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-   -   The Great Canadian Sports Attendance, Marketing and TV Ratings Thread (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=228928)

Proof Sheet Sep 14, 2021 11:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 9394976)
I only know of a few people who play regularly and only one couple who are dedicated tennis fans to the extent that they travel to watch the major tournaments around the world, etc.

I find the ratio of people who follow NFL/CFL versus those who actually play to be quite a huge gap. Lots of armchair/beer drinking chair types who watch it and very few actually play other than throwing the ball in the park. It is a sport with lots and lots of expensive equipment.

thebasketballgeek Sep 14, 2021 11:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Proof Sheet (Post 9395472)
I find the ratio of people who follow NFL/CFL versus those who actually play to be quite a huge gap. Lots of armchair/beer drinking chair types who watch it and very few actually play other than throwing the ball in the park. It is a sport with lots and lots of expensive equipment.

I mean you’re not going to find many 30-40 year olds playing tackle football no matter what because it’s way too unforgiving on the body so you’re definitely right about that. Hell many people in high school just watch it rather then play because they don’t want to get injured. Tennis doesn’t have that problem which is why participation numbers are much higher. Flag football is an alternative but man it’s missing the key elements that football fans love and ironically is why we don’t play it which is physicality.

Acajack Sep 14, 2021 12:01 PM

Of the sports played by the big 4 American leagues yeah I would say the biggest gap is in the NFL when it comes to the average fan playing or having played the game.

Even the NHL probably has a more significant % of its fan base that has at least played pick up hockey (or street or ball hockey) at some point.

Of course a big part of that is that the NFL is such a cultural and entertainment behemoth that it scoops up millions of fans that previously had no personal relationship to the game. Including many female fans of course.

esquire Sep 14, 2021 1:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Proof Sheet (Post 9395472)
I find the ratio of people who follow NFL/CFL versus those who actually play to be quite a huge gap. Lots of armchair/beer drinking chair types who watch it and very few actually play other than throwing the ball in the park. It is a sport with lots and lots of expensive equipment.

The barriers to entry for football are fairly high... if you want to play a game for real, then you need a team of 40+ players, coaches, a shitload of equipment... and then you get into the sheer physical challenge of playing for anyone over 30. I played when I was younger but the thought of playing at my age now would be daunting. An injury would be pretty much guaranteed if I tried to play a game at my old offensive guard position. As I recall Jeff Reinebold once saying at a dinner I attended... football is pretty unique among sports in that once you take the pads off, that's it. There really isn't any kind of old-timers league or beer league.

A better basis of comparison for tennis is something like golf. You don't need much to play, with tennis you need you only need one other person (golf can be played solo), and you can play it at least on some level well into your later years. And unlike golf, there are often neighbourhood courts for tennis where you can play for free. Among the people I know who follow pro golf to at least some extent, virtually everyone plays. Among the people I know who follow pro tennis, few do. I find that kind of interesting. I sometimes to go to a neighbourhood court to play with my kid and most of the time if there's anyone else there, it's usually older people (not necessarily seniors, say the 50+ crowd) playing pickleball.

esquire Sep 14, 2021 1:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 9395460)
ATP and WTA tennis (similarly to F1) also has an international jet set aura about it that appeals to a lot of people.

For sure. Golf has a bit of that international glam factor too.

JHikka Sep 14, 2021 1:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 9395571)
As I recall Jeff Reinebold once saying at a dinner I attended... football is pretty unique among sports in that once you take the pads off, that's it. There really isn't any kind of old-timers league or beer league.

I know football orgs try to push flag football to varying degrees in co-ed sports leagues or just on their own. It's a less intensive version that doesn't require the equipment. Sort of takes away the point, though, IMO.

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 9395571)
Among the people I know who follow pro tennis, few do. I find that kind of interesting. I sometimes to go to a neighbourhood court to play with my kid and most of the time if there's anyone else there, it's usually seniors playing pickleball.

