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Where Do We Go From Here: Exapnsion and the CFL

Written By Guest Blogger: Josh Smith


Probably the one word that brings about more opinions than any other among CFL fans. Everyone has an opinion on if, where to, and how soon the league should expand.

One area that everyone can agree on is that Ottawa is coming back, and it is looking more and more likely that they will begin play in 2014. While we found out recently that the Saskatchewan Roughriders will not allow the new Ottawa franchise to use their previous moniker of Rough Riders (or any derivation of it, like Riders), it is exciting to see the CFL returning to the nation’s capital.

That is about where the consensus ends, however. So let’s take a look at some of the issues that get brought up whenever expansion discussions take place.

1. The CFL must expand to 10 (or 12) teams if it is to be a legitimate professional sports league.

One of the constant complaints about the CFL is that it “has only eight teams.” It is the one fact that critics harp on to explain why the CFL is not in the same league as other big-time pro-sports leagues.

That said, having eight teams actually makes the CFL rather large in comparison to its main North American counterpart, the National Football League.

Don’t believe me? Check this out:

The NFL has 32 member teams. The United States of America, where all 32 teams are located, has a population of approximately 307 million. That means that there is one NFL franchise for approximately every 9.6 million Americans.

Contrast that to the CFL’s eight member teams and a Canadian population of around 33.7 million — that’s one CFL franchise representing approximately every 4.2 million Canadians.

To have their representation per fan be the same as the CFL’s, the NFL would have to have 73 teams. That is way too many. And yet, supposedly, the CFL having eight teams for 33.7 million people is too small.

The CFL expanding to Ottawa would change the numbers to one CFL team for every 3.75 million Canadians. To match that number, the NFL would have to expand to a massive 82 teams.

An eight-team (or nine-team) CFL doesn’t look quite so small now.

2. After Ottawa, there are no other areas to expand to.

These Touchdown Atlantic games in Moncton are not just for fun. Quebec has a huge football fan base. And what about Southwestern Ontario?

There are plenty of untapped marketplaces that the CFL could look at for expansion — think London, Moncton or Quebec City. Moncton successfully hosted a regular-season game in 2010 and will host a second game in 2011. Université Laval, in Quebec City, has been one of the most dominant Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) football programs over the past 10 years. The region of Southwestern Ontario is growing rapidly, and CIS football has been hugely successful in that part of the province.

Whether any of them is viable and what potential roadblocks would stop a team from being put there are unknown. But those places are all viable candidates for expansion should the league wish to expand further than the soon-to-be nine teams.

3. Expansion talk is a waste of time.

There are many out there that believe that expanding, even to Ottawa, is a mistake. They say the league needs to get its eight current franchises financially viable before looking to increase the league’s membership.

While that argument has some merit, it is inevitable that the CFL will look to increase its membership at some point, but not until Ottawa has made its triumphant return. Only then will the league look at places like Moncton, Halifax or Quebec City to place a tenth franchise.

Adding a team anywhere just for the sake of getting the league to some arbitrary number would be a mistake and a waste of time. But expanding to a marketplace after all the legwork has been done to ensure that it will be successful is what any and every professional sports league should do. More markets means more potential fans, which means more revenue and higher television ratings, which leads to larger television contracts, which means more money for everyone. Expansion for the sake of expansion is a bad idea; however, expansion done correctly is always worthwhile.

So while it is probably premature to talk about definitive expansion beyond nine teams, it does not hurt to speculate where a potential tenth franchise could be located.

Where do we go from here?

Any talk of expansion must always be tempered by the fact that no one will wake up tomorrow to a 10- or 12-team CFL. Things do not work that quickly, and that is for the better.

The league will do its due diligence before trying to put a franchise in any location — just look at the patience being taken with the situation in Ottawa.

Expansion in the CFL is no longer a cash grab for a financially struggling league. The league will expand to a market only if it can succeed in the long term. The league wants to do this right and is doing everything possible to make sure that any new franchise will be successful, regardless of how long it takes.

Expansion in the CFL may not be on the horizon, but when it does come up, you know it will be because everything has been done to make it as successful as possible.

Giving The Kicking Game a Boost
Ratio Busting
Canada’s Game


  1. MIkdons

    August 25, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Expansion is a waste outside of quebec city. Atlantic canada has no love for the sport, the CFL is a western game, the only reason there are 3 teams in the east, is because there located in relatively large cities. Any further expansion would just be splitting the existing fans.
    Canadian really gotta get themselves out of the american mindset when it comes to your sports. More teams dosen’t mean growth

  2. steve desio

    September 16, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    The population issue on the cities is correct but more than half of cfl rosters are made up of american players. by placing expanwion teams in canadian border cities you will increase the fan base by millions. a windsor team playing in the silverdome would be able to draw both canadian and american fans from this area. here they can promote the team by promotion of the half of the players who are american. many canadians tolerate US players but there favorite and most promoted players are canadian. in windsor-pontiac-detroit you could have the best of both worlds. I just think a team in windsor playing in the silverdome would be a huge draw

  3. sdesio

    October 18, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Expansion in the cfl is not a waste of time. by holding out and waiting to do it rite will make it work. the US expansion was done just for expansion fees. that was a definate mistake. 10 – 12 teams by 2015-2016 would be perfect for the league. in order for the league to be taken seriously even by the peaple in canada. OTTAWA IN 2013 n one more in 2014. Top two candidates are montcon and quebec city. getting to a solid 10 is key. gives the league more credibility which will inturn will generate more TV revenue and more sponsorship money. eventually raising salary cap and players minimum salary. getting both of these up will raise the quility of import players and eventually give the CANADIAN nationals not so much a reason to wana leave the league and sit on NFL PRACTICE SQUADS for 2 years. EVEN IF the league has to take part ownership for the ATLANTIC SCHOONERS or QC. If QUEBEC CITY PLAYED ALL THREE MONTREAL GAMES at OLYMPIC it would be a sure 60,000 sellout for all three and maybe even a fourth as an exabition. Use it as a nuetral site for all three regular season and preseason games. a bowl game setup 30,000 ALS FANS BEHING THERE BENCH AND 30,000QC FANS BEHIND THERE BENCH. the revenue alone from ticket sales sponsorship money and TV commercial spots should be the most enormouse ever.

    take 2015 off and play with the 10 teams. get the salary cap up to get a better talent pool of imports.
    Then in 2016 add two more teams QC OR ATLANTIC SCHOONERS WHICHEVER DIDNT GET IN IN 2014.
    And the next best city that would meet the best needs of the CFL.
    1. WINDSOR at the silverdome or other stadium option. WINDSOR HAS BEEN interested since 2005. Let them make a serious bid

    2. LONDON CITY with temporary or permanent expansion of the beautiful TD WATERHOUSE STADIUM. London is 10th in poulation.

    3. KITCHNER with what the BLUE BOMBERS DID with deal at university stadium.

    5. WESTERN CITY VICTORIA OR SASKATOON. whichever would have the best shot at being able to support 2 teams in there province. EMPIRE STADIUM could still be used as a temporary stadium in the west for whichever city makes the best bid

    6. The CANADIAN CITY BOARDERING NIAGRA could also be anothe possibility

    Over the next 5 season each team would have to be willing to give up at least one home game to play game s at one of these prospective cities to spread the game throughout the country. or to play a SUPER SERIES TYPE A GAME LIKE MENTIONED AT OLYMPIC. BC AND CALGARY AT BC PLACE using the large better stadium as nuetral site game. and possibly even a pre season game.

    Idea is that by 2016 minimum salary 125,000 maximum salary 600,000 for type flight QBs, RBs. this keeping with the leagues equality in salary. while making it attractive enuff for better import players to commit to a carrer in the CFL knowing that there will be financial security. and also keeping the top CANADIANS HERE not worrying so much about the NFL again knowing there stability financially is here.

