Mid-October Grey Cup? No thank you

During Grey Cup week, CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie had his annual state-of-the-league address. He covered a wide variety of topics, but one that stuck out to me was the idea of moving the Grey Cup up…

To mid October…

Because, as Ambrosie said, “it’s beautiful everywhere and you don’t have to wear 900 layers of clothing.”

There is something a little funny about him saying that just prior to the first Grey Cup to be played in the snow since 1996, but we’ll get to that a little later.

I will say that I do understand the desire to play the Grey Cup in better weather. As someone who lives in Southern Ontario where snow doesn’t tend to show its face until around January (at least recently) I get that maybe I’m not in a position to tell people who live in Saskatchewan or Alberta that they need to suck it up. But for as much as I can understand the why, I still don’t like the idea.

There are too many negatives in place that I think would harm the league if they moved the Grey Cup up six or seven weeks.

First and foremost, the CFL Draft would be drastically affected. Simply put: the Canadian draft needs to be held after the NFL Draft. I’ll let my colleague John Hodge, who wrote about moving the schedule up over two years ago, explain why:

The CFL must schedule its draft after the NFL draft has already taken place. It simply has to be done this way. Why? Because the top players available in the CFL draft will always garner at least lukewarm interest from NFL teams. Imagine how’d you feel if your favorite CFL team used its first round pick on a top prospect, only for the same player to be drafted weeks later by an NFL team intent on developing him over a number of years? Occurrences like this would limit fan interest in the CFL draft, make it impossible for CFL brain trusts to compile draft boards, and ultimately destroy the integrity of the draft altogether. It’s simply not an option.

John’s words are just as true now as they were then.

Another marquee event on the CFL calendar that would be negatively affected by moving up the season would be Labour Day. Right now, Labour Day kicks off the second half of the season, where playoff pushes begin. In a world where the Grey Cup is played in the middle of October, Labour Day losses its lustre.

Using this year as an example, Labour Day would have occurred in Week 17. By then, the Ticats were already eliminated from playoff contention, and their game against the Argos would not have attracted as much attention as it normal would when held at midseason. Given that the CFL relies on the Labour Day Classics in Alberta and Ontario, and the grudge match between the Bombers and Riders held the day before, to garner excitement and boost ratings for the back half of the season, sacrificing the importance of those games to move the title game up seems counter productive.

There are also the ramifications due to outside forces that need to be considered as well. As it stands, the CFL fights and claws for every inch of space it can get during the relatively quiet summer months, when midseason baseball and the occasional international soccer tournament takes place. Imagine the beginning of the CFL season trying to get news space when the NHL and NBA playoffs are in full swing and doing so again in the fall when the NHL and NBA seasons are starting, and Major League Baseball is heading towards the World Series. If the league moved the start of the season up a month and a half the competition for eyeballs becomes that much fiercer.

Currently, training camps and some pre-season games get overshadowed by those same playoffs, but the league can sacrifice coverage of those because casual fans aren’t tuning in for that stuff. Those are for the diehards who would search that stuff out no matter when it happened. But leagues live and die by the casual observer, the one who knows the stars but doesn’t delve into the minutiae of who will be players 41 and 42 on the 44-man roster. It is one thing to tuck the pre-season into the window where the NHL and CFL overlap, but it is completely different kettle of fish to have the last two rounds of the NHL playoffs coincide with the first four, five or six weeks of the CFL regular season.

Of course, that other side of that is the CFL season ending as the NHL and NBA starts anew, and MLB crowns their champion. In a perfect world, the CFL playoffs and Grey Cup should matter more than the beginnings of the NHL and NBA seasons, and the end of Major League Baseball, but we don’t live in a perfect world. As much as it sucks, the NHL is king in Canada, the success of the Toronto Raptors recently has put the NBA back on the map up here as well, and we have been subject to two of the best World Series of recent memory the last two years. The CFL, for as great as it is and as much as we love it, tends to take a backseat to all three of those things. The Grey Cup and playoffs are still the Grey Cup and playoffs, and they will attract viewership regardless, but those viewers will have a lot more options to consider if the season is moved up and the Grey Cup is competing with the the starts of two of the biggest sports league’s in North America and the end of another one.

