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At the risk of being being branded a heretic, flogged and otherwise run out of town, I'm going to pose a likely-unpopular but increasingly necessary question regarding 2021 CPL stadia: 

If and/or when it's announced that a "regular" season with every team playing matches at their home grounds is not feasible due to the pandemic, where should the CPL actually play and in what format? 

I've been wrestling with this question for a while, though I wish that weren't the case. As much as I want to believe that we'll be able to get back to a more regular season approach, given the pandemic situation (on-and-off lockdown measures, arrival of new variants, continued restrictions on inter-provincial travel, reduced airline service, etc.) and the logistical challenges facing the vaccine roll-out, I'm not holding my breath for a normal May 22nd. Considering the country was only set to be fully vaccinated by September (which seems very doubtful at this point), I don't know that I see a path for us to make the spring and summer work. I fully acknowledge that this is something that could change, and that my somewhat pessimistic view is very much open to debate. For now though, I'd be curious to hear people's thoughts on what Plan B should look like. 

Personally, I'd consider the following:

Bubble Approach: If things stay more or less the same as they did last summer, then a bubble could be the most feasible option. It saves every team from having to incur travel costs beyond travel to and from the bubble city, though hotel costs would still be incurred. Assuming we can get even a limited number of butts in seats (maybe 20%, depending on the venue/jurisdiction?), the money generated could be split eight ways to provide at least some gate-driven revenue to clubs. A bubble approach with quarantining and testing would show the league as being COVID responsible and not putting the public at risk in the host city, and hopefully earn some praise for the efforts made. And as thankful as I am to the island for hosting the games last summer, I'd *really* like to see a 2021 bubble hosted in a more professional-looking (i.e., non-digital) venue. 

  • Stade Croix-Bleue Medavie (Moncton): Gorgeous little stadium which previously hosted 2015 WWC matches. Not only would the stade be a much more professional-looking venue for TV audiences (and probably better in terms of broadcasting facilities), but there were rumours of expressed interest in hosting the games here last summer. Hosting matches here could be a great way for local investors to gauge interest in a future team and help with expansion. And with the fact that Université de Moncton is looking to run a deficit for the first time in its history due to the pandemic, staging matches here might be seen as a good economic stimulus/means of advertising for U de M. Plus, if/when the Atlantic bubble re-opens this coming summer, that could see folks from all over the Maritimes travelling to take in a game. That said, given the very-low risk tolerance for COVID in Atlantic Canada and the tight restrictions in place, events like this with limited spectators may not fly. 

  • Starlight Stadium (Victoria): Same reasons as above re: venue size, presentation and interest in hosting last year. Plus, with PFC as the primary tenant, the league (presumably) wouldn't have to fight anyone for scheduling, apart from maybe the odd rugby match. Only red-flag for me would be the damn hydro pole impacting TV broadcasts, especially for the entire summer. * sigh* 

  • Spruce Meadows/ATCO Field (Calgary): Same reasons as Starlight re: venue size, presentation. Already a major (though not necessarily primary) tenant, which might help for scheduling. 

  • Clark Field (Edmonton): . . . no.

  • York Lions Stadium: Same reasons as Starlight re: venue size, and with the improvements apparently being made to the site it would hopefully present much better on TV. The biggest red-flag for me would be having all the clubs in York when the GTA is still a COVID hotbed. 

  • Wanderers Grounds (Halifax): Same reasons as Starlight re: venue size, presentation and primary tenant, plus the Atlantic bubble aspect as with Stade Croix-Bleue Medavie. Given the location downtown and the support in 2019, if a limited number of fans are allowed I think we could count on the seats being sold pretty quickly. However, same as for Moncton re: risk-tolerance and allowing fans at all. 

  • Stade TELUS-Université Laval (formerly PEPS) (Quebec): Same reasons as Starlight re: venue size and presentation. And with QC rumoured to be interested in establishing a club, a bubble here could almost act like the SK Summer Series for local investors to see first-hand what kind of interest professional soccer can generate in that market. 

  • Prairieland Park (Saskatoon): Same reasons as Stade TELUS re: venue size and interest gauge for local investors. I don't know it well enough to speak to how it would present on TV, though. 