I grew up watching a lot of tennis but never played it as a youth. Didn't pick it up until well into my 20s, and now I enjoy going out to a court a few times a year to hit a ball around with a friend. Any time I ever venture by a court here they're always being used. The baseball diamonds next to them, however.. :uhh:

esquire Sep 14, 2021 2:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 9395580)
I know football orgs try to push flag football to varying degrees in co-ed sports leagues or just on their own. It's a less intensive version that doesn't require the equipment. Sort of takes away the point, though, IMO.

I'm in my early 40s and I can think of a few guys around my age who play (I don't personally). Although among the ones who do, injuries are becoming more common, I hear stories of torn/pulled this and that increasingly often as we get older.

But yeah, flag football is a much different game than regular tackle football. I would think guys over 40 who play tackle football at any level, whether they are Tom Brady genetic freaks in the pros or guys who are hanging on with a local amateur team must be very, very rare.

JHikka Sep 14, 2021 3:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 25grapes (Post 9395697)
For those beating on the Argos for attendance at 9,702, the Jays who are the hottest team in the MLB pushing for the playoffs, playing against the best team in the division had 12,119.

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 9395713)
Isn't their attendance capped too?

Jays attendance is capped at 15,000. They've had a slew of games before Monday fall in the high 14Ks or thereabouts. Similar to TFC and CMNT, they've raised ticket prices to offset fewer people in the stands. Single tickets for the Yankees series start at $80/ea. I think other series start at $40/ea.

Hand-wringing over attendances in 2021 is likely a waste of time. Far too many variables at play to really draw any sort of conclusion one way or another.

esquire Sep 14, 2021 4:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 9395725)
Hand-wringing over attendances in 2021 is likely a waste of time. Far too many variables at play to really draw any sort of conclusion one way or another.

I've noticed attendance is down in Winnipeg at sports events... Valour FC and the Goldeyes have been playing in front of crowds half the size they would normally get. Even the Bombers have been drawing less than I'd have expected... for the sheer amount of hype the home opener got around here, it wasn't quite sold out. And the two games that followed had fairly low attendance by recent Bomber standards. The Banjo Bowl did sell out, though.

My theory is that it's a combination of uncertainty leading up to the season which made it harder for account executives to sell tickets, probably many people took a hiatus from their season tickets/corporate packages, etc. Some people are also probably uncomfortable with being in crowds, and then of course are the non-vaccinated people who aren't allowed in. It will be interesting to see how the hockey teams do when their seasons start up.

JHikka Sep 14, 2021 6:16 PM

For the sake of adding onto this, the Jays attendance on Monday may have been their lowest of the year, but their TV audience was the highest: 1.11M on SN.

Raiders/Ravens had 637K split b/w TSN & CTV2.

jonny24 Sep 14, 2021 8:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 9395908)
For the sake of adding onto this, the Jays attendance on Monday may have been their lowest of the year, but their TV audience was the highest: 1.11M on SN.

Raiders/Ravens had 637K split b/w TSN & CTV2.

I was initially going to comment that I've heard extremely little about the NFL this year, but then I thought about it, and I think's actually the death of TSN Hamilton that makes me feel like pretty much no sports are getting much attention. I don't really watch the news, and tend to go straight to MLR and CFL websites/subreddits for the two main team I follow, rather than the TSN website. Back when I listened to TSN every morning on the way to work I'd have been hearing about the tennis success, NFL preseason news, way more Olympic coverage, etc.

For once I'm finally blissfully unware of what the Blue Jays are up to, but am really missing the rest of the sports news that came across my ears.

Once again, shame on Bell.

esquire Sep 15, 2021 2:18 PM

I'm not sure what's going on in Toronto but now TFC is apparently drawing flies. In a smaller city the sports teams are a bit of a cultural rallying point... is it possible that except for the Leafs and maybe to some extent the Jays, this is no longer the case in Toronto?