And can we really ignore how great this year’s title game was? A championship game played in frosty elements just screams “CANADA!” to everyone. This year’s Grey Cup between the Argos and Stamps is another example of why the game needs to stay where it is. Do we really want to lose out on another possible classic just so we can have temperatures be a little bit better? I don’t want that, and based on how excited everyone got on social media when we knew we were in for our first snowy Grey Cup since 1996, most other fans don’t want it either.

There is never going to be a way to appease everyone when it comes to when the schedule is set. Keep it as is, people complain about the cold. Move it up, people complain about tradition being lost. But given that two of the biggest events on the CFL calendar would be irreparably damaged by making a drastic change to the CFL schedule, the lack of media attention that would be paid during the start of the season conflicting with the end of the NHL and NBA seasons, and the possibility of never seeing another classic slice of Canadiana like we did Sunday, it seems too much to ask to move the season up six or so weeks.

Josh Smith

Josh Smith

Josh has been writing about the Ticats and the CFL since 2010 and was sporting his beard way before it was cool. Will be long after, too.
Josh Smith

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Josh has been writing about the Ticats and the CFL since 2010 and was sporting his beard way before it was cool. Will be long after, too.

75 Comments on Mid-October Grey Cup? No thank you

  1. Mr . Ambrosie

    Leave Grey Cup championship last weekend of November

    • NO, early October.
      Who cares about the “Canadian draft” –
      I want to see football in May and June. Too many months between the Super Bowl and the start of the CFL season

      • Agree with you that the Grey Cup game be moved up, but at the end of October. Having Labour Day games scheduled at the three-quarter mark of the season would be perfect. Games like that, with 6-of-9 teams making the playoffs, carries meaning unlike the message delivered above. PLUS, the fact that weather for game in the prairies would be more meaningful only amplify’s that desire of moving the schedule up. Randy Ambrosie, make the right call and move the league ahead by one month!!!

    • Forget the snow. More times than not your dealing with temperatures at or below minus 20. That is the killer.
      I don’t care how much of a football fan you are. When you “SIT” and that is the magic word “sit” through a game with skido boots in with ski pants and multiple layers of clothing. Yet your feet are frozen mid way through the second Qtr and you can’t wait for the game to be over. That takes all the enjoyment out of the game.
      I guarantee the majority of the people requesting the season not change. Are the ones sitting in their living rooms sipping wobbly pops while the fans who want the season to start earlier are the ones attending playoff games in Manitoba, SK and Alberta.
      Go ahead Randy move the season up. Your always going to get the loud minority that can’t stand change of any kind screaming on every form of social media to prevent change. When change is the only way to make things better. In everything that we do.

    • Ivan Diablo // December 16, 2017 at 1:17 pm //

      grey should in october so we are in ‘daylight’ savings time’ and move ‘kickoff’ to 4 pm local to try to play most of game in sunshine as most CFL games are played

  2. First Sunday in November please.

  3. Eskfan has it right.

  4. The weather in the last weekend in nov in the Prairieland can be pretty nasty please move it to nov 1

  5. Moving the schedule 3-4 weeks earlier all of a sudden makes Canada Day games a tradition… And who cares if pre-season start right after the draft.

    • Yes, you make some good points and should we care about the Canadian draft?
      Time to review this Canadian ratio

  6. I agree move it 3 or 4 weeks sooner!!!

  7. dangnabbit // December 10, 2017 at 8:05 pm //

    Hockey fans will skip relatively low-consequence NHL games in November for the CFL playoffs, but asking them to skip the NHL playoffs for the first month of the CFL regular season is a non-starter. The Stanley Cup has mostly been concluded around halfway through June in recent years, with some variation depending on how many series are sweeps and how many take all seven games to decide.