  • Similarly-sized mid-range stadia: I'm sure there are other spots across the country that might fit the bill, but I can't say I know many. I'm sure there must be spots in metro Vancouver and Montreal I don't know about, as well as others. Any ideas? 

  • IG Field (Winnipeg), TD Place (Ottawa) or Tim Hortons Field (Hamilton): I put these in the same category just given their size and circumstances. For each one, scheduling an entire bubble season in a single location would seem impossible due to conflicts with the CFL tenants, but the presentation on TV would be excellent in my opinion (*yes*, the stadium would look kind of empty because it's large, but given the pandemic I don't think anyone would be mad at us for that). Also, the high seating capacity could see a larger number of fans admitted if limits are established as a percentage threshold (e.g., if 20% capacity is allowed at IG Field and they're able to use the whole thing - not just one side of the lower bowl -, that could translate into an upper limit of 6,000 spread-out fans). The actual number of people who decide to attend wouldn't be guaranteed to match that higher limit of course, but at least it allows for greater revenue.  

  • Similarly-sized large stadia: Thinking McMahon Stadium (Calgary), Molson whatever-it's-called (Montreal) and Mosaic Stadium (Regina). Would likely run into the same scheduling issues given the CFL tenants, but also the same presentation/capacity benefits. Commonwealth Stadium would seem comically large (even I can't justify going there in a pandemic), so I'm just ignoring that for the purposes of this exercise. I doubt that access would be granted to BC Place, BMO Field or Stade Saputo given the MLS tenants there (and CFL scheduling for some), so I'm not even considering these.  

Hub City Approach: If things are good enough that inter-provincial travel (without 14-day quarantining) is feasible in some but not all jurisdictions, then an NHL-style hub city approach could be doable. There would be slightly greater travel costs incurred by clubs as the tournament moves into its later stages (i.e., finalist teams from each hub move to one or another city to continue competing), but less than in a regular season format. Given that we only have eight teams, I would we could only do a max of two hub cities. The league could benefit from a large "local" fanbase/potential ticket-holder pool and avoid market saturation, which would hopefully mean more gate-driven revenue to split among the teams. This approach could also likely accommodate more matches and a longer season than a bubble approach, which would be great for league visibility and revenue (I hope). 

Admittedly, with two hub cities you'd only have four teams competing in a given city, which might get boring pretty quickly. I guess you could have half the teams in each city switch to the other venue halfway through the season so the matches against every single team are balanced, but it could still get dull just having a new set of repeat games all the time. However, there might be a way to avoid that getting old if we do kind of a "Hub Light™ " approach (Trademarked, 2021 ;)).

Hub Light™ Approach (recommend): If it's possible to have two hub cities within a single province/region (Victoria and Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton, Saskatoon and Regina, Hamilton and Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec, Halifax and Moncton, Winnipeg and . . . uh . . . Flin Flon?), then you could conceivably have teams travel back and forth without having them quarantine - and thereby keep a relatively normal schedule. Rather than keeping four teams cloistered in each location for weeks on end before then mixing it up in later stages, you could have them commute back-and-forth between venues (which, if done in a single province/region, could presumably be done on the cheap via chartered bus/ferry) and keep the fans happy with a continuous mix of teams. Also, this model *might* actually make it feasible to include CFL stadia in the mix as there wouldn't be the same scheduling pressures on any one venue. It could well be that Mosaic Stadium has enough time to host some games while Prairieland does the rest, or that TD Place and Tim Hortons Field can make the scheduling work between the two of them, kind of like during the WWC in 2015. If an involved CFL stadium has a particularly busy week, you could conceivably shift some matches, at least temporarily, to the other site to alleviate the pressure. 

I'll note that these are only my musings/ramblings and are 100% not informed by any kind of analysis of the event schedules for any of the venues listed above. I also don't know enough about the peculiarities of the venues (ease of access via highways/public transit, average ticket prices, etc.) to know which ones may or may not have an edge over others when it comes to the finer details. But considering 1) I don't see us getting back to any kind of "normal" in the next few months, 2) the pandemic has almost certainly had a negative impact on the finances of a league in its infancy, 3) the need for some kind of play for continued relevancy/PR and the need for some kind of ticket revenue, and 4) the concerns almost every single one of us have raised in the past regarding travel costs in a country this large, I think a Hub Light™ approach would be the most feasible way of seeing the CPL get back to work.

