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SBD/November 26, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies
CFL's Mark Cohon Says Six Of Eight Teams In League At Least Break Even
Published November 26, 2012
OTHER LEAGUE ISSUES: Cohon said that while "expansion to Moncton, Halifax or Quebec City isn’t something that will happen until a stadium is plausible for those cities, the league hasn’t ruled out a 10th team in one of these locations following Ottawa’s return" in '14. But if "expansion did occur, he thought only one of those cities would enter the CFL." Cohon said that an average "of 28,000 people attended games across the league, a slight increase from 2011 but television ratings were up substantially." He also added that "no changes are planned to requiring teams to have a designated Canadian quarterback but roster spots at training camp will again be open for them to intern with existing passers" (TORONTO STAR, 11/24). The NATIONAL POST's Bruce Arthur wrote Cohon's "list of accomplishments is starting to pile up." The "revenue tide keeps rising." Cohon "introduced drug testing, held payroll excesses in check ... and patched over the ownership holes with the help" of B.C. Lions and Argonauts Owner David Braley. Cohon said of his future, "I’m happy where I am, I’m challenged, and I hope to [be] around for a while, while I’m still challenged." Arthur noted the challenges "include the TV contract, expansion, Toronto, all that" (NATIONAL POST, 11/24).
DOUBLE DIPPING: In Vancouver, Ed Willes wrote a "number of people perceive a big problem" with Braley owning both the Argos and the B.C. Lions. However, since Braley "took over the Argos, a franchise he was helping prop up anyway, there hasn't been a peep about bankruptcies or missed payrolls or salary cuts or any of the other divertissements that long consumed the CFL's credibility." Over the "past couple of years, in fact, the league has enjoyed a period of growth and stability that is virtually unprecedented in its history, and Braley's ownership of the Argos has been instrumental in that success." Willes: "Yes, it would be better if someone in the Big Smoke would buy the Argos or if the Lions were sold to local owners." But "until that person arrives, the CFL will have to endure the tuttutting over the Argos and Lions" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 11/23). In Montreal, Stu Cowan wrote the CFL "definitely has its flaws" as Braley "owns two teams." But the CFL "is our game and we should be proud of it and the fact the Grey Cup remains our national party." The game provides "a breath of fresh air for frustrated Canadian sports fans" (MONTREAL GAZETTE, 11/24).
A TRADITION UNLIKE ANY OTHER: The GLOBE & MAIL's Vidya Kauri reports in an "attempt to create a new tradition," the CFL yesterday invited fans to "join a parade and take turns carrying" the Grey Cup from the Univ. of Toronto’s Varsity Stadium to Rogers Centre, the site of last night's Grey Cup game. The parade "wound through downtown, picking up hundreds more to arrive near the stadium in a crowd estimated at 3,000" (GLOBE & MAIL, 11/26). Cohon "told hundreds of fans at Varsity Stadium he was hoping to make this inaugural parade of the trophy to the stadium on game day a regular event." Cohon told the crowd, "It will only become a new tradition if you guys don’t drop it. Treat it with the respect it deserves" (TORONTO STAR, 11/26). Also in Toronto, Maryam Shah notes with the 100th Grey Cup Festival "teaming up with Cavalcade of Lights and the Santa parade, the football event -- combined with the lack of on-ice action -- transformed into a citywide celebration, with supporters flying in from all over Canada" (TORONTO SUN, 11/26).