    Prior to Ottawa joining the league, we had “Canada Day kickoff” where the season started on the holiday weekend, which probably helped with viewership. But when the Redblacks started playing, an extra bye week had to be added, which moved the start date up a week. Now the first preseason week gets clobbered by the Stanley Cup finals – no great loss, but losing the start of the regular season would be a bigger one.

    Since I’ve been living in the States for a while, I actually have another reason to like the current setup: the Grey Cup falls on the Sunday following American Thanksgiving, which is the fourth Thursday in November. It’s kind of a personal tradition to enjoy the Cup at the end of my four-day weekend every year. More to the point, I think there’s an opportunity here for the league to take advantage of a weaker Sunday NFL slate (a number of games are moved from that Sunday to the holiday) when marketing the Grey Cup to American audiences.

    • Good chance that the Argos won’t be around too much longer due to the lack of interest in the CFL in Toronto.
      An eight team league would mean an even schedule and the season could be moved up with no byes

  8. I would still like to see the season moved up 2-3 weeks. The draft is a minor glitch

  9. Move it up 3-4 weeks

  10. Blue Rules // December 10, 2017 at 9:07 pm //

    Bah humbug, leave it alone, it works!!!! NFL, NHL to name a couple play play through Christmas and New years, world Junior starts over the holiday season they seem to do ok not to mention NHL teams are throwing themselves at the outdoor classic. Man up Canada….Hmmmm….OH YA they have a little thing called Olympics. when I was young we played street hockey & Community center hockey all outside, now the young play indoors hockey or a video hockey game. Maybe we should get indoor toboggan hills or start the toboggan runs in the summer as well……ok never mind my meds just arrived, nighty nite…zzzZZZZ

    • More Cowbell // December 11, 2017 at 1:20 am //

      It works?
      For whom?
      I’m a season ticket holder and I would love to attend a Grey Cup game.
      I won’t ever do it at an outdoor stadium in late November.
      So, it doesn’t work for me.

      I might consider attending the first weekend in November, otherwise forget it. I’m not spending a premium amount (versus regular season game prices) to freeze. I feel no need to prove how tough I am to anybody either.

      • Blue Rules // December 11, 2017 at 7:53 am //

        Cowbell, yes it works!! I’ve been to 3 Grey Cup games, Winnipeg, Calgary & Regina and countless playoff games two of the three Grey Cup games were very cold weather wise, you dress for it you’ll be fine, my feet were the only thing that got cold, use boot heat packs if nesseccary, I didn’t,my bad. I too was a season ticket holder for several years, gave away my hot August night tickets regularly. I also had a few Grey Cup outdoor hot tub parties, yes you can fit 8 people in a 6 person tub. from your final comments it’s not about being tough it’s about having fun enjoying life,also sounds like $$$ are part of the issue, if so it don’t matter when the game is played! I can hardly wait for indoor ice fishing and Skidoo races to start!!

  11. Great article. I am convinced. Leave it as is.

  12. Leave it.

  13. CowtownDave // December 10, 2017 at 10:08 pm //

    Good article. If it’s moved back, no more than a week or 2.

  14. Wow. Pretty one-sided argument here. I keep hearing the NFL draft is the key. That’s April 26-28 in 2018 so I don’t see how the CFL draft couldn’t be concluded shortly after and all teams have their picks done prior to May 1. Season could still start 4 weeks earlier than it is today.

    I hate that teams game plan all season without having to worry about snow. Then when games really matter at the end of the regular season and playoffs, snow and extreme cold has the potential to change all gameplanning in a significant way. It’s not right.

    This isn’t the CFL of 20 years ago. 50″ TVs in high definition, climate controlled and with beer and snacks in your fridge, on a comfortable couch and not having to pay for parking as opposed to the exact opposite and bundling up to brace the elements. I know where I’d rather be. AND I’m a season ticket holder by the way.

    With that said, there’s nothing like sitting in the stands watching the game live when the weather is good.

    Let’s not forget either that bumping the schedule up gives the CFL a better chance at a decent tv contract south of the border. As is today, not much there monetarily due to conflict with the NFL season overlap.

