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Thread: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by Sectionq View Post
    The crowd did look fairly sparse from what I saw on TV. I think part of it was the weather. Rain earlier in the day and the chance for more might scare off some of the on the fence people but as you said, I think there were lots a season ticket holders who were turned off by Rhodes. My family of 4 is an example. First time in 25 yrs we weren't at the home opener.
    Just did a quick look back. I could be wrong, but it looks like the lowest attendance since the Nov 2, 2012 game vs Calgary.

    Weird though, it seemed busier to me than some games last year. However, there appeared to be far less on track tent attendance. Maybe after forking out for the Grey Cup, many companies have not started promotions yet. It is an earlier start than usual.

    Also, there torrential downpour and thunderstorm that went through in the afternoon likely scared many away.

    Looks like rain again this week, but if the day is nice on Friday, with Reilly coming back and with positive reviews on last weeks game, I expect attendance will be in the low 30's again.
    Last edited by The Messiah; 06-17-2019 at 04:31 PM.
    ----------------------
    "When you're playing good football, it's good football and if you don't have good football, then you're not really playing good football" - John Madden

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWhiteNorth View Post
    Fair points - those were encouraging signs for sure. Even if you're not getting it in a 50 yd chunk, the efficiency they showed in moving things 15-20 yds at a time, and the increased likelihood of productive plays does bode well. Again, understanding that we'll have bigger defensive tests this season, but also figuring that we'll be likely to continue to improve and get even more on the same page in terms of chemistry, reads, etc.
    There were a lot of pissed off people at the Esks and mostly Rhodes at the end of last season. I can't remember what thread it was in but Diesel had a running count of how many decades of fans were like my family and walking away. It's was 100's and 100's of decades of football fans just having enough. That's just the people he knew of. I have it in my mind that I will take my wife and 2 kids to a game this year but I looked at the schedule and nothing jumped out at me so, it may or may not happen. But if it happens, it's probably only 1, maybe 2 tops. Far cry from 9 home games plus preseason plus playoff games like I used too.
    Last edited by Sectionq; 06-17-2019 at 04:40 PM.
    Remember winning is not enough according to Len Rhodes, President of a professional sports team.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Harris came as advertised in game 1. His average depth of target was 10.1 yards, 2nd lowest of all week 1 starters ahead of only Dominique Davis.

    It’s very different from Reilly but that’s not a knock on him, it’s just different. A big reason for the lower adot is that Harris just likes to get rid of the ball quicker. Reilly is more of a patient qb who likes to let the play develop and is more inclined to go deep. Both styles of qbs can and have worked in the CFL.

    There will be better defences coming our way and I’m very intrigued to see how Harris and Maas continue to grow together, and how they will combat a D who is better equipped to defend the quick pass attack.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    The low attendance in week 1 is not an Eskimo issue. It was down everywhere this week, not just here. I hope it was an aberration.
    Out of my mind; back in five minutes.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by Sectionq View Post
    There were a lot of pissed off people at the Esks and mostly Rhodes at the end of last season. I can't remember what thread it was in but Diesel had a running count of how many decades of fans were like my family and walking away. It's was 100's and 100's of decades of football fans just having enough. That's just the people he knew of. I have it in my mind that I will take my wife and 2 kids to a game this year but I looked at the schedule and nothing jumped out at me so, it may or may not happen. But if it happens, it's probably only 1, maybe 2 tops. Far cry from 9 home games plus preseason plus playoff games like I used too.
    To each their own. I hope that the moves that the club is making start winning people back, but it won't happen overnight. The Stamps thing was obviously a draw for some and it was cool to see him emotional about it and how much that recognition meant to him. That there were other football guys in the house (many without explanation), such as Damon Allen, Stu Hill, Andre Reed... all seemed to create some buzz. Whether they were paid to be there are promotional tools, I'll admit that it impacted my perception that the game is a football event.

    Personally, I've kept my two seats despite not having lived in Edmonton for 11 years. I get back for about 2-3 games a year, and catch another 2-3 Esks games on the road when I can. I'm not saying that there isn't a line that could be crossed that might have me turning my back on it, but I haven't found it yet. I also have the good fortune of being able to afford to buy the tickets without worrying that I'm going each week, and can donate them or usually find someone to go.

