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  #161  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 8:42 PM
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Originally Posted by EpicPonyTime View Post
I'm feeling better about Manziel making it in the CFL than I am a team in Halifax, tbh.
Not shocking... Manziel will cost maybe a quarter million dollars while a Halifax team will cost the better part of a quarter billion dollars once you factor in a stadium and all of the other costs.
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  #162  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 10:19 PM
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I'm feeling better about Manziel making it in the CFL than I am a team in Halifax, tbh.
I see both happening to be honest.
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  #163  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 12:27 AM
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Economics of Halifax's CFL bid hinge on loyal fans
JOSH HEALEY http://thechronicleherald.ca January 10, 2018

Roughly 40 per cent of operating revenue for teams a result of ticket sales

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is part ten of a series on the lastest attempt to bring a CFL team to Halifax.

PART 1: CFL in Halifax: A gamble with lots of field to cover
PART 2: Stadium talks dominate CFL expansion discussion
PART 3: Halifax CFL franchise would make football a coast-to-coast sport, says commissioner
PART 4: Would Halifax support pro football?
PART 5: Roughriders show that CFL fan support can be province-wide
PART 6: Retired CFL pros want to see Halifax team
PART 7: Could a public-private partnership secure a CFL stadium?
PART 8: Stadium will make or break Halifax's CFL bid
PART 9: POLL: What's in a name for an Atlantic CFL team?

At the end of the day, Halifax’s bid for a CFL team will come down to dollars and cents.

And the cost of running a football franchise in Halifax extends beyond building the estimated $200-million stadium.

It is a long-term investment and there are countless coaches, players, bartenders and janitors who will all draw a paycheque if expansion occurs.

Examining the financials of teams around the league, it becomes apparent that the profits of CFL teams depend heavily on loyal fan bases to survive.

Glen Hodgson, a senior fellow at the Conference Board of Canada and an expert in macro-economics, said that the financial success of a Halifax franchise hinges on the team attracting a dedicated audience.

“They really have to appeal to all of Atlantic Canada as a fan base,” he said. “You need a capture area of about a million people to make a team go.”

Annual report trends

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Edmonton Eskimos and Saskatchewan Roughriders all release annual financial reports to the public.

For the 2016 season, Winnipeg and Edmonton reported marginal surpluses of $2.8 million and $2.2 million respectively.

Winnipeg’s operating revenues totalled $27.1 million while Edmonton reported $23.5 million.

Saskatchewan, an outlier in terms of profits in the CFL, boasted operating revenues of $39.3 million but spent $42.7 million on everything from player salaries to extra footballs.

Looking at these numbers, all three teams are basically spending as much as they earn.

And in terms of revenue, roughly 40 per cent of the teams’ profits are based solely on ticket sales.

As Len Rhodes, Edmonton’s president and CEO outlined, the profitability of the team relies on attendance.

“Our primary focus is to attract new fans,” he wrote. “We are a gate-driven league and our largest single source of revenue is ticket sales.”

A gate driven league

Hodgson said that relying so heavily on fan attendance poses a risk.

“You’re obviously more susceptible to not having a winning team or having bad weather for a couple of days,” he said. “In any business, the more diversified you are the more stable your business is going to be.”

He highlighted that growing a dedicated fan base helps protect against a weak team but it takes some time for fans to buy into the system. Ticket prices will be integral to attracting fans in Halifax.

“There will be an effect early on where you’ll sell out for the first year because it’s new in town, but ticket pricing is going to be really important in building a fan base and getting young people to support a team,” said Hodgson.

The variance in ticket prices can be seen in the revenues of Saskatchewan and Edmonton.

Ticket sales compromised roughly 40 per cent of both teams’ revenues but Saskatchewan earned $15.6 million on tickets while Edmonton reported $8.91 million. This is despite Edmonton having more seats available.

“It’s about the popularity of the team. They’re now the hottest ticket in Saskatchewan,” said Hodgson.

Randy Burgess, vice-president of communications and content for the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), said Ottawa has been successful at attracting fans to Redblacks games as an expansion team. The emphasis has been on attracting peoples aged 18-34.

