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Grid iron football lines and oversized stadiums? What will CPL do?


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Hi.  Does anybody know how the CPL plans to address grid iron football lines and oversized stadiums? 

The grid iron football lines are extremely annoying and distracting as a fan.  It just looks bad.  MLS was forced to play on grid iron football lines in its early days.  But the owners of MLS knew they needed to fix this and they eventually did it with Soccer Specific Stadiums.

Regarding Soccer Specific Stadiums, oversized stadiums where there are huge empty sections looks bad too.  MLS also addressed this by forcing most teams to build Soccer Specific Stadiums that were smaller and fit a smaller crowd size, usually between 17K to 25K.  In situations where the stadium is still too big like in Vancouver, they will drape the upper half of the stadium so that it doesn't look as empty.

How does the CPL plan to address these two issues?

Edited by football_world
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36 minutes ago, football_world said:

Hi.  Does anybody know how the CPL plans to address grid iron football lines and oversized stadiums? 

The grid iron football lines are extremely annoying and distracting as a fan.  It just looks bad.  MLS was forced to play on grid iron football lines in its early days.  But the owners of MLS knew they needed to fix this and they eventually did with Soccer Specific Stadiums.

Regarding Soccer Specific Stadiums, oversized stadiums where there are huge empty sections looks bad too.  MLS also addressed this by forcing most teams to build Soccer Specific Stadiums that were smaller and fit a smaller crowd size, usually between 17K to 25K.  In situations where the stadium is still too big like in Vancouver, they will drape the upper half of the stadium so that it doesn't look as empty.

How does the CPL plan to address these two issues?

As @RS mentioned, none of the three CFL stadiums in play have that problem, the painted lines can be changed every match as is currently done in Ottawa and Vancouver. The only stadium that could be in play in the future with sown-in lines is Mosaic Stadium in Regina, and the Saskatchewan group has mainly been looking at building their own SSS anyway from what we've heard.

The size issue is frankly a secondary problem, if the facility itself is good then the number of empty seats is pretty irrelevant. No Club America or Ottawa Fury fans want their clubs to move out of their oversized stadiums because they're excellent facilities, and you usually only need around 8-10k for most large stadiums to look full on broadcast anyway.

Regardles, most clubs in the league are already set to play in appropriately-sized stadiums or are currently planning to build their own SSS in the near future. The only oversized stadiums in play currently are in Hamilton (24k), Winnipeg (33k) and possibly Ottawa (24k).

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38 minutes ago, Zem said:

As @RS mentioned, none of the three CFL stadiums in play have that problem, the painted lines can be changed every match as is currently done in Ottawa and Vancouver. The only stadium that could be in play in the future with sown-in lines is Mosaic Stadium in Regina, and the Saskatchewan group has mainly been looking at building their own SSS anyway from what we've heard.

The size issue is frankly a secondary problem, if the facility itself is good then the number of empty seats is pretty irrelevant. No Club America or Ottawa Fury fans want their clubs to move out of their oversized stadiums because they're excellent facilities, and you usually only need around 8-10k for most large stadiums to look full on broadcast anyway.

Regardles, most clubs in the league are already set to play in appropriately-sized stadiums or are currently planning to build their own SSS in the near future. The only oversized stadiums in play currently are in Hamilton (24k), Winnipeg (33k) and possibly Ottawa (24k).

Yeah, in the long run, they need to build SSS for the best soccer experience.  Building the SSS was the smartest thing that MLS did.  It was a big expenditure at the time, but in hindsight, it has worked very well for the league.

When MLS picks an expansion team now, they want the stadium the expansion team to play in to have an effective way to make it look like the stadium is full.  When MLS picked Vancouver to expand to, they were quite picky that the new BC place renovations would be able to conceal the upper stands, as it does now.  

I just want to see CPL approach this the right way.  The last thing we need is for CPL to make the same mistakes that MLS did and then for CPL to go bankrupt down the road.  We can't afford another setback.  NASL folding back in the eighties hurt Canadian soccer for several decades.  I want CPL to flourish so I hope they get it right the first time.

Edited by football_world
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I think the main benefit of MLS teams building their own soccer-specific stadiums was that it allowed operators to control their revenue streams and expenses much better. If CPL teams are owned by groups that also own or control their stadiums (albeit larger CFL ones), then these teams will have a much higher probability of succeeding in financial terms. We all want stadiums to look full for CPL games (and there are financial considerations to be made for that, too), but a bigger issue is ensuring that ownership groups don't pay huge sums of money to rent mega stadiums such as Commonwealth or the Big O - which thankfully won't be happening.

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10 hours ago, Toronto Ruffrider said:

I think the main benefit of MLS teams building their own soccer-specific stadiums was that it allowed operators to control their revenue streams and expenses much better. If CPL teams are owned by groups that also own or control their stadiums (albeit larger CFL ones), then these teams will have a much higher probability of succeeding in financial terms. We all want stadiums to look full for CPL games (and there are financial considerations to be made for that, too), but a bigger issue is ensuring that ownership groups don't pay huge sums of money to rent mega stadiums such as Commonwealth or the Big O - which thankfully won't be happening.