The Maritimer in me would love to see this done in Halifax and Moncton, but I'd also love to see Saskatoon and Regina or Montreal (not sure of the right stadium) and Quebec. I'd be curious to hear other people's thoughts on factors I'm not considering (e.g., what COVID numbers are like on Vancouver Island vs. the mainland, other local sports that the CPL may need to compete with in each city), as well as any insights on additional venues I haven't mentioned/thought of. 

Let the outrage/pondering/hypothesizing/fantasy planning commence. 

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Edited by m-g-williams
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I'd say the authorities created a precedent with the NHL division.

Question is more about

  • fans or no fans and if there's fans - What's the % of capacity allowed
  • Will Halifax & Nova Scotia agree to this like the NHL provinces already have
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3 hours ago, Ansem said:

I'd say the authorities created a precedent with the NHL division.

Question is more about

  • fans or no fans and if there's fans - What's the % of capacity allowed
  • Will Halifax & Nova Scotia agree to this like the NHL provinces already have

So, question: Was the fact that the NHL matches would be sans fans part of the reason that the relevant provincial authorities gave the all-clear? I'd see that scenario as posing a much lower risk of spreading the virus than having players, staff and coaches in a stadium with (limited) fans like most of us want for the CPL. Hence my worry about provincially-imposed travel restrictions for CPL folks.

Also, I'll admit that my biggest motivator in publishing that think-piece/ramble was thinking of how to put a good product on the field while minimizing financial losses for the league/clubs - and top of mind for me is travel costs. Even if the provinces roll out the red carpet and say travelling is no problem, if the stadium restrictions mean gate-driven revenue is minimal and result in a normal season making life financially harder for the league, I'd just as well see them do a bubble/hub/hub light to try to stabilize the financial situation. 

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Here me out on this. The north! Very low COVID numbers (Ex: 8 new cases in 2021 in NWT, with 32 cases in total 2020+2021) and a high vaccination rate 29k shots administered per 100k population compared to 2k or 3k shots administered per 100k population in most provinces.

If there is anywhere that would have met a "herd immunity" threshold by late May, it would likely be one of the territories. Put a pop up stadium in Yellowknife or something with a couple thousand seats and they might even be able to sell tickets without any restrictions. Obviously you won't get a full stadium every game, with no local team to root for, and an over-saturation of games (I know I couldn't go to 4 games a week even if I lived there). But still, they don't get any sporting events up there, so some interest may be generated even though they wouldn't have any clear favourite to root for, and it might create some lifelong fans of the league.

The COVID and vaccine numbers I gave were for Northwest Territories, but the numbers are similar (but a bit worse) in Yukon and Nunavut. If they want to spread it a bit more, they might get less fan fatigue and more total fans out (not sure if it would cover the additional travel and pop up stadium costs) but they could include 2 or 3 cities/towns in the territories.

It's so crazy I am growing in love with this idea. Though it would still be better to have the teams playing in their home stadiums of course.

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4 hours ago, Kent said:

Here me out on this. The north! Very low COVID numbers (Ex: 8 new cases in 2021 in NWT, with 32 cases in total 2020+2021) and a high vaccination rate 29k shots administered per 100k population compared to 2k or 3k shots administered per 100k population in most provinces.

If there is anywhere that would have met a "herd immunity" threshold by late May, it would likely be one of the territories. Put a pop up stadium in Yellowknife or something with a couple thousand seats and they might even be able to sell tickets without any restrictions. Obviously you won't get a full stadium every game, with no local team to root for, and an over-saturation of games (I know I couldn't go to 4 games a week even if I lived there). But still, they don't get any sporting events up there, so some interest may be generated even though they wouldn't have any clear favourite to root for, and it might create some lifelong fans of the league.

The COVID and vaccine numbers I gave were for Northwest Territories, but the numbers are similar (but a bit worse) in Yukon and Nunavut. If they want to spread it a bit more, they might get less fan fatigue and more total fans out (not sure if it would cover the additional travel and pop up stadium costs) but they could include 2 or 3 cities/towns in the territories.

It's so crazy I am growing in love with this idea. Though it would still be better to have the teams playing in their home stadiums of course.

