July 10, 2012
Still no sellouts of CFL
By KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency
Given the size of some of the stadiums in the CFL, not every team will have sellouts.
But how much should it matter that there hasn't been a sellout through two weeks of the season? It's not the end of the world and it's still early, but it can't be considered a good sign by the league's higher-ups.
Edmonton, B.C. and Toronto have massive stadiums that will be full only for Grey Cup games, while Calgary's McMahon Stadium is a touch big for the CFL. Still, the B.C. Lions couldn't get more than 30,000 for their season-opening Grey Cup rematch against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and the Toronto Argos got barely more than 20,000 for their home opener.
Montreal and, most recently, Saskatchewan have added more seats to their parks, and now they're having trouble selling out. The Alouettes managed just 21,016 for their home opener, while the Roughriders came the closest to filling the stadium when they attracted 31,459 spectators. Still, that was more than 1,000 short of a sellout.
Perhaps the whole supply and demand theory is true.
The Bombers haven't had a home game yet and should fill Canad Inns Stadium, which is the second smallest park in the league, but attendance across the CFL is down 3% from one year ago and it's down 5% from three years ago.
The average crowd so far this season has dipped below the 27,000 mark, and it's headed in the wrong direction.
It's early, but it's worth noting in a ticket-driven league.