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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 4:58 pm 
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Canadian population circa 2008 33M
US Population circa 2007 303M

CFL teams 8
NFL teams 32

Average potential fanbase per team
CFL 4.2M
NFL 9.5M

With these numbers it makes a lot of sense why the CFL cannot compete with the NFL for players.Their shared TV market is just way too small. Pro football is a relatively expensive sport, but the sheer size of the NFL's TV deals just dwarf what Canadian TV can offer. Still they should be viable.


The CFL does a little better in looking at metro market sizes. You can kind of predict which teams might actually draw the neccessary crowds that might lead to financial stability. In terms of metro populations the CFL teams compare to NFL teams pretty well. Saskatchewan actually suprised me a bit, but once you drill down a bit, they seem like the CFL's Packers --- community owned and serving the region, not just the city.

In most instances, the CFL's main issues may have more to do with smallish stadiums than small metro areas.

City - Metro population

current cities
Hamilton, Ontario-700K
Montreal, Quebec-3.6M
Toronto, Ontario-5.5M
Winnipeg, Manitoba-700K
Vancouver, BC-2.3M
Calgary, Alberta-1.1M
Edmonton, Alberta-1.0M
Regina, Saskatchewan-201K

2010 expansion
Ottawa, Ontario-1.2M

Mentioned Possible expansion cities
Halifax, Nova Scotia- 400K
Moncton, New Brunswick- 130K
Quebec City, Quebec -700K
London, Ontario-460k
Windsor, Ontario-320K

Other large Cities that might make sense for expansion
Mississauga, Ontario-704K
Brampton, Ontario-430K
Surrey, British Columbia-400K
Laval, Quebec -370K
Victoria, British Columbia-330K


Last edited by finiteman on Sat May 17, 2008 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 2:29 pm 
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There are 43 Designated market areas in Canada. Here they are from largest to smallest.

1. Toronto/Hamilton/Niagara Falls, ON
2. Montreal/Laval
3. Vancouver/Victoria
4. Ottawa/Gatineau
5. Edmonton
6. Calgary/Lethbridge
7. Quebec City-Levis
8. Winnipeg/Brandon
9. Kitchener-Waterloo/Cambridge/Guelph
10. London/Woodstock/Wingham
11. Halifax/Dartmouth
12. St. John/Fredericton/Moncton, NB
13. Windsor, ON
14. Sherbrooke
15. Kelowna/Okanagan/Kamloops
16. Sudbury-Timmins-North Bay
17. St. John's/Corner Brook
18. Barrie/Orillia
19. Saskatoon
20. Trois-Rivières/Shawinigan
21. Regina/Moose Jaw
22. Saguenay
23. Kingston, ON
24. Peterborough/Belleville/Trenton
25. Rimouski/Matane/Sept-Îles/Gaspé/Percé
26. Sydney/Glace Bay
27. Red Deer
28. Charlottetown
29. Rivière-du-Loup
30. Thunder Bay
31. Rouyn-Noranda/Val-D'Or
32. Chaleur Bay/Carleton, PQ/Campbellton/Bathurst, NB
33. Yorkton
34. Prince Albert
35. Terrace/Kitimat/Prince Rupert
36. Pembroke/Petawawa
37. Sault Ste. Marie, ON
38. Prince George
39. Medicine Hat
40. Lloydminster (AB/SK)
41. Dawson Creek
42. Swift Current
43. Kenora


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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 8:02 pm 
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I believe there's too much tradition involved in the CFL, and too many funky rules (re: too much punting) in American eyes for any expansion down south.

The real curiosity to me... anyone think Ottawa will work this next time?

Will Quebec City ever find a way to a suitable facility?

Past that, given the tradition-richness, it'll be hard for other markets to break through. Canadian cities don't move as easily toward building big enough stadia... the major markets had to engage in dirty tricks to build the stadia they once occupied OR currently occupy. That ain't happening in London.

One thing: serious issue with putting Kamloops in the same metropolis with Kelowna. They're 166 kilometres apart. However, if you visit Kelowna, you might fall in love.


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 11:56 am 
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What you have to notice is that very quickly, you get to areas with very low population densities.

Down at 21, you have Regina - Moose Jaw, Sasketchewan.
Not to disparage our neighbors to the north, but as an investor, I am a tad leery of building a 70,000 seat stadium when I'm going to need every man, woman, and child in Moose jaw to come out to fill it....

Eh ?

There are probably areas in Ontario / Quebec that may be viable (i.e. still provide enough butts in the seats during a team's lean years to come close to a break-even proposition).

I think I only watched the CFL during a year when there was a strike or lock-out in the NFL. Pounder alluded to "too much punting". If I'm not mistaken, in the CFL you only have 3 downs to gain the requisite 10 yards, so that would tend to create a lot of punting situations. I suppose that if you are a punter who couldn't quite make an NFL roster, the CFL might be is a good place to showcase your skills....


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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 2:56 pm 
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The good news: nobody in the CFL needs to build a 70,000-seat stadium... and nobody has done that.

The odd news: the current trend throughout the league started when Montreal moved out of Stade Olympique and into 20,000-seat Molson Stadium. There, they started selling out games. They caught on to the notion that people in Montreal hate Olympic (though they'll tolerate it for playoffs and, this year, the Grey Cup). That seemed to ratchet everything else up in the league.