    • You are right, things have changed. Why do we still care about a Canadian draft when there are slim pickings these days. Less kids playing football and the CIS doesn’t have the talent to choose from.
      Start the season earlier and do something about this Canadian ratio. The ratio has proven to be a failure

  15. Move it up 2 weeks would be my call..

  16. I’m with the move it up 3-4 weeks crowd. I’m not sure this would work but I think we should give it a try. I like it because of the weather at the end of the season, but also because it could engage school kids and all fans before school is out for the year. A lot of people don’t tune in until the end of summer and this could be a way to jump start things earlier. Some of the Labour Day rivalries could even be moved to the Canada day long weekend. Hockey and the draft are the big reasons for me to not move it up more, but I think there are ways to deal with draft. The potential TV contract with the NFL is another big issue. The market for football in the US is HUGE and we have historically done an absolutely terrible job of tapping into it. If we did things right there could be an even bigger audience for the CFL in the US than Canada, and it could generate a TV contract as big as our Canadian one. That would boost salaries, pay for more and better coaching, better facilities, and other things. Back to the draft. If the season was moved up that would mean that CFL drafted players who were signed by NFL teams but then were late cuts would come back with only a few weeks left in the season, which would usually not be enough time for them get up to speed with their new teams and contribute that year. One possible solution to the problem would be to have the players declare before the CFL draft whether they were going to try the NFL that year or not. They could perhaps even sign some kind of contract with the league to that effect. They would be free to try the NFL if they wanted, but if they went this route they would not be eligible for the CFL draft that year, and instead would be bumped to the next year. This way teams wouldn’t have to worry about immediately losing players they’d just drafted to the NFL. This is a complicated issue, however, with a lot of different factors to consider.

    *As a side note, I think MLB and the NBA are non-factors for the CFL outside of the Golden Horseshoe, and they may be only occasional factors inside the GH as fan support even there seems to be fleeting.
    680news.com/2017/04/20/leafs-nation-draining-dollars-fans-raptors-jays/
    And if the Jays are in fact sold I would think it would have to be to an American who would then move the team. The Portland Jays?

    • I wonder why so many Jays fans attend games in Seattle? NO doubt the biggest support is from southern Ontario but they are hugely popular in the west too and on the east coast.
      Any CFL team would love to have anywhere near the average attendance that the Jays have, 38k average where they play over 80 home games?????
      TV ratings over 800k a year in a losing season?

      Come on quit trying to compare a Major league team with the CFL

      • Jays are also doing better than the CFL in Quebec too, their games are on TVA Sport.
        The things is the Jays attract families, the CFL’s main audience (attendance and TV) is the older boomers.
        The advertising money flows to the younger demographic

      • We’re getting a bit off topic here, but … The lower mainland is the hotbed of baseball in Canada. It has produced MVPs in both leagues by far the most MLB players overall, so there is a strong baseball fan base there, but in spite of that I don’t think the TV ratings are all that high there, or anywhere else in Canada outside of Toronto. The Jays’ numbers jump way up when they have a team that looks like it could go all the way, which seems to happen every 20 years or so. Bandwagon jumping is something we Canadians certainly do, but the base level of fan support between those blips seems to be around 300k to 400k. The Jays numbers last year were over a million, iirc, and this year when many still had high hopes they dropped significantly, and by next year I would bet that they will be back down to their natural level. Even when you consider the numbers from the last couple of years they are not very impressive. Remember that the Jays are the only team in Canada. The CFL, otoh, has 9 teams dividing up the fan base and each one of them draws numbers in line with what the Jays did this year and much more than the Jays draw in a normal year. The Jays have lost money for a long time, and with the lower Canadian dollar I’m sure they’re losing a lot more now. Their stadium is also one of the oldest in the league and by MLB standards it should be replaced soon, and that would be another billion dollars plus. Maybe it was the Bills in Toronto disaster, or perhaps just Ted’s death, but something seems to have changed at Rogers and they now seem to realize that they can’t sell American sports to Canadians on a large scale. We’re just not interested. There will always be niche markets for these sports but they will never be mainstream, and why would they? We’re Canadians not Americans. And now for fist time in a long time there is interest in expansion in MLB. Portland wants a team and they already have some government money in place. And existing MLB franchises are valued very high right now. So now is a perfect time for Rogers to get out and recoup some of their operating losses through a nice capital gain. I don’t think there will be a Canadian buyer either. Rogers owned the stadium, the team, and the cable network that aired the games and they still couldn’t make a go of it. My guess is that Rogers will sell and the Jays will go, and no one will really care. All those fans from Vancouver that go down the the Mariners games will just start cheering for the Mariners.