Not to rain on your parade but aren’t vaccination rates higher in the north because the risk of outbreaks are so high due to the remoteness from health services. Would it not be a slap in the face to that strategy to now bring a significant amount of people into that environment?

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11 hours ago, Aird25 said:

Not to rain on your parade but aren’t vaccination rates higher in the north because the risk of outbreaks are so high due to the remoteness from health services. Would it not be a slap in the face to that strategy to now bring a significant amount of people into that environment?

Just like in the PEI bubble last summer, you test people before they come, you test them a couple more times when they arrive. Then you've got a bunch of people that aren't infected, in an area where there are virtually no infections, and a large percentage of people vaccinated (50%? 60%? something high like that by end of May).

I really don't think this will happen, but it would be cool. Just like it was neat for PEI since they don't get major sports there (although very few people got to go to games last year), it would be neat for somewhere in the territories to get the games this summer, if we can't have them in their home cities.

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I really do not see whats necessary about a bubble other than to save money. But then again would it even save money and I think it makes for a less intriguing product. All people need to do is look around. Im about to watch the club world cup a team from Mexico a team from Germany in from of 20k fans. We all saw the Super Bowl and the fan zones. The media can huff and puff all they want but people have stopped paying them any kinda mind. Its time for us to move back to normal here. Mr bad decisions has an election he'll need to win and clearly people are sick of it. So if we don't start moving in the right direction here, so yes home stadiums, limited fans, less weird stuff.. loosening things as we go along. This has got to be the direction or there is gonna be some major problems come i say about June. If buddy doesn't have at least some bolex fugazi vaccines from the black market out by then.. just to say he did. Its just got to happen. Its just has to start moving back to normal, one way or another and this includes professional sports

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We're talking outdoor stadiums for CPL, no reason at all for a bubble anymore and comparing to NHL or other indoor stadium sports isn't relevant. Just like the grocery stores or big box stores, social distancing and masks can be used and just like those places, whether in the stands sitting or going to the washrooms/concessions as long as clubs have the program/rules in place and staff to organize it 25-50% fan attendance should be allowed by all provinces.

No more bubbles, no more fanless outdoor sports events.

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If/when Atletico actually play games in Ottawa, I mega hope Jeff Hunt doesn't just assume that everyone loves everything about TD Place Stadium just the way it is because ppl like going to Red Blacks games. I sincerely hope he appreciates that there is more that can be iterated on so that the likely crowds of 5-9k feel different than just "well let's just fill the lower bowl on one side". My best times at Fury games were when they experimented with more beer garden type vibes behind the goals and actually tried something a little different. 

I hope that Atletico brings a thought out and improved Ottawa gameday experience instead of just a change of jerseys on the Fury gameday experience while letting a supporters group or two back into a section in the corner. 

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On 2/8/2021 at 1:53 PM, Aird25 said:

It's brought up all the time, and I think it's in BC Hydro's hands. I'd honestly just move the main camera to the other side, and have a secondary camera pointed back towards the fans. Until it's proven that the new stand is needed at least. Being able to follow the play is far more important than showing the crowd in every shot. There are plenty of opportunities for that on replays and alternative angles. 

To switch the cameras to the other side would allow for a slight rise in height (the stands are not much higher than the platforms) but come with some pretty bad consequences:

  • showing the side without permanent stands on TV makes it look like very few people are at the game
  • currently that is standing room only as stands cannot be placed there so any people who are there, look like they are watching amateur games
  • taking space in the current stands to mount camera positions takes away ticket sales in an already small stadium

I see no significant benefit. 

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5 hours ago, ted said:

To switch the cameras to the other side would allow for a slight rise in height (the stands are not much higher than the platforms) but come with some pretty bad consequences:

  • showing the side without permanent stands on TV makes it look like very few people are at the game
  • currently that is standing room only as stands cannot be placed there so any people who are there, look like they are watching amateur games
  • taking space in the current stands to mount camera positions takes away ticket sales in an already small stadium

I see no significant benefit. 

