Don’t expect Ray Lalonde to wave a magic wand solving the players’ biggest annoyance; time spent riding busses to and from assorted practise fields and their Olympic Stadium locker room. But it is a priority.
I love the CFL, but nothing makes it seem more like a "B" league than the lack of adequate practice facilities. It seems that CFL teams have worse practice facilities than most small colleges in the U.S.. Why is that? Evidently Montreal has poor facilities and I know that Toronto's is a dump, plus I've seen pictures of Riders players shoveling off snow from Taylor Field, but what about the rest of the league? Which CFL team has the best practice facilities? Does any team have a proper facility complete with multiple practice fields, on-site lockers, weight training area, team offices, meeting rooms, video rooms, media rooms, physical therapy rooms and etc.?
Ever team has adequate facilities for the players with all of the amenities you mention (except multiple fields at a facility). As far as I know the Als are the only team that doesn't have a set practice field becuase the one they used that was next to the Big O was sold. That is why they bus to practice but they still have all of the other facilities you mentioned at the Big O.
If you saw Riders shovelling snow then it was due to extraordinary weather - it is not common practice to make players shovel.
The Eskimos, Stamps, Bombers and Riders use their game day locker room facilities since they practice and have their team offices at their respective stadiums (except when there are scheduling conflicts with concerts, etc). I don't know whether the Ticats practice at Ivor Wynne or not but if they do then they would be in the same situtation as the Esks, Stamps, Bombers and Riders. The Lions have a practice facility with locker rooms, etc. in Surrey, BC. The Argos practice at the University of Toronto - their facilities are not a "dump".
For training camp and (I think) early regular season, they practice at McMaster University. They move practices to Ivor Wynne later on in the season. If it rains, they practice at an indoor soccer facility in Stoney Creek.
The Lions have their own practice facility in Surrey.
All the other teams aside from Montreal and Toronto use their home stadiums.
Toronto has a field and portables...LOL...
And Montreal rides the bus to practice.
I agree with the original poster that they need to find something to do in those cities as far as practice facility, especially the Alouettes. Is it that hard to find a place to practice on a daily basis in a city of 4 million people?
...I can't vouch for the rest of the league but the stamps have pretty decent facilities...the practice field is immediately south of McMahon stadium and has a regulation width but slightly shorter length...during the season it is meticulously groomed natural grass...obviously different than the FieldTurf in the stadium but keeps the injury level down I guess....
...the stamps locker room, fitness facility and trainer's room recently had a huge renovation and expansion...the designers took tours of the seahawks, browns and one other (can't rememebr for sure, Jets maybe?) NFL team's digs and took the best parts they found and incorporated it into the work...I don't know the exact dollar value spent but it was a lot....at the same time, to make rooms for this the front office portions of the business moved to a new building adjacent to the feild house...even the Flames, during the recent Heritage Classic, commented on how much nicer the stamps locker room was compared to theirs at the Saddledome...
...like I said, I can't say for sure what other teams have but players here have said the stamps facilities rank right up there, not just with CFL teams but any football league....
...you want to see crazy though?, see if you can find pictures of the new Oregon Ducks NCAA locker rooms and fitness facilities...it's like a five star day spa....
The Argos training facilities @ UfT Mississauga consist of a couple of 'temporary' trailers- Suffice to say they are sub-standard and not suitable for a professional sports team. Many high schools in the US have better facilities (see Dallas) where Green Bay practiced for the Super Bowl than CFL teams never mind junior colleges. CFL facilities outside of their respective stadiums are sub-standard. What they should be doing is partnering with Universities, Soccer Canada, Rugby Canada etc. to build suitable facilities.
Agreed. FOr sports infrastructure to be updated, organisations with common interests have to partner. BMO Field for instance should have never ended up as a TFC/MLSE-only building.
Having said that, yes the Argos i [/i]and Alouettes (no field) definitely have to look into improving their training facility situation. I'm not so sure Ivor Wynne Stadium as-is, is such a great facility for the football ops either. I haven't been in the football bunker on the southeast side but from the outside it doesn't look like they can adequately house training facilities for a 50 man team..
I think hands down the Eskies have the best facilities. They can make use of Commonwealth, Clarke Stadium and even have a fieldhouse now... no?
I would say the BC Lions would be 3rd in the pecking order behind Calgary and Edmonton. The Leos opened a state-of-the-art (at the time) facility in Surrey back in the halcyon days of the 80s. They had to sell it in the cash strapped, ill-fated Skalbania years and now lease it back from the City Of Surrey.
It's an all-in-one compound - a sizable parking lot for the players (Escalade seems to be a popular vehicle), their own grass field, an adjacent field turf pitch for rainy days that they share with the community, locker room, weight room, meeting rooms, whirlpools and tubs, and executive offices. It's not the Taj Mahal but it's significantly better than most clubs.
The downside? It's in a crime ridden neighborhood (the aptly named Whalley) that the city is trying its best to gentrify. It's also a fair trek for the downtown media.
I agree…the Lions practice facility is very good. It also has a number of apartment buildings surrounding it that house a number of Lions who have moved up from the states trying to make or stay on the roster as they get established. it’s a first rate facility.
this is a good topic as many forget to consider the costs associated with owning teams. Training camp is also an expensive proposition.
Given Montreal’s success over the years its shocking that they have no permanent home for practice. Not a good sign as you don’t want infrastructure to be dependent upon single private ownership whims.
Edmonton has phenomenal facilities. The old Clarke stadium field next door to Commonwealth is ideal. Edmonton is really the flagship although Calgarys looks great when I had a quick tour out there awhile back.
This stuff is not cheap though and you soon realize that the CFL is bigger biz than many think.
Very true. The Eskimos, are the only CFL team that has practice facilities that are even in the same conversation with NFL or major NCAA programs. (especially with the recent construction of an indoor field house; something most teams in the league don't even have access to, which is a disgrace).