    Then in 2020 check the population and see if expansion to 14 would be profitable to one of the cities left out. There is so much talent in the state and canada to easily expand the leafue to 12 by 2016
    Now with a credible amount of teams TV AND SPONSOR AND GATE REVENUE SHOULD BE UNBELEIVABLE.

  4. cfl steve

    November 4, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    The Cfl can now look to expand its fanbase in certain parts of the US. with the Ontario teams being around the great Lakes it would be wise to look to that market. There is alot of GREAT D1 ncaa schools in this area michigan msu minnesota and other big ten schools. If the Cfl can get that Min salary up to 6 digits it would be wise to go after players from these schools. activily scouting them. The big schools like Michigan and MSU have alot of great players who slip through the cracks and somehow end up not playing much or just are a step to slow for the NFL or a little to small. The CFL should actively pursue these types of players in the BIG 10 and other D1 schools near the border. Inviting them to CFL combines. But you cant get a player interested in 40,000 dollars a year. but a 6 digit deal know you have some interest. Along with the players from these schools will come fans from this area. Streching Your TV viewing area into the northern states. with more viewers comes more TV money which turns into higher player salaries.

    another area OF THE USA the CFL should focus on is the NEW ENGLAND and northern NEW YORK STATE. From NEW HAMPSHIRE down to CONN and in northern NEW YORK STATE there are alot of good 1 AA schools. Do the same thing in this area as you do around the great lakes and big ten schools. Have CFL combines in he new england area. CFL teams activiely pursuing these players. particularly way up in NEW ENGLAND MAINE, NEW HAMPSHIRE are close enough to be ATLANTIC SCHOONER FANS. northern NEW YORK STATE has syracuse also mid major D1 school like BUFFALO U. CLOSE TO alot of even current CFL cities. toronto, hamilton, montreal, soon to be ottawa. alot more of the top 1 AA PLAYERS would consider a CFL 1st career with at least a 6 digit salary at stake.
    and out west with VANCUVER AND BC LIONS you have northern pac 10 teams the oregons the washingtons. activily pursue those college D1 STARS who are just miss NFLERS and your fan base for TV is stretched into these areas. CFL combine in PORTLAND OREGON, OR BOISE IDAHO. You just upgraded the level of import player greatly.
    I liken it to the old USFL territorial draft. Philadelphia stars and all those PENN STATE PLAYERS REALLY made a difference in attendence. MICHIGAN PANTHERS with michigan msu players.

    you dont have to have million dollars a year contracts but min salary 100 – 150 thou gets you depth. you can still keep top salary players at a max 600 thou. a young rookie knowing that he could some day realalistically sign a CFL DEAL of 4 years 1.2 mill. gives you a little more incentive to wana play.
    Not that unrealistic

  5. cfl steve

    November 4, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    The CFL could even take these bordering states and the Ncaa D1 and 1AA SCHOOLS and have a territirial draft. how great would that be. now you have really expanded your viewing audience all the to NCAA SCHOOLS having there players playing nearby just over the border. washington washington state calgary and edmonton. michigan msu southern ontario teams montreal and qc along with montcon/ halifax splitting the new england teams. BC LIONS OREGON OREGON STATE. WINNEPEG U OF MINN.
    IMAGINE a top 1AA PLAYER OUTA NEW ENGLAND LIKE MARCELL SHIPP KINDA GUY. would of been a top territorial pick of montreal. they offer 3yrs at 1 mill would he take the money for sure or take a chance in an Nfl camp.
    montanna great 1 aa program could do the same for sask.
    a wr from oregon doesnt have that great 40 yrd dash time but can learn the waggle he is definate top territorial pick of BC LIONS
    and injury plagued rb at michigan but had good times gets in a CFL CAMP WITH WINDSOR OR LONDON LOOKS GOOD GETS A 2 YR 400 THOU DEAL.
    ANY 1AA lineman or LB thought to be to small could be a great CFL PLAYER WHERE BIG FIELD AND QUICKNESS IS IMPORTANT.
    all these guys are thinking PT in the CFL 1st then if you get good enough you can go try NFL. if not 250 tho a yr in CFL not to bad.
    players would now choose 125,000 min and playing time over maybe a 90 thou practice squad.
    and since there from a nearby school people will watch TV DEALS GROW min salary and salry cap get higher.
    sound good

  6. cfl steve

    November 4, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    territorial draft for CIS teams also turn LAVALL FANS RIGHT INTO quebec city fans. That would be a natural there. There are alot of popular good drawing CIS TEAMS why not keep the players at home with there fans. a double header wwekend at a new lavall stadium. CIS FRIDAY NITE CFL SAT. ticket package for both games. also to go along with that is the future of a canadian born QB. every cfl team should add one more practice squad spot just for a canadian player. what if a QB from a local CIS school played for your home team. and got lots of playing time i the pre season wouldnt that get a better TV rating as well as at the gate instead of a for sure cut of a rookie from austin peay that no one in canada ever heard of.

  7. cfl steve

    November 6, 2011 at 3:54 am

    With all that beeing said about ways the CFL could promote itself and help expand. The Arena league is now nothing more then a semi pro league with 400 dollar a week pay for each player. The UFL tried but it is obvious there just not going to make it. there goal of beeing a minor or feeeder league to the NFL is just not going to happen. The NFL was clear when they dumped NFL europe that they are not interested in supporting any such league. They already have 32 teams. Each team has a 53 man active roster. 48 of which are eligible for game day. Plus they already have there practice squads. So that puts them well over 60 players they pay each week for a 48 player game day roster. That is plenty of players that they pay They are not interested in supporting any league financially. So the CFL isthe only real alternative football league in the world.
    Any UFL owner who is still intersted in owning a team should get in contact with the CFL. If any ownership or ownership group would be wise to apply to the CFL if they have any money left and look to move there team to one of the CANADIAN CITIES that are looking for an expansion franchise. Much like what the BALTIMORE STALLIONS did when they moved to MONTREAL.
    OTTAWA IS coming in for sure in 2013 or 3014. It would be nice if ownership group that is serious from UFL to move there team to one of these cities. there are for cities in Canada that are ready to be expanded to.
    Montcon has a stadium now that can be used and has a new one coming in the near future. Plus they and the CFL have been laying the ground work and are the most ready.

    QUEBEC CITY is Hot for football laval has made that area football crazy as they pac in the crowds of standing room only every home game. They got the stadium up to 18,500 for the VANIER CUP. Thats not quite CFL sized but its close and the amount of fanfare buying Team gear and watching games on TSN would have to be taken into account. When the CIS kicks off its University season weekend double header games at laval would be a hott ticket. with the stadium bumped up to the 18,500 as it was for the Vanier Cup tickets could be bought in a weekend package deal scheduling laval and the pro team on the smae wekend for home games through september and october. With a carefully coordinated schedule you could get at least 5 double header weekends in sept and oct. Not to mention the Montreal rivalry games. Perhaps both games scheduled against the ALS could be played at OLYMPIC as Neutral site games. 30,000 tickets aloted for each team. stadium divided into two fans sitting behind there home benches. With the whole Province being into the game. The TV ratings for the game would be enough to make the season a success.

