity here.

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The league hasn't been "cool" since Mark Cohon quit. No sure the two are related but there has been a steady downslide since with the exception of 3 markets. All 3 with new facilities...

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Big mistake on the league's part when they let Mark Cohon walk away.

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What the heck was that brief period with Orridge all about?

He had experience as an attorney, but why did they pick him?

And he did not stay long anyway.

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Not a good hire. He was also the head of CBC Sports when they lost their NHL rights to Sportsnet. Insisted on having Saturdays for CBC only when it came to broadcasting Canadian NHL teams.

He could be the reason CBC will not bid and broadcast pro sports in the foreseeable future.

Sportsnet subletting to CBC and getting all advertising revenue, now that's sad.

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I don't disagree that they will likely need to be flexible, schedule-wise. But in a league with an uneven number of teams, the only way to avoid a bye each week is to force one team to play two games in the same week. Which is terrible for everyone involved, including fans. If you mean push the "two-game" weeks (when five teams are on a bye simultaneously) deep into the schedule, I agree. But byes every week are a fact of life when there are an uneven number of teams.

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Considering the large amount of time off between the 2019 season and the 2021 season, I think the league should start the regular season a lot earlier, like mid-May or May long weekend. It would be a good time to experiment with earlier starts. The NHL and NBA would have their seasons adjusted as well, so the fear of clashing with the Finals in those leagues wouldn't be present from the start.

I would also say to stretch the schedule to 22 weeks to allow for potential re-scheduled games due to COVID. Four bye weeks per team would be pretty lame, but provides flexibility. The bye weeks would be back-ended toward the end of the season (So schedule three-game weeks in September and October, one Friday game, two Saturday games).

Under this model, the regular season would start Thursday, May 20 and finish Saturday October 16, 2021.The Grey Cup would be played Sunday November 7, 2021.

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Or push for a modified schedule starting in September (8-10 games) with the Grey Cup and Vanier Cup on the same weekend of November.

Even under normal circumstances there's no guarantee that a earlier start will be beneficial to the CFL

No earlier start for me.

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An earlier start just means a shorter off-season and the return of the CFL sooner. Are you saying to start in September so there's a better chance of a COVID vaccine being available? Why the later start?

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Better to side with caution and health than trying to start early.

The NFL is postponing and rescheduling games on a week to week basis.

The CFL coming back will be worth the wait if done right.