The Argonauts, at some point, wanted to add seats to AND enter in with Toronto FC at BMO Field... but the recent run in Rogers- and perhaps the roadblock set by the Maple Leafs, who own FC- stopped that from happening.

BC Place MAY be due for downsizing per the desires of the Lions... and now the possibility that the Vancouver Whitecaps may want to use the revamped stadium (given a proposal for a removable roof AND the possibility of MLS) while still trying to build a waterfront stadium for soccer (on Greg Kerfoot's dime, no less, and the city and the Port are actually trying to STOP them from doing it) may accelerate this situation.



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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 6:09 pm 
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Pounder wrote:
I believe there's too much tradition involved in the CFL, and too many funky rules (re: too much punting) in American eyes for any expansion down south.


I am going to disagree to a point. I think that was a big part of the reason it failed in southern cities, but Baltimore drew 55K. I think there is a real opportunity in northern states as there are a lot more canadians living in the northern border states than in say San Antonio and Las vegas.

I'd target Detroit(windsor), Chicago, Massacheucetts, and NY if I considered it at all. Those would be minimal risk cities in Big media markets near Canada. Adding those 4 cities would add 50% more audience to the league.


Pounder wrote:
The real curiosity to me... anyone think Ottawa will work this next time?.


I am optimistic, but obviously do not live in Ottawa. I personally think more expansion in places like Halifax, Moncton, and Quebec City would dramatically pump up support for the CFL in places like Ottawa--- if done right.


Pounder wrote:
Will Quebec City ever find a way to a suitable facility?.


PEPS seats 18.5K. One would think that could be expanded to 28-35K, but I don't know how receptive the owners of the stadium would be to that idea.

Frankly, if break even for CFL teams is around 25K or so, if I ran the show I would have a slightly different financial model for lower population areas where their franchises might survive with attendance in the 16-20K range. I'd let the TV revenue pay the smaller cities slightly more than the larger cities in the short term while really wortking the government to expand these stadia. The CFL is a Canadian staple and it is high time Canada started treating it that way.


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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 6:37 pm 
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tute79 wrote:
What you have to notice is that very quickly, you get to areas with very low population densities.

Down at 21, you have Regina - Moose Jaw, Sasketchewan.
Not to disparage our neighbors to the north, but as an investor, I am a tad leery of building a 70,000 seat stadium when I'm going to need every man, woman, and child in Moose jaw to come out to fill it....


I think that this can be solved by structuring the league finances better. I think you currently have large market and medium sized markets supporting teams (releatively) and one small market in Regina. I think if you built in larger shares of TV revenue going to smaller market expansion teams you could essentially drop the attendance breakeven point in smaller market cities to a point where smaller stadiums (say 15-20K) could be survivable. That obviously works in areas where population density suggests the community might have problems consistently drawing 25K anyway.

I think that adding teams in possibly viable regions that are currently unserviced by CFL teams would dramatically help viewship numbers in Canada by making the CFL more releavant in those communities.

I think you could help eliminate the financial imbalance by making free agents for the small market teams restricted --- that is, if a well off big or medium market team like the Argos or the Eskimos signs a player from a small market expansion team to a big deal, not only would the Big market team have to pay matching penalites if they exceed the cap as the rules today apparently state, but the small market teams would get bonus draft picks like the NFL's free agency.

Looking at canadian population density maps, I think you could expand under the above listed guidelines if you could get stadia with reasonable capacities, say 15-20K, rather than ideal capacities (~35K). That to me is the main hurdle.


Last edited by finiteman on Sat May 24, 2008 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 6:55 pm 
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Pounder wrote:
The good news: nobody in the CFL needs to build a 70,000-seat stadium... and nobody has done that.

The odd news: the current trend throughout the league started when Montreal moved out of Stade Olympique and into 20,000-seat Molson Stadium. There, they started selling out games. They caught on to the notion that people in Montreal hate Olympic (though they'll tolerate it for playoffs and, this year, the Grey Cup). That seemed to ratchet everything else up in the league.

The Argonauts, at some point, wanted to add seats to AND enter in with Toronto FC at BMO Field... but the recent run in Rogers- and perhaps the roadblock set by the Maple Leafs, who own FC- stopped that from happening.

BC Place MAY be due for downsizing per the desires of the Lions...


Rightsizing is happening throughout college football. Rice reducing stadium capacity. SMU abandoning the enormous Cotton Bowl for a modest sized on campus stadium. The fact that it is happening in the CFL really shouldn't suprise us --- beyond the fact that CFL teams rarely make the greatest of decisions.

I think if Canadians want to make sure the NFL doesn't come in and kill the CFL they should pony up to shrink their big market team's stadiums like Stade, Rogers, and BC Place to 50K. The NFL won't expand unless at least a 65K stadium is there and they know they will be adding big TV viewership.

Canadian football fans are not as rabid as US fans about attending games, so smaller stadiums make sense. Montreal TV viewership is worth far more to the CFL than Montreal fan attendance. That said, I think Molson would make a lot more sense for the Alouettes at 35K capacity.


Last edited by finiteman on Sat May 24, 2008 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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