What's happening in Edmonton- steady free fall ?

I heard this week that for the Edmonton Esks semi- final game that they gave over 5000 tickets to minor football for that game at little or no cost to the players . With an announced attendance at just over 26,000-
That leaves only 20,000 paying excited customers . When you factor in it was the green riders as their opponents there had to be at minimum 2 or 3,000 rider fans who came out of the woodwork or made the trip
Over from Sask. What that leaves us with 17-18,000 Esk fans for a playoff game . I looked back,over the last 10 years and the 26,000 is the lowest attendance in the west for a semi- final game. If it would have been the Bombers or Lions playing instead of the Riders would we have had 15,000 plus 5,000 free tickets to minor football. Wow this is a sad state of affairs - we could agree that the president has not done his job- this is Edmonton we are talking about not the Riders back East with the Glinermans leading of past years- I really think it's time for a football guy who knows how to promote to become president and not someone who sold hockey equipment - let's not blame the weather or the hemroids. of old season ticket holders - time for a change - we have heard enough excuses from the President.
The once proud Esks have gone from the Palace to the Outhouse in a short time - when other clubs are on the rise - the Esks are in a steady decline with the fans and interest in the city - it must be turned around - the Esks may have the least amount of young vibrant fans then any other city - that tells us something .

I believe they still led the league in attendance, lower than usual attendance is certainly a concern but not jumping off building material.

There are alot of contributing factors to falling attendance all over the CFL. One factor is every year CFL fans become older and are not being replaced. Another reason is tickets have increased in price much quicker than inflation. Anothe reason is the NFL has a much better product now, and the CFL's product has been in decline for almost a decade now and seen a huge decline this season.

It was a bad season all over not just Edmonton but that has to be a major concern that a team that had a good season like the Esks couldn't pull in the fans for a playoff. Also the major concern for the CFL is the attendance way down in Toronto and down in Montreal. Play on the field was not good, TV ratings down. Playoff attendance down, playoff TV ratings down, Grey Cup tickets were slow to sell.
On the positive side the new stadiums in Ottawa and Hamilton have sparked interest in both cities. Hamilton shouldn't have a problem filling THF after their great finish and with the "official" opening of the new stadium next season.
Ottawa won't have a problem but they have to hope they can win a lot more games and keep the fans interested.

The challenge for the CFL is going to try to figure out how to make the product on the field more exciting and get fans back in the stands. They also have to hope their TV ratings don't drop again if they want to attract advertisers. The sponsors look at trends.
Don't know what more that individual teams can do, they seem to doing a good job of marketing.

I thought we all agreed it was old man winter's fault for making it too cold for everybody everywhere in the playoffs?

I did look back on previous season's games late in the season the attendance tends to be lower. So it may be likely do to the extreme cold weather. Where in this day people would rather not freeze their butts off and watch on TV. I also thought about the extremes of cold weather where parents would likely not want to bring kids to the game. Even an older elderly person as well as it could be dangerous health wise. I know people may say they used to tough it out but it is a different time now.

They did mention on TSN that it was Edmonton and Calgary organizations that are the ones pushing for starting the season two weeks earlier. Mentioned also that TSN may likely be against this if trading two early season games in June for better TV ratings for fall late season games in November

Mr. Bungle wrote: Anothe reason is the NFL has a much better product now, and the CFL's product has been in decline for almost a decade now and seen a huge decline this season
.

Hmm, no problem if you see it that way, I'm sure others do as well. But guess what? The NFL isn't putting any teams in Canada from what I can see and there are none of course, zilch. So if people want professional football live here in Canada, then the CFL is the only product available whether it's in decline as you say or otherwise. Does that mean people should go? Of course not, but let's face it, and you can't disagree with this, the CFL product as televised on television and with the better TV's people now have in their homes, make it much more palatable for people to watch at home rather than spend money and go to the stadium, and in Edmonton's case it's a big stadium where the atmosphere will not be that great if people think it's only going to be half filled. Eventually Edmonton will also build a smaller more intimate stadium like other cities in the CFL. Even the Buffalo Bills have reduced their stadium size from 80,0000 to 70,000 over the years and that is in the "majors" NFL!

TSN is doing a great job with both the CFL. They also air many NFL games. It's all good. The more people watch the NFL on TSN, that is better for Bell as well and football overall in Canada. Combine ratings for both the CFL and NFL combined but Bell as the leader of gridiron football television broadcasting in Canada. That is important and as I say down the road the big stadiums with 60,000 like Commonwealth built with a track will be gonzo.