    The last two cities that would be able to take on a franchise in the near future are Windsor and London. southern ontario may not be able to support both teams but they could one for now.
    Windsor has the silverdome nearby so they have a stadium to play in already with plenty of seating. and if they concentrate thee imports from the area of NCAA D1 schools michigan michigan st etc could gain a new fan base. ANN ARBOR is very close.
    London is number 10 in CANADA IN POPULATION. and there is a modern stadium in place already. TD waterhouse. Currently holds 10,000. but with room for the ever so popular temporary seating That the CFL has used to there advantage. The only thing is that no one has really given much interest to expansion. at least from my research I havent found any.
    whichever city is chosen they could use the other city to help spread the fanbase by playing 2 home games there. If London was chosen. They could play 2 games at the silverdome. One vs a natural rival against HAMILTON. the pontiac, windsor area could really promaote theses games . or if windsor is chosen the same could be done. They could call themsevles SOUTHERN ONTARIO. much like the western teams are named after the whole province getting fans from the whole province BC AND SASK.

    One last area to be looked into would be a Western team. SASKATOON OR VICTORIA. Temporary empire field could be moved to one of these cities. with BC LIONS OR GREEN NATION maybe playing two games a year at this site. even if its one pre season and one regular season. giving the football fans from these areas that make the roadtrip each week a chnce to have there team play in there city.
    SASKATOON would have to count on football fans north of saskatoon to support there team if expanded there.
    VICTORIA could take a different approach and extend there fanbase south of the border into the portland area.
    two possible western cities with two different game plans
    Before the CFL falls into the same status as the arena league the time is now for 2 small bits of expansion 1st to 10 teams and then 12.

  8. cfl steve

    November 6, 2011 at 4:37 am

    Right now OTTAWA IS coming for sure. and montcon and the east has laid the groundwork. so thats team 9 and 10. could be done by 2014. with the 100th GREY CUP next year. The league will be at its most popular ever. With all the upstart leagues in the states failing miserably THe CFL offers an ownership group a stable league in which to invest. 100 year anniversery of a league and the abundance of NORTH AMERICAN football players without jobs the timing couldnt be more perfect. CFL 2014

    Atlantic Schooners ( montcon)


    With 10 teams you have a nice clean schedule you play everyone twice
    Keeping the crossover rule into effect.

    The league right now is a very attractive looking league for investors looking for there own pro team in an alternative to the NFL.
    Almost every team will have a new stadium or an upgaded stadium by 2014. with possibly two coming in the Atlantic region in Montcon and Halifax
    Winnepeg and Hamilton will both have brand new stadiums.
    BC PLACE has been redone to be one of the Best Facilatees in the world.
    Commonwealth stadium in Edmonton has been upgraded.
    Rogers Centre in Toronto has been one of the top stadiums in the world with its retractable roof for years now. So attractive that the NFL now plays a regular series of Games here each year.
    I believe Calgary has made some improvements
    Sask is currently in the works for a new facility.

    For the most part the Ufl teams play in older stadiums that are not worthy of a real profesional team.
    with the exception of OMAHA which plays in a new state of the art facility but even that is a baseball stadium converted to play football. and the Viginia Beach team plays in a place that is not made for Pro football. UFL just has minor league written all over it

    The CFL now has the facilities and solid base for expansion. Next they need to up the Minimum salary. at least double from 40 thou to 80 thou. This would give the better import players a choice. Practice squad players currently make 90 thou. with an option of actually getting on the field to play opposed to just practicing all season for the same pay would be a huge for the upgrade of player from the US. This would be a good way to spend that expansion money.
    So with The Ufl season over probably for good. Perhaps one of the ownership groups would be ready to make the move and move there franchise to the CANADIAN atlantic region. A new state of the art stadium waiting for them should be a good lure along with a league that is on solid ground.
    And if they put some sort of plan that I suggested into place for the Northern USA states in place with new expansion of OTTAWA and THE ATLANTIC REGION along with the new stadiums in conjunction with the hype of the 100th GREY CUP the formula is prime. the patience of the league an the new commishener are now ready to pay off !

  9. cfl steve

    November 6, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    The 2012 season Will be all about the 100th Grey Cup. this should bring a lot of attention to the league. This along with all the new stadiums the OTTAWA expansion coming would be a perfect time to court new ownership groups for expansion starting with team 10 The ATLANTIC SCHOONERS. The CFL took its time and all of the ground work has been laid for a successful expansion into the ATLANTIC region. Making it a true coast to coast league.
    With the Hamilton Ti Cats without a home field this is a perfect Oppuritunity for a final test for the atlantic region. the logical place for Hamilton to play its home games is the ROGERS CENTRE. It is one of the top stadiums in the league and it is less then 30 minutes from Hamilton get get any closer. Ti Cat fans desrve to be able to see a bulk of games. I would suggest that they play 4 home games at Montcon. whether it be 4 regular season games or one preseason and 3 regular season games.
    They will play 3 games against the ARGOS. If the schedule falls as one home and two visiting games that gives them 8 games out of 12 that will be close for fans to see including the preseson. so montcon gets a chance to have a team of its own to share with Hamilton. A special Uniform for this season representing both cities would be a cool idea. Another cool idea would be to have at one of the games against the ARGOS at ROGERS CENTRE as a neutral site game. splitting the stadium in two ARGO FANS BEHIND THERE BENCH TI CAT FANS BEHIND THERE BENCH season ticket holders of both teams get first choice of seats for this special game. This way Ti cat fans can see one game at ROGERS as home team, one as away team, and one special seating.
    Also in 2013 it would be time to lay the ground work for two more expansion teams in the near future.
    QUEBEC CITY ( laval could be set up as it was for vanier cup for 18,500 fans)
    SOUTHERN ONTARIO ( WINDSOR AND/OR LONDON) both have stadiums in there area that can be used.

    Use the same model that they used for the atlantic reason simultaniously. but now with the CFL being so hot with 100th grey cup, the excitement of expansion to soon to be 10 teams, the folding of the UFL, and the need for a strong alternative league to the NFL. I would think by now that with all the failure of alternative leagues in NORTH AMERICA small expansion in the CFL would make sense to an ownership group. Plus the NFL is very supportive and needs the CFL. Unlike NFL EUROPE and the UFL they are not dependent on the NFL for finance.
    With the Salary structure set up the way it is in the NFL there are a lot of good football players without jobs. Those vets who command a high minimum salary find themselves without jobs. If the Cfl can use this little bit of expansion parlay it with solid ownership groups expansion to 10 then 12 would open up a lot of jobs. and with the NFL supporting the league with TV time and an occasional loan a serious NFL vet would surely play for 300,000 dollars a year. this would raise the qulity of pay. also there are more canadian players then ever before. a lot without jobs. if the league could offer a minimum of 100 – 150 thou dollars and a max of 600 -700 thou a High School kid may lean towards football knowing that he may be able to gain some financial security. Ther are so many upsides to a little expansion for ownership and football players in North America

  10. cfl steve

    November 6, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    with the league up to 10 teams in 2014 and the laying of the groundwork for two more teams starting in 2013 it could be conceivable for the league to get to 12 by 2016 0r 2017. with the plan of raising the minimum salary at least to 100,000. getting more quality players by working from the bottom up instead of paying a few players millions a year. keeping a league max at 600,000. There are enough Nfl name players that are out of jobs do to there league salary status to draw attention from US fans. what could the league look like in 2016 0r 2017.




    Playoffs top 2 teams from each division best 2 division records get the bye.
    Since the east is loaded with expansion crosover rule will stay in effect
    Or even a double crossover could happen. If all four teams in the west have better than the second place teams in the east and the central than all four teams will get in.

