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

SaskScraper Jul 19, 2019 2:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hackslack (Post 8634779)
The “entire province” consists of just over 1 million people. The 2 largest centres, Regina and Saskatoon are close to 3 hrs apart from each other. Regina, the smaller of the two, has a population less than 200K (2015).... any way it is framed, it is damn impressive actually the support they do get even with a mediocre team.

The "entire city" of Calgary is just over a million people as well but Calgary for a market for the CFL is never questioned.

Biggest enigma for a lot of Canadians outside of province is the under estimation of the support for the Roughriders & it's history.
Inside province as a whole & expats outside province has been very cohesive in support for the Riders in its 110 year history, even when Saskatchewan was the third most populous province in Canada.

Over half of Saskatchewan lives in two largest cities & with downtown Saskatoon to downtown Regina 259 highway kms apart and since most people drive 125km/hour on highway #11, its 2 hour drive for Saskatonians to Rider games, easy day trip. But its true, most of Mosaic spectators are from Regina CMA and Moose Jaw CA combined population ~305,000.

UrbanClimate Jul 19, 2019 7:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8634751)
Is it just Regina, though? I feel like we're always reminded that the entire province supports the Riders and that people commute for hours to watch them play.


I mean, the Wolfpack are doing pretty well again this summer. :P

I agree in theory but the issue becomes when it starts to fall into a general trend with other teams from the same league. If they're all more or less trending down, or reaching more for their floors than usual, then it's more than just weather or ticket prices affecting general gate figures.

This isn't just some fascination on this forum, either. The official CFL forums have a number of recent threads with it users discussing the attendance figures for this season.


They are more or less for the time being, but do you think their crowds should be larger given that they're unbeaten and pushing for a franchise-setting start to a season? Genuinely curious for your thoughts on this because we all know the Bombers have been bad for what feels like forever.

You said it yourself, and it's very true: "the Bombers have been bad for what feels like forever." They have not won a Grey Cup for 27 years! So why would you expect more than 25,000 fans to suddenly show up after a few wins to start the season? We are barely 1 month into the 2019 season. It takes time for a team and its fans to build excitement -- this is especially true for pro football because the teams play just 1 game per week. The stadium will fill up if the team continues winning.

Please no more nit-picking about the attendance (in Winnipeg). It's pedantic and pointless.

JHikka Jul 19, 2019 8:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UrbanClimate (Post 8636800)
So why would you expect more than 25,000 fans to suddenly show up after a few wins to start the season?

Because the Bombers have a history of averaging 27-28K a season despite being awful.

Here's their yearly average since moving to IGF:
2013: 30,637
2014: 28,314
2015: 26,746
2016: 25,936
2017: 27,681
2018: 26,880
2019: 24,762 (after two games)
2013-2018 running average: 27,699

And because they built a 33K capacity stadium. Why build one that big if you only plan on selling 70% of the seats?

For their third home game last season the Bombers had a crowd of 27,116. To match their home attendance through three games from last year they'll need a crowd tonight of ~29,618. Typically in these threads we're reminded that teams draw poorly because they're losers - would the inverse not apply?

Quote:

Originally Posted by UrbanClimate (Post 8636800)
We are barely 1 month into the 2019 season. It takes time for a team and its fans to build excitement -- this is especially true for pro football because the teams play just 1 game per week. The stadium will fill up if the team continues winning.

22% of home games are already completed, soon to be 33%. How long does it take for excitement to build for a 4-0/5-0 team? Less being pedantic and more being genuinely curious, because a best case scenario for any team would be to sell out their stadium. Or does it only come down to playing against the Riders?

Quote:

Originally Posted by UrbanClimate (Post 8636800)
Please no more nit-picking about the attendance (in Winnipeg). It's pedantic and pointless.

It's an attendance thread... :hmmm:

For me, the main curiosity is the capacity of IGF when the team historically rarely averages above 30K.

Also for me, I wasn't the one who originally brought up Winnipeg's crowds for this season, but they're seemingly falling in line with a league trend of declining crowds and gates, even with a very strong, winning team. Likewise, Calgary's won and been competitive for a few years now and their crowds continue to decline. In their case the excuse typically used is that they have a poor stadium.

Have a great weekend. :)

esquire Jul 19, 2019 8:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8636828)
For me, the main curiosity is the capacity of IGF when the team historically rarely averages above 30K.

It's a fair question.

I think it's a convergence of a few factors.

One, and in my view the biggest, is the return of the NHL to Winnipeg. It's asking a lot of a small city like Winnipeg to support the NHL... that sops up a lot of discretionary spending. The stadium was planned, and construction began before the Jets returned. I suspect that if the NHL had returned in, say, 2006, the stadium would have been planned with a smaller permanent capacity.