“Ticket prices are low. You can get in the building for as little as $35 and go wherever you want,” said Burgess. “The focus is on fun. That’s really the business we’re in.”

Costs

The CFL salary cap, which is low when compared to other pro sports, sits at roughly $5 million.

But when compared to the revenues of teams not named Saskatchewan, the cap eats up around a quarter of their operating revenues.

For example, Edmonton spent $7.9 million on player and coaches’ salaries.

Including scouting, medical personnel, travel costs and gear, Edmonton paid out another $11.4 million for football operation expenses.

And there are even more expenses to be added, such as the price of producing merchandise, marketing and more.

Sponsorships would be one way to combat operating costs but sponsorship revenues for teams are slight in comparison to ticket sales.

Edmonton’s sponsors contributed 21 per cent of their revenue while Saskatchewan’s was only 15 per cent.

Like Ottawa, Edmonton plans on capitalizing on a young fan base to cover the cost of business.

“An IMI research study conducted in April 2016 indicates the Edmonton Eskimos have a wide, passionate and growing fan base, led by teens and millennials following the 2015 Grey Cup victory,” reported Rhodes.

For Halifax to boast a fan base that attends the number of games and buys the merchandise and concessions to make a franchise financially viable will take time.

“They would have to build a fan base and that would take, frankly, a generation,” said Hodgson.

A lesson learned

Roger Greenberg, OSEG’s executive chairman and managing partner , has experience growing a CFL fan base.

A strong football culture or lack thereof, was something that was frequently discussed at the beginning of Ottawa’s CFL expansion in 2014.

“Football failed twice in Ottawa,” said Greenberg, arguing that Halifax’s bid is starting off on better footing than his own.

He said he believes the reason the previous renditions of the CFL in Ottawa failed was because of poor ownership.

“It’s like any business. If you don’t have quality leadership and ownership, I don’t care what the business is, it’s going to fail,” Greenberg said.

Now, the CFL is thriving in the nation’s capital.

“We sell out every game. We sold out the Grey Cup. We had the first Grey Cup parade here in 40 years last year,” said Greenberg. “We’ve been successful.”

How much will Atlantic Canadians be willing to support — and pay — to make the same success happen in Halifax?
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  #164  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2018, 5:57 AM
EpicPonyTime EpicPonyTime is offline
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Originally Posted by esquire View Post
Not shocking... Manziel will cost maybe a quarter million dollars while a Halifax team will cost the better part of a quarter billion dollars once you factor in a stadium and all of the other costs.
I should have clarified, I meant I thought it more likely Manziel becomes a success in the CFL than a team in Halifax. I think the stadium issue is just too big for this ownership group to overcome.
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  #165  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 3:42 AM
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Ambrosie: time for Calgary to come up with a stadium solution
3Down Staff 3downnation.com January 11, 2018

The Stampeders play in the oldest barn in the league and it’s time to get moving on a replacement says Randy Ambrosie.

McMahon Stadium was built in 1961 and the CFL commissioner says he’s willing to talk to whoever he needs to get that accomplished.

“Just give me the name of the person I need to go and see, and I’ll happily show up on their doorstep and make a pitch for why Calgary would be well-served (by a new stadium),” Ambrosie told Calgary Sun reporter Danny Austin.

New stadiums in Hamilton, Winnipeg and Regina have been opened in recent years, giving the players excellent facilities and the team’s new streams of revenue – not to mention a better experience for the fans.

“I believe putting a new stadium in that city is not just about the CFL. It is a lot about the CFL, but there’s a lot of great amateur football being played there,” Ambrosie said.

“There’s the Dinos. There’s the great junior football team (the Colts). There’s an opportunity to attract national and international events. Development in our cities and the ability of our cities to attract events is a critical part of how these cities function, and I think it’s time for Calgary to come up with a solution for a new stadium.”
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  #166  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 7:26 PM
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Randy Ambrosie will be all business at CFL meeting
CFL Commissioner has plenty of ideas he’s keen to present to league owners and GMs
Terry Jones Postmedia News January 10, 2018

Randy Ambrosie stared out the windows of the Banff Springs Hotel Tuesday and projected a vision of climbing mountains the CFL has never scaled before.