    Play all your teams in the conference twice ( home and away)
    Play the teams outside your division once.
    That brings everyone to 14 games. gives the league room for some creative scheduling
    First, the two GREY CUP teams from the year before play each other twice. one home and one away. This is just good for atendence. both games will be sellouts and can be promoted in both cities as a rematch. It also gives the losing ream a shot at home against the champs. huge attendence and huge TV ratings

    second, BC AND THE ATLANTIC SCHOONERS play twice a year home and away part of the east west showdown series. good bit of promotion for the league.

    third, keep the Laborday back to back week home and away series in place. so if your rival is not in your conference you still get to see them twice once home and once away. This keeps the traditional rivalries in place.

    fourth, The league can face off any other teams they think would be popular and profitable for the league a second time. for example Quebec City and SOUTHERN ONTARIO could play a home and away series at least the first year or so as the battle of expansion. Since Ottawa and the ATLANTIC SCHOONERS are in the same division they play each other twice anyway. the same with reviving the old montreal and ottawa rivalry since they are in the same division they already play twice.

    fifth, it may be profitable to have montreal and quebec city play a third game at OLYMPIC as a neutral site game. for the newly invented quebec cup. possibly parlay it with a double header weekend with laval with a top CIS team near montreal. Imagine all of quebec city making a weekend roadtrip to montreal to see there beloved teams play. have a package deal ru through the league tickets for both games hotel stays for the weekend. pre game tailgate party events. postgame party events planed. Team colored T shirts given at the door. terrible towels to wave. 30,000 montreal fans behind there bench and in one endzone. 30,000 QUEBEC CITY fans behind there bench and in one endzone. season ticket holders for both teams get 1st choice of seating by senority. The same can be done for the CIS matchup. Maybe coordinate it so this could be Lavals kick off 1st game each year. The whole province would be involved. could be a bigger event than the GREY CUP itself. TV RATINGS, COMMERCIAL SPOTS, AND SPONSORSHIP MONEY THROUGH THE ROOF for both games.

    Perhaps the same thing can be done with EDMONTON AND CALGARY. Battle of Alberta. game played at commonwealth do to its size.

    These could be deemed as super series games. Or maybe just play them every other year to build the hype. have the QUEBEC CUP AND THE BATTLE OF ALBERTA PLAYED IN ALTERNATING YEARS.
    Play the games after they have already played there home and away series. Imagine if on the year of the super series game both teams came in at one and one. the rubber match would bring even more hype.
    Perhaps a third super series game could be put into effect not sure which two teams they would be then the series would happen every 3rd year with the winning team holding the cup for two years before the rematch.
    and if Calgary and Quebec City eventually build stadiums worthy of the event the site could be alternated. but for now you would have to take advantage of the biggest and best stadium.
    What a tradition this could be !

    next, you could have the ontario series. three of the teams ; Hamilton, Toronto, and Southern Ontario already play each other twice because they are in the central division. Since Ottawa is in the east the you could have them play three of there four extra games vs each of the three ontario teams for a second time. This would make for better attendence since they are all in the same province and nearby. after the last game is played between these ontario teams one home one away. You could presnt the team with the best record out of the series as the OTTAWA SERIES CHAMPS. Then open the next seson with the top two teams facing off. perhaps at a steady neutral site in the making use of the best and biggest stadium which would be the rogers centre. Same super series game format. after the game they can be presented with the ontario series championship trophy.
    Ottawa still will play every one at least once. giving them one game to play a west team twice each year. This would just benefit the league and attendence. even if they only play two out of the three central division teams twice a year on a rotating basis this would still work. this way they can rotate a second game against a west team or winnepeg.

    The more meaning that each game has the better the attendence and TV ratings and more money to be made.
    MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL DOES SOMETHING SIMILIAR with interleague play. for example the Mets and yankees play each year.

    Finally, whatever games are left can be played on a rotating basis where teams with games against each other that are not such a draw could play each other twice every few years.

  11. cfl steve

    November 6, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    so we have the divisions set for a realastic 2017 season.
    super series games third game as neutral site game for quebec cup montreal vs QC third game at olympic tie it to double header weekend with Laval opener
    edmonton and calgary for battle of alberta third game played at better site commonwealth
    league package deal for roadtrip surrounded by a weekend of special events.

    The ontario series the three central division teams southern ontario, hamilton, and toronto play each other twice as divisional games. Ottawa uses three of its four open games to play the three ONTARIO teams from the central twice. still leaves them one game to play a western team or winnepeg twice every few years
    The Ottawa series championship game will be the opening game of next season for top two records for the Ottawa series championship plack. The team with the 2nd best lesson will use this as one of there home games.

    2 games one home and one away for the two teams from the previous GREY CUP teams. The losing team will get a shot at the champs at home. The winning team gets a chance to defend there title on their home turf. win, win , win for everyone. both teams and the league should be easy to promote these matchups.

    East West showdown home and away series with THE BC LIONS AND THE ATLANTIC SCHOONERS. this should draw some attention (sarcastic) will draw lots of attention !

    The expansion series. since OTTAWA AND THE ATLANTIC SCHOONERS ARE IN THE SMAE DIVISION they already play each other twice but SOUTHERN ONTARIO ( LONDON/ WINDSOR) QUEBEC CITY are in different divisions that would be one of there four open games for at least a few years.
    The expansion series games wouldnt have a special award but it would be good publicity for the league. Or maybe they could have a special award who knows.

    Some may say it is not fair to the other teams but with the crossover and double crossover rule in effect the top teams should get in. remember the double crossover rule would be that if all four of the west teams have better records then the 2nd place teams in the east and central all four west teams get in. which may happen early on. But with all the football talent out there particularly imports they should have no problem being successful quickly.

    With the NFLs much support these would be the games that the NFL network would show.

    and of course the very successful Labor day back to back home and away series with rivals will be kept in place.

    The fact that the league is still small enough so that each team is able to play each other at least once. out of division and twice in division and still able to have four games left for each team for the league to be creative and match up teams that will draw the most attention in the stands and on TV.

    this extra attention of the 100th GREY CUP along with fresh expansion and these exciting matchups. Salary Cap can be raised to give a pro salary to a pro player. it will be the only alternative league to do so. 6 digit minimum salary will be the key. this can be done if a max salary is put in. 600 – 700. this will attract a higher quality of imports.

    finally the territorial draft should be looked into for NCAA and CIS schools
    but perhaps a simple thing like creating an extra practice squad exclusively for a canadian non import QB especially one from a local CIS school.

  12. CFl steve

    November 7, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    In doing some more thinking about it the CFL to OTTAWA followed up by the atlantic region is perfect to begin the 2014 season. They have taken there time with Ottawa and laid the proper groundwork for an ATLANTIC TEAM is very realistic. But to take on two cities at once might be a bit to much for the CFL after this. so after some thought the CFL should take on the obvious in QUEBEC CITY. I know the stadium there is less then perhaps it needs to be but putting a pro team in a football crazy city and province needs to be done regardless of the home field. laval can be pushed to 18,500 as proven by the VAIER CUP. Quebec CITY is also top 10 in population. So having a team there is long overdue. TV ratings and sponsor spots would be at a premium. Montreal has made it work with 20,000 for 10 yrs. why cant they make it work with 18,500.
    in this exceptional case bringing a team then the rest will follow. In this day of pro sports more money is made in other ways besides selling seats. There is the sale of team gear JERZEYS AND OTHER GEAR, plus sponsorships and TV CONTRACTS which should get better for the CFL if cities like quebec city are in the league.
    With the province of Quebec by far producing the best football players in CANADA With more Ncaa D1 college scouts then the rest of canada together a new stadium in the province may be in order. right now the best facility is an almost 40 yr old OLYMPIC stadium. Although it has the size to hold large crowds it isnt modern nor is it made for football
    by placing an expansion team in QC would be a perfect time for all the football people to get together and build a modern state of the art stadium for the entire province to enjoy.
    im sure that laval will donate the land to have it on there campus. the city of quebec, the new ownership, the government of quebec the province, the cfl, and all of the football organizations would all get together to raise the funds to build the best stadium in the country
    I envision all the powers to be building a mini dome type stadia. something that can be used year round for other events. I would think a 40 – 45 thou seat dome with all the proper luxury boxes etc. shouldnt the best football province have the best stadia. They could be the permanent home for the VANIER CUP. and you want it big enough to host a GREY CUP. with some of the weather issues arisen over the past few years of the GREY cup. the domed stadium will get more oppuritunities to host. right now you only have BC PLACE and rogers centre that are really the only two places really worthy of hosting such an event. Olympic is big and has some sort of cover but….I know that winnepeg and Hamilton will get there turns with there new stadiums and the ever so popular temp seating. and although green nation has failed in there bid for a dome so far. it will eventually happen if they want to keep up. The fans will eventually demand a proper stadium for North americas oldest championship.
    so after the expansion to ten teams the league should change gears for an 11th in QC. to get to 9 and 10 has been slow and steady but number 11 in QC should be a swift move. There is no downside. any business man or group looking to get into the pro football game this is the best city in NORTH AMERICA to do so.
    Back to an odd number of teams but they had 9 for over 80 yrs more or less I think it would be safe to move to 11.
    You can even build a domed stadia to 38-40 confortably and jam in 5 – 7 thou for grey cup. TAMPA bay did this with baseball. they had some problems but this place would be made for it.

