CFL: Ranking the CFL's FanbasesDecember 27, 2011
CFL: Ranking the CFL's Fanbases
The Canadian Football League has some of the best fans in all of sports.
They brave the cold, or drive hours to come see their teams compete week-in and week-out for over 20 games a year—from British Columbia to Quebec, from opening day to the Grey Cup.
Here is a ranking of the Canadian Football League's fanbases from worst to first.
8. Toronto Argonauts
Despite being located in Canada's largest city, the Toronto Argonauts have by far the worst fan base in the CFL, often struggling to draw 20,000 people a game as the team competes with three professional sports franchises, along with minor league hockey and MLS soccer.
The crowds are so small that the stadium will often appear empty during games. However, the fans the Argonauts do have are dedicated to coming to the Rogers Centre to watch a bad team play in a horrible football stadium.
7. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats seem to always play in front of small crowds.
But you have to give the team credit as the Tabbies' current stadium is extremely outdated, having opened in the 1920's. And lets face it, the Tabbies have been terrible for a decade.
6. Montreal Alouettes
Yeah, you can say the Montreal Alouettes boast a record number of consecutive sellouts, but this past season the Al's failed to fill their stadium far more than they filled it, and they also play in the smallest venue of all the CFL franchises.
You would think a team that is consistently one of the best in the league would have no trouble selling out a small stadium.
5. British Columbia Lions
With the opening of the newly renovated BC Place Stadium, many football fans from all over British Columbia came to see their Lions take on the Edmonton Eskimos.
Attendance has since stayed fairly high, but fans didn't exactly flock to games while playing in their temporary stadium (Empire Field) for a season-and-a-half. And before BC Place was renovated, it wasn't exactly packed for Lion home games either.
Now, however, the Lions maintain crowds in the 30,000 area, giving them the fifth-best fanbase in the CFL.
4. Calgary Stampeders
Calgary always seems to have good crowds supporting their Stamps week-in and week-out.
Despite not selling out games, they still have the fourth-best fanbase in the CFL, but not the best in Alberta.
3. Saskatchewan Roughriders
With the recent on-field success of Saskatchewan's only professional sports team, the Roughriders have enjoyed fantastic fan support for the past few years.
The Riders always sell out (despite last seasons' playoff game), and have the rowdiest fans around.
However, when the Riders play on the field like they did this season—which is common throughout the history of the Riders (only 3 Grey Cups in over 100 years)—they often don't bring in very big crowds, meaning the current Roughrider fan base could potentially be mainly bandwagon-jumpers.
However, with the rowdy fans the Riders have, they land at the No. 3 spot.
2. Edmonton Eskimos
Edmonton is a great sports city, though hated by most other Canadian cities thanks to Edmonton's nickname, "City of Champions."
With a rich history of 13 Grey Cups, the Edmonton Eskimos have the second-best fans in the CFL, occasionally drawing larger crowds than some NFL teams.
1. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have the best fans in the Canadian Football League.
Despite being one of the smaller cities in the CFL, playing in one of the worst stadiums in the league and having bad season after bad season—and suffering poor management and cold weather—the Bombers bring in sellout crowds regularly.
They also have heated rivalries with many other fans across the CFL, and are famous for their mocking of Roughrider fans and chants, and the Beer Snake, which broke a record for most beer cups put together.
The fans are rowdy and sell out the venue every game, and keep coming no matter how bad the team is. Another plus is the new stadium being opening for the team next season.
Hopefully Bomber faithful won't have to wait much longer for a Grey Cup—20 years is too many.
What's Your Opinion?
What is you're opinion on the best fanbase in the CFL? What order do you think it should be? Did your fans not get the recognition they deserve?
Leave a comment, and thanks for reading!