CFL Foreign Expansion

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CFL Foreign Expansion

Post by Shootmaster_44 » Wed Jun 30, 2004 7:13 am

I finished reading Jeff Giles' book last night and he mentions how he thinks US expansion is a good idea. I was just curious of two things a) is US expansion a good idea for the CFL? b) if so where? c) Other ideas for expansion?

My two cents are as follows:
a) Yes eventually it is inevitable. The CFL will need to expand still once all the viable Canadian markets are sewn up. The CFL will have to look first to the US.
b) My list of initial markets after the final 5 Canadian regions (Quebec City, Maritimes, Okanagan Valley, Saskatoon, London, Ontario) have teams are as follows:
-Portland, Oregon
-Syracuse, New York
-Des Moines, Iowa
-Omaha, Nebraska
-Fargo, North Dakota
-Billings, Montana
-Providence, Rhode Island
-Hartford, Conneticut

I realize that some of these cities may not have CFL sized stadiums or the like. I just think they have a close enough proximity to Canada that the CFL would do alot better there than they ever did in their previous endeavours.

c)One place the CFL might want to think about except for travel costs is a team in Mexico City. American Football is played by many, many Mexicans. Their top amateur league provides NFL Europe with most of the National Players that are used over there. Azteca Stadium is large enough, as it holds 101,000 seats. As well since it is a soccer stadium its field is soccer sized, which if I remember the dimensions correctly would fit a CFL field easily with room to spare. If the CFL governors were willing to make a concession on the rules for Team Mexico City and make the non-imports Mexicans instead of Canadians, I think a team down there could work.

Another idea is create an entire Mexican division a CFL Mexico. This league could compete against the champion of CFL Canada for the Grey Cup. If the Governors of CFL Canada did not wish to lose the intent of the Grey Cup, they could always create a new trophy to compete for at the conclusion of the season. Have the championship game rotate between Mexican sites and Canadian sites. I think it would be interesting to give the Mexicans a try at the Canadian game. Screw the US, lets take the CFL global. Now that even people in the Middle East can watch 7 CFL games this season, the game itself should be exported as well, not just TV.

The cities included for CFL Mexico could include such places as:
Mexico City - Estadio Azteca - 101,000 seats
Guadalajara - Estadio Jalisco - 65,000 seats
Queretaro - La Corregidora - 40,785 seats
Puebla - Cuahuhtemoc - 42,600 seats
Monterrey - Tecnologico - 32,662 seats
Irapuato - Sergio Leon Chavez - 24,000 seats
Morelia - Jose Ma. Morelos Y Pavon - 41,552 seats
Torreron - Corrona - 20,010 seats

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Post by Pounder » Wed Jun 30, 2004 4:57 pm

Of your American ideas, only Portland, Hartford (wonder if newly constructed Rentschler Field has Canadian dimensions?), and Des Moines (improvements are due to Drake Stadium) have any real merit... and you have to hope that the Portland market isn't too engrossed in the Ducks and Beavers right now.

I know the CFL dabbles in some smaller markets, but Billings and Fargo aren't even close to Regina in that aspect.

SPOKANE has Joe Albi Stadium, which has the field size and a good 28K structure, and a market bigger than Regina IIRC.

I'd call on Boise, and Bronco Stadium probably has the field and Boise the market even bigger and faster growing than Spokane, but there's no way in Hell that Boise State would allow that to happen.

What about Grand Rapids? I believe Western Michigan University is close, like that matters. What kind of stadium do they have? They're more than twice the size of market Spokane is, and bigger than Providence IIRC.

Recall that Providence is only 25 miles or so from Foxboro (Providence is slightly closer to Foxboro than Boston is), and the point is that you want to carve out your own market if at all possible.

Albany, New York? They at least have the ego for such a venture.

Rochester? Actually, I wretch at the thought of using Pae Tec Park (when it is completed) for something other than soccer or lacrosse, but I guess you have to consider Rochester.

Scranton?

Columbus, Ohio? Nah, that's Ohio State in a nutshell... never mind. Nebraska is why I don't take stock in Omaha.

Peoria? Quad Cities?

The Mexico idea? The NAFTA League? Never in the big soccer stadia... especially since you show mostly "southern" markets, while the football fans are generally "El Norte" in Mexico. Monterrey is good, maybe Torreon. Juarez / El Paso is far more likely than Puebla or Morelia. Hermosillo and Nueva Laredo, I can see, but never Guadalajara. Even then, I don't think it's a good idea for the CFL to get that far away from their base.

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Post by Shootmaster_44 » Wed Jun 30, 2004 7:03 pm

Ok I know very little about the American football culture in Mexico. All I did is went to the Mexican soccer federation website and looked at places that had soccer stadiums with large capacities. All I know is when the NFL had an American Bowl exhibition game in Mexico City, it sold out Estadia Azteca. I know the CFL wouldn't do that, but if football is that big of a draw, maybe 50,000 fans isn't unreasonable there. But for a team to survive in Mexico City, it needs its own division to play in as the travel costs from Canada would be too high to sustain travel to Mexico every few weeks.

As far as my American examples Portland made my list as that was once of the cities Jeff Giles mentioned in his book. So I figured he must have done his homework on it. I didn't realize the proximity of Providence to Foxboro so I guess they're out. I still think Fargo and Billings would work as they seem starved for pro sports. Correct me if I'm wrong, but they generally draw quite well for their minor hockey teams, minor baseball teams etc. Also, doesn't North Dakota State sell out their football games? They are both good enough and draw well enough to move up from Division II to I-AA this year. I threw in Omaha as a hope of drawing in the fans who support the Huskers, being football fans in general. I realize this is the same rationale they used in Memphis and Birmingham, but I think Southern fans are little more prejudiced against 3 down football. I used Syracuse as Jeff Giles mentioned them as well.

