Why not an earlier start to the season?

Something I have thought about for years, is why doesn't the CFL start the season earlier in the year? Not to avoid the NFL, but to allow for some nice tailgate weather for the majority of the season. I know a lot of purists would disagree with the notion, but I'd like to see the Grey Cup hoisted in late September. Or even around Canadian thanksgiving. Hmmm....

I figure a start in early May would be ideal. That way the season ends in late August, still ideal BBQ weather in Canada. The only chance of Snow would be in Calgary (April/May) :stuck_out_tongue: . The playoffs would then run throughout September.

A few advantages of this time line: The CFL season would overlap the NHL playoffs, where there would be fewer CDN NHL teams in action, as opposed to the NHL preseason/first 2 months of the season, where all 8 CDN NHL teams are in action. The CFL would also bow out of a very crowded October and November (NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA).

Disadvantages? Besides making the Labour Day Classics the season finales, I'm hard pressed to see any. The CFL would still have to deal with the launch of the NHL and NFL seasons. They may lose more talent to the NFL.

This idea is likely surfacing because July 1st seems so far away!

I like the idea as well but as Cohon said during his talk with fans at the Grey Cup, the CFL owns the end of November. Personally I don't get into the NHL really big until after the Super Bowl, certainly not November.

But for me I'd love the Grey Cup to be around the 3rd week in October but that is close to the World Series so not sure how that might impact but I personally don't think that much.

As far as I'm concerned the season is just fine as is.

I'm fine with how it is. Harder to sell tickets in the summer, as they are competing with the Lake.

Personally I agree, I've said it for years, why not start a month earlier, but Billy is right, that is only good for the diehards. The fans that only take in games because there isn't anything else better to do on a given day would opt for other things on fair weather days.

Ditto for me, why change if it's not broken. :thup:

During Cohon's Fans State of the League meeting, someone asked that question and it got a rousing round of applause from the fans in attendence. It was the only time during the whole meeting that the fans did that. You could see Cohon was shocked.

I've also always thought it would be great to start the season earlier. Maybe its just becuase I am desperate for Canadian football when the weather turns nice again. It just seems crazy to miss an entire month of good weather.

I know Cohon likes the league starting on Canada Day, and this is a cool thing. But what would be more Canadian than starting the season on the May 2-4 weekend???

And for those who think attendence would suffer, I really don't see much difference between 25-30K fans showing up on June 23 or July 7...pretty much the same time of year. They're coming during great weather anyway. I was at the Riders-Esks game on July 25 and it was almost 40 degrees. There were 30K + in attendance.

Here is how the season would look in 2010 with a May 2-4 weekend start (using Friday as the date):

Week 1 May 22
Week 2 May 29
Week 3 June 5
Week 4 June 12
Week 5 June 19
Week 6 June 26
Week 7 July 3 - Canada Day Matchups
Week 8 July 10
Week 9 July 17
Week 10 July 24
Week 11 July 31 - August Long Weekend (Games starting to have playoff consequences)
Week 12 Aug 6
Week 13 Aug 13
Week 14 Aug 20
Week 15 Aug 27
Week 16 Sept. 3 - Labour Day - making the Labour Day Classics even more important with huge playoff implications
Week 17 Sept. 10
Week 18 Sept. 17
Week 19 Sept. 24
Week 20 Oct. 1
Week 21 Oct. 8 East-West Semis - Thanksgiving Long Weekend - nothing like turkey and football!!
Week 22 Oct. 15 East-West Finals
Week 23 Oct. 23 Grey Cup

The only problem I see with this, is (and as Cohon pointed out) the CFL "owns" November, which is true. With the above schedule, we would be going head to head with the MLB playoffs. However, MLB has been consistently going to the end of Oct or early Nov the past few years, and they have mid-week games, so the playoffs and Grey Cup would still stand out with an Oct. 23 Grey Cup, in my opinion.

The bigger issue might be a Canadian team making a run in the Stanley Cup at the end of May/early June. That, I could see causing some attendence/viewership problems for the CFL, but you'd think it would simply be a matter of insuring you don't schedule the CFL's game time at the same time as the NHL playoff game.