I probably agree with you as I think a bad camera angle with a view of the stands trumps a good camera angle with a view of some people standing around a field; but I hope they can sort this out in the next year or two to get a better camera angle (and extra seats in the center of the pitch) as it really impacts the enjoyment of being able to watch a match on tv

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21 hours ago, ted said:

To switch the cameras to the other side would allow for a slight rise in height (the stands are not much higher than the platforms) but come with some pretty bad consequences:

  • showing the side without permanent stands on TV makes it look like very few people are at the game
  • currently that is standing room only as stands cannot be placed there so any people who are there, look like they are watching amateur games
  • taking space in the current stands to mount camera positions takes away ticket sales in an already small stadium

I see no significant benefit. 

Ted, it is not an easy solve, but there are some possibilities. 

One is putting a crane behind the main grandstand, and shoot from much higher up, pointing down. So you would see less of the other side of the pitch.

Another would be to even raise the platform on the existing side a couple metres. I am not sure what the norm is, but I seriously doubt that the distance from the high-tension lines would be at all critical. 

The real problem on that side is you can't move the camera angle back too much, or else you'd be faced with seeing the damn pole when following the play. As is, the corners on that side were poorly covered, often you could not even see the linesman or a sideline play. So as is they still need to add some alternate cameras. 

I realise that not having a centre line camera is very unorthodox, but that is another possibility. 

The pole: there are are old stands in many classic stadiums where the camera does indeed catch support structures on grandstand roofs blocking play. It is not a tragedy. Or at least not necessarily worse than the glare and poor broadcast experience of that little treehouse they put up at Langford. 

 

 

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22 hours ago, ted said:

To switch the cameras to the other side would allow for a slight rise in height (the stands are not much higher than the platforms) but come with some pretty bad consequences:

  • showing the side without permanent stands on TV makes it look like very few people are at the game
  • currently that is standing room only as stands cannot be placed there so any people who are there, look like they are watching amateur games
  • taking space in the current stands to mount camera positions takes away ticket sales in an already small stadium

I see no significant benefit. 

It’s a different sport but the rugby games filmed from the stands that I’ve watched didn’t have the same issues with an invisible ball and terrible glare. Even night games. A significant improvement from what I’ve seen. I don’t think I need to repeat myself about showing the crowd 

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  • 1 month later...
On 2/10/2021 at 4:53 PM, m-g-williams said:

At the risk of being being branded a heretic, flogged and otherwise run out of town, I'm going to pose a likely-unpopular but increasingly necessary question regarding 2021 CPL stadia: 

If and/or when it's announced that a "regular" season with every team playing matches at their home grounds is not feasible due to the pandemic, where should the CPL actually play and in what format? 

I've been wrestling with this question for a while, though I wish that weren't the case. As much as I want to believe that we'll be able to get back to a more regular season approach, given the pandemic situation (on-and-off lockdown measures, arrival of new variants, continued restrictions on inter-provincial travel, reduced airline service, etc.) and the logistical challenges facing the vaccine roll-out, I'm not holding my breath for a normal May 22nd. Considering the country was only set to be fully vaccinated by September (which seems very doubtful at this point), I don't know that I see a path for us to make the spring and summer work. I fully acknowledge that this is something that could change, and that my somewhat pessimistic view is very much open to debate. For now though, I'd be curious to hear people's thoughts on what Plan B should look like. 

Personally, I'd consider the following:

Bubble Approach: If things stay more or less the same as they did last summer, then a bubble could be the most feasible option. It saves every team from having to incur travel costs beyond travel to and from the bubble city, though hotel costs would still be incurred. Assuming we can get even a limited number of butts in seats (maybe 20%, depending on the venue/jurisdiction?), the money generated could be split eight ways to provide at least some gate-driven revenue to clubs. A bubble approach with quarantining and testing would show the league as being COVID responsible and not putting the public at risk in the host city, and hopefully earn some praise for the efforts made. And as thankful as I am to the island for hosting the games last summer, I'd *really* like to see a 2021 bubble hosted in a more professional-looking (i.e., non-digital) venue. 

  • Stade Croix-Bleue Medavie (Moncton): Gorgeous little stadium which previously hosted 2015 WWC matches. Not only would the stade be a much more professional-looking venue for TV audiences (and probably better in terms of broadcasting facilities), but there were rumours of expressed interest in hosting the games here last summer. Hosting matches here could be a great way for local investors to gauge interest in a future team and help with expansion. And with the fact that Université de Moncton is looking to run a deficit for the first time in its history due to the pandemic, staging matches here might be seen as a good economic stimulus/means of advertising for U de M. Plus, if/when the Atlantic bubble re-opens this coming summer, that could see folks from all over the Maritimes travelling to take in a game. That said, given the very-low risk tolerance for COVID in Atlantic Canada and the tight restrictions in place, events like this with limited spectators may not fly. 

