US Expansion Video


Basically everything we already know except the part where John Candy was heavily involved in it. It makes sense now why a lot of it was botched. Having a comedian plan things instead of a business person was a terrible idea.

Expansion only happened to keep the league floating. They were never serious about it long term. Eventually the CFL will change it's game, move it's season to appease Americans because it's not making enough money domestically. Part of that is greed on the part of the owners.

People will doubt what the CFL is up to but you have to look at what they've done so far. Moving the hashmarks, changing the penalty flags from orange to yellow, changing the ratio rules for 23 and 24, not to mention the TV schedule that just came out recently. It'll probably take decades to get to their end goal but they'll use that time to wear the fans down.


In decades most of the die hard fans like us will be dead. They better have a better plan than that.


Fixed it for you.

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A must watch for those who wrongly assume the league was just cruising along fine and then US expansion came along when actually the opposite was true as this video clearly displays


It's better if most of the diehard fans like us are dead. There won't be as much complaining. The younger generation of Canadians will go for it easier than the crochety older ones.

However, I don't know what the end goal actually would be. If they take steps toward it, it should be a small part of a long term plan. Whenever the current CBA expires, we can guess that they'll take a crack at the ratio again. Whenever there is an expansion to anywhere in Canada, they will lower the ratio. If what Ambrosie said about 12 teams is true we are looking at 10 to 15 years down the road. Perhaps they'll have 1-3 Canadians playing on the field instead of what they will have again. If they ever expand to America it could be in 20 years. If they expand to two American teams at some point, they'll want to expand to more which should be another decade or so. If the CFL does things quick and easy, it will fail.

in general, the younger generation are much louder than their predecessors...

but it has to be something they care about.

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Not sure the caring level is there when they have grown up with Americanization at every corner. When I was growing up I had 3 or 4 channels on TV. Today's youth has TV, internet etc which has exposed themselves to multiple cultures.


I completely missed that they changed the penalty flags! Plus of course they have moved the season to start earlier with the option for even earlier as for example a start in May.

I think the changes, such as you have summarized so well, happen all the more for 2024 and the rest of the decade to set the table for new teams in the next decade - the 2030s. :open_mouth: And all the more of us will be seasoned CFL Geezers by then.

Whatever is being done to shore things up financially on which many of us are out of the loop, with every change that resembles more that of American football, it's as if the CFL is expanding and clearing a platform for a relaunch as yet still undefined.

Hopefully Genius Sports is going to make a difference in securing a fear better media presence in the US, for cable ESPN is not the future for any major sports and there is the chatter about Disney finally and reluctantly spinning off ESPN and ABC into their own sports-streaming platform.


The good news is that we'll be able to tell the kids what the CFL was like in the olden days as they roll their eyes and look for an exit strategy.

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I thought we are creating new fans, not driving them out lol​:rofl::joy:


Oh well we keep working to stay young and healthy if not merely young at heart.

Beware and make a quick correction if you ever catch yourself saying "shunny."

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Behold Ted with the Keynesian prescription of the remedy for the CFL:
"Well you know, in the long run, we're all dead."
:thinking: :face_with_raised_eyebrow: :partying_face:

Ah yes, here I am putting that economics degree to work decades later though still working a job for which I am now overqualified though reasonably paid (but working for an upgrade now that the pandemic crap is mostly behind us but recession?), thank you sir.

Facetiously writing of course, I don't agree with this strategy just to die off or merely grow old and apathetic before we make something better out of the CFL.

We ought not to squander our time and let matters go to the whims of some of the same folks, whom we know from their visits here in dreadful 2021 with those "XFL discussions" :roll_eyes: , for amongst those people are those who believe that a hub league and spring football are great business strategy also because they are "modern" concepts (which they are also not but rather recycled bad ideas like many ideas, and they are FAILURE concepts for a major sports league and business).

Ah, indeed we were all young once, but most of us certainly were not that dumb so as to concoct such revisionism of basic business reality for major professional team sports business that you need customers spending money in person and from afar as much as you can sell to them.

Of course maybe somebody will crack that elusive success of spring football on US soil, but no way should the CFL get involved on that front.

We'll just let somebody else take those risks that have to date ended with serious financial beat-downs.

Agreed. If CFL ever got involved with the spring leagues that would be the beginning of the end. The temptation to use a short cut will always be there. But you need to build a good foundation, otherwise it turns out to be a house of cards.


Question for Fans From 1990 or Before

So at the beginning of the video, it was explained in brief that the league was losing a lot of money and that was the core reason for the need to expand with the new investors.

What was the fan experience like through 1990? At a time long before the public internet and social media, was it noticeable and well-known which teams were ailing terribly?

I have read from many fans here who have reminisced with good memories from such bygone times before the failed experiment to expand to the US in the 1990s, but it does not sound like things were very good in many places in the 1980s.

Canada had a recession in the early 1980's and early 1990's (high unemployment). This video from 1987 contains some possible answers to your CFL questions.


Wow that was a quite informative interview and high on candour. Thank you for sharing!

Questions for CFL 1987

  1. So the Alouettes were folded and the Roughriders were ailing. Which teams were otherwise doing well despite the CFL ailing? Any of them at all?

  2. A few years before, how was the CFL affected by the player shift to the USFL 1.0 if at all much as was affected the NFL?

  3. In the spring of 1991 I remember the launch of the WLAF including the Montreal Machine. That's when I was hopeful for sake of spring football, for I did not care for basketball as much any more as I played rugby, football, and soccer in intermural league, club, or pickup play in college.

Note that games were on ABC. Anyway, within a few weeks of launch I remember a game in Orlando in April that was just ugly with rain all game and that was it. I lost interest and realized spring football was a bad idea. Similar feelings followed the launch of the XFL 1.0 years later with initial optimism.

I saw the game that was I do believe the home debut of the Montreal Machine on ABC, and well it was high-profile but wow that was all I ever saw of them. Wiki indicates they drew what would be their peak number of fans at over 53K.

Via Wiki

The Machine's average game attendance was 31,888 in their first year of play, well above the league average and above expectations. It dropped to 25,254 in their second (and final) year, still in line with league average.

Those were some decent average numbers especially for spring football in 1991 to 1992.

1991 attendance took a clear dive by May though, for like all the other spring leagues on US soil to date the product on the field increases in the suck factor after the novelty effect is over.

Wiki does not show attendance figures for 1992, but given the average I bet they were woeful by May of 1992.

How bad was the situation for that Montreal Machine in those later days?

What was the media reaction? To ignore it or to rightfully pile on to get that abomination off the TV screen?

What an awful name for that team too.

I know you asked about doing well, but..
The Ottawa Roughriders started their tailspin in the late 1980's. 1960-70's were their Glory years. Wiki can fill you in about that gong show.

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Gotta take those numbers with a grain of salt. Kinda like when people look up the Alouette average attendance for 1977 (60k).

The Big O was new and going to sporting events was in style thanks to the 1976 Olympics. The Alouettes\Concordes did not save for a rainy day and were soon out of business.

Gotta dig in the numbers. Same when you hear about Baltimore's "success." The only success they had was on the field. Those were NFL Baltimore Colt fans who quickly dropped the CFL when the opportunity arrived.

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Your definition of success doesn't match the rest of the population. There was a group of CFL fans from Baltimore that made the pilgrimage to the Grey Cup for many years afterwards. You don't fly thousands of kilometres to go to a game that your team isn't even in, if you don't care about the product.