  13. CFl steve

    November 7, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    So what would an 11 team league look like. 2 divisions




    play each team in your conference twice
    play each out of conference team once
    thats 15 games for the east
    14 games for the west
    this gives the east teams three games and the west four games for the league to get creative and create the most interesting and intriguing match ups.
    same type of thing that was done with a twelve team league.

  14. Cfl steve

    November 8, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Or another way an 11 team CFL could look like is have the east break down into two mini divisions just for scheduling purpose. to free up more games for the CFL to create the best most interesting match ups.




    THE Ontario division plays division teams twice for 4 games and the rest once total 11 games
    The Atlantic division plays division teams twice for 4 games and the rest once total 11 games

    WEstern conference plays conference teams twice 8 games and the rest once total 14 game

    Now there is alot of wiggle room to create best matchups for the league and fans to attend and watch on TV.

    Playing the same teams trhee times a year for the last 100 yrs has to have gotten a little bit boring. playing that fresh new mystery of an expansion team from as far east as you get would definetly draw some huge inerest year in and year out. who are these guys ? when did they get a team ? they should be sellouts or near sellouts in each western city just from the mystery alone. not to mention the break in the 100 yr monotony. the schooners could rotate playing the ONTARIO DIVISION teams every three years. Or even better they could play HAMILTON AND TORONTO TWICE a yr also and only play OTTAWA ( another expansion team once a year for at least 3 years and play OTTAWA twice every 4th year or until another expansion team comes in. that could break the monotony for the ticats and argos also. they already have home and away against mini atlantic division MONTREAL.
    a similiar model can be used for QUEBEC CITY maybe playing 4 of the 5 western teams twice a year home and away on a rotating basis. This could save a place for the SUPER SERIES 3rd game at Olympic agaisnt montreal each year. Or the super series game can be rotated from Olympic to QUEBEC CITY ONCE THEY build the mini dome. and finally faise out OLYMPIC altogether when it gets to be 50 yrs old or falls down whichever comes first.

    Ottawa could rekindle its rivalry with Montreal again witha home and away series each year. besides that they could have a pure rotating schedule playing different teams twice a year so everyone gets a chance at least every other year to come to the Nations capital city.

    keep the battle of ALBERTA in place with the super series 3rd game between edmonton and calgary as a neutral site game at commonwealth each year. or even stir it up by coming to calgary although a smaller less modern venue every 4 yrs, just to spice things up.

    Keep enough space to play the traditional back to back home and away labor day series in tact.
    Or maybe only play half the labor day series one season and half of the teams play the next. put the teams aon alternating everyother year schedule. maybe build the hype if fans and teams only do it every other year. especially with all of the other special events now in place.

    also have teams play games in non CFL cities each year some as potential expansion some with not. for example a game in London with temp seating at beautiful TD WATERHOUSE STADIUM. a game in the SILVERDOME sponsored by WINDSOR. move temporary EMPIRE stadium to Victoria for 2 seasons have THE BC LIONS PLAY AN EXHIBITION AND ONE REGULAR SEASON GAME there for two seasons. then move it to saskatoon for two years and have green Nation do the same.

    play one game a year in the US Portland, rochester, or anywhere else with intersest that could hold a CFL dimensioned stadium. If the dimensions fall shy make it a presason game.
    you would exclude any of the superseries teams from playing in any of these non CFL city games due to the fact that they are already giving up a pure home game every year. montreal and quebec city the quebec cup. calgary and edmonton the battle of alberta. also eliminate the schooners from any of these traveling games since they are on a permanent west conference swing. they are already doing there part to spread some CFL HYPE. and if Halifax builds a stadium a few yrs down the line after montcon. the shooners could have dual home cities. giving all of the atlantic region a closer trip to see the team that represents the entire region.

  15. CFl steve

    November 8, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Although i love the idea of 12 team CFL by 2017 I cant see them getting past 11 at that point. Ottawa is here. The groundwork has been carefully and smartly laid for the ATLANTIC SCHOONERS to start. And with Quebec city and the province of Quebec in the football crzy state that it is in. Not to mention the population and growing in and around the city, the success of the CIS and laval. the alouettes owner should be ready to give his blessing knowing the amounts of money to be made from the rivalry and most likely the coolest mini domed stadium probably to be followed on laval campus for the whole province to use. its just going to happen.
    11 teams may play havic with schedule makers but the payoff is just to much to stop it. Then the league can slow down and pick another area or two for expansion and lay the groundwork as it did in the atlantic region and add a twefth team by the early 2020s.
    get the salary cap up and get the minimum salary to an attractive number for a better group of imports and a solid mid range salary for solid NFL vets to be attracted to move there game to finsh a solid career. and keep a max number on top salaries by 2017 150 tho to 200 thou min. AND a 650 thou to 700 thou max.
    If any one is looking to make more and are good enough they can take there shot at the Nfl. but with solid salries around a hlf mill there will be alot more players canadian and american that would make the cfl a viable option to spend a carrer.
    and who knows if there is a profit to be made the Nfl may look to invest a little bit more in the Cfl. I SAID INVEST NOT BUY OR OWN JUST INVEST. Just doing there duty to help NORTH AMERICAN FOOTBALL AND NORTHAMERICAN FOOTBALL PLAYERS WITH JOBS. especially fellow countrymen.
    Because if there is an abundance of good AMERICAN football players without jobs. younger athletes may choose a different sport to focus on.
    what do you think happend to baseball they had a bad experience with america now football is the sport all young athletes want to play. and the NBA are killing themselves.
    But if the Nfl shows its support NOT SUPPORT another league where young american football players can make a living. the cfl could get to 14 teams.
    now im just dreaming but makes sense though

  16. cfl steve

    November 8, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Besides expansion, besides a bigger fan base, a pro team in the hottest football city and province in quebec, besides a more competitive salary for players, What would the one single thing bring the most popularity to the canadian football league ??? anyone ? The re-emgerence of some star CANADIAN QBs. Thats something a whole city, region, or country could rally around. Some all – star Canadian QBs.
    The first step is to add an extra practice squad spot exclusivly for a canadian non import QB. but thats not quite enough. each team should add 4 extra spots to its training camp roster all young CANADIAN QBs recently graduated from CIS schools from the last few years. In sticking with the Territorial draft concept at least 2 or 3 of them be from CIS schools in the teams area. that leaves some spots for players from schools not in CFL areas.
    About two or three weeks before the presason opens while your rosters are at the highest before any cuts. teams can take a page from the NCAA and play a spring practice game or even two. you split the roster into two teams obviously your top players dont play in this game. For SASKACHAWAN it would be the green and white game. they could practice all week at u of saskatoon. have a recent QB OR TWO from that UNIVERSITY AND SURROUNDING UNIVERSITIES plus other rookies fighting for jobs.. one coordinator coaches the white and the other the green. Live football game with two canadian QBs on each squad. should draw quite a standing room crowd and alot of pre season plublicity as these for guys play in a live green and white scrimmage fighting for maybe only that one mandatory practice squad spot.
    HAMILTON the black and gold game. maybe play it at London possibily seelying out the 10,000 seat stadium with local college fans and players friends making short roadtrips to root there friend or teamate on. knowing that at least one of them will get the practice roster spot. after a few years the players could elevate themselves up the depth chart. but always keeping one extra practice squad spot for a cnadian QB. Even when the time comes when they are fighting for starting or no. 2 spots and evetually becoming the incumbent all star league MVP