      • Joe, what’s up with the moronic posts?

        • I do not think Joe can decide if he’s a fan or not.
          He’s stuck on the “Major League” stigma and I think he bases it solely on money.
          Money doesn’t make a good player. Heart and desire does. The CFL is full of that.

      • This is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard you say. Less than 3 years ago, the Jays’ average attendance was pathetic (worse than the CFL’s… including the Argos), and the CFL was crushing them in TV ratings. Good try though.

  17. If a few weeks makes for a potentially nice compromise, why not give it a try and see what happens? Ambrosie’s mid-October idea is a bit much but 3-4 weeks could be do-able.

    Would be 2019 before they could do it though, since the 2018 Grey Cup is already being planned.

    To the point about Labour Day, I don’t think the significance of those games will be affected that much. They just become even more timely for playoff positioning.

  18. Do not touch it! And dont tell me change is good! Im sick of hearng that (in some cases ne essary, but not really good). NOVEMBER IS A MONTH THAT Canadians havd gotten used to in a sporti g evevt. Righf
    Afterr thxgiving before xmas,
    ?
    Perfect time frame for most people to be in the right mood. Leave well enough. Alone. A SUNNYDAY CANNOT MAKEUP FOR A LOUSY CHAMPIONSHIP GAME.

  19. With the onset of global warming, I suggest moving the season back 3 to 4 weeks… perhaps play the Grey Cup on Christmas.

    • LOL – Global warming? where?
      a 2 degree Fahrenheit since 1885 doesn’t warm us up.
      The Rideau Canal still freezes the same time every year, some years the season is short some years it’s long.
      Look at the snow and cold yesterday at the Bills game!!

      The Grey cup used to be played earlier when we had a 16 game season.
      The problem is the new generation, the boomers would sit outside in cold weather but they are getting old and don’t want to do it.
      It’s not like the MLS, look at last week 30k outside on a freezing cold Wednesday night to watch TFC, a week later 30,000 to watch the MLS Cup on a frigid Saturday night and their fans will be back on cold April nights to watch them.
      Argo fans are drawing LESS fans now outside at BMO than they did at the RC, CFL fans are not tough

      • The MLS is a new fad. Give it time and their attendance will fluctuate pending on the season.
        You cannot compare to a 100 year old ARGO team.
        The Jays will be back to a 15000 attendance and their TV ratings will continue to drop.
        I’m happy for the MLS but perplexed that someone who calls the CFL minor is so interested in a true “minor” sport. Desperate for Soccer maybe.
        Just saying.

  20. Great article/arguments! Cmon ppl. Grey Cup on last Sunday of November is a CDN tradition. Let’s keep it that way. The Grey Cup Claasic this year was soooo awesome & [email protected] best. I attended the Grey Cup in Hamilton in 1995 with the ARGOS playing EDM. To this day, it is considered the best game I’ve ever sssn live, in any sport. Let’s not mess with tradition my fellow CDNS. Again, great article! Send it to the commish

    • We have already messed with tradition, the boomers are dying off the attendance is dropping, TV ratings dropping. Stop the slide
      The crowds are older and don’t want to sit outside.
      Let’s start a new tradition, Canada Day CFL games, St Jean Baptiste Day Game in Montreal.
      Grey Cup Thanksgiving Monday

      • Why are you stuck on this baby boomer thing? I do not see it and i’m at all the games. I see GenXer’s
        bringing there kids.
        The ratings are down for every televised sport on TV right now so it has nothing to do with the boomers.
        I suggest you fully read the articles and then don’t stop there. Research them. Don’t stop at the headlines.

