"...The CFL, officially founded in 1958, yet tracing its origins to the 1860s, is the highest level of play in Canadian football, the most popular football league in Canada, and most popular sports league in Canada after the National Hockey League...
Although ice hockey is Canada's most popular sport, the CFL is highly popular in Quebec and Western Canada, and along with Canadian football played at amateur levels (ie. youth, high school, CJFL, QJFL, CIS and senior leagues such as the Alberta Football League), has increased in popularity in recent years. In Southern Ontario, the CFL is recovering from the bankruptcy that plagued the Toronto and Hamilton teams in the 2003 season; having come under new ownership, both teams have improved their attendance figures dramatically since then. The BC Lions have also seen a recent resurgence of fan support, which many attribute to improved on-field and off-field management. The Lions now compete with the Edmonton Eskimos for top attendance numbers; the Eskimos average as many as 40,000 people per game (Vancouver's BC Place Stadium, Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium, and Toronto's Rogers Centre are the only stadiums that seat 40,000+)..."
"The CFL began eyeing an American expansion in 1992.... By 1995...Las Vegas was folded, while two new teams, the Birmingham Barracudas and Memphis Mad Dogs, were added. Sacramento's team moved to become the San Antonio Texans.....
The success of the expansion was mixed. Baltimore and San Antonio had sustainable operations and were expected to return in 1996. Memphis had reasonable success in 1995 but ran into severe attendance problems during college football season; Birmingham had similar problems. By the end of the 1995 season, Shreveport and Birmingham moved out of their cities and ultimately folded; Memphis followed suit. When Art Modell announced his relocation of the franchise formerly known as the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore to become the Baltimore Ravens, the Stallions moved to Montreal, were eventually sold to Canadian ownership, and became a revived Alouettes team. San Antonio decided not to continue operations as the only American team and folded shortly thereafter. By the 1996 CFL season, the Canadian Football League teams were once again based entirely in Canada."
"...In 2005, the league set an all-time attendance record with a total attendance of more than 2.3 million. With the absence of Ottawa in 2006, the league recorded total regular season attendance of 2,112,696, increasing the average per-game attendance to 29,343. This is the third highest per-game attendance of any North American sports league and the sixth highest per-game attendance of any sports league worldwide.
A recent survey conducted at the University of Lethbridge confirmed that the CFL is the second most popular sports league in Canada, with the following of 19% of the total adult Canadian population compared to 30% for the NHL. The NFL had 13% following, with a total of 24% following at least one of the pro football leagues. This could be interpreted to mean that approximately 80% of Canadian football fans follow the CFL and about 55% follow the NFL. The 2007 CFL season marked the sixth straight season of over two million attendance in regular season. Though slightly less than 2006, the 2,100,016 total attendance figure showed greater over-all strength as the average game attendance rose to 29,167, the highest since the 1983 season. Leading the growth were the Roughriders with six consecutive sellouts, the Blue Bombers with five consecutive sellouts, and the Argonauts, whose average attendance of 30,931 was their highest since 1992. The 2007 Grey Cup champion Roughriders were named Canada's team of the year by Canadian Press and credited with rekindling interest in football in the West.
In 2008, the CFL re-awarded the former Renegades franchise to Ottawa 67's owner Jeff Hunt, who will launch a new Ottawa franchise in 2010 pending reconstruction of Frank Clair Stadium."
Last edited by finiteman on Sat May 17, 2008 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.