The home is where it's at for most people paying for cable with perfect conditions at home, they want to get their money's worth and not double dip by also buying tickets unless they really like the live game and have lots of extra money in their lives to pay for this. And television broadcasts of sports is only going to get better.

WHAT EVER

As long as there is a Grey Cup being fought for, I'm happy, whether that means nobody attending the game live or 5 billion attending live, athletes being paid or not being paid, whatever. It'll be on TV and the number of people in attendance is irrelevant to me. no winkie

Also, you are paying for the game when you subscribe to cable that includes sports:

If You Don't Watch Sports, TV Is a Huge Rip-Off

Half of your cable-TV bill pays for sports channels.

[url=http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/12/if-you-dont-watch-sports-tv-is-a-huge-rip-off-so-how-do-we-fix-it/265814/]http://www.theatlantic.com/business/arc ... it/265814/[/url]

It's a ripoff if any league doesn't provide a discount on tickets for games if they, you the customer, are paying for a cable channel that carries their game(s) of choice.

real football fans, through and through would have gone. I did.

Well, I will have to agree with that to a large extent, the absolute best and most dedicated fans in sports are those that even despite their financial circumstances or that the weather may not be the best in many cases, go to the games. :thup:

That is completely untrue... In today's world the majority of fans are only causual.. They are either givin or resold tickets from a season ticket holder who is either in it for the money or who only attends a fraction of the games every year.. According to you, there is literally 100 true fans in Calgary because that is how many stuck around for the final game of the year against the Bombers... I suspect that was not the case and people are simply big girls blouse's in Calgary...,I know from working in Calgary that people are very spoiled and construction workers refuse to work in anything colder than minus 20... These same workers also refuse to work in the rain When I worked there, us BC workers quickly replaced all of the Calgary workers because despite being from a much warmer climate, we have much stiffer job competion with all of the illegal labour , and thus are not used to blowing shifts like Albertans. The head guy from Graham actually laughed while telling us the story how they had held meetings about the possibility that the BC workers would not be able to hack the winter, yet it turned out to be the complete opposite. This was the winter of 2011 which was one of the worst on record for Calgary

If you blow money you don't have to go to a football game, that's not admirable. It just makes you an idiot.

Perhaps mr. Bungle should just start a "bungle" thread in the "other" option. As talking relentlessly about your job and job related issues is of no concern and has no meaningful insight on this forum.

NFL does not post a better product now thats laughable, many games are still blow outs, I watch both leagues cause football is football to me, but to say the NFL game is now doing better game wise is garbage. The weather sucks in November this deep freeze does not help the outdoor football experience, when you can stay home and watch it on HD. I really hope the grey cup is moved to the final week of October, it will help for playoff attendance, and late game overall.

Instead of comparing attendance numbers from the 70's until now. Should be comparing the $$$ brought in by ticket sales in relation from the then and the now. In the great old 70's everyone bought a ticket and sat in a seat thats it.
Now among those 20K paying for tickets some are sitting in some modern premium seating that offer fit to a person's wallet and preferences.
Yes I know the CFL is still a gait driven league. However revenues are not all from tickets bought anymore Much Much more comes from corporate partners, sponsors, more TV money, and yes more sponsor money with the TV audiences bigger than ever. Paying for space in the stadium where it will be seen regualry with TV camera views bring in quite a bit more in comparison to the good ole days.
Times have changed and just because you don't want to watch the game in -20 cold does not mean you aren't a real fan anymore.

by cflsteve » Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:01 pm Instead of comparing attendance numbers from the 70's until now. Should be comparing the $$$ brought in by ticket sales in relation from the then and the now. In the great old 70's everyone bought a ticket and sat in a seat thats it. Now among those 20K paying for tickets some are sitting in some modern premium seating that offer fit to a person's wallet and preferences. Yes I know the CFL is still a gait driven league. However revenues are not all from tickets bought anymore Much Much more comes from corporate partners, sponsors, more TV money, and yes more sponsor money with the TV audiences bigger than ever. Paying for space in the stadium where it will be seen regualry with TV camera views bring in quite a bit more in comparison to the good ole days. Times have changed and just because you don't want to watch the game in -20 cold does not mean you aren't a real fan anymore.

