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

elly63 Jan 4, 2020 5:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thurmas (Post 8790439)
Toronto can be revived in the CFL as TFC and Wolfpac Rugby have shown you don't need to be in the so called biggest and best sports league to have success. The Argos need to have consistent winning regular seasons like Calgary and Winnipeg and not the flukey one off Grey Cup wins that fizzled out right away before they could be built off of. Also dedicated pricing and promos to get kids into the stadium like the Eskimos are doing should be replicated.

I agree the Argos can be revived to the point of filling the stadium (26k). It will be a long process to reintroduce playing football and the other sports that will act as introductory sports to full tackle football to that market The process is already under way. It will never be THE game in town as it used to be with the Leafs. It doesn't have to be, just find its niche like TFC and go forward.

Djeffery Jan 4, 2020 8:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thurmas (Post 8790439)
Toronto can be revived in the CFL as TFC and Wolfpac Rugby have shown you don't need to be in the so called biggest and best sports league to have success. The Argos need to have consistent winning regular seasons like Calgary and Winnipeg and not the flukey one off Grey Cup wins that fizzled out right away before they could be built off of. Also dedicated pricing and promos to get kids into the stadium like the Eskimos are doing should be replicated.

They aren't the best leagues, but they are the best leagues available here. You aren't going to get the top Rugby and Soccer leagues here. There is still the perception by many in Toronto that they can get the best football league there, even though the lack of support of the Bills series basically killed the idea. But besides that, attending NFL games in several cities isn't really that difficult from Toronto. I also don't know that throwing the Wolfpack in there is a real great comparison. The Argos would sell out Lamport at higher ticket prices than the Wolfpack get, but I doubt the Wolfpack puts as many people in BMO as the Argos do.

EpicPonyTime Jan 4, 2020 10:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by osmo (Post 8790313)
This is why you see the CFL doing odd moves such as Mexico as they have the intention of looking to grow player markets but you won't get CFL players from Mexico until infrastructure, and coaching is put in place and this still it takes a generation to get players.

That isn't actually all that odd. Look at nearly any other sport and worldwide scouting is the norm. Football simply has a historical issue where it has largely been exclusive to North America. The CFL is trying to change that because it will increase the health of the league.

Quote:

Originally Posted by suburbanite (Post 8790435)
The argument I here most is that people in Toronto feel that they're "owed" a place at the big boys table by supporting and having successful teams in every other big 4 league.

What is keeping Toronto from getting a NFL franchise is that Toronto is one of the worst football cities on the entire continent. Every single time they've been given an opportunity to demonstrate interest in the NFL (or football in general) they've failed to do so. It doesn't matter if the city supports the Leafs unconditionally and supports its other teams when they are winning. They don't support football. What's really weird is the obsession with getting it even though the interest is questionable. It's purely a matter of prestige at this point.

People can perform the mental gymnastics all they want about why the Bills Series isn't an accurate representation of possible support in the city; fact of the matter it is.

isaidso Jan 5, 2020 7:37 AM

^^ Agree 100%.

JHikka Jan 6, 2020 1:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by osmo (Post 8790313)
Just as well as it failed to build up it's brand and culture. Hiding behind suspicious TV numbers when the trends are going away from TV for younger fans. The NBA for example has already laid out plans to recover TV money shortfalls by exploring other revenue streams a while the CFL still lives of its TSN money and little else.

I've been saying this for a while on this forum but apparently I know jack about sports so :shrug:

Quote:

Originally Posted by djeffrey
The Argos would sell out Lamport at higher ticket prices than the Wolfpack get, but I doubt the Wolfpack puts as many people in BMO as the Argos do.

In another year or two I think both of these statements would be wrong.

Quote:

Originally Posted by EpicPonyTime
What is keeping Toronto from getting a NFL franchise is that Toronto is one of the worst football cities on the entire continent. Every single time they've been given an opportunity to demonstrate interest in the NFL (or football in general) they've failed to do so. It doesn't matter if the city supports the Leafs unconditionally and supports its other teams when they are winning. They don't support football. What's really weird is the obsession with getting it even though the interest is questionable. It's purely a matter of prestige at this point.

Indeed.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Berklon
Not sure why everyone's concentrating on Toronto when there are other cities struggling to draw interest for the CFL... and for the most part the league has been declining for a few years now. The 90's are coming back - I can already hear the grunge music.

