What is the ideal stadium size for each CFL team stadium

We all know the push for Eastern division teams to build stadium in the low to mid 20K range. It appears as though Montreal's stadium expansion was an unnecessary if not damaging expansion. montreal's tickets are now no longer scarce and when Calvillio retires, things could even get ugly in Montreal. If the Als draw under 20K, there will be many questions asking why did the government spend 20 million dollars on the expansion. It appears as though the als should of gone no higher then 22K with their stadium. I have lived in Calgary, and people in that city openly laugh that you can get a beer a bus ride ,a hotdog and a ticket to a Stamps game for 30 bucks. McMahon stadium is way too big for what calgary's market is willing to supply. we all know that edmonton, BC, and toronto play in stadiums that are much much too large. I would reckon that even the Bombers are setting themselves up for future failure by overbuilding their stadium capcity. Right now it's great, but historicaly, the Bombers barely average over 25K. The Riders have plans at building a stadium of over 30k as well. Once again i believe that this is a mistake. In a perfect world, what size do you believe each stadium should be(or more accurately, what should the capacity be)? My two cents would be that east of Manitoba the stadiums should be 22500. Edmonton should be 30 k and the 4 remaining franchises should be 27500.

32-35K on overall average, expandable to 50 for GC...some clubs only need like 28K....Montreal's # seems to be about right at 25.

the bombers have set attendance records 3 seasons in a row, and renewals are high, even with a lackluster couple of seasons...they need the seats.

Calgary's stadium is perfect size for them...75%+ for most games, plus a couple sellouts.

The Riders might actually have 30K in season tickets this year, and have had to cap them at 25 for the past 3-4 years. 33K seats is too small. They have sold out every regular season game for 3 or 4 years at around 29K. I think a 38K stadium wound sell 33-34 consistently and 38 3-4 times a year, which leaves room for growth in a province that is in a pretty good growth period. Take LD this yeah...seating might be at 50K for it, and it will be sold out.

I believe anything under 25K is too small. You are forced to jack prices up, which a lot of people wont pay if the team sucks for a few seasons. You want to be on par with other franchises for prices.


I'd say 35-38K, with the ability to expand to at least 50K for Grey Cups and the occaisional regular season game if possible (Canada Day, Labour Day, Banjo Bowl). The league is selling itself short going with these new (but small) stadia. They've struggled for 30 years to get back to where they were; the CFL is poised to take off - and half of the teams will be playing in substandard sized venues. Just a d**ned shame.

Toronto, Montreal,Hamilton and Ottawa have done nothing to indicate a 30 k seat stadium is worth the investment. Attendance in Tor, awful, Hamilton is iffy, Montreal, is still winning and they can't sellout a small stadium. what happens when they start losing? Ottawa will be fine for the 1st few years, but will need to win at some point to keep the fans coming back.

Agreed. Smaller stadiums will bring about considerable higher prices for tickets and is no way to win-over the casual Canadian sports fan to broaden the CFL’s appeal.

I think that you guys are missing the whole point... Take the calgary sports scene into consideration. the flames play in one of the largest arenas in the world capacity wise. They have actually reduced the capacity in order to bring in more revenues. the Flames have bought the Stamps in an effort to get government funding to build both a new areans and a new stadium. You see, the Stamps have the exact same problem that the Flames have. Their stadium is too large. the stamps and flames are both missing out on revenues because their tickets are not hard to get. flames tickets on the scalper market go for less then half of what canuck tickets go for. Yes i know that Vancouver is twice the population as calgary, but Calgary has twice the income of Vancouver, so I'd call it a fair comparrison. Ive worked in both and believe me, it is much easier to afford a 50 dollar Flames ticket when you are taking home 1600/week then it is to afford a $100 Canucks ticket when you are making 650/week. The reason the Flames tickets go for so cheap is simply based on availability. the arena holds amost 20% more then Vancouver's. the Flames have reduced capacity lately to try to fight this. same as a stamps game. like I said earlier, people actually laugh at the Stamps and refuse to go to the games because the price they charge is a joke. It is more expensive to go to a movie in Calgary then to go to a Stamps game. The Stamps have devalued their product to the point that no one takes going to a game seriously. If you believe the attendance figures coming out of Calgary the last ten years then I hAve a bridge to sell you the Sahara. Even the Labour Day games in Calgary you can't help to notice the hue of blue in the stands and fYI, the Bombers are in Regina that weekend. The Lions do OK because they sell alot of crappy endzone seats , but only pen one side of the good upper deck seats. If you can realisticly enjoy a game from the endzone, then you are not actually a football fan. there is no way to tell the difference between a sideline pass for a 20 yard gain or a sideline pass for a 5 yard loss. The bottom line is, if the Flames can somehow con the Alberta government into building them and the Stamps new play pens... the arena will be 16500 tops and the stadium will be in the neibourhood of 28K tops.... As for the Riders, they are only a 11 year playoff drought away from scraping 19K into the stadium again. stop acting like the last 5-6 years is the norm, because you know it is not.

Can't really argue with you. I believe the CFL is on an uptick, but...I've seen it before. We just don't have the sport culture the US has; it's almost like people here have to be related to a team member before they'll go to a game.

The culture about attending Rider games and about the Riders in general has completely altered over the last 10 years. The Riders were always just sort of there before, but now it is considered a vital and central part of Saskatchewan's culture much like the Leafs are to Toronto. Scale and magnitude makes it much easier to fill a 20k arena every game in a 6 million + person market, so yes, the Riders will always have to work a bit harder to make sure they sell 30k + seats in a 500k market (I'm counting surrounding areas and the portion of fans that come from Saskatoon and beyond to games). However, that being said, it would take something absolutely extreme and catastrophic to now break the connection that has been created.