  • Starlight Stadium (Victoria): Same reasons as above re: venue size, presentation and interest in hosting last year. Plus, with PFC as the primary tenant, the league (presumably) wouldn't have to fight anyone for scheduling, apart from maybe the odd rugby match. Only red-flag for me would be the damn hydro pole impacting TV broadcasts, especially for the entire summer. * sigh* 

  • Spruce Meadows/ATCO Field (Calgary): Same reasons as Starlight re: venue size, presentation. Already a major (though not necessarily primary) tenant, which might help for scheduling. 

  • Clark Field (Edmonton): . . . no.

  • York Lions Stadium: Same reasons as Starlight re: venue size, and with the improvements apparently being made to the site it would hopefully present much better on TV. The biggest red-flag for me would be having all the clubs in York when the GTA is still a COVID hotbed. 

  • Wanderers Grounds (Halifax): Same reasons as Starlight re: venue size, presentation and primary tenant, plus the Atlantic bubble aspect as with Stade Croix-Bleue Medavie. Given the location downtown and the support in 2019, if a limited number of fans are allowed I think we could count on the seats being sold pretty quickly. However, same as for Moncton re: risk-tolerance and allowing fans at all. 

  • Stade TELUS-Université Laval (formerly PEPS) (Quebec): Same reasons as Starlight re: venue size and presentation. And with QC rumoured to be interested in establishing a club, a bubble here could almost act like the SK Summer Series for local investors to see first-hand what kind of interest professional soccer can generate in that market. 

  • Prairieland Park (Saskatoon): Same reasons as Stade TELUS re: venue size and interest gauge for local investors. I don't know it well enough to speak to how it would present on TV, though. 

  • Similarly-sized mid-range stadia: I'm sure there are other spots across the country that might fit the bill, but I can't say I know many. I'm sure there must be spots in metro Vancouver and Montreal I don't know about, as well as others. Any ideas? 

  • IG Field (Winnipeg), TD Place (Ottawa) or Tim Hortons Field (Hamilton): I put these in the same category just given their size and circumstances. For each one, scheduling an entire bubble season in a single location would seem impossible due to conflicts with the CFL tenants, but the presentation on TV would be excellent in my opinion (*yes*, the stadium would look kind of empty because it's large, but given the pandemic I don't think anyone would be mad at us for that). Also, the high seating capacity could see a larger number of fans admitted if limits are established as a percentage threshold (e.g., if 20% capacity is allowed at IG Field and they're able to use the whole thing - not just one side of the lower bowl -, that could translate into an upper limit of 6,000 spread-out fans). The actual number of people who decide to attend wouldn't be guaranteed to match that higher limit of course, but at least it allows for greater revenue.  

  • Similarly-sized large stadia: Thinking McMahon Stadium (Calgary), Molson whatever-it's-called (Montreal) and Mosaic Stadium (Regina). Would likely run into the same scheduling issues given the CFL tenants, but also the same presentation/capacity benefits. Commonwealth Stadium would seem comically large (even I can't justify going there in a pandemic), so I'm just ignoring that for the purposes of this exercise. I doubt that access would be granted to BC Place, BMO Field or Stade Saputo given the MLS tenants there (and CFL scheduling for some), so I'm not even considering these.  

Hub City Approach: If things are good enough that inter-provincial travel (without 14-day quarantining) is feasible in some but not all jurisdictions, then an NHL-style hub city approach could be doable. There would be slightly greater travel costs incurred by clubs as the tournament moves into its later stages (i.e., finalist teams from each hub move to one or another city to continue competing), but less than in a regular season format. Given that we only have eight teams, I would we could only do a max of two hub cities. The league could benefit from a large "local" fanbase/potential ticket-holder pool and avoid market saturation, which would hopefully mean more gate-driven revenue to split among the teams. This approach could also likely accommodate more matches and a longer season than a bubble approach, which would be great for league visibility and revenue (I hope). 