Yup, I forgot SSS was also built so teams could control their costs.  If the stadiums are owned by the city/province/state though, I think some of the cities that MLS teams are based in do get decent deals from the city/province/state.  For example, the Columbus Crew pay something like 70K per year to rent their stadium which is dirt cheap.  But if my memory is correct, the owners of MLS also considered that SSS would provide a better environment for crowds because the stadium would be a better fit for the crowd size (so less empty stands), and because the stadium was a better fit for the crowd size with less empty stands, the cheering and sound would enhance the experience for spectators.  And of course, not having grid iron football lines was also a benefit of SSS.

Anyways, I just hope CPL does this right.  As a soccer fan, I am extremely turned off by grid iron football lines.  I don't mind if the CPL has to use grid iron football lines at the beginning just to kickstart the league, but I hope they realize that in the long run, it's not an attractive product.  I just hope the CPL analyzes what the MLS did because MLS made all the mistakes already (and MLS almost folded) and there is no need for CPL to repeat the same mistakes.

 

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No gridiron.  Period. No. No. No.  Not unless its only for a years visit while waiting on the real stadium.  And what I mean by waiting on "the real stadium" is that plans and papers are signed BEFORE the CPL allows a team to play in it's temp home with a gridiron field.

Not an issue right now but we know teams will be joining the league in the immediate future and in some locations there may be temptation to use venues which might otherwise be ideal but have gridiron surfaces.  Forget it.  Don't let it happen.   

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Cheeta said:

No gridiron.  Period. No. No. No...

It was still painfully obvious where the gridiron normally is at THF during the CWNT game against Germany to the extent that I found it a bit distracting. Hopefully they'll figure out how to do a better job on preparing the fieldturf for soccer in future. Ottawa seem to be able to do it better for USL games.

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Regarding the "image" of empty stands, well, first of all, that is a problem in MLS with very high frequency. You can't solve this when people have season's tickets and the few who go to a game are seated all over the place, as there is no general admission or flexibility to move people. Who generally prefer their "seat", even if they are sitting alone that game.

One solution is to concentrate fixed seat sales in one main stand, to keep the crowd compact at least in a part of the stadium. Simply limit the area you are selling, and tarp off the rest. That does not solve the poor feel of absenteeism, however.

Related to this, sell general admission, like in an endzone or an opposite stand. That way you are not in a disperson mode, and folks are made to sit in a designated area and fill it.

A further "image" solution: change the camera placement. I know of many stadiums of lower tier teams here in Spain that do their local tv filming from the main stand out, but for special occasions always have the camera opposite the main stand, so that it is what you see. This happens at the MIC Easter tournament that Canadian clubs go to each year, one of the big youth tournaments in Europe, at the Palamós stadium, with a capacity for 6000, a third in the better looking and covered main grandstand. You can see that small white roof which is set over where the camera films, so all tv images have the main stand as the backdrop.

The rigidity and lack of proper sense of public image is the fault of teams, mostly, who are just plain inept at thinking about how their club comes across in still and moving images.

Palamos060514a.jpg

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Placement of the TV cameras is an important piece for CPL and if done right will show a positive image. Cameras must show the main crowd in a Stadium like Hamilton's, Winnipeg's, and Ottawa's where they will likely use one side of the stands. Point to the crowd and the image will be positive, point to the empty seats and it gives a poor visual, makes the league look bush league in respects.

 

Ottawa is a good example, they usually show the mostly empty side of the stadium and broadcasts look poor because of it. They have had the cameras on the other side aiming at the main crowd which looked great. NASL and its national broadcaster One World Sports insisted on showing the main crowd for its broadcasts in Ottawa the last year they had the odd OWS broadcasted game there.

Edited by CDNFootballer
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Speaking of camera position, I forget who brought it up but a fellow V mentioned a while back that it’s probably even more important than pointing them at the populated stands is the height that they are at. If the camera is at or near ground level it looks very amateur. If it’s taken from a more familiar height it looks more like a pro game.

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The gridiron lines were quite evident but after a while it didn't bother me. To me, it started to look like some really good pitches where the grass grows in alternate directions every 5 yards or so. At least that's what I think is happening.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/14/2018 at 4:12 PM, CDNFootballer said:

Placement of the TV cameras is an important piece for CPL and if done right will show a positive image. Cameras must show the main crowd in a Stadium like Hamilton's, Winnipeg's, and Ottawa's where they will likely use one side of the stands. Point to the crowd and the image will be positive, point to the empty seats and it gives a poor visual, makes the league look bush league in respects.

 

Ottawa is a good example, they usually show the mostly empty side of the stadium and broadcasts look poor because of it. They have had the cameras on the other side aiming at the main crowd which looked great. NASL and its national broadcaster One World Sports insisted on showing the main crowd for its broadcasts in Ottawa the last year they had the odd OWS broadcasted game there.

In other words, learn from the old CSL's mistakes, which drove me bananas.  They'd always plonk a camera wherever it was convenient for TSN, usually where all or most of the fans were, with a wall (North York for a year or two), an empty stand or a bunch of trees (Vancouver) filling the background on TV.  People were quieter at footie matches back in them days, so all we could hear on TV was Rauter saying, "Mobilioooooo, YESSSS!" every five minutes (because that's how often the late, great Domenic Mobilio would put the ball in the net) and we couldn't see anyone.

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