  17. cfl steve

    November 11, 2011 at 1:03 am

    The Ufl is done in the fall. lets get ownership in UFL together with CFL. move 2 Ufl franchises to CFL. instead of them trying to make it on there own in spring. Cfl has TV contract. two cities ready for expansion montcon and quebec city. baltimore stallions made good when CFL USA FAILED IN the 90s with move to montreal into a college stadium of 20,000 for 15 yrs.
    laval can squezze in 18,500 not to mention maybe all three montreal games held at olympic for seelouts.
    Not to mention high tv ratings for those games .
    plenty of high paying sponsors since everyone in quebec will be watching.
    plus all the apparel to be sold.
    or build a temp stadium on laval campus for 13 mill seating 30,000. peanuts to a ufl owner that lost over 100 mill in three years and is still trying.
    get min salary up to 6digits. keep max at 450 and your league has improved.
    then a more possibl number 12 in london or windso/pontiac.
    plus NFL support showing games on NFL NETWORK ALONG WITH TSN CONTRACT ufl is never going to have it this good. and cfl is never going to find commited ownership with deep pockets and an awesome front office and coaces

    WIN WIN.

  18. cfl steve

    November 15, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    With all those options that I have talked about the CFL has only 3 cities that are almost for sure to be successful.

    Now all they need are owners that are commited to a pro football franchise.
    Hopefully the UFL ownership groups will have enough sense to move there franchises to the ATLANTIC REGION/MONTCON and QUEBEC CITY,
    following the much successful model of the baltimore stallions of the 90s old usa cfl division
    two cities that have a fan base already
    Perhaps Quebec city should put up a temp stadium of 25 – 30 tho. im sure laval wouldnt mind giving some land for the stadium to be built. I wouldnt suggest this just any place but it is long over due for anothe team in quebec.
    brings the league to an odd number of 11 teams but the cities are solid for much needed expansion.
    this would also spread the schedule out. knowing that an opponent may only come to your city once a year or once every other year i am quite sure that would raise attendence. Playing a team 4 times in a season has taken a toll on attendence. it has got to be boring for the fans.
    ON the other hand being able to play every team at least once a year will truly bring the best teams to the top of the divisions and playoffs.
    unlike the NFL that is flooded with so many teams and plays each team in its conference twice you dont always get the best teams in the playoffs.
    The CFl will then be unique to any major football league being college or pro. getting big enough not to have to play a team several teams four times. but small enough to play every team at least once and conference teams twice home and away. leaving the leafue a few games to dreate the most interesting and popular match ups. Montreal playing quebec city 3 times may be good for attendenc especially if they are both one and one coming into the rubber match. and play that game as a nuetral site bowl type of game in olympic. would draw 60,000 and give all season ticket holders for both teams a chance to attend the rubber match. exciting thought.
    on the other hand winnepeg playing montreal 3 or 4 times in a season tends to lose its luster and definetly hurts attendence as well as TV ratings. I mean a 3rd or 4th game every season between these two teams would not get much TV RATINGS which ultimately has affect the players salaries,
    where as there most likely would be big TV ratings all over canada with a 60,000 sellout of a third game between two new rivals



    This gives the western teams 14 games with 4 games per team for the league to create matchups that wil draw the biggest crowds and best TV ratings.
    The east will have 15 games with 3 games for the league to play with
    every team plays everyone at least once and with the crossover rule you would be assured the best 6 teams in the playoffs. Unlike big brother NFL which often has some of the best teams sitting home at playoff time with some teams having some very lopsided schedules. although 12 teams would be better I think the critics are right there just isnt a 12th area out there to be succesful right now.
    where 10 teams would create a complete equal schedule with every team playing each other twice.
    but that leaves out any scheduling creativity.
    It also lowers the anticipation knowing that a team may only be coming to your city once every two or three years.
    for example what if BC was on a dominant run over a few seasons. and it may take two sesons for them to come to Montreal. The anticipation and hype for that game could force it to be moved to Olympic to accomidate all the fans. especially if nearby OTTAWA or QC didnt have them at home that season. the real diehard football fans inthose cities would be sure to make the 2hr drive to see a good football team/game.
    With a lil more promoting it just seems like the cfl could go a long way.
    right now the smae 8 teams playing over and over again has just gotten boring

  19. cfl steve

    November 16, 2011 at 1:08 am

    Now with the league 11 strong the owners and the league should agree that the league could use one of each teams home games if needed to use as a promotional game that would be in the best interest of the league. much like they did with touchdown Atlantic. The league and the owners did a masterful job of laying the ground work to place most likely the 10th team in the near future. look at all the publicity it has gotten. The region is definitly building a brand new modern CFL sized stadium in montcon. and now Halifax not wanting to look bad is doing the same. this could set up two scenarios. The two cities sharing a team playing half its games in montcon giving fans in that part of the region an esier drive to a home game. and fans near the Halifax part a closer drive. giving the whole region 4 0r five chances to esily attend a game. and with less games in each part that means tickets will be a more valuable commodity. something that has never been done before. This may almost assure 9 sellouts for the franchise owners and no one from the region feeling as an outsider when traveling the distance to montcon. What is happening in saskachewan with people traveling to regina from saskatoon and beyond is something special that has taking time over the years and has become tradition. With two major stadium sites on seperate sides of the atlantic region may be the answer in this situation.
    the 3rd game between montreal and quebec city each year could be that special game to become tradition. splitting the stadium in two enough seats for all season ticket holders , a special rubber match if both teams are 1 and 1. could become a tradition real fast. MONtreal having the advantage of being in there home city. But QC having the advantage of the roadtrip tailgate party and chip on there shoulder by being made to travel to the more established als.
    Hamilton and toronto could rotate years of losing a home game as part of of neutral site SILVERDOME series. hosted by the city of windsor. maybe laying the groundwork for a franchise for windsor/pontiac just as it was done in the atlantic region.
    Another city with potential expansion is LONDON,ONTARIO. TD WATERHOUSE SEATS 10,000. from picures i have seen they could easily add the popular and reasonably priced temp seating in te end zones maybe getting it to 20,000. perhaps a team from the west could give up a home game on a rotating basis to and play an eastern team perhaps ottawa thats not so close but would bring some fans to see if the city of London the 10th in population could draw enough interst to provide fans from there city much like montcon did. or perhaps the atlantic shooner could return the favor and be one of the teams to participate. since windsor and london would probbly be the next best choice for a 12th team when the time is ready.
    and in the preseason teams could give up a home preseson game everyother year to spread the game to other cities. even cities in the US that have a CFL following tha would have stadiums at least close to CFL dimentions. ottawa, hamilton, or toronto could play a preseason game in rochester on a rotating basis. or BC could agree to give up its home preseason every year to play in portland. but would not have to give up a egular season home game. just to spread some good will to some of the US cities that are known to be strong cfl supporters. There have also been mention of playing games in the boise area. Not sure there is a stadium there that could support the larger CFL DIMENTIONS. who would go winnepeg or saschachewan maybe on a rotating preseason basis.
    All these things would just stir up some talk and publicity for the league and they are very reasonable and not really far fetched.
    perhaps even OTTAWA AND MONTREL COULD REKINDLE ITS OLD RIVALRY and do something similiar in olympic as QC AND MONTREAL COULD DO.
    Or ottawa and QC could meet halfway at olympic stadia for a real neutral site game. maybe everother year withottawa giving up a home game to do this. Or a rotation of a 2 out of thre a year special neutral type game at olympic involving montreal,QC, and ottawa.
    just seams like olympic althoug an older stadium is a hge venue that ould be used more often with three teames in the general area montreal, ottawa, QC.
    or if the CFL is dead against the idea of playing a silverdome series. hamilton and toronto could do a third game neutral site rubber match at the larger rogers centre neutral site set up late in the season after the home and home games have been played. the 45-50 tho rogers could hold would be enough to accomidate all season ticket holders from both teams. Or do these things on an every other year basisi building suspence. that it only happens evertwo seasons
    Montreal can rotate its rubbermatch games eachear one yr with ottawa the next QC. still getting use out of the larger olympic. but two yrs to build hype.
    All this can be done with jus 3 more solid teams and a couple of games for the league to use to the most popular fan advantage.

