Toronto and Montreal attendance - or lack of!

Once again both Toronto and Montreal had under 23,000 in attendance this week. The only week this year that either Toronto or Montreal did not have the lowest attendance of the week was the bi week that neither of them played.

What a shame that Canada's two largest cities would appear to have the worst support for their teams, no excuse for it. Shame!

Attendance in Toronto is up around 3000 tickets a game over last year. That's a 15% increase. No issue.

Montreal has managed to make money for 10 years with a 20 200 attendance, again no issue.

Sure it could be better but I don't see shame. If Toronto can increase its average attendance by 3000 per season over the next couple years...

I'm sure Toronto's actually paid attendance is much lower than Montreal's. A large portion of both cities view CFL as second rate and will have a NFL game on at a lounge before a CFL game.

Why does this wretched attendance discussion never factor in ticket price? I'd rather a few thousand less at a game where tickets don't cost less than my morning cup of coffee.

I agree as long as Montreal keeps above their break even line and people are buying tickets at market value, all good. Hamilton is not drawing any better and they have far less excuses than Montreal and Toronto.

IIRC David Braley said when he bought the Argos that he did not believe it handing out freebies and I doubt that's changed since.

Exactly. Montreal and Toronto are big cities with lots to do, particularly in the summer, and where people's entertainment dollars are split many ways. The Als are also still rebuilding after Lalonde's departure. Progress isn't made overnight. They are starting to put out some student packages, which is encouraging; walk-up should increase as fans start to be reassured that there will actually be tickets for sale on game day.

The game before last at Rogers was not even close to 20 000 , not the 23 they announced. Even TSN commented. I'm sure there are tons of give aways but if it helps attract fans in the future ,that,s great. They have to do something in Toronto. It,s not a healthy franchise and if it wasn't for Braley ,it be a disaster.

So why is this a surprise?? Toronto and Hamilton both have the biggest population base in the country and have been averaging low 20s for years, that doesn't equate to huge crowds at a CFL game.
In Southern Ontario CFL is not the popular sport that it is out West. The Ticats need 22,500 average at $50 a ticket top break even.

Eventually if there is no football type specific stadium or going in on BMO, I think you'll see the Argos move someplace else or be amalgamated with the TiCats. Just what I think.

No shame at all. Of course it would be nice if the Dome was packed out every game. It hasn't been, is not and won't be but hopefully an average of high 20 thousands is attainable and that is a good target.

Look guys most people in the big cities don't care about CFL. What are we going to do? Cry about it all the time or accept we are hoping for steady rise in sales over years?

Just a point of fact guys regarding the Argos. OK it is not a great picture but look at the reality.

2011 after first 4 home games aggregate attendance 80,468 average 20,117.
2012 after first 4 home games aggregate attendance 88,920 average 22,230.

This is a 10% rise year on year and if a 10% rise is sustained for the year it is an excellent result. No one aspires to be averaging 22,000 but its better than 20,000 and I would regard 24,000 as a realistic and achievable aim for 2013. Let's celebrate the positive instead of raging at the indifference of the public.

And really, is LA any worse off without having an NFL team? No and most people in LA from what I've read couldn't care less. It's the NFL trying to push to get a team back if a new stadium can be built and that's not easy in a town that has lost a couple NFL teams and is really ho hum on the NFL.

We should remember that Toronto and Montreal televise all their home games locally and have done for a decade or more. The fans know the blackouts will be lifted and many choose to stay home and watch the game for free. The teams are still popular, the TV ratings are good...but in the larger centres returning to the downtown core in the evening to watch a CFL game is a daunting prospect...especially when the HD home theatre is a viable option.

Blue Blood is 100% correct. Braley doesn't hand out freebies (or hands out very few) because he believes if devalues the product to the paying fan. Those that pay will wonder why they are doing so if there are so many getting free tickets. So Braley stopped the practice of handing out free tickets.

If you want to complain take a time machine back to 1997 and check out the attendance numbers, I think you will see both franchises attendance have improved, face facts CFL isn't as big in the east.

If it means a noisy sell out crowd and a great atmosphere, I'd have no problem knowing I paid for my season tickets and they gave away freebies in the endzone and upper deck.

No, I think that end zone seats and the upper deck should be closed off until all the seats down below between the goal lines are sold. They wouldn't make much money if people bought the cheap tickets only and then sat in the higher priced seats.

You really need to re-think this. If this ever happened, all it would accomplish is to piss off the most loyal supporters of each fanbase. It's likelier that Richard Simmons would kiss a girl.

Montreal stadium "McGill stadium" aka it's corporate name "Molson stadium" has a capacity of only slightly more than 21,000 and a bit more due to the completed renovations. So if they draw anything more than 21,000 you can consider that a capacity crowd.

The other stadium "the big-O" has a capacity of almost 70,000 but fans and players don't like travelling all the way to the east end of Montreal. The field is below ground level and it is always cold and damp place to play.

When the big-O was Montreal's regular stadium they had very low attendace, roughly 10,000 per game. Then for one game the big-O was not available and they used McGill stadium and to their surprise the drew 21,000+ fans. They wondered how these fans came out of the wood work. Maybe because the McGill stadium was closer to downtown, closer to the downtown action for the fans before or after the games.