Second is the stadium location. It's not that bad, but it isn't great. Rightly or wrongly, a lot of people perceive it as an inconvenient place to get to. I think the situation has improved significantly since 2013, but the perception remains. One thing that hasn't changed is the fact that there is nothing within easy walking distance of the stadium like there was at the old Polo Park location. After a night game, you get 200m away from the stadium in any direction and you're basically standing on a dark campus with nothing around to go to.

Third is the protracted stretch of bad Bomber football we've had to endure for the better part of the last decade. People don't necessarily come back right away when the team starts winning again... a lot of people got fed up and will take a long time to warm up to the team now that they're hot. It's unfortunate that 2013 was such a disaster of a season on the field as it meant that the attendance uptick teams often get with a new venue lasted only one year for the Bombers.

Fourth is the same factors affecting attendance in many North American sports... it basically amounts to higher ticket prices across the board which competes with everyone's big screen hi def TV at home. (You mentioned declining gates... are they really declining? Because ticket prices are always getting higher and they seem to do well selling their premium seats.)

There is still a lot of support for the Bombers in Winnipeg. Personally, I think if the Bombers can string together a few successful seasons including a Grey Cup win or two, it will do a lot to get people back into the habit of going to games. Or then again, maybe it won't... I remember in the early 90s when the Bombers were still a dominant team they played to crowds similar to what we see today and I remember the sportswriters wondering what it would take to fill the stands. Either way, I don't think it's remotely approaching a crisis. When it comes to levels of fan support, the Bombers are pretty solid... the challenge for them is to get to a point where there's more than just one sellout crowd a year.

Pinus Jul 19, 2019 8:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hackslack (Post 8634434)
2 months worth of nice weather per year, especially after a long cold winter on the prairies.

Says a guy from.......... Edmonton.

Djeffery Jul 19, 2019 9:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8636828)
Because the Bombers have a history of averaging 27-28K a season despite being awful.

Last year, the Bombers first 2 home games, 3 out of the first 4, and 6 out of the 9 in the season were lower than their season average, a trend that seems to be typical over the few seasons I looked back at. They draw well for the Riders and maybe the Eskimos, which boosts their season average.

Hackslack Jul 19, 2019 9:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pinus (Post 8636872)
Says a guy from.......... Edmonton.

As if I don’t have family and friends in..... Saskatchewan, to know they had a long cold winter...

Calgary bud. I’m from Calgary.

The same can be said for Edmonton and Calgary though. As a Stampeders season ticket holder, I took advantage of the weather to go to the mountains the day the Lions were in town. Pretty natural for a lot of Canadians to take advantage of nice summer weather to get out of the city and enjoy the outdoors for the limited amount of time we have, especially this year, and even last year, when winter was long and cold.

One of Calgary’s largest snowfall actually came in September 2018. Early start to winter and late end to winter.... if you gave me the choice to enjoy world class mountain bike trails on a nice summer Saturday or enjoy a Stampeders football game, without question I’ll go biking, knowing there’s only a couple handfuls of time I’ll likely get to take advantage of, all due to weather.

elly63 Jul 20, 2019 2:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8636828)
It's an attendance thread.

Or the thread to highlight your longtime campaign against the CFL. I just wish you would tell us why you would want to bring down the highest profile Canadian league especially in favour of a low tier American soccer league. I just don't get it. The fact that a mod has such bias and is allowed to act upon it is incredible.

osmo Jul 20, 2019 2:51 AM

CFL apologists should see what is real versus blurring the lines. Factors of a weak Canadian economy (relative to other OECD nations), escalating cost of basic goods, and the continued relsity that the CFL with IRS against fan base isn't converting it's departing older Dan's for young ones all can lead to depressed gate and TV counts.

The league has a long way to fall to get back to the dark ages of the 90s but CFL fans and the folks at the league office should be attentive to these shifts that currently look to be trend league wide. Is this all to say that CFL appetite has peaked? Folks can say this is a temporary thing it larger indicators long term show that it will be more challenging in the future of anything.

How can the CFL make a leap to transition away from being so reliant on gate revenues? Are there potential ways to shift away from this (I am asking for the sake of discussion).

This is interesting because down south the NFL is grappling with this as well but from a different position as they are seeking avenues to explore growth of thier overall pie. Is this all a general larger culture shift away from gridiron football?

Back to the CFL...There isn't much competition for the CFL right now as the Blue Jays are in the tank and MLS is just a factor in the larger weaker markers anyhow. If the traditional strong markers are showing some weaknesses then it should be looked at much more closely versus dismissing it and continue to wine there everyone is just a "CFL hater".

