I think this is foolish myself, when the Vanier was bound to the Grey Cup, it posted record ticket sales. That makes your money, plus you get much better exposure being linked at the hip with the Grey Cup festival/media conversation, you raise the profile of the university game across the nation.
Just plunking it down in Quebec City or a couple of venues does nothing to grow the game. The one Vanier I went to in Hamilton was abyssal, as no marketing, no festival and early exits from Mac didn’t do the game any favors. The one in Toronto, even if I was cheering for Mac was far better as there was plenty of simply pure Football fans there.
Yup, unfortunately the Vanier Cup and university football in Canada needs all the help it can get for exposure etc. even excellent programs like Western simply don’t have much interest from the student body, very little and not much better from the community there in London either.
Sad because the record attendance for the Vanier Cup Game was the 37,098 in Toronto in 2012 when the game was held in conjunction with the Grey Cup. The Vanier Cup also drew a crowd of 26,787 the previous time the two games were held in conjunction in 2007 in Toronto.
Another idea on Grey Cup weekend would be to hold the Canada Bowl to determine the Canadian Junior Football champions on the day before the Grey Cup Game. With tens of thousands of Canadian football fans gathered in the same locale for the Grey Cup, why not provide these fans with an alternative to drinking themselves into oblivion prior to the Grey Cup Game? The local constabulary would certainly be relieved not to have to arrest so many fans for being “drunk and disorderly”.
Yep. Also helped that the game was McMaster Laval. A rematch of the best Vanier Cup in history the year before, and McMaster is a short drive from Toronto, with a massive number of alumni in the area. The 2012 Vanier really was a perfect storm for huge attendance.
Yes sir letsgoticats, I doubt such an attendance will ever happen for a Vanier Cup again, which really doesn’t say much to be honest. What is saying much is that a city like London with a super football program probably has no appetite with the city of London to host a Vanier Cup. This speaks very bad volumes for USports football in this country, not good.
London and Western, as much as I love my alma mater, is nothing compared with Laval and the support there in Quebec City. Sad but true.
London is just about the Knights and Toronto, Detroit and Buffalo pro teams and the Univ Michigan, they couldn’t even support AA baseball which is an excellent level of pro ball. The Mustangs are not relevant in London for the most part, sad but true.
In a funny way, I’m relieved that university sports isn’t big in Canada. It speaks to the overall intelligence of the general population vs. America where soooooo much energy, attention, money and importance is given to sports.
Sports is important, but it has its place in society, it shouldn’t dominate to the tune of 20, 000 seat HIGHSCHOOL football stadiums. That’s just ridiculous.
Having said that, I think the Vanier should be mobile. Host determined when the two teams are known a week or two before the game. Then you can try to put it in one of the cities, or a neutral site between the two cities.
In a funny way, I'm relieved that university sports isn't big in Canada. It speaks to the overall intelligence of the general population vs. America where soooooo much energy, attention, money and importance is given to sports.
True enough albeit it's a shame that say in the city I grew up in, London, more people go spend their money on university athletics in the State of Michigan I would venture a guess rather than university athletics at Western. What that means or says, not a clue.
A lot of Canadians feel, IMHO, that varsity sports in Canada is for those than can’t get American scholarships for athletics and is just a short nudge up from the average high school teams here which for football are dwindling by the minute in many communities. USports just isn’t taken all that serious as a spectator sport in Canada for the most part which is fair enough, the people have and are spoken. But I still say USports is excellent athletics in it’s own right, it’s difficult to compare talent with the US universities and colleges because of the different systems and rewards involved and population base as well. I guess the closest thing we have to American college sports here in Canada is the football program at Laval.
I don’t believe that the University of Michigan Wolverines draw any more than a handful of spectators from the London area. maybe from Windsor, but London is just too far from Ann Arbor.
Moreover the Western Mustangs still draw excellent coverage in the London Free Press and local radio and TV stations and fan interest in Western’s teams still seems to be there. Inexplicably though fans have stopped going to actual games and attendance has dropped off dramatically in the last three to five years.
You are however correct that Londoners support of local baseball has been pathetic in recent decades. With the AA London Tigers having to leave town despite winning the championship of the Eastern league and two Frontier League teams, the Werewolves and the Rippers, having folded, well it says a lot for Londoners apathy for their own. Very sad.
I agree. The players are supposed to be student athletes. Some should be studying mathematics, law, engineering, astronomy or medicine.
The way Americans conflate athletics with academics though is at best risible. I’d argue that it’s worse than such. I mean how many Americans can even find the “country” of Europe on a globe within thirty seconds? And don’t you dare ask them for the capital of Austria or Spain… It’s pathetic.
Moreover the Western Mustangs still draw excellent coverage in the [i]London Free Press[/i] and local radio and TV stations and fan interest in Western's teams still seems to be there. Inexplicably though fans have stopped going to actual games and attendance has dropped off dramatically in the last three to five years.
Yes Baltic, I can't even find attendance for the game on the net and the student section was empty and the "main stands" for others wasn't all that full. The Mustangs are just not important in London at least as a live spectator sport in football. London built a bad stadium, they should have done what McMaster did, better seating with more individual type seats, they are still bench but at least have a curved back for the seats when I was there once, and just seating on one side and no track. What they have now is a cross between what and who knows what. Horrible. As I say, I'm not even a McMaster fan even though I live in Hamilton but McMaster got it right compared with Western for football stadiums.
Oh well, Western has what it has. In this day and age, a football stadium with a track around it just doesn’t work. It’s not the old days when this was the norm.
And Western with this stadium still won’t do a Vanier ever IMHO. So why didn’t they just go with a Ron Joyce from the beginning other than I know this was part of the Canada games.
“In a funny way, I’m relieved that university sports isn’t big in Canada. It speaks to the overall intelligence of the general population vs. America where soooooo much energy, attention, money and importance is given to sports.” It is JUST as important to maintain a strong and lively body, as much as the brain! So because we put a bigger emphasis on sports down here we are unintelligent?
“Sports is important, but it has its place in society, it shouldn’t dominate to the tune of 20, 000 seat HIGHSCHOOL football stadiums. That’s just ridiculous.” Anymore ridiculous than the crowds that go watch junior league Hockey in Canada? Where the sport is a religion? ( I am a Hockey fan BTW)
Sorry, didn’t mean for my statement to suggest Americans are unintelligent. It’s more about the prevalence of sports, it’s on all day and all night, radio, tv, internet. People don’t talk about medical breakthroughs, or newly discovered planets etc. The general discussion is about sports. The below two links is what I’m getting at:
With football in America, it’s sold out from thr pros right on down to the highschool level. It’s reflective of the importance.
I agree, I think there is way too much hockey as well. How many different leagues, how many different tournaments in a given year? World cup, Olympics, spengler cup, WJC, under 18s etc.
Most chl arenas only hold less then 5000, and there not always sold out.
I don’t know, I’m in my 30s. When I was elementary and highschool, all my friends and I talked about was sports. Now, if I find myself in a conversation about a team that lasts more then a few minutes, I lose interest very fast and look for an exit.
Don’t get me wrong, I love sports, but I give it a proportionate amount of attention.
Ironic but in London (the very home of the perennial powerhouse but now struggling at the gate University of Western Ontario Mustangs) the perennial contending major junior London Knights hockey team drew an average of 8959 fans per game to the John Labatt Centre in the 2017-18 season. They’ve been averaging right around 9000 fans per game since 2004-05. The constraint on attendance is the seating capacity of the arena.