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2019 Canadian Premier League Attendance


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York9 doesn't fill their stadium if that was a regular league game against an MLS reserve team.  USL should be a pretty clear warning that the CPL should not allow reserve teams in. 

Attendance for Wanderers vs Vaughn announced at 5532. Pretty solid for a weekday game slightly competing with the Mooseheads memorial cup run.

At CPL's early year one stage, games where the opposition is an established and well know high level pro team will draw more favorably for the lesser known first year CPL clubs more often than not, es

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I know it's May in Canada and you can expect some cold wet weather but most matches have been plagued by really poor weather, all 3 Forge matches I have been to have been really cold and windy with the last one being wet as well, the forecast was for severe thunderstorms at the York 9 match yesterday and the meteorologists got that one right, it didn't look like the nicest day at Spruce Meadows either! Of course weather is going to influence attendance as the casual fans are less likely to show up in bad weather, I'm interested to see how this will change when/if we actually get some nice game days! 

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12 hours ago, Gopherbashi said:

Honestly seems better than I expected.  There were only ~200 tickets left in the west stand as of this morning, so I don't think that number could be driven up much higher.

Even that 4200 number seems tough to get to...

I will preface this by emphasizing that anyone who saw the CSL era Blizzard, North York Rockets and USL era Toronto Lynx play should have expected York 9 to have a tough time carving out a strong fanbase. Lower budget pro soccer is a tough sell in the GTA and unlike pretty much anywhere else in Canada an ethnic angle rather than pushing the by Canadians for Canadians mantra so much might actually help. I think they probably should have done something like signing the ex-Italy world cup team player that was rumoured at one point and can always try something like that in future.

In contrast with Calgary, I don't think we can use Ticketmaster to gauge what's happening in the main seating block, if this is what it looked like at kickoff:

My guess would be that the massive spike in membership numbers late last year was driven by corporate and/or youth club purchases that might not necessarily translate into actual fans in seats. If they are not using the upper tier general admission as that youtube clip suggests 4200 will not be too far off total capacity, so comps given to the Forge for the entire bleacher side might well be being factored into a tickets distributed number.

Edited by Ozzie_the_parrot
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One thing to keep in mind  is that unfortunately weather is going to play a major factor in attendance when it comes to the CPL as I found out the hard way at yesterday’s York9 Forge game. We are talking about a league where the average for success will be around the 4 to 6 thousand number. However , a bad weather day can effect that number considerably and living here in Canada where it seems that your lucky to get a decent weather day maybe once or twice a week even in July and August . Moreover, you can’t bring up the fact that two of the Canadian MLS teams play in outdoor stadiums too and also have to fight the not so great Canadian weather, however, they are dealing with much bigger average attendances so if 2000 or 3000 don’t show up because of weather they still have 15 to even 20000 at the game more or less, but 1000 people not showing up for a CPL game because of the weather has a greater effect on the CPL teams . Therefore, I feel for these CPL teams that are at the mercy of the crappy Canadian weather in their battle to grow this league in Canada.

Edited by SoccMan
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3 minutes ago, SoccMan said:

One thing to keep in mind  is that unfortunately weather is going to play a major factor in attendance when it comes to the CPL as I found out the hard way at yesterday’s York9 Forge game. We are talking about a league where the average for success will be around the 4 to 6 thousand number. However , a bad weather day can effect that number considerably and living here in Canada where it seems that your lucky to get a decent weather day maybe once or twice a week even in July and August . Moreover, you can’t bring up the fact that two of the Canadian MLS teams play in outdoor stadiums too and also have to fight the not so great Canadian weather, however, they are dealing with much bigger average attendances so if 2000 or 3000 don’t show up because of weather they still have 15 to even 20000 at the game more or less, but say even a 1000 people not showing up for a CPL game because of the weather has a greater effect on the CPL teams . Therefore, I feel for these CPL teams that are at the mercy of the crappy Canadian weather in their battle to grow this league in Canada.

I hope this gets clubs tontake a harder look at providing some protection from the elements. Not talking thunderstorms or cold but a little bit of rain is enough for people to just no show. 

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15 hours ago, CDNFootballer said:

4260 for York9 at York Lions Stadium today for their home opener. No doubt poor weather affected attendance today, their was a weather delay as well and heavy rain starting for the second half.

A Vast improvement and solid number. I was expecting much less. Hopefully they can continue to draw decent crowds Similar to this going forward.