JHikka Jul 20, 2019 1:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8636860)
One, and in my view the biggest, is the return of the NHL to Winnipeg. It's asking a lot of a small city like Winnipeg to support the NHL... that sops up a lot of discretionary spending. The stadium was planned, and construction began before the Jets returned. I suspect that if the NHL had returned in, say, 2006, the stadium would have been planned with a smaller permanent capacity.

This is a pretty fair point.


Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8636860)
There is still a lot of support for the Bombers in Winnipeg. Personally, I think if the Bombers can string together a few successful seasons including a Grey Cup win or two, it will do a lot to get people back into the habit of going to games. Or then again, maybe it won't... I remember in the early 90s when the Bombers were still a dominant team they played to crowds similar to what we see today and I remember the sportswriters wondering what it would take to fill the stands. Either way, I don't think it's remotely approaching a crisis. When it comes to levels of fan support, the Bombers are pretty solid... the challenge for them is to get to a point where there's more than just one sellout crowd a year.

It's certainly not a crisis in a market like Winnipeg but it's indicative of the trend as a whole, and it's looking more and more likely that the only team that's bulletproof from all of this is Saskatchewan.

Quote:

Originally Posted by osmo (Post 8637127)
The league has a long way to fall to get back to the dark ages of the 90s but CFL fans and the folks at the league office should be attentive to these shifts that currently look to be trend league wide. Is this all to say that CFL appetite has peaked? Folks can say this is a temporary thing it larger indicators long term show that it will be more challenging in the future of anything.

Judging from most numbers it feels like the peak for the CFL in both physical and broadcast crowd was somewhere between 2013 and 2015. Since then it's been steadily down on both counts.

Quote:

Originally Posted by osmo (Post 8637127)
How can the CFL make a leap to transition away from being so reliant on gate revenues? Are there potential ways to shift away from this (I am asking for the sake of discussion).

It's a good question and one i've tried to rattle around in my brain for a while. Other sports typically lean more on corporate partnerships, but those are generally a chicken-and-egg situation with general fan interest. The league's fan demographics aren't great which is probably scaring away a lot of potential investment in the product, so the league's been trying to go younger and getting more people involved (party decks, etc.) with some limited success. Ambrosie's plan is to make the league more international as a way to generate interest both internationally and in Canada amongst visible minority groups.

I think it's clear that the league tried to get Halifax playing before the renegotiation of its TV deal with TSN. Getting Halifax playing prior to 2021/2022 gets the league more games to broadcast and an extra game each week which would inherently raise its broadcast deal. Without the additional team i'm not sure where the deal goes in terms of value moving forward. I don't think there's any pressure on TSN to raise the amount they're currently paying the league for rights.

Quote:

Originally Posted by osmo (Post 8637127)
This is interesting because down south the NFL is grappling with this as well but from a different position as they are seeking avenues to explore growth of thier overall pie. Is this all a general larger culture shift away from gridiron football?

I'd say yes to this question. Gridiron is having a tough go on both sides of the border in regards to sustaining growth and carving out more of a market for itself both domestically and internationally. Local youth participating rates aren't going in the right direction. All of its major competitors (NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS) have pretty strong international presence in either its players or in general interest of the sport. Gridiron doesn't have this to the same degree and relies heavily on domestic interest to drive revenues. I don't think it's a coincidence that both the CFL and NFL are heading in roughly the same directions re: crowds. NFL just hasn't seen the broadcast decline as yet and has massive corporate backing. I think we've already seen peak NFL in North America.

Quote:

Originally Posted by osmo (Post 8637127)
Back to the CFL...There isn't much competition for the CFL right now as the Blue Jays are in the tank and MLS is just a factor in the larger weaker markers anyhow. If the traditional strong markers are showing some weaknesses then it should be looked at much more closely versus dismissing it and continue to wine there everyone is just a "CFL hater".

It feels like the general attitude amongst a lot of people is to simply pretend the problem doesn't exist rather than actually addressing it. Things like saying they've been hearing the league's been dying for 30 years, etc. The commissioner is actively addressing this problem on a near daily basis. Just a few days ago he mentioned potentially having a game in Mexico in the hopes of creating more interest for the league in that country, which is obviously an attempt at diversifying the league's broadcast and corporate presence so that teams can rely less on gates and raw crowds. The commissioner, and by default the league as well, are attempting to address the league's revenue generating issues with CFL2.0. Buuuuut nah, i'm just a troll who's making all this up. :hmmm:

MonctonRad Jul 20, 2019 3:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8637307)
I think it's clear that the league tried to get Halifax playing before the renegotiation of its TV deal with TSN. Getting Halifax playing prior to 2021/2022 gets the league more games to broadcast and an extra game each week which would inherently raise its broadcast deal. Without the additional team i'm not sure where the deal goes in terms of value moving forward. I don't think there's any pressure on TSN to raise the amount they're currently paying the league for rights.