Grand Rapids crossed my mind, but I didn't know that's where Western Michigan was and couldn't be sure there was a useable stadium at all in the city.

Here's just some food for thought, how about Anchorage? Makes playing at the frozen tundra of Green Bay seem like Hawaii.

I would suggest a team in Honolulu, as it seems ideal with Aloha Stadium and everything. The huge knock against it is the travel costs from Canada imagine the time if a team was placed in Halifax flying to Honolulu. That would kill the CFL on the spot.

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Post by Magnum357 » Wed Jun 30, 2004 11:49 pm

Did we have this discussion on here before? Like half a dozen times!! Just out of curiosity, why is it MANDATORY for the CFL too move south again? They tried it before and it almost killed them. Now you have some interesting theories of about moving into Medium sized cities, but lots of these towns already have fairly well established Football colleges (even 1-AA is still somewhat a big Football team) and I'm not totally convinced that these cites would do that well in the CFL. I'm pretty sure that Billings would probably not draw well in the CFL, not due too the fact that their is no interest in Football in Billings, but because Billings is not THAT large of a city. Even the NIFL Outlaws are only averaging about 4000 fans a game right now. I thought you need much more then that for a CFL team? And as for North Dakota State, I still think they may be on the fence if they want too go up too 1-AA level.

Last I heard the CFL wants too pay off its debts and stabilize itself again. It has a working relationship with the NFL and even provides a few players too the NFL once in a while. The CFL wants too expand, but they are only talking 1 maybe 2 teams in the future (which might be smart) so they don't over extend themselves. What is wrong with this philosophy?

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Post by Shootmaster_44 » Thu Jul 01, 2004 1:43 am

I didn't mean immediately. I was more so meaning in say 10 or 15 years just more of an idea. I thought North Dakota State had committed to moving up to I-AA for next season in anticipation for the Great West Conference starting up? Didn't South Dakota move up too? I realize that college football is big time football and that most of these cities have good college teams. My point was that these teams could coexist in many cities. The CFL would just avoid Saturday home games in these cities. As for the CFL moving South I just think the league needs some sort of money coming in from outside of Canada to make it viable. The selling of TV rights is a major step in the right direction. The CFL could conceivably become the Aussie Rules football of late night international TV. I mean what North American sports fan hasn't seen Aussie Rules? If the CFL could carve out a niche in the US like the AFL has, then it could fly. Sadly, the NFL (and to a lesser extent the Arena league) has taken away the tv niche the CFL could have. The only other way to carve that niche is through having actual teams in the US. Untapped regions near the Canada-US border such as North Dakota, Washington and New England are the places to hit in my estimation. This was my point.

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Post by Magnum357 » Fri Jul 02, 2004 12:57 am

An interesting theory, but why is it mandatory for the CFL too tap into the U.S. TV market? The cities you suggest are not exactly Neilson friendly for the TV market. Billings and Fargo may like Football, but are not exactly powerhouses if you want big TV rating numbers. For general expansion, your ideas do sound possible, but your whole point is to get into places for TV exposure. Like I said above, the CFL tried it before and nearly got killed tring to do it. I think the CFL is more then happy establishing its niche in Canada where they can dictate terms on their own behalf. Ya, the AFL is doing better then they did before, but it wouldn't have happened without NBC at the helm. And as much as I do like to watch Arean Football, if given the choice I would much rather watch NFL, CFL or Indoor Football over Arena ball any day.

And as for North Dakota State, last I heard was that they where on the fence on the issue of moving up. Now that was a few months ago and my info is old.

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Post by Shootmaster_44 » Fri Jul 02, 2004 8:28 am

oops to clarify one thing when I said AFL I meant the Australian Football League. I now realize that the AFL most people think of is the Arena Football League. One question what is the difference between arena football and indoor football?

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Post by Jamie » Fri Jul 02, 2004 2:49 pm

The games are essentially the same, both played on a 50 yard field except that Arena football uses nets in the endzone, and most players go "both ways"; play offense and defense.

To get more questions answered about Arena vs. Indoor football, you should probably go to the Indoor Football section of this message board.

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CFL

Post by sportman » Sat Jul 10, 2004 5:35 am

Do you think the cfl will buy the nafl?
David Malenke

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Post by patmc16 » Sat Jul 10, 2004 2:58 pm

I just think they have a close enough proximity to Canada that the CFL would do alot better there than they ever did in their previous endeavours.
Now I know its been awhile since my 10th grade geography class, but I've never heard anyone call Iowa, Nebraska, Rhode Island, or Conneticut "close proximity to Canada". Still, they are closer than many of the original CFL-USA teams.

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Detroit. Detroit is the largest US-Canada border town, with Windsor, ON as the neighbor immediatly to the South (yes South). I'm not sure if it is common knowledge, but Tiger Stadium is still standing and is still fully maintained despite the fact that the Tigers left several years ago. It would be perfect for the CFL. Even if there is no US TV contract, Detroit is served by the CBC network out of Windsor (Hockey Night in Canada is a regular in my house). Detroit could have full coverage of their team even without the US contract. The Lions played at Tiger Stadium before the Silverdome was built and I understand there was a visit from the XFL looking at it as an expansion site for the league before it folded. Detroit is a much larger market than any of those mentioned, US or Canadian. If they are a winning team, the fans will go nuts. The Detroit Drive were a major draw when they were winning one Arena Bowl after another. They only left town because the owner bought the Tigers and sold them to someone out of state who would move them. They outdrew the Tigers at the time and he didn't want the competition.

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