Admittedly, with two hub cities you'd only have four teams competing in a given city, which might get boring pretty quickly. I guess you could have half the teams in each city switch to the other venue halfway through the season so the matches against every single team are balanced, but it could still get dull just having a new set of repeat games all the time. However, there might be a way to avoid that getting old if we do kind of a "Hub Light™ " approach (Trademarked, 2021 ;)).

Hub Light™ Approach (recommend): If it's possible to have two hub cities within a single province/region (Victoria and Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton, Saskatoon and Regina, Hamilton and Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec, Halifax and Moncton, Winnipeg and . . . uh . . . Flin Flon?), then you could conceivably have teams travel back and forth without having them quarantine - and thereby keep a relatively normal schedule. Rather than keeping four teams cloistered in each location for weeks on end before then mixing it up in later stages, you could have them commute back-and-forth between venues (which, if done in a single province/region, could presumably be done on the cheap via chartered bus/ferry) and keep the fans happy with a continuous mix of teams. Also, this model *might* actually make it feasible to include CFL stadia in the mix as there wouldn't be the same scheduling pressures on any one venue. It could well be that Mosaic Stadium has enough time to host some games while Prairieland does the rest, or that TD Place and Tim Hortons Field can make the scheduling work between the two of them, kind of like during the WWC in 2015. If an involved CFL stadium has a particularly busy week, you could conceivably shift some matches, at least temporarily, to the other site to alleviate the pressure. 

I'll note that these are only my musings/ramblings and are 100% not informed by any kind of analysis of the event schedules for any of the venues listed above. I also don't know enough about the peculiarities of the venues (ease of access via highways/public transit, average ticket prices, etc.) to know which ones may or may not have an edge over others when it comes to the finer details. But considering 1) I don't see us getting back to any kind of "normal" in the next few months, 2) the pandemic has almost certainly had a negative impact on the finances of a league in its infancy, 3) the need for some kind of play for continued relevancy/PR and the need for some kind of ticket revenue, and 4) the concerns almost every single one of us have raised in the past regarding travel costs in a country this large, I think a Hub Light™ approach would be the most feasible way of seeing the CPL get back to work.

The Maritimer in me would love to see this done in Halifax and Moncton, but I'd also love to see Saskatoon and Regina or Montreal (not sure of the right stadium) and Quebec. I'd be curious to hear other people's thoughts on factors I'm not considering (e.g., what COVID numbers are like on Vancouver Island vs. the mainland, other local sports that the CPL may need to compete with in each city), as well as any insights on additional venues I haven't mentioned/thought of. 

Let the outrage/pondering/hypothesizing/fantasy planning commence. 

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I'm not going to say "I told you so", buuuuut . . . 🙂

 

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11 hours ago, m-g-williams said:

I'm not going to say "I told you so", buuuuut . . . 🙂

 

I also foresaw and posted a suggestion of the first part of the league in a bubble, when the May start dates were announced: I suggested the first quarter of the season, all together, 7 matches. This option would also work, leaving each team with approx. 10-11 home matches left to play. The first season it was 12 in total, with 8 teams it should be 14. 

I'd go back to PEI and let limited fans in the stands, say 30%.

With a later start and one more team, they can't risk not starting at least in May. 

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1 hour ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

I also foresaw and posted a suggestion of the first part of the league in a bubble, when the May start dates were announced: I suggested the first quarter of the season, all together, 7 matches. This option would also work, leaving each team with approx. 10-11 home matches left to play. The first season it was 12 in total, with 8 teams it should be 14. 

I'd go back to PEI and let limited fans in the stands, say 30%.

With a later start and one more team, they can't risk not starting at least in May. 

I actually think this would make the most sense. Start the tournament on victoria day weekend, end around mid-June and take a couple weeks to go back to home bases and start playing in stadiums (to probably limited capacity at the start) canada day weekend

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Splitting the teams by geography doesn't have any appeal to me whatsoever.  Just do "the bubble" and get the teams into their own venues as soon as possible for what will hopefully be the majority of the season.

You know......as a promotional scheme, a wee good-will gesture towards a target market that looks promising for expansion in the near term, holding a brief bubble tourney in someplace like Quebec City or London wouldn't be the worst idea ever.  If it's practical of course.

Lemons to lemonade sort of thing. 

 

 

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