Also, now that there is a salary cap and the Riders aren't the poor kid on the block, an 11 yr long playoff drought is highly unlikely.

I agree with the 35k expandable to 50k sentiment.

The lower capacity a few years ago actually worked against the Riders at times. People just assumed that the games were sold out and didn't bother looking into it. The Riders even had to start advertising the few games that weren't sold out to combat the rumours that would always spread about the next x number of games already being sold out.

Sure it's 33,000 a game... but it's 9 or 10 times a year compared to to Toronto's 41 for the leafs or 81 for the Jays.. Regina and Sask does damn well... I think they could sell 40,000 a game. I only wish we could could do as well in Calgary. But then we have the wost g***med dump in the country in which to watch a game. My buddy and I used to drive 120 miles to go to the home games...but then the Stamps decided to play their games on weeknights. Not good if you're from out of town. And why should anyone pay $60-85 to sit on a damned aluminum bench and get sneered at when you want a burger and a beer?

I always just payed 30 bucks at Donegal's pub... i got a beer at the pub, a free bus ride to the stadium, admission to the stadim, a hotdog and then a free bus ride back to Donegal's. The game ticket was literaly valued at 5 bucks or less when you factored in that a beer at Donegal's goes for about 7 bucks and a hot dog goes for about 6 at the stadium. The bus must of been 5 bucks each way... The Stamps must of givin the tickets away for free and counted on me getting completely liquored up t the game. I did sneak in mickey's ...but ussually still blew another 50 on beers at the game, so I guess they just make money on conccessions.... Pretty slim margin for what is suppose to be a pro sports franchise.

10-11 games a year or not (pre-season included), and one will still have in excess of 15% of the population of the city in one confined place. We have high participation rates, but there can be challenges. The schedule is leaps and bounds better for us this year though. Not really having night games was the absolute worst; the difference in atmosphere is literally like night and day... excuse the wildly appropriate pun. 8)

And I'd argue that Mosaic is still worse than McMahon. Yes, a new one is on the way, but until then, I think we still have the worst of the lot; I'd give you the close second though. There's no one else really close anymore, other than Hamilton's temp situation. The only thing we have going for the place is the atmosphere, which is more about the fans than the building.

Oh lets not get into this... the truth is it's realy only been 6 seasons since the Riders have morphed into the 30 million dollar a year enteprise that they have become. Recent history is just that....http://cfl-scrapbook.no-ip.org/CFL-Attendance.php
The Leafs are playing in a market that should be supporting atleast two teams, so I don't give them any kudos either.

It's obvious that the various sports markets in Canada are different. Low 30's in the smaller markets like Sask and Winnipeg.
Yet the two biggest markets in Canada, Hamilton and Toronto low 20s. Population trends don't seem to factor in to CFL interest.
If you are someone who looks at statistics then look back 40 years ago to the 1972 season - the Tiger Cats had just expanded IWS and were averaging 32,000 - the population back then was around 1 million (metro area). Forty years later with a population of 6 to 8 Million the average attendance dropped to around 22,000. The same thing for Toronto the market.
Southern Ontario is just not a strong CFL market. Yet in the West 40 years ago, the average attendance was in the low 20s but now in the 30's.
How do we explain it? Do westerners have more of a community spirit then easterners?

An ideal stadium size? looks like what is ideal for Sask or Calgary or Winnipeg is not ideal for Hamilton, Toronto, Mtl, Ott

good point. the Calgary stadium sucks when full, especially from a family point of view. It was recently discussed on here....if they had more accessible facilities (washrooms and concessions) I firmly believe more people would attend. I know several people in Calgary that only go to games when I am there because they hate the stadium...but they would definitely go to more at another venue, and likely 40-50% of them would be season ticket holders.

Any team in the CFL that builds a stadium specifically for their team is foolish and destined to lose their shirt. For CFL games 27k expandable to 45-50k for Grey Cup would suffice, however, are your 9 regular season games, 1 pre season and 1 playoff game going to pay the annual costs of that stadium? Absolutely not. You need to think of other events that can fill dates and not only attendance requirements, but facility lay out.

It's not as simple as how many seats do we build for our CFL team. That is a recipe for finacial failure.

Um... no. The beer and bus ride are free, the game ticket is paid for on a group rate - minimum $25.00. You do understand WHY the pub does that right? They want people to come to the PUB and eat and drink at the PUB before and after the game - its NOT the other way around.

On another note - do this; call the Stamps ticket office today and tell them you want to buy a couple season tickets between the 20 yard lines (10 yard lines?)... come back and tell us what they tell you. I'd love to hear about your seat selection.

I understand your point (and don't entirely disagree with you), but please don't bend the facts just to legitimize what you're saying.

Its far better to have a big demand then empty seats take smaller stadiums and areas are what we see more and more of.

I guess you're right. As someone not from here and not immersed in what is going on, you'd have a much better idea about how things are going and the mood surrounding the team and how its place in the provincial culture has or has not changed. My mistake. :roll:

There are pros and cons to this strategy. The major con being that the CFL is viewed as an accessible league. Losing that accessibility could damage its popularity in some places. It hasn't damaged the popularity here yet, but it has created the new challenge of people just assuming all the games are sold out when there may still be tickets available.

Look at Major League Soccer most teams have small stadiums and for that reason teams do well attendance wise but with bigger parks they would not and its on the rise big time .