When someone doesn't like your product, don't blame the customer - blame the product... especially after 3 decades. That's Business 101. Adapt or perish.

You know that branded merch that reads TORONTO VS. EVERYBODY? Basically this forum.

It's true that the CFL is struggling in its largest markets (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal to an extent) and it should be pretty plainly obvious why, as EpicPonyTime pointed out and as have I on numerous occasions. There are systemic issues with the product as a whole and reaching out to Mexico or Japan is putting a mask on something that still has issues underneath.

esquire Jan 6, 2020 2:34 PM

Toronto... the world's only NFL city that cannot actually attract a NFL team despite 30+ years of trying.

elly63 Jan 6, 2020 2:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8791556)
It's true that the CFL is struggling in its largest markets (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal to an extent) and it should be pretty plainly obvious why, as EpicPonyTime pointed out and as have I on numerous occasions. There are systemic issues with the product as a whole and reaching out to Mexico or Japan is putting a mask on something that still has issues underneath.

So if it is dying and has no hope why do you feel the need to troll it with your every post. Surely it doesn't need your help. Or do you do it to just take attention away from the Ponzi scheme of a third rate soccer league that you try to spin to us that is so successful. So successful that all three Canadian teams attendances are down (in the same cities as the CFL) and so is TFC's after winning the championship. Shouldn't that have gone up? Awaiting usual google search and spin doctoring.

megadude Jan 6, 2020 3:12 PM

Question. Way back in the day the Argos were a big deal. Even in the 90s they were still quite a draw. So when did Toronto become a non-football city?

I ask because over the years and up to this day you see people with NFL gear on and decals on their cars. My boss has a SUV with neatly done Steelers trim and a plate named after a legendary player.

And at every job I've worked at I've been in NFL pools. And 10+ years ago I would watch the occasional game at a bar with a jersey on and I'd see a few other people with the shirt or hat on.

My friends and I and quite a few people I know go on NFL roadies. One guy from my new job goes with his friends once a year to a random city. This time it was Nashville. I worked with someone else who does the same thing. And one of the flag football parents is on a mission to do all 32 teams.

I coached in NFL Flag Football in Oakville and Milton for seven years and would see a few of the parents wearing some team gear or with the bumper sticker, but that of course is not the general population so there's some bias there.

I worked with a guy, who I am still in touch with, that is an Argos STH and I've met a couple others through him. Though these are the only guys I know that go to games still. I've been a couple times with them but admittedly it's been a few years since. Though I still follow the Argos and the CFL.

And I'll always have a soft spot for the Boatmen since 10 years ago when I won a PIzza Pizza contest to kick a 25 yard FG at the Dome against the Ti-Cats before kickoff. Got escorted down to the field by staff and walked the sideline and onto the field while all the players were warming up (basically a VIP lol). The girl gave me a half deflated ball and I asked for a good one and she said no can't do that. I pointed to coach Barker on the sideline who just so happened to be grabbing balls from their bag of balls and I said look how many good balls are over there. She still said no. I proceeded to completely shank the kick in front of about 10k fans (was well before kickoff).

Here's a van I saw at Burlington Mall a couple of weeks ago. I showed my boss, who has Steelers shoes, gloves, backpack, etc. and told him you a ways to go to keep up with this guy:

https://i.ibb.co/SV975W6/IMG-3521.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/g36Qfz2/IMG-3522.jpg

esquire Jan 6, 2020 3:20 PM

^ People in the rest of Canada follow the NFL too, it isn't just a Toronto thing. Plenty of people in Winnipeg have favourite NFL teams, go on NFL road trips, play in NFL pools, etc.

The only difference is that people outside the GTA generally don't grit their teeth and refuse to acknowledge the CFL. It is quite normal here to cheer for the Vikings, Packers, Patriots or whomever and also be a Blue Bombers season ticket holder.

IMO the abject failure of the Bills in Toronto series was the clearest indication to me that football as a live spectator sport (as opposed to a TV show, given that both the NFL and CFL seem to do pretty good TV numbers there) was pretty well dead in Toronto.

thurmas Jan 6, 2020 3:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8791607)
^ People in the rest of Canada follow the NFL too, it isn't just a Toronto thing. Plenty of people in Winnipeg have favourite NFL teams, go on NFL road trips, play in NFL pools, etc.