  20. cfl steve

    November 17, 2011 at 12:14 am

    In doing somemore research my hunch was sadly right with playing a team 4 times there was lacluster low attendence especially for a not so hot rivalry. and TV ratings so low. BOREDOM.
    Also found so many rumors of ownership groups and QUEBEC CITY.
    denials of contact by the commish of these groups contacting.
    holdups because for now only 18,500 can fir at laval.
    attendence at a whole lot of games in the league were almost that low anyway.
    couldnt games between the alouetes and quebec city played at olympic make up for some of that attendence.
    temp field moved from bc to QC or new one built

  21. cfl steve

    February 15, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Since I lasr comment on this article I have really researched this topic of expansion and have discovered a few things.
    1. Expansion in the Atlantic Region is not a waste of time at all. Since I last commented on this there have been some huge changes in events in that both Halifax and Moncton will be building new stadiums. Once the stadium is built in Halifax at proposed 14,000 a CFL franchise could invest in an additional 6,000 permanent seats. with 5,000 temp seats added for CFL season. giving Halifax a permanent tenant. Comissioner Cohon just got a three year extension on his contract and has been laying the groundwork for expansion in the Maritimes making it the CFLs much needed 10th team. The CFL and the city of halifax and Nova scotia would need to work together in searching out potential ownership groups. if the two groups can make an agreement that Halifax will have the first stage of its stadium built in 2015 for the FIFI women’s soccer w.c. and the CFL can agree that Halifax will get the expansion team, both work to find an ownership group. there could be CFL football in Halifax by 2016 or 2017.

    2. In the meantime a team in the province of Quebec is much needed to strengthen the eastern conference. a rivalry from this franchise and the Alouettes would add some much needed interest in the east. Quebec City is the Obvious choice but for now they are more interested in the NHL and Laval does not want a CFL team at Peps to interfere with hteir Rouge et Or. One of two things can happen. First, that the NHL issue is settled quickly. AS Quebec City desperatly wants a pro sports franchise, if the NHL turns them down the Focus of everyone in Quebec City would turn to the CFL. with everything in place to support a pro sports franchicse those efforts can be quickly translated into gettin a CFL franchise their. FOr football in Quebec is extremely popular with both english and Franco canadians so the team will have an excellent chance at succeding, especially with the Montreal rivalry already in place. focus would just shift from the NHL HABS to the CFL ALOUETTES. Laval would almost have to give in and expand peps to 25,000 capacity and accept the revenue that will be drawn from the CFL franchise for the best interest of the university much as MCgill did with the Alouettes, as the Als payed for the new renovations. SEcond thoughts of a team in sherbrooke would have to be consisered for the greater good of the CFL and the La Belle Province with the rivalry with the Als almost assuring success. Metro Sherbrooke has a population of 200,000 and another 200,000 within a 50 mi. radius. Not to mention that it could be promoted as a regional Quebec team drawing fans from Quebec City also jus to rival the hated city of Montreal. Montreal 3,000,000 people support the Als without any help from the rest of Quebec and Gatineau being part of the Ottawa metro area will have its city served by the new Ottawa franchise. The former team in uebec would be much better but a team in Sherbrooke would definately become an option drawing from the 400,000 within a 50 mi radius and from Quebec City CFL fans and Montreal Haters along with the smaller towns to the south and east of Sherbrooke now being able to have a team within a reasonable distance to support. I think that the CFL and the critics are severly underestimating the population of Quebec outside on montreal and gatineua severley. Trois Riveries and its population of 150, 000 is also less then 100 miles away. with the 700,000 population of quebec city being 150,000 mile away sherbrooke would have over 1,000,000 people withing a 150 radiun of sherbrooke. Not to mention NEw hampshire, vermont, and Maine all borering quebec in the southeast corner where sherbrooke is located where fans from these parts often take bus trips to the much further montreal.
    Obviously Quebec City with its 700,000 metro populationwould be a better firt for the access of more fans but over 1,000,000 people in football crazy quebec within 150 mi radius is certainly reasonable. And with the some smart scheduling by the CFL two of their three meeting could take place in Montreal at Olympic each year leaving football fans from all over Quebec the ability to attend this High powered rivalry in the 66,000 capacity Olympic everyone will get a seat that wants one. Montreal draws 50,000 + for playoff games the same 50,000 + would most likely attend this rivalry twice a year, not to mention the TV rating the game will draw in Quebec. this could be a very strong bargaining tool for the CFL in negotiating its new TV contract for 2014.
    If Comish Cohon and the CFL can assure that these two franchise, Halifax atlantic schooners and a whole new fan base and montreal and QC or quebec province out of sherbrookeTV ratings would almost be assured much higher numbers in the east.
    Cohon and the CFL have been very patient, perhaps Cohon received the three year extention because he and the CFL are ready to strike and place the expansion teams in place in the next 5 to 6 yrs.

  22. CFL Força

    March 3, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    After reading CFL Steve´s comments, there´s not much more I can add. However, the CFL ( and the people that run it) and, in general, the fans, must realize that 8 teams is not enough. I agree that before expansion is considered, the priority is to strengthen the actual teams. But the “strengthening” of the teams has been a priority for decades and little has been accomplished. Perhaps it´s time to learn how and what other sports leagues (NHL,NFL,NBA and MLB) do to increase their popularity (something the CFL is poor at doing). I disagree with some of the ideologies the CFL has about its league (namely: the import ratio rule and a few others). In a world economy, it makes no sense keeping the CFL only in Canada. I´m Canadian and nothing pleases me more than to hear people say great things not only about our CFL but also about our GREAT country. By not doing anything (at least not enough) to promote the CFL will only maintain the status quo (little interest). In Canada, personally, I can´t see more than 12 teams operating in a stable and viable manner (population limitations). Expansion into the US must be reconsidered again but with caution. Keeping the CFL only in Canada doesn´t make sense in a world economy. Expanding into the US, (at first ONLY into the cities boarding Canada) will not only create interest but exposure and ultimately revenue for the league. The import ratio rule makes no sense. I´m sorry if this is a disturbing comment to some readers but the rule is discriminatory. When I enter a stadium to see a game no one asks me if I´m Canadian or American – all that matters is having the money to pay for my ticket. likewise a Canadian born football player, If he has talent, will play in any league. I don´t want to pay to see “bush” talent (Canadian or American). If the rule is in place to “protect” the Canadian football player, why do our best Canadian football players play in the NFL and not in the CFL?? Perhaps we should have an “export rule” for them as well. I just feel that the lack of enlightened thinking by the CFL administrators has kept the GREAT CFL game from reaching its rightful place. Instead, it´s a league that struggles to keep its head above water with the scraps the NFL gives it. I want to see our great league expand (Canada and into certain places of the US) and be respected (which is not, contrary to what some people may think).