Ambrosie has a dramatically different business model he plans to produce for CFL general managers and presidents in the next 72 hours.

“The agenda will have a very heavy focus on the business of the game,” he said.

The CFL meetings represent the start of the next CFL season and the end of Ambrosie’s magic carpet ride first year as commissioner, even if he didn’t get the job until last season was well underway.

He’s still coming down from it.

“It was beyond description,” he said. “Never in my lifetime have I felt more proud to be a Canadian. Going to every CFL stadium and stopping to shake hands and talk to people and I’d come out of there without my feet touching the ground. It’s been amazing.”

The general managers and presidents had yet to arrive for the three days of meetings but Ambrosie’s plan was 50 per cent for him to listen to them and 50 per cent for him to insist that they listen to him.

Normally this meeting is held not long after the Grey Cup. But that didn’t make sense to Ambrosie. He wanted a time period for all involved to decompress and for him to build his case to lead the league where it hasn’t been before.

“I’m optimistic that after we sit down first with the GMs, then the GMs and presidents together and finally with the presidents by themselves that we’re going to make some progress,” he said.

“I need to talk to our GMs about some of their ideas to improve the game. If there was one thing I was critical of myself, and it was part situational, last season it was that I didn’t really talk to those guys. I want to spend time talking to them about the game itself.

“This will be my first chance to really sit with the GMs and find out what they are thinking.

“I want to talk to them about the challenge flag. I want to talk about the command centre with them. I think there are some real issues with command centre,” he said of video replay decisions.

“I’m optimistic we might be able to drive a couple of ideas across the goal-line in regard to the game itself.”

Ambrosie has been a ‘git ‘r done’ guy from the beginning when he cut the number of coaches’ challenge flags from two to one at mid-season.

But the real business that Ambrosie is planning to tackle here this week is the actual business of the CFL.

Ambrosie isn’t interested in any tinkering here. He’s determined to send both the GMs and presidents away from here in search of significant change.

“We’re going to talk about managing our business more efficiently. We want to run a good business. We want to be transparent. We’re going to talk about different ways of operating than we have in the past.

“I think we’re at a point where we can make our business better just by running our business better.

“Having a ticket-selling strategy is one of the most important things on our agenda. We have to talk about ticket sales. As a league that’s something we have not really done.

“One of the messages I intend to emphasis is that everyone in the entire organization is in ticket sales.

“We’re going to spend a lot of time on ticket sales.

“With both the general managers and the presidents I’m going to talk about our relationships with everyone.”

Media access is one area.

“Having our story told is a critical part of the development of our game. We’ve been running a real risk of a) our existing core group of fans not being as connected as they used to be and b) how do we get the new ones. We need as much coverage as we can get and we’re going to talk about that.”

It’s a busy agenda for Ambrosie’s first CFL meetings. Discussion on moving the season up and the status of the Halifax expansion project are two items he will deal with. But fixing the CFL as a business he identified here Tuesday is Job 1.
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  #167  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 7:55 PM
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^ Ambrosie is still chugging along full speed right through the off season. I can't remember when the league got so much ink and airtime through what are typically the dead months of the off season.

Ambrosie is impressive given that he's someone who has the respect of the business side of the league as well as the players/football operations, mainly because he's excelled at both.
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  #168  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 8:39 PM
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Originally Posted by esquire View Post
^ Ambrosie is still chugging along full speed right through the off season.
To Ambrosie, this isn't the off season, it's the business season, as opposed to the rest of the year which is the football season.

I think what he will come up with for ticketing will be a game changer for the league.

Also a good sign from Michael Hook from Argo sales:

"We have seen a tremendous response from our season ticket holders and are in position to see growth in our season ticket base. We are in a much better situation then a year ago and winning the Grey Cup is not the only reason. We will continue to ensure that you the ticket buyers are treated well, shown respect and given value above just the purchase of your season tickets. This is a process and even winning the Grey Cup isn't going to automatically make BMO full. What will do this is creative ticketing programs, great marketing and continuing to ensure we get our brand into the eyes and ears of this market."

No BS or false promises, just sail a slow and steady course.
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  #169  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 10:35 PM
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Ambroise doesn't rest and the media is also helping with the off-season storylines as well. TSN did a great job of their coverage of the league meetings this week in Banff. Dave Naylor sat down with each GM of each team and had good chats with them all. They are on TSN for everyone to see.