  21. Edward Leslie // December 11, 2017 at 4:53 am //

    Start the season three weeks earlier, not six. It’s the perfect compromise.
    It wasn’t as much of a problem this year, but I hate to see the most important games (playoffs) having lower attendance because the weather’s awful.
    They can accomplish this by starting the actual season just one week earlier and getting rid of the two bi-Weeks, once the 10th team in Halifax is added in 2020 (Hopefully). Then Bi-weeks won’t be necessary because there will be an even amount of teams.
    So this:
    1. Wouldn’t affect the draft window that much.
    2. The Grey Cup wouldn’t be scheduled opposite the World Series.
    3.There would be three fewer weeks of competing head on with the NFL, and bettering CFL coverage in the US.
    4. An early November Grey Cup would still have the possibility of snow, which a lot of people do like. But it would be highly unlikely for the earlier playoff games. The Grey Cup is pretty much bullet proof and will get great attendance, even if there’s a little snow.
    But who needs blizzards and -20 at a football game? I agree with Commissioner Ambrosie, I think it’s tine to do this.

    • You will never see a Halifax team. The first obstacle is the stadium, they city/province will NEVER fund it.
      It is more than likely we will be back to EIGHT teams in the future.
      The Argos attendance has actually fallen since leaving the dome and that was supposed to be the saviour for the Argos. The MLSE owners will not put up with 14k average crowds, winning the Grey Cup will not attract more season ticket holders.
      Yes move the season forward, start in May and with 8 teams we could have the Grey Cup Thanksgiving Monday

  22. It would be interesting to know how many people on the “leave it alone” side of the argument are people who actually go to games. TV ratings are important, but bums in seats = way more money for the team. You’re looking at close to $100 revenue for the team for each person at a game vs about 10 cents for each person watching a home game on TV.

    Remember when Blockbuster could have bought Netflix a number of years back for $50 million and didn’t, because they thought people would never take to watching movies over the Internet? Gotta change with the times.

    • Yes you make a good point. I bet NONE of the posters that say “leave it alone” would sit in freezing cold weather for 3 hours.

      • @ Jim, Au contraire my fair weather friend, been there done that bought the t-shirt 3 times at Grey Cup games as well attend the outdoor events, read my other posts, I’m no longer a season ticket holder but I still go to the games mostly late season (my favorite time)
        @ proB, I’m jealous, wish I could say the same. Not to mention outside of a few GC games crowds are above 50K, and a ton of fun!!

    • I have been to every Grey Cup since 96 and not a single one was cold enough to make me wish I wasn’t there. I say leave it where it is.

      Its actually kind of embarrassing to watch ‘Canadians’ whine about the cold like this.

    • Blue Rules // December 11, 2017 at 9:49 am //

      Dojo you lost your mojo, Would also be interesting as to how many “change it” people have ever been to a game. My point would be you have season tickets, you go to all the games, then just as each game becomes a must win game you give your tickets to a friend so you can watch it on TV because it’s too cold, please keep me in mind when you give your tickets away. Of course now it’s December so gather up your children and grandchildren and go stand outside for 4 hours to watch the Christmas parade??? Or do you do that on a 50″ TV as well!! For those who say start early because USA will start to watch, Wrong! they had good opportunity to become fans when CFL expanded into SIX American markets very little result from that. Not to mention USA watches football in the fall not summer! In Canada summer is lake, camping, cottage season. Canadians won’t give up weekends for football. BTW what’s best way to keep the Grey Cup out of Calgary’s hands, add a little cold weather, they choke at -4°C

  23. Add a franchise in Halifax and move it up 4 weeks. To get around the NHL playoffs, have afternoon games until its over(1st week of June). How Many draft picks impact their team right away? not enough to be concerned about.