The only difference is that people outside the GTA generally don't grit their teeth and refuse to acknowledge the CFL. It is quite normal here to cheer for the Vikings, Packers, Patriots or whomever and also be a Blue Bombers season ticket holder.

IMO the abject failure of the Bills in Toronto series was the clearest indication to me that football as a live spectator sport (as opposed to a TV show, given that both the NFL and CFL seem to do pretty good TV numbers there) was pretty well dead in Toronto.

Bang on I am 35 here in Winnipeg me and my buddies are always in NFL fantasy pools and we watch both NFL and CFL.

megadude Jan 6, 2020 3:32 PM

So when did TO become a non-football city?

I went to a couple of those Bills TO games, but only because I bought cheap tix from people dumping them the day before. Those ticket prices were a joke and not everyone is a Bills fan, especially the younger generation who became used to their mediocrity. Even in their SB finalist days I recall Bills fans were more from Niagara and surrounding areas as opposed to the GTA. When I was a kid I remember actually wanting the 'Skins and Cowboys to win those SBs. The Giants one I was indifferent to.

The game in Winnipeg this past summer also had comically high prices and people avoided that shit show like the Bills series. So what's the difference?

I agree that 99% of GTA people don't talk about CFL. Other than the one STH I know from work, I literally have only discussed CFL with one other guy at work. Not because he follows it, but because his brother is president of TSN so he'll often discuss ratings and interest and the factors that affect those. Though to be fair this guy is very much a hockey guy above any other sport.

But given that there's still high interest in NFL in the GTA, can Toronto still be called a non-football city? I for one think that if TO did have a team, and tickets weren't stupidly high like Cowboys tickets then I think the games would sell out. But at the same time, I wouldn't be surprised if after 10 years they weren't selling out the stadium anymore but more like 3/4 full because it would be a truly passionate fan base. But I do think interest would be high with lots of people following the team and wearing the gear.

elly63 Jan 6, 2020 3:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by megadude (Post 8791620)
But given that there's still high interest in NFL in the GTA, can Toronto still be called a non-football city?

I guess it depends on what your definition of a football city is. In much of the US, football fans will follow NFL, college, high school and some even CFL, because they are real football fans, they love the game. There is not so much of this childish, it's not the best routine. Good entertainment is good entertainment.

I posted about the fantastically entertaining world junior game and I don't think anybody responded. I get a channel called FreeSports that shows all kinds of different stuff, I watch hockey from the UK and find that interesting, be a fan.

elly63 Jan 6, 2020 3:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by megadude (Post 8791620)
So when did TO become a non-football city?

I think the Braley years where he killed marketing (same as in BC now) were the definite starting point. Since the heydays of the 70s, the Argos had several feast and famine cycles, there were some terrible years that they were able to recover from, now I really don`t know.

EpicPonyTime Jan 6, 2020 3:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by megadude (Post 8791620)
So when did TO become a non-football city?

I don't think you can point to a specific point in time, rather football has been on a steady decline as a live spectator sport. Both the CFL and NFL get healthy ratings in the GTA, but fans simply have shown they are unenthusiastic about spending money to watch football in a stadium. This is true regardless of whether it is the Argos, or the Bills, or the NCAA (which held the International Bowl for 4 years at SkyDome). It certainly seems like a game people like to watch from the comfort of their sofas. I don't really know why.

megadude Jan 6, 2020 4:18 PM

Ya I agree it's based on definition. Like what's a great sports city? There's no clear answer.

The Jets and Giants pack the house based on attendance figures. But NY area does not follow college let alone HS. When the Big Ten poached Rutgers (central NJ) from the Big East they marketed them at NY's CFB team. Really I don't think anyone cares.

Western and Central PA I think qualify as football hotbeds. State College (PSU) is in Central PA. Pittsburgh loves their Steelers and while Pitt football is not what it used to be people still like their Panthers. And there's decent support for HS but not like TX levels. A lot of great players and coaches come from this area.

Philly in Eastern PA loves their Eagles, but people aren't packing the house to watch Temple or Villanova football. So how would Philly qualify?

