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Thread: A new all Canadian Senior (semi-pro) league ?

  1. #1
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    Default A new all Canadian Senior (semi-pro) league ?

    Let's say the CFL and XFL venture proceeds to some sort of merger - with American rules and American players (almost assuredly mostly) = selling out / abandoning real Canadian football.

    Do any of you guys think a new all Canadian league - (Canadian rules; players must have played in the Canadian system (minor, HS, Junior or U Sport ball) to qualify; played in the summer - 12 game sched. June to Aug. with play-offs in early Sept. (= little over-lap with XCFL, NFL, NCAA or U Sport ball); players paid something decent (say $1500 - to $2000 per game on a 39 man roster, with chance at play-off or all-star recognition bonus money -call that semi-pro if need be); 6 teams at first in the Maritimes thru Quebec into Ontario VIA rail line (get Via as a major sponsor with tourism/ game day trips for fans promoted); need stadiums capable of hosting at least 7K plus attendance - so Moncton, Quebec/Peps; Montreal (Saputo? or McGill), Ottawa (Lansdowne), Kingston (Richardson), Toronto (Lamport say) or London (TD) - whatever 6 step up best, as the franchises ... - would have any chance of getting off the ground and having any sort of success ?

    Looking for attendance in the 6 K plus range (one home game every 2 weeks in the summer).

    Could getting a TV outlet to show a game of the week on National TV be do-able ?

    Would Football Canada and existing teams/organisations (U Sport, Junior, Senior) with logistics and football know-how get on board to help ?

    Would there be some sponsors, benefactors, businessmen - to help out with start-up and coaching/training staff costs ? Would any decent advertisers be interested?

    Social media reach ?; or single game betting somehow worked in?

    Would there be decent fan support for such a new league ?

    Last edited by OV Football; 2021-03-29 at 18:46.

  2. #2
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    I Think so. My sports friends and I practically follow no US sports, save for the NFL. We had abandoned NHL hockey for years but have a renewed interest with the Cdn division format. We are also working hard to get hooked up on curling

    Trump is only part of the problem...
    Last edited by la Tuque; 2021-03-30 at 05:58.
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    Regardless of the XFL stuff, I've always wondered whether a Canadian development league could work. If you could make it semi-pro in a way that preserves college eligibility, you could run in the summer before USports starts up. Maybe require players to be age 23 and over, so that you're not poaching from junior and you're only including USports players in their final two seasons.

    I could see it working in the largest non-CFL markets like Saskatoon, Quebec City, and Halifax. I'm sure there would be enough others to create a decent league. Travel costs would be the killer, which is always an issue in Canada.

    It'd work better if the CFL were involved. They could assign their top Canadian prospects to a nearby team. They'd also have a pool of players that they could draw from in September and onward. They always claim the problem with the ratio isn't finding enough good Canadians, but it is what happens when those Canadians suffer injuries. This would give them a pool of players who are developing after their amateur days that could be injury replacements later in the year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gilligan View Post
    Regardless of the XFL stuff, I've always wondered whether a Canadian development league could work. If you could make it semi-pro in a way that preserves college eligibility, you could run in the summer before USports starts up. Maybe require players to be age 23 and over, so that you're not poaching from junior and you're only including USports players in their final two seasons.

    I could see it working in the largest non-CFL markets like Saskatoon, Quebec City, and Halifax. I'm sure there would be enough others to create a decent league. Travel costs would be the killer, which is always an issue in Canada.

    It'd work better if the CFL were involved. They could assign their top Canadian prospects to a nearby team. They'd also have a pool of players that they could draw from in September and onward. They always claim the problem with the ratio isn't finding enough good Canadians, but it is what happens when those Canadians suffer injuries. This would give them a pool of players who are developing after their amateur days that could be injury replacements later in the year.

    Not really what I was suggesting.

    This would be a pro - as in players get paid, and not just 20 bucks or meal per diems - league (though the naysaysers would call it "semi-pro") - whatever.

    And it would only be worth trying IF the CFL sells-out Canadian football - to go with American rules and Canadian players having next to no shot to play, with Americans first people running things (like the CFL is now, but way worse likely; and they'd whine away the ratio).

    So this would be an independent Senior football league played in the summer; hopefully with rosters full of all-star calibre ex U Sport & Junior players (or maybe a few CFL players who end up getting turfed by the end of the old CFL) - so very high calibre talent (star U Sport QBs like Chris Merchant (kicking @$$ in the Spanish league), Adam Sinagra, Hugo Richard, etc, might be enticed to play). Teams try to concentrate on local talent - guys who played their U Sport or Junior ball in the area - but not limited to just that - open to all Canadian football players.

    Cross country travel too expensive. Need some geographic proximity - that's why I suggested the Moncton thru Quebec into Ontario Via Rail corridor (try to get Via as a major sponsor) - for a 6 team East division at first, and see if that would fly.

    Junior football has been played in Canada for decades; some Senior ball too - these are not money making ventures but for the love & purity of the game.