    • Add a franchise in Halifax? you don’t just “add a franchise” – look what it took to get an Ottawa team back and they already had a 29k stadium that just needed renovation, they had former season ticket holders and 1 million people in the area that with high income.
      Halifax has nothing going for it and the city and province would NEVER fund a stadium where they only play 9 games a year.
      It’s likely that in the not too distant future we will be back to an 8 team CFL and we can easily move the schedule up.

  24. Makes sense to move it the schedule up two weeks, have the CFL draft just after the NFL. That way people in the Prairies can enjoy playoff CFL games and Grey Cup without having to content with the weather at -20 in outdoor stadiums.

  25. I would like to see the stats on how many millions the league will lose moving the season up – if they do

    CFL really does some very dumb things in the name of progress but hey I’m a financial guy

  26. Well the commish has really stepped in it with this issue. He now has himself in a situation where he will anger some fans and lose some season ticket base no matter what he decides.

    As for me…no summer football league. I have already told my team that if this happens, I am done as a season ticket holder.

  27. Mr Ambrosie best think these decisions through. Moving the season up means starting the season in iffy weather while competing with the NHL playoffs. On the opposite end, competing against MLB playoffs during our playoffs (imagine the Argos or a Toronto Grey Cup competing against the Jays playing in the world series!). Bad ideas.
    Like the losing team; bad weather is just an excuse people give not to attend games. Move the season and these same would come up with a new one.
    We’ve had 2 snowy Grey Cups in 50 years and I can tell you; if the Grey Cup had been in Calgary this year an October date would have been more winter like than the conventional date.

  28. Darren Stinson // December 11, 2017 at 10:47 am //

    You have to be kidding ???? I have been supporting the CFL for over 50 years and cannot believe that you would not want to play the Grey Cup game in better weather. Move it up guys for once in the leagues existence, live outside the box!! Let football players settle the outcome not the lousy weather. I have been to several Grey Cups and I can tell you only one I enjoyed because it was 13 deg C!!! All the others were frozen…Thanks

    • Wow Darren.
      You pay for tickets, travel, food and lodging for an event you continually don’t enjoy? You must have missed all those indoor ones?
      I call BS, you are exactly the problem. You perpetuate the issues so they can manifest into something they aren’t.
      Things are fine the way they are.
      What was the attendance Saturday night at BMO for the MLS cup? What is the attendance of these outdoor hockey games played between November and February??

  29. @ Darren, WOW you say you’ve been to serveral GC games, yet only enjoyed 1????? not because it was a good game, not because your team was in it, but only because the weather was good, Why go if your not enjoying the games, do you not have access to the weather network, were your tickets free or do you like to drop a couple hundred $$ just to piss yourself off??? I go to the dentist several times and do not enjoy it, the difference is the dentist is medicaly nesseccary otherwise WHY WOULD I SPEND $$$ TO GO TO SOMETHING I DO NOT ENJOY!!! Soooo……where else do you spend your leisure time and money just to be miserable?? I call this one fake!