    June 1, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    I didn’t know there was as import ratio rule. That needs to go. If they really want to expand, right now is the time. CFL is at an all time high and the NFL (besides the lackluster American economy) has a lot of internal problems to deal with (players union lawsuit over collusion, former players lawsuits over healthcare, players/former players committing crimes and suicides). They cant even find a way to expand into the 2nd largest city in the U.S.-even with corporate sponsors, people willing to build a new stadium, adequate investors, and city tax breaks to help them. The NFL owners are happy fat cats and are happy with the way things are. The UFL which formed in 2009 is a struggling league just trying its best; but the 4 teams that are still a part of the league are all solid. Las Vegas, Omaha, Virginia, and Sacramento. There are many, many more cities in the U.S. that can support a team. Best to go after those open markets before the UFL moves in. It was stated that there are 9.6 million Americans per NFL team. That’s a lot of untapped fans. The ten biggest football stadiums in America don’t even have an NFL team that plays there. That’s a fact. First place to jump is the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan which is less than an hour north of Windsor. Super Bowls were once played there! Now, if the CFL does this, expect the NFL to take notice. They will threaten to move into Toronto and will also say that they will break up the CFL by doing so. These are threats. The CFL has been around longer than the NFL. I just dont see how one NFL team can destroy over 100 years of football tradition. And I don’t think Canadians will take kindly to arrogant, fat-cat American threats. …and what team will move to Toronto? They can’t even get a team to move to Los Angeles. If the NFL moves the Bills to Toronto. Whoa to the NFL. That would mean there would be NO NFL teams in the state of New York. NONE (Jets and Giants are now in New Jersey). That’s a pretty big market to capitalize on. If the CFL wants to expand, USA is ripe for the taking. Other potential cities: Oakland, CA; Los Angeles, CA; San Diego, CA; Columbus, OH; Yonkers, NY; Niagara/Buffalo, NY; Rochester, NY; Long Island-NY, NY; Hartford, CT; New Haven CT; Syracuse,NY; Boise,ID; Portland, OR; Bethlehem/Allentown, PA; Harrisburg, PA; Wilmington, DE; Providence, R.I.; Albany, NY; and Toledo,OH.

  24. potentialAmericanCFLfan

    August 7, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Wow, quite a bit of small US towns you included in there, lol. I’m so not for the idea of NFL expansion into Canada nor CFL into the States such was the case in the ’90s but perhaps them smaller towns mentioned can make up a CFL-rules American minor league that can perhaps serve as a US farm system for the CFL. It could also get more Americans nationwide interested in Candian-rules football hense the CFL. I can’t speak for all my fellow Americans but the reason why I’m not as interested (semi-casual fan at absolute best) personally is, yes, only 8 teams but even worse – 6 of those 8 teams making the post-season. Correct me if I’m worng but I see that Canadian college football is the same with approx 75% of the teams nationwide eligiable for a shot at the National Championship. Windsor planting a CFL franchise is certainly not a good idea especially if their stadium would be in Detroit. That would definitely open the door to further ingnite the NFL’s desire to move in on Toronto which of course would destroy the CFL. Quebec and Ottawa are obviously the only two teams for now that can and should expand. Once both in, give the league quite a few years before considering adding more. Perhaps have not one, but add another game in Moncton or even a third one each year to get an even better feel. Maybe have the GREY CUP there. Atlantic-expansion is something that you need to do very carefully if its ever going to be a reality. Mississauga I think is the only other viable option which caps things off at 12 teams. Back to what I mentioned about too many playoff teams in the current format, I guess for tradition sake you must keep it as is. Once a playoff-format is established you cannot retract it but if expansion to 10 teams takes place, definitely keep playoff teams at 6. And if it were to ever actually get as far to a dozen, keep it at six as well. Also, if it ever gets to 12 you certainly cannot have three divisions. The Grey Cup should always be East champion vs West champion with a semifinal game for each division to kick things off in each post-season. I always will like the NFL much better but I do respect that it was Canadian football which came first therefore the CFL should always stay (never any NFL expansion into Canada should be allowed) but the two-step-process that can get me to be more than just a casual follower is when it expands to 10 and finally to 12.

  25. vick

    October 7, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    im not gona write a essay, here’s what I gotta say: everyone I know doesn’t give a f*** about the cfl. Maybe “only 8 teams” is the reason. But I do follow it because that’s the highest and best level of football in Canada and also cuz my home town has a team. But for everyone to be desperately waiting for a big game, there needs to be more competition, so more teams. With only 8 teams, the championship game is not as exciting. More teams=more hype=more ppl tuning into games=the grey cup will be a HUGE event=a league that can be compared to the NFL in terms of which one is more exciting and explosive=amazing! NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, it’s so hard to win the championship trophy cuz there’s so many teams, some teams havent’ won a championship in over 40 years!! THAT’S what makes a pro league exciting, if your team wins the grey cup 3 out of 7 years, it doesn’t really seem like a big deal, expansion is the best thing that can happen to the CFL rite now cuz it has so much potential to grow. Taking 7 years to expand the league to 9 teams isn’t really the smartest thing either. GO LIONS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Ted

    October 12, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Some of yu guys should know the Facts and the facts are these. The CFL is the number 1 rated in sport in Canada on TSN, which is the number 1 TV sports network. The CFL is Number to only to the NHL when it comes to rartings. The CFL beats the NBA,MLB and the NFL in Canada hands down. So this saying that non of my friends care about the CFL, then i would say get out of your parents basements. The CFL is growing renvue every year. Now this league will soon have 7 team out of 8 that make money. The NHL would kill to have that % of teams making money. The busniess model for the CFL is now 22,000 to 23,000 paid and your doing fine.

  27. Sporty

    October 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    No doubt expansion is needed in the CFL. Ottawa’s return is great, but they need to get a 10th team quickly. It needs to go to the Maritimes to make the CFL a truly Canadian league.

    Further expansion could be planned for QC, Ontario and BC. I feel the Ontario expansion would be more feasible in Sudbury. Sudbury has a population similar to Moncton and when you add North Bay (1 hr away) its over 210 thousand people. Include smaller communities nearby and you’re over 230K. But more importantly is that the population is still driven to NA sports such as football – not soccer. So selling a team wouldn’t be as hard as in London with a larger immigrant population and Windsor which loves the NFL game.

    A Sudbury team would have to be set up like Saskatchewan. They may also be able to draw fans from Timmins and Sault Ste. Marie (3.5 hours away). Making this trip would not be a big deal as it is already done now for shopping and medical. Taking advantage of catering to regional fans would be key. Sudbury has a strong economy and is far enough away from S. Ont. teams so as to not take their fans from them. One must remember that a team in London or Kitchener would likely have to also pay a territory penalty to Hamilton/Toronto. Big drawback right now is no suitable stadium, but that could be remedied within 5 to 10 years. Corporate support would be an issues, but smart promotion could fill stadium boxes – once again going on the regional model.

    I think a team in the interior of BC would be good as well as Kelowna area has a long history of solid minor football and a growing population. Once again the population knows the game and would support a team with a Regional identity. Victoria would be more ideal, but it seems virtually every sporting team they have fails. I don’t think the city has the sports supporter mentality that’s needed – particularly for football. Stadium issues are also the drawback in both cities. Corporate support would likely be much larger in Victoria.

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