    This isn't any kind of "I'm a better fan" thing. I do feel sad when I see people love of something that they were passionate about eroded. I know that it's easy to have a once-bitten-twice-shy approach to it, but it feels like some of the impediments that were in place for many people in recent years have been removed, and it's now going to be up to them, and up to the Esks to see if there is a path that they want to take to embrace it once again.

    Quote Originally Posted by glenvb View Post
    The low attendance in week 1 is not an Eskimo issue. It was down everywhere this week, not just here. I hope it was an aberration.
    This is only the second season of the schedule being pushed forward, and with more bye weeks built in, it's unlikely that it's getting pushed back to where it was... but I wonder if there's an element of "careful what you wish for". I get it that games in early November may be tough draws in a lot of cases, with weather, teams out of playoffs, etc, but it seems like the early season, when kids are still in school, might also be a challenge when it comes to CFL crowds. Hopefully a rebound in store in the coming weeks.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    That there were other football guys in the house (many without explanation), such as Damon Allen, Stu Hill, Andre Reed... all seemed to create some buzz. Whether they were paid to be there are promotional tools, I'll admit that it impacted my perception that the game is a football event.

    IMO the Esks could have done way more promoting those players. Not once was Damon Allen mentioned, or Hill, or Reed. Those who they did mention was less than 10 secs and it was " look who is here"

    Heck I think the Stamps tribute was a little lacking and certainly rushed.


    For me the Esks got a long way to go before the game day atmosphere feels good again. Perhaps I'm longing for how it was back then and times have changed. Or perhaps the Esks need the younger fans in - 20s and up and create more of a party atmosphere. All around me all I heard was people asking about little Jonny or hows the cabin - crap like that for the entire game instead of paying attention to the game.


    And holy crap the advertising I meant i get it we need advertising dollars but DAMN. Everything has advertising. This Urinal brought to by Busy Bee cleaning supplies. I can't say I've been to another stadium in a few years to see if all stadiums are like this
    Last edited by Esks4ever; 06-17-2019 at 06:10 PM.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by Esks4ever View Post
    IMO the Esks could have done way more promoting those players. Not once was Damon Allen mentioned, or Hill, or Reed. Those who they did mention was less than 10 secs and it was " look who is here"

    Heck I think the Stamps tribute was a little lacking and certainly rushed.


    For me the Esks got a long way to go before the game day atmosphere feels good again. Perhaps I'm longing for how it was back then and times have changed. Or perhaps the Esks need the younger fans in - 20s and up and create more of a party atmosphere. All around me all I heard was people asking about little Jonny or hows the cabin - crap like that for the entire game instead of paying attention to the game.

    certainly, our fanbase overall that attends games is up there in age...and if you dont start getting the younger crowd...it wont ever replenish itself..

    have you guys seen the crowds at Ottawa and Winnipeg games? they seem to be younger.
    i could be wrong.


    this young generation DOES need more than the football game itself sadly...



    and yeah...this weeks CFL games...all those empty seats...that was some ugly stuff

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by Maas_12 View Post
    certainly, our fanbase overall that attends games is up there in age...and if you dont start getting the younger crowd...it wont ever replenish itself..

    have you guys seen the crowds at Ottawa and Winnipeg games? they seem to be younger.
    i could be wrong.


    this young generation DOES need more than the football game itself sadly...



    and yeah...this weeks CFL games...all those empty seats...that was some ugly stuff
    I think you're right about Winnipeg and Ottawa crowd demographics.

    I can tell you from first hand experience, with the Bombers stadium being way out in South Winnipeg, it's about a 25 minute bus ride from downtown, and I don't get the impression that parking is great around there. It felt like a lot of effort to get there when I visited, but maybe that's just the lack of familiarity. Winnipeg has done a very good job with marketing creating a sense of inclusion and belonging. Their "For the W" campaign seems to resonate with folks, and the "Loudest Crowd in the CFL" has seemed to be embraced with the locals as an identity. I still saw plenty of people that were interested in socializing rather than football, but that doesn't particularly bother me unless it's affecting my ability to watch the game.