Hopefully we hear some of what was discussed at these meetings because so far nothing has come out as to what was actually said or talked about. Maybe there's a reason for that, I don't know. But, either way, the CFL train has moved along well so far this off-season.
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  #170  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2018, 3:19 AM
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Bidder for Halifax franchise in the CFL says 2018 will be a big year for the group
Tim Baines Postmedia January 12, 2018

What a few years ago seemed more like a pipe dream, a coast-to-coast Canadian Football League could become an on-field reality by 2020.

While the “stars would have to align” and plenty of hurdles would have to be cleared, a strong Maritime bid for the CFL’s 10th franchise could pay off in the next few months, with CFL shovels in the ground on a new stadium in Halifax before year’s end.

“Everything needs to go right, and I’ve never been involved in a project where that happens,” said Anthony LeBlanc, an Ottawa resident and the front man for the Maritime bid. “Sure, we have desires. Then there’s reality.

“We’ll spend the better part of 2018 doing all the approvals and everything that’s necessary in starting to build a stadium. Best case, in the next six to eight months we have everything wrapped up. By best-case scenario, we have a team on the field by 2020, but that’s a real stretch. I think 2021 is more realistic. Just as long as we get it done. I don’t want it to be 2025 and we’re still talking about this. By the end of 2018, if we don’t have some shovels in the ground or at least real strong approvals, I’d be getting concerned. I’m a realist that these things can take time. Look at Ottawa. It took them (six) years before (the Redblacks) were up and playing.

“The stuff we’re working on right now is twofold: finalizing what I would say is an initial agreement with the league, and we’re getting ready to finalize economic impact analysis to go to the city and to the province with a proposal of how we can work together. We hope to have something to both those bodies in the next four to six weeks.”

LeBlanc knows there will be questions. Is it fiscally responsible for the governments involved? Does it make good business sense?

“There are people questioning if this is the right thing to do,” LeBlanc said. “That’s totally fair. If you’re a taxpayer and you think your taxpayer dollars aren’t being used correctly, you should have the ability to question it. The onus is on us to illustrate this is a good economic driver.”

A bit of background on how this thing got going. LeBlanc was part of a group that owned the Arizona Coyotes from 2013 to 2017 before being bought out by another partner, Andrew Barroway. LeBlanc was the Coyotes’ president, CEO and an alternate governor. When it looked like a solid bet that Barroway would take over the Coyotes, LeBlanc and Gary Drummond, the National Hockey League team’s president of hockey operations, started talking about the CFL.

“He’s from Regina and obviously a big fan of the CFL,” LeBlanc said. “We thought, ‘Where do we start?’ I called Bobby Smith, he owns the (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Halifax) Mooseheads and is a former GM of the Coyotes. We got together. I wanted to make sure he was cool with it. I didn’t want to do anything that was offensive to the Mooseheads operation. He said, ‘No, this would be great for the region.’

“I asked if he’d be interested, he said, ‘Probably not, but you should talk to my cousin.’ It turns out his cousin, Richard Butts, was the city manager for Halifax. Richard put together a bunch of meetings for me to fly into Halifax. I met with the chamber of commerce, the local economic development group and the mayor (Mike Savage). The mayor said, ‘We’ve had a lot of people come through our doors over the years and they just don’t seem to understand that we can’t just go out and build a stadium. We want to be part of it, but we can’t lead it.’ ”

The mayor hooked LeBlanc up with another businessman, AMJ Campbell Van Lines CEO Bruce Bowser, who had also shown interest in a CFL team in Atlantic Canada.

“We met with the mayor, we met with the premier,” LeBlanc said. “We were pretty successful with keeping it quiet for four months or so. In that period of time, we probably met with the Halifax regional municipality 10 times, the province a handful of times. We met with a bunch of local organizations, we met with the league multiple times, presented to the board of governors. We did a lot of legwork before it became public. It’s just kind of developed its own inertia. There’s still a lot of work to do. The elephant in the room is the stadium. But we seem to have everything coming together.”