Here's a scene from last night's match vs Inter Miami from @EmptySeatsPics

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/E_SLmRdW...jpg&name=large

Sidenote: What the hell are all those people doing at the top of the upper deck when there are so many empty seats lower down?

Acajack Sep 15, 2021 3:32 PM

I think the Raptors are probably pretty safe as well.

thewave46 Sep 15, 2021 3:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 9395908)
For the sake of adding onto this, the Jays attendance on Monday may have been their lowest of the year, but their TV audience was the highest: 1.11M on SN.

Weird, as the Jays have been on a streak lately and are in the wild card hunt.

Generally people are stoked to actually go to a game when there's something at stake.

suburbanite Sep 15, 2021 3:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 9396778)
I'm not sure what's going on in Toronto but now TFC is apparently drawing flies. In a smaller city the sports teams are a bit of a cultural rallying point... is it possible that except for the Leafs and maybe to some extent the Jays, this is no longer the case in Toronto?


Sidenote: What the hell are all those people doing at the top of the upper deck when there are so many empty seats lower down?

TFC interest ebs and flows. Like most markets where the sport isn't really engrained in the culture, a winning product draws crowds. Sport attendance in general is still in a weird place given the Covid reopening plan.

Jammon Sep 15, 2021 5:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 9395744)
I've noticed attendance is down in Winnipeg at sports events... Valour FC and the Goldeyes have been playing in front of crowds half the size they would normally get. Even the Bombers have been drawing less than I'd have expected... for the sheer amount of hype the home opener got around here, it wasn't quite sold out. And the two games that followed had fairly low attendance by recent Bomber standards. The Banjo Bowl did sell out, though.

My theory is that it's a combination of uncertainty leading up to the season which made it harder for account executives to sell tickets, probably many people took a hiatus from their season tickets/corporate packages, etc. Some people are also probably uncomfortable with being in crowds, and then of course are the non-vaccinated people who aren't allowed in. It will be interesting to see how the hockey teams do when their seasons start up.

I'm going to hazard a guess that you're going to see empty seats at hockey games as well. I got season tickets this year (my own set after sharing with another group) and I was at position 1825 at the end of the last regular season. That should tell you how many season tickets have been forfeited. TNSE is running all types of small season tickets specials to get people into the seats.

esquire Sep 15, 2021 5:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jammon (Post 9397033)
I'm going to hazard a guess that you're going to see empty seats at hockey games as well. I got season tickets this year (my own set after sharing with another group) and I was at position 1825 at the end of the last regular season. That should tell you how many season tickets have been forfeited. TNSE is running all types of small season tickets specials to get people into the seats.

I would agree, I think between health concerns and economic difficulties for some, we will see empty seats to varying degrees in all Canadian markets except possibly Toronto. Now that will mean very different things depending on the city... maybe in Montreal it might be a couple hundred unsold seats, in Vancouver it might mean a couple thousand unsold seats, while the Sens might be playing in front of 8,000.

JHikka Sep 15, 2021 6:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thewave46 (Post 9396879)
Weird, as the Jays have been on a streak lately and are in the wild card hunt.

Generally people are stoked to actually go to a game when there's something at stake.

Jays were back up to 13K out of a cap of 15K last night. Still lower than their usual threshold from August.

There doesn't seem to be much correlation because the Jays are having one of the best Septembers in the history of MLB and TFC are having one of their worst seasons in recent memory and neither are doing incredibly hot at the gate. NHL teams in Canada weren't exactly selling out every game prior to COVID so there'll definitely be empty seats floating around come October.

JHikka Sep 16, 2021 3:35 PM

CHL on CBC:

https://cdn.ontariohockeyleague.com/...-2-730x411.jpg

https://ontariohockeyleague.com/arti...-cbc-this-fall

Acajack Sep 16, 2021 3:38 PM

Nice to see CBC TV getting back into sports. (Assuming this is the main broadcast network.)


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