  30. Leave it, or move it forward one week. That’s it.

  31. Mr. Ambrosie, our Commissioner is right! The 3rd week in October Grey Cup is ideal! You saw the embarrassing small crowds in Calgary and half the stadium empty in Regina the last week of the regular season in late October, early November. The Grey Cup in Ottawa, where it turned out to be a good game in snow, is no logical way to measure it because it was the Grey Cup and people stayed because of the price of their tickets and travel costs, etc. Do you remember the REDBLACKS and ESKS Eastern Final a few years ago in Ottawa in a snow storm, it was brutal and the stadium was half full or less. The CFL regular season should start Victoria Day weekend in May and end the 3rd week in October. Because why wouldn’t the CFL want their season in the best possible weather in the second coldest country on the planet, to avoid the last week in October where the weather changes for the worse and to avoid November which is a winter month, practically all over Canada. And as far as the NHL playoffs go, where there is only 7 Canadian NHL teams out of 31 and the last time a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup was in 1993. Most people after 6 months of winter want to be outside in late May and in June, not watching hockey! And as far as the World Series goes, that went into early November last year where the Grey Cup would be played in the 3rd week in October. There is only one Canadian MLB team out of 30, and the chances of the JAYS being in the playoffs and in the World Series, is very remote! Also hockey is way more popular than baseball in Canada. There are far more advantages than disadvantages in moving up the CFL season a full month, especially where the CFL is a gate driven league and where there are 8 out of 9 stadiums in the CFL open air. Also not competing directly with the the NFL for another full month would be better for the CFL. The CFL could also really promote the start of their regular season and the warmer spring weather after a long winter in late May during the Victoria Day weekend. And as well really promote the CFL playoffs in warmer weather during Thanksgiving weekend, resulting in much bigger crowds than in late October, early November. The CFL could also take advantage of scheduling their games other than Friday night football, by having Saturday and Sunday afternoon games or night games, which ever would be better positioned for them to get better attendance and better viewership numbers. All in all, Mr. Ambrosie, our Commissioner, is on the right track and if the CFL is going to move the season up, do it right! And don’t just move up the season one or two weeks, because it wouldn’t solve the problem! There would be also a lot more sports fans in Canada that would support and attend CFL games than they are now!

  32. Start the regular season just after the Stanley Cup has been won. That would mean mid June. This would move the Grey Cup back 2 weeks to mid November. This way you also avoid the World Series.

  33. @ ed, so your point late October poor turnout, early November poor turnout, only reason people stayed at the GC was they paid large! Maybe nobody attended late season games because the outcome had no barring on the season and mostly backup’s will play?? or are you suggesting the CFL should wrap up the GC late September, early October?
    Maybe people stayed at the GC game is they are true fans!! May long to Sept long are cottage,camping seasons people will not attend weekend games. It seems to me the has played 105 Grey Cups and Ambrose has been Comish for a year or so, maybe do due diligence before crying about getting cold feet. BTW winter starts Dec 21

  34. Keep it the same

  35. justforkicks // December 11, 2017 at 1:33 pm //

    Well I can understand some of the concerns the weather brings in regards to fan comfort but for the most part that can be overcome in how you dress. What I don’t like is that while the snow can make things exciting it certainly impacts on the ability of players to showcase their talents and changes the entire complexion of the game. It’s like when I was a kid playing hockey all year on natural ice then when season was ending we often played on slush during playoffs.

  36. TFC’s crowd today was ten times the size of the Argos championship “crowd” so MLS runs the six

    • I don’t know what sky view you were watching but there was no way it was 10x more. I went to both & tho TFC had more- it was nowhere 10x.

  37. CowtownDave // December 11, 2017 at 2:52 pm //

    Allah u Akbar, Tre.

  38. Draft date means nothing. The best of the best in the CIS will sign with NFL teams regardless of when or where they are drafted by a CFL team. Most do not sign till late May anyway so they can EXHAUST their NFL possibilities. NFL camps start in July so getting a guy late on a CFL roster is better than NEVER getting him on the roster. Moving the Grey cup up 2 weeks to the 2nd week of November makes the most sense. Not too early and not too late.

  39. I’m a fan of both the CFL and the NFL. The less overlap in their schedules, the more football I see. I’d love to see a Victoria Day opener. Yes, that makes training camp schedules tight, but here in Hogtown, I’m more concerned with getting the jump on TFC than I am about the rare post-season appearances of the Maple Laffs or the Boo Jays. I may bleed black and gold, but the CFL needs a strong franchise in Toronto to keep the television money coming. It will be strange, though, watching the Vanier Cup a month after the Grey Cup….

  40. BigBlue_37 // December 12, 2017 at 1:47 pm //

    How about leaving the start date the same but moving to a 16 game schedule. No need to play 18 games in a 9 team league. Grey cup would be 2 weeks early which can have a big effect on the weather

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