As for a great sports town, I'll throw one out there that really impresses me for not being a big city or within the orbit of one. Lubbock, TX, home of Texas Tech (5 hours away from Dallas):

Football - not a traditional winning team mind you:
Avg. attendance 55k to 58k in a 60k stadium.

Basketball - not a traditional winning team:
12.1k in a 15k arena.

Baseball:
4.1k in a 4.4k stadium

megadude Jan 6, 2020 4:32 PM

I can see why a lot of people prefer football on TV. For NFL in particular, the TV timeouts extend the game and fans in the stadium are standing around doing nothing. Actually at a college game I was at once some guy shouted TV sucks during a TV timeout and some people started chanting FUCK TV! And NFL games take way too long.

With all that starting and stopping, I can't appreciate watching football live like watching hockey and basketball, which I think are the two best to be in attendance for. Throw in soccer too. A fluid game that only takes 1:50 to complete.

Baseball is all about the stop and go as well but it has a tradition of being a slow game where people sit and talk about the game with the guy next to them. But that aspect is slowly declining.

I far more appreciate being at a college game because the band and student section than an NFL game so that's the only reason I would prefer being at a game instead of watching it on TV unless there's the novelty aspect where I'd never been to the stadium before. Though if tickets were really cheap then I could justify going more. Or it football was my true passion.

plrh Jan 6, 2020 4:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8791607)
^ People in the rest of Canada follow the NFL too, it isn't just a Toronto thing. Plenty of people in Winnipeg have favourite NFL teams, go on NFL road trips, play in NFL pools, etc.

The only difference is that people outside the GTA generally don't grit their teeth and refuse to acknowledge the CFL. It is quite normal here to cheer for the Vikings, Packers, Patriots or whomever and also be a Blue Bombers season ticket holder.

IMO the abject failure of the Bills in Toronto series was the clearest indication to me that football as a live spectator sport (as opposed to a TV show, given that both the NFL and CFL seem to do pretty good TV numbers there) was pretty well dead in Toronto.

I love how people have arbitrary favourite NFL teams in Winnipeg (I'm not being sarcastic). I always laugh when I meet someone who is a die-hard fan of a team for which they have no connection. I guess the Vikings as a favourite is acceptable here, maybe Green Bay or Chicago (based on geography) but that's about it. And I'm not talking about liking a team based on the current players or staff. I am talking about the guys who get their cars painted and support the team through good and bad years.

esquire Jan 6, 2020 5:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plrh (Post 8791734)
I love how people have arbitrary favourite NFL teams in Winnipeg (I'm not being sarcastic). I always laugh when I meet someone who is a die-hard fan of a team for which they have no connection. I guess the Vikings as a favourite is acceptable here, maybe Green Bay or Chicago (based on geography) but that's about it. And I'm not talking about liking a team based on the current players or staff. I am talking about the guys who get their cars painted and support the team through good and bad years.

It's pretty random. Vikes are probably number one due to geographical proximity (Minneapolis is the only NFL city you can drive to in a day), but even then they have only a marginal lead on other teams in that regard. It's not like there is a huge Vikings fanbase here.

Most guys I know who are diehards just adopted a team in junior high or high school for no particular reason and have stuck with them ever since. A lot of bandwagon jumpers too, but that's normal in all sports.

plrh Jan 6, 2020 5:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8791742)
It's pretty random. Vikes are probably number one due to geographical proximity (Minneapolis is the only NFL city you can drive to in a day), but even then they have only a marginal lead on other teams in that regard. It's not like there is a huge Vikings fanbase here.

Most guys I know who are diehards just adopted a team in junior high or high school for no particular reason and have stuck with them ever since. A lot of bandwagon jumpers too, but that's normal in all sports.

I know a guy with a Ravens tattoo. I don't think he has ever been to Baltimore. But I guess tattoos aren't seen to be the commitment they once were.

Go Niners! JK.

esquire Jan 6, 2020 5:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plrh (Post 8791756)
I know a guy with a Ravens tattoo. I don't think he has ever been to Baltimore. But I guess tattoos aren't seen to be the commitment they once were.

Go Niners! JK.

I can't relate to that. To me, sports and geography are totally intertwined. Every team I root for has Winnipeg or Manitoba in the name. I couldn't fathom just randomly cheering for Detroit or whatever, unless my kid played on that team.

Obviously not everyone thinks that way :)


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