What Ottawa Sports & Entertainment Group has done with Lansdowne Park — with condos, bars and restaurants around the stadium and arena — is something of a model for what the Maritime Football group is pushing toward. While nothing is official, there has been a trademark application made on Atlantic Schooners.

“If I could just pick up Lansdowne and move it to a plot of land in Halifax, that’s definitely what we’d want to do,” LeBlanc said. “These guys have hit it out of the park. But it will depend on which site we end up at. Some of the sites are already relatively built up. We have more opportunity for some of that mixed-use development in a couple of the sites we’re looking at compared to some of the others.”

Will football work in Halifax? Can a CFL team find success and maybe extend itself beyond past the boundaries of Halifax and Nova Scotia into neighbouring provinces?

“If we do things right, if we’re sincere and in for the long haul — all things we plan to be — we do think we can replicate that magic you see out in Regina,” LeBlanc said. “I think this will be an absolute success.”
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  #171  
Old Posted Yesterday, 6:12 PM
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Eskimos sign quarterback Kevin Glenn
3Down Staff 3downation.com January 15, 2018

Kevin Glenn’s trek through the CFL is now complete.

The veteran quarterback signed a one-year deal with the Edmonton Eskimos on Monday. Prior to the move, the Eskimos were the lone team not to hold Glenn’s rights over his 17-year CFL career. He has spent time with the Bombers, Ticats, Stampeders, Lions, Riders and Alouettes – the Argos and Redblacks have both held his rights but he never appeared in a game for either team.

Glenn will serve as the backup to franchise pivot Mike Reilly. One day after trading for Zach Collaros, Saskatchewan released Glenn.

The 38-year-old started 17 games for the Riders last season, throwing for 4,038 yards, 25 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. But he was benched several times late in the season in favour of Canadian youngster Brandon Bridge, who re-signed with the club in December, including in the Riders East Final loss to Toronto, Glenn went 6-of-13 for 87 yards and was picked off three times.

Glenn has played 17 CFL seasons making 208 career starts. Over his career, he’s totalled 52,867 passing yards, 294 touchdowns and 207 interceptions with a 63.2 completion percentage.
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  #172  
Old Posted Yesterday, 6:27 PM
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^ KG is going to have one killer jersey collection once his career is over!
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  #173  
Old Posted Yesterday, 7:09 PM
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Normie Kwong was able to split two jerseys, Kevin Glenn is gonna have a patchwork quilt

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  #174  
Old Posted Yesterday, 8:33 PM
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The CFL must hold some kind of record for recycling players. I guess he has his best chance at finally winning a Grey Cup though.
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  #175  
Old Posted Yesterday, 8:49 PM
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^ Kevin Glenn is a bit of an outlier, but it's not like this is unheard of in other leagues. Mike Sillinger played (as in, actually suited up and had action in games) for 12 NHL teams! http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/players/most_teams.html
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  #176  
Old Posted Yesterday, 9:02 PM
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Harry Lumley played for five of the six NHL Original Six teams.
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  #177  
Old Posted Yesterday, 9:11 PM
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The CFL must hold some kind of record for recycling players. I guess he has his best chance at finally winning a Grey Cup though.
Don't think it's any worse than any other league. Quite a few guys played for six MLS teams, Nathan Sturgis played for seven, but Sillinger is especially impressive because he played significant games for most of his teams. Looks like JT O'Sullivan (11) almost matched Sillinger in the NFL.
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  #178  
Old Posted Yesterday, 9:17 PM
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^ I guess it seems more prominent in the CFL because of a guy like Kevin Glenn, who as an occasionally starting quarterback is way more high profile than the typical well traveled NHL player, like Olli Jokinen, Bryan Marchment or Brent Ashton, who tend to range somewhere from depth player to spare part in terms of skill level. They tend to be in the shadows a bit more.
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  #179  
Old Posted Yesterday, 10:35 PM
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Kevin Glen's experience as a journeyman is unique in that the QB is such an important position. Typically journeymen are gadget guys, backups or dudes who are on the bench. Some folks like Chauncey Billups (NBA) resurrected their careers towards the end stages after being bounced around. KG has been a starter for a large chunk of his Canadian tour around the league and all of its teams.
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