    There are pro or semi-pro baseball or soccer or lacrosse leagues up here. Football is a way more popular Canadian sport (as seen by the CFL's average attendance number for years (especially in the past).

    Just wonder if there would be businessmen, benefactors, advertisers, volunteers and football organisations (like Football Canada) who could pull together to make such a venture happen (at least try - no guarantee of success in much these days).

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    Quote Originally Posted by OV Football View Post
    Not really what I was suggesting.

    This would be a pro - as in players get paid, and not just 20 bucks or meal per diems - league (though the naysaysers would call it "semi-pro") - whatever.

    And it would only be worth trying IF the CFL sells-out Canadian football - to go with American rules and Canadian players having next to no shot to play, with Americans first people running things (like the CFL is now, but way worse likely; and they'd whine away the ratio).

    So this would be an independent Senior football league played in the summer; hopefully with rosters full of all-star calibre ex U Sport & Junior players (or maybe a few CFL players who end up getting turfed by the end of the old CFL) - so very high calibre talent (star U Sport QBs like Chris Merchant (kicking @$$ in the Spanish league), Adam Sinagra, Hugo Richard, etc, might be enticed to play). Teams try to concentrate on local talent - guys who played their U Sport or Junior ball in the area - but not limited to just that - open to all Canadian football players.

    Cross country travel too expensive. Need some geographic proximity - that's why I suggested the Moncton thru Quebec into Ontario Via Rail corridor (try to get Via as a major sponsor) - for a 6 team East division at first, and see if that would fly.

    Junior football has been played in Canada for decades; some Senior ball too - these are not money making ventures but for the love & purity of the game.

    There are pro or semi-pro baseball or soccer or lacrosse leagues up here. Football is a way more popular Canadian sport (as seen by the CFL's average attendance number for years (especially in the past).

    Just wonder if there would be businessmen, benefactors, advertisers, volunteers and football organisations (like Football Canada) who could pull together to make such a venture happen (at least try - no guarantee of success in much these days).
    My point is that this model could co-exist with the CFL just as well as it could work without it. There is a lot of Canadian talent that could use a place to play post-secondary. Just look at the players who go to Europe, or those who play in the Alberta Football league or the NFC. All of the QBs you listed are already available. You don't need to kill the CFL to make room for this new league, though the urgency to do something may be higher if the CFL ceases to exist in its current form.

    I tend to think it'd be more successful if the CFL provided financial backing and support, rather than a situation the league would compete with whatever remnants of it are left. You need something to lend it some legitimacy, otherwise it will struggle to be anything more than the existing senior leagues are. It'd be awfully hard to carve out a niche for this, given that junior and USports already fill a similar niche. It is sort of similar to why it'd be difficult to start a non-NHL pro hockey league in Canada. The CHL, CJHL, and (to a lesser extent) USports already fill that niche very well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gilligan View Post
    My point is that this model could co-exist with the CFL just as well as it could work without it. There is a lot of Canadian talent that could use a place to play post-secondary. Just look at the players who go to Europe, or those who play in the Alberta Football league or the NFC. All of the QBs you listed are already available. You don't need to kill the CFL to make room for this new league, though the urgency to do something may be higher if the CFL ceases to exist in its current form.

    I tend to think it'd be more successful if the CFL provided financial backing and support, rather than a situation the league would compete with whatever remnants of it are left. You need something to lend it some legitimacy, otherwise it will struggle to be anything more than the existing senior leagues are. It'd be awfully hard to carve out a niche for this, given that junior and USports already fill a similar niche. It is sort of similar to why it'd be difficult to start a non-NHL pro hockey league in Canada. The CHL, CJHL, and (to a lesser extent) USports already fill that niche very well.
    Agreed - would be a very difficult start-up.

    But if the CFL gave a rat's @SS they could have tried to push for a Canadian "developmental" league along time ago. They've been so clueless on so many fronts though, hence the current thought of selling out Canadian football.

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    The league would be a financial disaster. No television money, weak gate, very little interest. I doubt financial backing could be achieved. The overall level would be below Usports. To play top ball teams need to practice and train together throughout the week. Players need to drill and perform sports specific training. These aren't easy things to do when people are working full time with other projects happening, and have moved on from thoughts of pro ball. The CFL in most areas and the XFL (went bust twice) financially aren't doing well. Pro sports tend to be a winner takes all situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by keanu View Post
    The league would be a financial disaster. No television money, weak gate, very little interest. I doubt financial backing could be achieved. The overall level would be below Usports. To play top ball teams need to practice and train together throughout the week. Players need to drill and perform sports specific training. These aren't easy things to do when people are working full time with other projects happening, and have moved on from thoughts of pro ball. The CFL in most areas and the XFL (went bust twice) financially aren't doing well. Pro sports tend to be a winner takes all situation.

    Thanks for offering your thoughts and perspective.

