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CFL Expansion—Is There A Real Possibility For More Teams In The CFL, And If So, Where And When?

That dream for an elusive tenth team in the CFL may be more of a reality sometime in the near future than you’d think, because talks are getting serious about a new Canadian city joining the ranks. A CFL expansion is far more possible now than it ever was before.

Of course the CFL has expanded before and perhaps to disastrous results. We all remember the expansion into the United States that had some for it and some against, but it ended abysmally for perhaps everyone involved and most of all the fans.

The CFL is special to fans of the league and tarnishing it in any way can only hurt it in the long run, so it’s understandable why CFL fans are so protective of the league and wary of any talks of expansion, or rather expansion done wrong.

-via CFL News Hub on YouTube

But a tenth, eleventh or even a twelfth team could make things interesting overall if done right and if the right city is chosen. Well, CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie states that expansion is definitely on his mind and is indeed a priority and not just a rumor right now.

“Expansion is absolutely a priority for us so we are having those conversations, real productive conversations in Atlantic Canada…What we’ve said to our friends there is that this will be our fourth Touchdown Atlantic game. We love the heck out of that region, we’d love to be there, the people are amazing and the region is amazing…

What they have to do now is to pull us in the rest of the way… I think we’ve never had stronger ownership in the history of the league. We’ve got work to do but we are building off a very strong foundation now…

We are at the very early stages of conversations with other markets and one that we’ve talked a little bit about publicly but that we should talk more about is Quebec City…It’s an amazing city and of course the rivalry between Montreal and Quebec City in the old NHL format was second to none, it was as good as the Battle of Alberta many say…

We’re resolute in getting to 10 teams and in fact, you can’t get to 12 until you get to 10, but expansion is definitely a priority for us…I have no doubt in my mind that an inter-provincial rivalry would be good for Quebec, and great for football in the CFL. Quebec City is a great sports town and it’s a place we’ll look to as a possible expansion partner.”

-via TSN (Transcription)

-Image via Regina Leader Post

He brings up a tremendous point in the possibility of what is called a derbie in Italian soccer and of course other leagues…two teams from the same region battling it out for supremacy. As we saw in the NHL years ago (The Montreal Canadiens and the Quebec Nordiques), it can create a passionate debate that can at times get ugly, but generate a lot of steam and money for everyone involved.

And at the end of the day aren’t we talking about money? More money for everyone involved? If the players are paid more in this league, that will attract more players…but what about those players? Nine teams and a good but smaller college ball organization in all of Canada, how can it compare to the NCAA of the US? Mr. Ambrosie addressed that as well…

“The positive note is there are almost 850 NCAA programs of various shapes and sizes in the United States, there’s a lot of football being played in the US, there’s college football and junior football being played in Canada….

We’ve gotta find a way to find those QBs, we’ve gotta find a way to develop those QBs…We’ve always had a great track record of attracting phenomenal QBs, and we’ll continue to attract them…But this is definitely a topic that is front and centre.”

-via TSN (transcription) – link above

But Quebec City isn’t the only possibility for expansion. As has been reported by numerous sources, including a piece over at 13thmansports.ca, Halifax is perhaps the leading possibility right now for expansion.

An “ownership group,” as the above-mentioned source referenced it, has been around since 2018 and since that time the possibility of the expansion has been more of a concrete possibility, especially with serious proposals for stadiums in and around Atlantic Canada—specifically Halifax, Nova Scotia.

-via TSN on YouTube

There were even some games played there and in New Brunswick as well. The games played there, specifically at Raymond Field on the Acadia University campus in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, which was attended by just over 10 thousand screaming and very enthusiastic fans, were indeed successful.

That was back in 2022, and to say it was a success would be an understatement; it was a positive nod in the possible expansion Ambrosie has been after for a while.

As the source also states, the Atlantic Schooners were almost a team for a planned expansion back in the mid-eighties, but that ball got squashed way before it was allowed to get rolling. This time though, things are being handled a tad more strategically and slowly, the momentum being allowed to be built a little at a time and really, Ambrosie has been at this a while, as stated.

So in the end, an Expansion might be on the way. The placement of that tenth team for now and maybe more in the future should be considered imminent; the only thing left is determining just what city will get the honor of being that tenth team. What side are you on? Quebec or Halifax?

NEXT: Roman Reigns: From CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos / Elks to WWE Superstar!

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Domenic Marinelli Reporter
Domenic Marinelli is an author and freelance writer/journalist. His work has appeared in The Sportster, E-Wrestling News, Pro Wrestling News Hub, CFL News Hub, XFL News Hub, Ringside News, Daily DDT, USFL News Hub, Slam Wrestling, Guilty Eats, Lombardi Ave, as well as other print and internet publications. He is the author of Generic V, Summer of the Great White Wolf, His Old Tapes (stories & poetry), Across a Dark River in Palermo, Ancient Credos In Sanskrit Moderna, and so many others. He lives in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. https://linktr.ee/AuthorDomenicMarinelli
4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Costa

    August 26, 2023 at 3:50 am

    The CFL needs to stop thinking “big”. They are not. They need to think small. Like the Betfred Super league or the NRL. They need to create partnerships with CPL and MLS and start sharing stadiums. Building temporary/permanent stadiums. They should consider shrinking the field to 100 yards with 15 yard endzones but keeping the same width and the 12th player. I say this so stadium construction can be simple as a soccer field can fit in these dimensions so we can create small steep intimate stadiums. Secondly, get the damn game back on cable! CTV. SPONSORSHIP of the league. And SPINSORSHIP of each team. Same model
    like the Rugby leagues. 1 DIVISION. For the love of God, 1 division. Each team already travels once to each coast. Come on. 2 divisions is nonsense. Even with 10 or 12 teams, 1 DIVISION. Finally, bring the high school and university championships games to Grey cup weekend. Create grass roots and tradition. Finally we need teams in Halifax, Quebec City and the Okanagan. 12 teams. This is a formula for success.

  2. Howard

    September 7, 2023 at 11:51 pm

    Halifax

  3. Jim

    September 12, 2023 at 9:33 am

    Anchorage

  4. David Tress

    September 13, 2023 at 11:41 am

    The CFL should still think big. The four biggest cities in Canada without a CFL team are London ON, Quebec City, Halifax and Victoria. That is where the next CFL teams should be. However, without new stadiums that seat at least 35,000, it won’t happen quite yet.

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