Who Wants A CFL Franchise?

Steve ThompsonAnalyst IIIOctober 27, 2009

In my last article I did about the CFL and Quebec City, I mentioned how I had found several on-line petitions for NHL expansion in Canada and the United States and how there were none for CFL expansion.

I bewailed this as a lack of grass root support for the CFL and this directly affects the prospects of CFL expansion.

It is the law of supply and demand.  If an investor knows there is a demand for a product to exist and that a profit can be made somewhere, he/she will try to fill that void.

Now let's look at the recent steps taken to get Quebec back in the NHL with a new arena.

The first thing that was done was to get a petition started which got 80,000 signatures.

The Provincial Government took note and then pledged some money (though not the sum eventually demanded) towards a new arena and its support for a new franchise.

Then Quebecor which had failed in its bid to buy the Montreal Canadians noticed this activity and pledged itself as the main private investor for any new franchise and a new arena.

Finally the mayor pledged more money and held preliminary talks with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman who gave Quebec his encouragement, and perhaps some kind of commitment that has not been made public yet.

There is now a real chance that Quebec will return to the NHL, perhaps as early as next season if everything went the way the fans hope.

But it started at the grass roots level.  Investors and the governments had to know there was a demand for a service/product.  The CFL has none of this.

So the rest of this article is about you.

The CFL needs to hear your voice.

The CFL needs your feedback.

The CFL needs your active support.

What is needed is your voice left in the comment area below.

The core two questions that need answers are:

Would you start a petition—hard copy or on-line to let investors and the government know that you want a CFL franchise and if so where?

Would you sign an existing petition either hard copy or on-line asking for a CFL franchise?

This petition should be signed by everyone including:

Canadians or anyone who wants a franchise in a Canadian city outside the traditional nine cities.

Americans or anyone who would like to see the CFL restart in the USA.  With the demise of NFL Europe, a few NFL players have called for this to happen.  They have listed Rochester and Detroit as possible franchises.

Foreigners or anyone who would like to see the CFL in their country.  There was once talk that the Grey Cup Champion would play the champion of NFL Europe.  So foreign expansion has been mentioned before.

And please don't stop with answering the two basic questions.  Other things that need answers are:

Would you sign more than one petition for different cities?

If the place you want doesn't have a stadium, would you sign/start a petition to build one?

Would you want government taxpayer money to be pledged to building a stadium?

Would you want government taxpayer money used to pay for a franchise fee?

How much should a CFL franchise fee be?

Assuming a franchise is granted would you buy tickets for games?

Would you become a season ticket holder?

Any other comments you would like to make.

I'll start the ball rolling.  Because of my commitment to writing two CFL articles a week, my job, health issues, and looking after my home, I don't have the time to start and manage a CFL petition.

I will sign any existing on-line petition for more than one team, including in Canada, the United States, or abroad.  My favorite three Canadian cities that I believe have the best chance to survive for the long term are Quebec, London, and Kitchener.

Because of the dubious loyalty of sports owners, the possible instability of any new franchise, I am not in favor of taxpayer money being used.  I favor as much private financing as possible for both a stadium and a franchise fee.

I will sign any petition calling for a new stadium to be built so long as it is not paid with taxpayer money.

I don't have any idea on how much a CFL franchise fee should be.

Because of my job situation, I can not afford to see many games and I certainly cannot afford to be a season ticket holder.  Also I live in Toronto which already has a CFL team.

So there you have it.  As I always say, you've got to start somewhere.  I assume that everyone who reads this is a fan of the CFL.  The CFL and its potential investors need to hear from you.  Please give them your voice and your ideas, not your indifference.