    Not so sure about financial disaster part - but maybe. IMO decent crowds (6K plus range); some financial backing/benefactors & advertisiers, and maybe even a game of the week on national TV (CBC) - all of these are do-able with a strong effort.

    Lots of young guys continue to play some sort of sports - rec leagues even - after they are finished playing junior or college sports. This could be treated like a summer job to make decent coin and still get to play the game you love; and some might be able to manage a part-time or career job and still get to practice some during the week - game days always on Saturday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by keanu View Post
    The league would be a financial disaster. No television money, weak gate, very little interest. I doubt financial backing could be achieved. The overall level would be below Usports. To play top ball teams need to practice and train together throughout the week. Players need to drill and perform sports specific training. These aren't easy things to do when people are working full time with other projects happening, and have moved on from thoughts of pro ball. The CFL in most areas and the XFL (went bust twice) financially aren't doing well. Pro sports tend to be a winner takes all situation.
    In most of the world, there exist various levels/divisions of pro sport. Soccer would be the most prominent example. It does happen in football too though. Japan has the X-League Super as a top division, plus three X-League Area leagues for a second division.

    In Canada, we have CanPL, League1, and PLSQ for soccer, CEBL for basketball, and a few AHL teams for hockey. They aren't MLS/NBA/NHL but they are viable pro leagues nonetheless.

    If you're paying the players, I don't see why it'd be a lower calibre than USports. If it were left to be completely amateur, then yeah, it'd be a lower calibre than USports. I've seen that firsthand when a few Calgary Dinos players suited up for an Alberta Football League team and had dominant performances.

    Whether it'd be popular is another matter. AHL and ECHL are miles ahead of junior hockey in calibre, but in most of Canada people don't care about it and would rather watch the juniors play. USports isn't quite the behemoth that junior hockey is, but people may still prefer to watch the college game as opposed to a 2nd or 3rd tier pro league. If the seasons didn't overlap at all, and the new league kept to the best non-CFL markets that draw well for USports, maybe there would be fans who'd adopt both.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gilligan View Post
    In most of the world, there exist various levels/divisions of pro sport. Soccer would be the most prominent example. It does happen in football too though. Japan has the X-League Super as a top division, plus three X-League Area leagues for a second division.

    In Canada, we have CanPL, League1, and PLSQ for soccer, CEBL for basketball, and a few AHL teams for hockey. They aren't MLS/NBA/NHL but they are viable pro leagues nonetheless.

    If you're paying the players, I don't see why it'd be a lower calibre than USports. If it were left to be completely amateur, then yeah, it'd be a lower calibre than USports. I've seen that firsthand when a few Calgary Dinos players suited up for an Alberta Football League team and had dominant performances.

    Whether it'd be popular is another matter. AHL and ECHL are miles ahead of junior hockey in calibre, but in most of Canada people don't care about it and would rather watch the juniors play. USports isn't quite the behemoth that junior hockey is, but people may still prefer to watch the college game as opposed to a 2nd or 3rd tier pro league. If the seasons didn't overlap at all, and the new league kept to the best non-CFL markets that draw well for USports, maybe there would be fans who'd adopt both.
    Good points.

    The football league I was thinking might be possible would be a summer league, with next to no over-lap with U Sports, NCAA or NFL ball = no competition for support from football fans (other than the CFL - but again, this league would only be worth a shot IF the CFL decides to sell-out the Canadian game by merging somehow with the XFL, and going with American rules and Canadian talent getting the shaft; in that case, pure Canadian football fans might decide to say F-U to the sell-out CFL and be willing to support real Canadian football = Canadian rules only and top Canadian talent)

    And IF they got decent attendance (6 K plus range) don't see why the players could not get paid something decent at least - for a summer / part-time job. Not looking for some big money making venture; but just a chance for top Canadian talent getting to play beyond college or Junior ball: AND for Canadian football fans having that option to support. Would require serious marketing, some media support/attention, and some business, benefactor, advertising support.

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    We already have leagues like that here. They have been around for as long as I can remember. They even had a Canadian Championship at one point, I don't know if they still do.

    http://nfcfootball.ca/

    They do still have a national championship. Here's a link to the champions: https://www.gridironnewbrunswick.org...adachamps.html
    Last edited by bigguy1231; 2021-04-09 at 16:59.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigguy1231 View Post
    We already have leagues like that here. They have been around for as long as I can remember. They even had a Canadian Championship at one point, I don't know if they still do.

    http://nfcfootball.ca/

    They do still have a national championship. Here's a link to the champions: https://www.gridironnewbrunswick.org...adachamps.html

    Yes - I knew that and thanks for the links.

    The new league I was proposing would hopefully be a huge step-up in terms of publicity, marketing, hype , media coverage and attendance; and maybe in overall calibre/talent. Would help if players got paid something decent for a 12 game summer season.

    Difficult start-up for sure; impossible though ? And if the CFL sells-out to become just another American minor league - maybe creates a void for fans of real Canadian football ; plus a bunch of top Canadian talent having somewhere to play ?

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