This is an interesting point. The Halifax ownership group remains committed to getting the team up and running as quickly as possible, likely in Moncton, probably for the 2021 season. I've always wondered why the rush. I would appreciate having the team in Moncton for a year while they build their stadium in Halifax, but I was always unsure of the motives of the team ownership in this regard, as I imagine only a small number of Halifax fans would actually drive 250 km to Moncton every second weekend to attend Schooners games.

Maybe the renegotiated TV contract is the reason for the rush...........

elly63 Jul 20, 2019 5:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8637307)
i'm just a troll who's making all this up.

You have the first part right. You have an agenda and you try and play innocent and deny it, thinking everyone is too stupid to know what you are doing. You go out of your way to post 99% bad news about the CFL and 99% positive news about MLS. Stevie Wonder can see through you so why you deny it is beyond me.

The View All Posts function doesn't lie, your posts are there for all to see no matter how slick you try and hide your agenda. I just wish you'd man up and tell us why you want to kill the CFL, then you wouldn't need to work so hard trying to be insidious.

esquire Jul 20, 2019 6:01 PM

It's obvious, elly, I don't think there's a need to build a case. Some people just enjoy dumping on things other people like. Jhikka has probably posted hundreds of times about the the CFL but I'm not sure that I remember any of his posts having to do with the game itself, always just bad attendance or ratings news whenever there happens to be any. Yeah, it's weird, but we all have our quirks.

JHikka Jul 20, 2019 7:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8637442)
Jhikka has probably posted hundreds of times about the the CFL but I'm not sure that I remember any of his posts having to do with the game itself, always just bad attendance or ratings news whenever there happens to be any. Yeah, it's weird, but we all have our quirks.

If I want to post about the actual fundamentals of a sport or what goes on on the field i'll go to reddit/a sports forum/twitter where there's hundreds or thousands of posts for a particular game. We're on a skyscraper forum in a thread specifically designed for attendance and marketing discussion, so the discussion is inherently going to be on the business side of things. You're all free to put me on ignore if my posts actually bother you that much.

elly63 Jul 20, 2019 7:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 8637442)
It's obvious, elly, I don't think there's a need to build a case. Some people just enjoy dumping on things other people like. Jhikka has probably posted hundreds of times about the the CFL but I'm not sure that I remember any of his posts having to do with the game itself, always just bad attendance or ratings news whenever there happens to be any. Yeah, it's weird, but we all have our quirks.

I don't have a problem with that, I just wish he would man up and say so instead of the pretense that the rest of us are too stupid to figure it out.

What is the end game, for MLS to take over with the CFL gone and those fans will suddenly become MLS fans? Now that is some out-there thinking. And I thought mods were not supposed to show bias but be somewhat impartial arbiters. Hmm okay.

elly63 Jul 20, 2019 7:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8637482)
You're all free to put me on ignore if my posts actually bother you that much.

It doesn't bother me, your agenda based lie bothers me and I will point it out every chance I get to tell newcomers what you're up to.

Berklon Jul 20, 2019 7:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elly63 (Post 8637486)
What is the end game, for MLS to take over with the CFL gone and those fans will suddenly become MLS fans? Now that is some out-there thinking. And I thought mods were not supposed to show bias but be somewhat impartial arbiters. Hmm okay.

I find it hilarious that you think members of this forum have the ability to make or break a league. You've often accused a few members of doing that. How much power do you think members here have?

News flash: no one pays attention to what we post on a forum, nor do they care what we think. Things will play out the way they're going to play our regardless of what we post here.

Instead of complaining about someone posting facts on the way things are trending, why don't invest in the league you're trying so hard to defend? Do you go to any games at all?

Djeffery Jul 20, 2019 7:55 PM

Anyway, Winnipeg had their largest (granted, by a very small margin) crowd of the season last night.

esquire Jul 20, 2019 8:00 PM

Unfortunately any attempts to ignore people with mod/admin status are met with:

"Sorry X is a moderator/admin and you are not allowed to ignore him or her."

Hackslack Jul 21, 2019 2:25 AM

Watching this Whitecaps vs Quakes MLS game that is on right after the Lions/Riders game, and B.C. Place looks over half empty.


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