I really don't understand this thinking and logic that is applied to the CFL - like a free pass - and presented like it is the truth .
Let's break this down
As an example
1973 - the avg attendance in the CFL was 24,779 - 2014 - 25,200 - a difference of only 400 fans - not great growth
1973 - the NHl was 8,500 - 2013-14 - 17,718 - wow over double - yes showing up at games does show the correlation between being a fan of the game and it's place in their perspective cities and country for popularity
To say not showing up for a playoff game is ok because we are watching on tv holds very little water - try that in the NHL - what if the Canadians had only 10,000 fans show up for semi final series, or the Canucks 9,000 for semi final play - would not that be an indicator that hockey is in a nose dive .
The Esks live in a city whose population has doubled since the golden days of the late 70's and early 80's-
Their season ticket holders have dropped to about 17,500- one cannot say that is not a concern- if you have ever been to Edmonton and seen common wealth it is a beauty - 60,000 seats- fantastic clubhouse - a field house recently built that cost more then tim Hortons Field - the Esks practice facility - a complete facility today that would cost over 500 million to build .
Something is totally wrong when you have only 20,000 paying fans to a semi final - only 17,500 season ticket holders and no buzz in the city over their football team - and going from 4 wins to 12 wins with an exciting
team and only increasing 1,000 fans per game this year over last- yes advertisers see this they are finicky
4.5 million a year on local sponsorships comes to the Esks - needing people in seats to see their local advertising - take that away and the tv dollars can't make up he difference - even if they stay steady during
Free fall seasons
Let's give the Esks the same scrutiny as the Eastern teams - and the same creative help - it's time they pull out of their nose dive

I don't think panic is warranted. I believe the Esk will rebound and move toward averaging ~40,000 a game. They and the Stamps look set to be he class of the west for a long time and he rebirth of that rivalry will, I think, increase interest in those cities accordingly.

this is not so much an Esks issue as it is a league wide issue.

in 1978, the CFL averaged approx. 32,000 fans per game with the Canadian population at 23.9 million.
Fast forward to 2013, the CFL averaged approx. 25,000 per game (a 22% decrease) while the Canadian population has topped 35 million. (a 53% increase)
..now add to the fact that the NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB have all significantly increased average attendance during the same time frame and we can see there should be a definite concern with the declining figures of the CFL.

Factors such as the rise of the NFL machine, American influence/Canadian inferiority, lack of recognizable stars, player carousel, weakened perception, Generational gaps, small number of teams, lack of trending promos/adverts, gaming and gambling voids etc etc etc have all contributed to the indifference of national pride in the CFL.

the proverbial question remains, what does the league do about it?

Canadian inferiority? I get what you're suggesting but I think we're at a time when a sense of Canadian patriotism or sense of nationality is probably the highest it's been in a while. Recent events like the Raptors and the their "We the North" campaign going back to events like the last two winter olympics, the women's soccer team in the last summer olympics, I think Canadians like never before come together. The problem is that the CFL hasn't been able to tap into the sense of nationalism, even with the possibility of the NFL coming in to threaten it's existence in Toronto, until the Grey Cup that is.

The other things that can help feed the nationalistic pride in the CFL is to make it a true national league. There's a large segment of the population in eastern Canada that's on the outside and needs to be brought in. Who knows if or when expansion to Atlantic Canada will ever happen, but they need to keep working to engage people out there. Whether that's going back to having the Atlantic game or having an offseason caravan of current CFL players or an in season group of retired CFL all star caliber players holding skills camps, something needs to be done. Simple things like that may encourage youth out there to tune into games more often and drive up interest in having a franchise out there eventually.

I have to agree with your other points though. The player carousel hurts the league. While players like Cam Wake getting to move on to the NFL are good stories, the constant theme of players wanting to use a good CFL season or two to springboard to the NFL makes the CFL look minor league to the NFL. But TSN really hurts the league in that respect as well. If you're watching your first game and you hear Rod Black repeatedly commenting on how Duron Carter is too good for the CFL and will be in the NFL next year, does that make you want to tune into another game? Carter to the NFL must have been mentioned at least 100 times over the course of this season alone. The on air talent from play by play to panelists would really help things by focusing the talk on just the basics of a player having a good season and cutting down on the comments about how that player is likely to bolt to the NFL. Instead of breaking down players that have failed to make the grade in the NFL, build up the player by focusing on the attributes that make the player a better fit for the CFL game versus the NFL. And spend more time building players up that have made the CFL their home and less on the players that want to get in and out quickly. It may seem like a minor thing but the words used to present it will significantly affect the way people will perceive the league and it's players.