Anyway, I'm pretty much a happy camper the way things are currently, but fun to speculate.

Instead of starting the season earlier, let's start training camp earlier and then have a third neutral site pre season game for 4 of the teams and rotating the other four next year.

yer crazy! lol. i don't think extra preseason games are the answer. Infact i'm thoroughly opposed to preseason (meaningless) games, but teams need them to evaluate players. plus playing a 20 game football season is even crazier than playing three preseason tilts! hahaha.

what i will agree with is a longer training camp if it were possible, but moving the season back any further makes training camps also start earlier, meaning January/february drills... wich is no good for 6 of 8 teams that have out door fields only.

With my seasons tickets I don't like having to pay for preseason games, thank goodness there is just one in the CFL and the NFL is looking to go to two as well. Sure, it means some of the first few games there's more mistakes but my wallet and value for the money on meaningless games is more important to me. A longer training camp and just one preseason game I'm fine with.

But for me, starting May 2-4 weekend would be great but ok with it as now.

I can't see it changeing, Grey Cup at the end of November is a Canadian tradition. Furthermore come November 28th at commonwealth for Grey Cup 2010; A little snow fall for the Grande Finale would be sooooooooo good. :rockin:

I agree no more pre-season games. In fact I wish they would get rid of them all together or just have one neutral site game per year. example HAM-TOR in London, MON-WPG (QC) Cal-BC (kelowna) SAS-EDM (moncton). As for season starting earlier I am fine the way it is. But wouldn't be opposed to an earlier start. I would much prefer consistency in scheduling. Friday and Saturdays times. I hate these mid week games. Personally would love FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL at 8:30 or 9 PM every week and saturday triple headers or regional telecasts. (except for Labour Day and thanksgiving)

As Cohon stated, the CFL owns November. I hope the season's start never changes. It's fine the way it is!!

Another thing, it would be pure stupidity to start your season during the Stanley Cup playoffs. It would be suicide.

Early season CFL game < Stanley Cup Playoff game
CFL playoff game > NHL early season game

I wouldn't mind if they started the season a couple of weeks earlier and ended a couple of weeks earlier too. That way you would get 2 more games in much better weather. You would also get 2 more weeks of being the "top dog" in terms of coverage since by the end of June, the Stanley Cup playoffs (should) be done. What also might help is the fact that the NFL is strongly considering starting their season 2 weeks later than their traditional Labour Day week start. That would give the the CFL a whopping 4 weeks overall of being the only pro football being played. As for traditions, the Grey Cup was played in mid November earlier this decade and nobody even noticed.

leave it alone, make no changes. It has worked for almost 100 years, why is it any different now?

We have 8 NHL teams? I haven't been following the NHL this year (for the first time since 1975-76 season when I was like 9 years old) but I'm pretty sure that if we suddenly gained two teams, I would have heard it in the news...

Every Canadian knows when the CFL starts.

An earlier start to the season would significantly help
the Birmingham Barracudas' overall attendance...
especially since that would mean less overlap with the NCAA season.

Oh, wait ...
Never mind. :?

Whoops! I think my brain transplanted the number of CFL teams onto the NHL. My bad!

Another reason I brought up this 'food for thought' topic was when I was cryogenically frozen during the Western Final of 92 or 93 in Calgary (Flutie's Stamps against the Esks I believe). I was dressed up head to toe in a borrowed oil drilling thermal suit, over top my winter jacket even. And still I was chilled to the bone! I remember in the concourse at halftime everyone was huddled together like penguins, unable to really move anywhere. I think everyone tried to vacate their seats.

It was a memorable day for all the wrong reasons. CGY lost, Flutie struggled under the cold. A complete nightmare compared to the sunny high-scoring season I enjoyed previously! sigh!

I don't mind if they keep it like it is, but It is fun to speculate.

I would like to see it start a couple of weeks earlier, but end around the same time with a couple of by weeks for teams. Though I did like the idea of starting on July 1.

Finish in October is too early for my liking. Sorry Earl. I do agree that paying full price for pre-season games is pretty rotten. So I guess there is no simple solution. I did like Argotom's idea though :slight_smile: