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Posts posted by m-g-williams

  1. 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. 

  2. 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. 

    prepare black sails GIF by STARZ

  3. 11 hours ago, Aird25 said:

    . . . so not only is the hydro pole still there, but this whole situation might get even worse? 


  4. With the CCL being expanded to include two direct spots for CPL entry, I'm really hoping that one spot will be awarded to the CPL Champion and the other awarded to the CPL team with the best overall record for the season. If so, I'm hoping that will see the CPL shift its stance on hardware. I'd re-purpose the North Star Shield to recognize the CPL team with the best overall record (like the MLS Supporters' Shield or the A-League Premier's Plate) and introduce a proper cup/trophy for the CPL Champion. If the league decides to hold fast with the northern-influence to its awards, mayhaps the "Borealis Cup"? 

  5. 21 minutes ago, yothat2 said:

    Just listened for the cebl commissioner podcast where he compares there journey to the cpl. 




    He later mentions they have plans to grow to 12 teams. St.John and Montreal on there radar. Can't see why the cpl doesn't team in all the same markets. 


    I noticed yesterday that the CEBL Commissioner confirmed that Montreal would be getting a team (details and venue TBA). I have to say, seeing that made me feel more secure about the CPL's future. If the CEBL can keep rolling forward despite being a smaller organization with fewer teams, smaller fan-base, less corporate support, etc. and still make that work in the pandemic, then I think the CPL will be fine. 


  6. 6 hours ago, Shway said:

    Was there any mention of the future of Concacaf league? Seems pretty redundant now unless it becomes a fall out/secondary tournament like Europa League or the new Conference league. It would maintain the importance of some of these group stage games considering it will be 5 teams in a group. 

    The Times Colonist article I found actually said that this new arrangement would see the CONCACAF league eliminated (possibly to come back in another form), which I haven't seen formally announced anywhere else. If true, then it kind of seems like this isn't so much an expansion of the CCL as it is the CONCACAF League being absorbed under the CCL so it's under a bigger brand name. 

    Either way, the CPL comes out with more direct entry spots into continental competition, so I'm happy. 🙂

  7. Absolutely thrilled with this announcement. According to Neil Davidson, apparently CONCACAF is thinking that the two CPL spots might go to the league champion and the team with the best overall performance on the campaign, subject to the CPL's recommendation (this may well be noted in the video above, but I don't have 26 mins to listen to that right now). I think this is definitely the right approach to take. 


  8. 17 hours ago, toontownman said:

    So what happened with One Soccer Today. It is like they deleted it from existence on One Soccer. Am I going mad? Did this show even exist? It was in the menu and scheduled. But simply disappeared yesterday on my One Soccer. 

    I quite liked it, seems a shame for something that clearly wouldn't cost much money to put together to get canned. Maybe I was the only person that watched it lol

    Huh. I don't see it there either for some reason, and I don't see any record/mention of it now apart from on their Youtube channel. I don't think they intended it to be a short-term thing, so I'm a bit puzzled as well. 

    I do see on Twitter that it's "coming back" on 8 Feb, though I'm still not sure why it went away. Maybe they're getting set up back in studio or something? 


  9. 17 hours ago, mtlsab said:

    Sorry my friend, but when a club has Sportif or Sportive in its name, it is because it's a multisport club, not only soccer (football. SInce the multisport clubs arent really the usual clubs (MLSE), I dont see it happening :)

    Ahh, je ne le savais pas. Chuis un francophile autoproclamé mais comme le français n'est pas ma langue maternelle il reste toujours des nuances qui m'échappent. Merci pour la clarification ! 

  10. Semantics note/musings: When we finally do start to get some francophone clubs (I'm looking at you, Montreal, Quebec City and Moncton), I hope that they'll go with a francophone appellation. Personally, I'd love to see them use "Association sportive" à la AS Saint-Étienne or AS Monaco, or maybe "Union sportive" like some of the clubs in the Championnat national. Mostly, I just don't want to see everything branded as "FC ________" in French. I know that plenty of clubs in Ligue 1, Ligue 2, Jupiler Pro League and others use Football Club, Sporting Club, Racing Club, etc., but I can't say I've ever been a fan of that approach in la langue de Molière.  

    I know that a number of teams in the PLSQ use "Club de soccer" or "Association de soccer", and the Impact just rebranded to use the term "Club de foot". I do kind of like "Olympique" as well to speak to it being an athletic club (and I think this would be *perfect* for Montreal, as others have pointed out). I just wonder about getting into copyright issues with the IOC. 

    I'm sure the CPL will bungle this just as they've bungled most of their other attempts at engaging the francophone fanbase, but for now I'll stay unreasonably optimistic. :)

  11. On 6/18/2020 at 10:21 AM, Shway said:

    you saw my reddit post 😉


    It's not quite identical, but damn . . . I guess the team-formerly-know-as-the-Impact liked your idea. 



    Also, if anyone else is like me and prefers the existing crest, a lot of their now-obsolete merch is on sale. https://www.montrealimpactstore.ca/montreal-impact/t-25780263+os-67+z-933313-3715273288

  12. Question: How exactly does one go about securing (to the extent possible right now) season tickets? I've already provided my contact info to the club, and am a founding member from last year. I see that they're accepting deposits, but I'm wondering if I actually need to put one down considering I put down a deposit with my founding membership last year. I've tried to get a hold of the club box office, but it looks like TD Place is shut down due to the pandemic restrictions. 

  13. 2 hours ago, CDNFootballer said:

    Not interested in the french league, A-league or K-league would be nice.

    I'd love it if they could manage to show more (or all) Ligue 1 matches. The A-League and the Scottish Premiership would be my other top choices, though at least those are available on Youtube after the matches have ended. 

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