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12 minutes ago, grasshopper1917 said:

A Vast improvement and solid number. I was expecting much less. Hopefully they can continue to draw decent crowds Similar to this going forward.

Like I wrote before...Midweek is wishful thinking but weekends under a nice weather is looking up for sure 

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2 hours ago, Ozzie_the_parrot said:

I will preface this by emphasizing that anyone who saw the CSL era Blizzard, North York Rockets and USL era Toronto Lynx play should have expected York 9 to have a tough time carving out a strong fanbase. Lower budget pro soccer is a tough sell in the GTA

And they are not helped by a lack of media coverage in the biggest media centre largely ignoring them - basically it is just John Molinaro at Sportsnet while everyone else in the city is ignoring them:

https://www.sportsnet.ca/soccer/forge-wins-2nd-905-derby-cpl-season-york9/

(As an aside, I find Brennan's comments in this article about York being the better team to be somewhat delusional at least from the 61 minutes of play that I saw, though the highlights of the next 30 minutes and 2 goals allowed don't exactly persuade me otherwise).

To put things in perspective, even TFC still get the occasional snub from certain members of the mainstream media despite winning championships and pulling in 26K crowds on a regular basis. Case in point in last night's Raptors game, while the camera was showing shots of TFC's Pozuelo in the crowd celebrating the Raptors victory whoever the dumb-ass commentator was (Rod Black?) was telling the television audience that the Raptors were the first Toronto pro sports team to make a final since the Jays in 1993. Which indicates two things. 1. The guy operating the camera & the Director for Sportsnet are far more knowledgeable about the pro sports seen than the play by play guy is and 2. there are still members of the mainstream media in Toronto in high-profile positions that won't acknowledge soccer as a mainstream  North American sport despite the obvious TFC success since 2007. York 9 seems set to likely get the same coverage that the Lynx got - which was negligible.

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Yeah, I noticed that comment too (although not sure it was Black).  He did preface it by saying "4 major sports" but you would like to think by now there are 5 major sports in NA, as many writers/broadcasters seem to agree with.  Cameras also picked out Giovinco in the crowd.  Wonder if he'll be at the game tonight?

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27 minutes ago, Gian-Luca said:

And they are not helped by a lack of media coverage in the biggest media centre largely ignoring them - basically it is just John Molinaro at Sportsnet while everyone else in the city is ignoring them:

https://www.sportsnet.ca/soccer/forge-wins-2nd-905-derby-cpl-season-york9/

(As an aside, I find Brennan's comments in this article about York being the better team to be somewhat delusional at least from the 61 minutes of play that I saw, though the highlights of the next 30 minutes and 2 goals allowed don't exactly persuade me otherwise).

To put things in perspective, even TFC still get the occasional snub from certain members of the mainstream media despite winning championships and pulling in 26K crowds on a regular basis. Case in point in last night's Raptors game, while the camera was showing shots of TFC's Pozuelo in the crowd celebrating the Raptors victory whoever the dumb-ass commentator was (Rod Black?) was telling the television audience that the Raptors were the first Toronto pro sports team to make a final since the Jays in 1993. Which indicates two things. 1. The guy operating the camera & the Director for Sportsnet are far more knowledgeable about the pro sports seen than the play by play guy is and 2. there are still members of the mainstream media in Toronto in high-profile positions that won't acknowledge soccer as a mainstream  North American sport despite the obvious TFC success since 2007. York 9 seems set to likely get the same coverage that the Lynx got - which was negligible.

To be fair, he did mention Giovinco and he did say he's back from Saudi Arabia so he must have some knowledge on TFC when he knows context like that.

It is unfortunate when he mentioned Toronto being back in a major finals for the first time since the Blue Jays in 1992 but I knew what he meant by "major", which is the big four north American pro sports leagues. Even though it would have been nice if he said "Not counting TFC's two cup final appearances," but I'm not going to hold that against him.

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15 minutes ago, Ivan said:

Yeah, I noticed that comment too (although not sure it was Black).  He did preface it by saying "4 major sports" but you would like to think by now there are 5 major sports in NA, as many writers/broadcasters seem to agree with.  Cameras also picked out Giovinco in the crowd.  Wonder if he'll be at the game tonight?

They showed Pozuelo on the screen a few times but the announcers probably don't know who he is

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On 5/24/2019 at 10:53 AM, jonovision said:

The difference with September and October is that these teams will have already had 4 months to establish a profile in their local markets, and rectify many of the things that weren't working early in the season. 

This is kind of how any new project tends to work.

This is true, but it's balanced by some teams being out of it by the end of the season (even with a spring/fall schedule) and convincing casual fans to come out in poor weather for a losing team is a tough ask.

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11 hours ago, Ozzie_the_parrot said:

In contrast with Calgary, I don't think we can use Ticketmaster to gauge what's happening in the main seating block, if this is what it looked like at kickoff:

My guess would be that the massive spike in membership numbers late last year was driven by corporate and/or youth club purchases that might not necessarily translate into actual fans in seats. If they are not using the upper tier general admission as that youtube clip suggests 4200 will not be too far off total capacity, so comps given to the Forge for the entire bleacher side might well be being factored into a tickets distributed number.

If they're using distributed tickets as their attendance figure, Ticketmaster is probably a good reference, but definitely agreed that it won't translate into butts-in-seats.  Likely right on the group purchases as well, York seemed to have a late upswing that wasn't replicated by other clubs so it seems like a good explanation.

I wouldn't be surprised if York handed Forge a thousand tickets for the east stands and just counted that number in the attendance, whether they were claimed by fans or not.  Unless I'm blind to a whole section of stadium, I don't see that number being 4200 any other way.

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10 hours ago, Ansem said:

Like I wrote before...Midweek is wishful thinking but weekends under a nice weather is looking up for sure 

Can't figure out why they have scheduled only two weekend games recently and then have two on weekdays, i think close to 40% of the games have been weekday games (More so if you include voyageurs Cup).

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15 hours ago, Ansem said:

Like I wrote before...Midweek is wishful thinking but weekends under a nice weather is looking up for sure 

Leaving York 9 aside for now where the announced numbers are clearly a lot higher than actual attendance so far making their discussion somewhat pointless, it will be interesting to see what happens in the better weather months. I was checking out an old North York Rockets program from 30 years ago last night and their 1989 regular season ran from May 28 to Sept 10 with Sunday evening kick-offs predominating.

The conventional wisdom in the past in Canadian pro soccer was definitely to go for weekends and the warm weather months when a soccer crowd skewed very heavily towards recent immigrants and the stadiums available tended to be bleacher seating with no roof.

The only problem with that strategy is that a lot of people try to get out of town on weekends when the weather's good especially on long weekends in the summer. The CFL seems to favour the fall after Labour Day more on attendance because their demographic has historically tended to head out to the cottage, etc.

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8 hours ago, Ozzie_the_parrot said:

The CFL seems to favour the fall after Labour Day more on attendance because their demographic has historically tended to head out to the cottage, etc.

The CFL season has always traditionally been the fall hasn't it? Was there ever a time when the bulk of the season was in the summer? Pretty sure they used the same traditional dates for "football" inherited from Britain.

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21 minutes ago, ted said:

The CFL season has always traditionally been the fall hasn't it? Was there ever a time when the bulk of the season was in the summer? Pretty sure they used the same traditional dates for "football" inherited from Britain.

CFL starts in JUNE!!! so don't know how you are saying bulk of games aren't in the summer? In fact they play the majority of there games in the summer and play the final games of the season in the fall

Edited by Hybred
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On 5/26/2019 at 12:48 PM, Macksam said:

To be fair, he did mention Giovinco and he did say he's back from Saudi Arabia so he must have some knowledge on TFC when he knows context like that.

It is unfortunate when he mentioned Toronto being back in a major finals for the first time since the Blue Jays in 1992 but I knew what he meant by "major", which is the big four north American pro sports leagues. Even though it would have been nice if he said "Not counting TFC's two cup final appearances," but I'm not going to hold that against him.

It funny when they reference the “4” major sports in Toronto. Last time I checked we only have 3 “major” sports teams here haha. 

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The average is 4620 if the Forge vs York 9 game that consisted entirely of freebies is factored out and some of the games have appeared quite generously announced judging from highlights and pictures of the crowd and may have involved more of a comp tickets distributed component like the Forge away supporters on Saturday than we have been made aware of. Judging by the panic from some posters on Reddit today this league needs a few Wanderers and Forge home games in greatly improved weather conditions to boost morale a bit. If people had been more realistic in their expectations and hadn't been egged on in getting carried away with some very bullish rhetoric from the league commissioner and certain podcasters there would be a lot less angst at the moment. Perhaps worth noting that the numbers are significantly better than those for USL League One.

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Edited by Ozzie_the_parrot
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