    Ottawa, seems a little easier to reach from downtown, and has a lot of "around the stadium" atmosphere with restaurants, pubs and plaza areas. From what I understood from friends in town, there were concerns about whether the bloom was off the rose and the honeymoon period with the team might be over, and thoughts that loyalty could be tested after losing a bunch of franchise-type players this off-season. Perhaps premature, given that they're coming off 3 Grey Cup appearances in 4 years, but a fun place to watch a game for sure, and an easier place to make a day of it around the football stuff.

    Both, to a degree, I think share the "it's the place to be" mentality that teams try to create. It's tough to do that when you're trying to balance appealing to the longer-term fans with the younger demographics, but if you're essentially building a fan base from scratch, you're going to pursue the folks that will be with you for the next 30 years I guess.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    As gross as this is to admit, I've found that the Stampeders have one of the best crowd experiences I've ever enjoyed - the dilapidated stadium non-withstanding. I've been to 3 games at McMahon, and the energy, commercial break activities, crowd engagement, and overall "place to be" vibe is infinitely better than what the Esks offer.

    Of course, a large part of that is likely due to the long stability and success that the Stamps have enjoyed. But nonetheless, their gameday crew is doing something right.
    "Here comes the rush...Ray looking endzone, Fred. Stamps. TOUCHDOWN!" - Fred Stamps' TD with 8 seconds left against the Stampeders in 2009

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWhiteNorth View Post
    I think you're right about Winnipeg and Ottawa crowd demographics.

    I can tell you from first hand experience, with the Bombers stadium being way out in South Winnipeg, it's about a 25 minute bus ride from downtown, and I don't get the impression that parking is great around there. It felt like a lot of effort to get there when I visited, but maybe that's just the lack of familiarity. Winnipeg has done a very good job with marketing creating a sense of inclusion and belonging. Their "For the W" campaign seems to resonate with folks, and the "Loudest Crowd in the CFL" has seemed to be embraced with the locals as an identity. I still saw plenty of people that were interested in socializing rather than football, but that doesn't particularly bother me unless it's affecting my ability to watch the game.

    Ottawa, seems a little easier to reach from downtown, and has a lot of "around the stadium" atmosphere with restaurants, pubs and plaza areas. From what I understood from friends in town, there were concerns about whether the bloom was off the rose and the honeymoon period with the team might be over, and thoughts that loyalty could be tested after losing a bunch of franchise-type players this off-season. Perhaps premature, given that they're coming off 3 Grey Cup appearances in 4 years, but a fun place to watch a game for sure, and an easier place to make a day of it around the football stuff.

    Both, to a degree, I think share the "it's the place to be" mentality that teams try to create. It's tough to do that when you're trying to balance appealing to the longer-term fans with the younger demographics, but if you're essentially building a fan base from scratch, you're going to pursue the folks that will be with you for the next 30 years I guess.
    In Ottawa one can walk from downtown to the Stadium in 15 to 20 mins. Tons of buses make that minute;; sort of, except traffic crawls around stadium on game day. It is, however, not a place one wants to try to find parking at all. The atmosphere around the Stadium is awesome from a fans perspective. Lots of amenities built into the surrounding new structures. The south grandstand also features an extensive open concourse with a good view of the field; although the last year some of the nice views have vanished due to the installation of more seating.

    Is the "bloom of the rose" in Ottawa? Maybe ... depends on how this season unfolds. If however there had not been "a rose", the team would perhaps not have taken root (wow, into the gardening metaphors).

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Well hopefully the week one upset in Calgary brings some of the fans who questioned the moves out to the game this Thursday in Ottawa. I know I'd be pretty pumped after seeing them beat the Grey Cup champs in their home stadium.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Definitely disappointing attendances throughout the CFL in week 1.

    Edmonton can hopefully blame it on the earlier weather, and Montreal not being a huge draw. Otherwise they seemed to do it right with cheap ticket promotions, honouring Fred Stamps, and bringing in Tom Cochrane - who has some radio hits that should be universally known and likeable.
    It was a big drop after a 10 year trend.

    Hamilton suffered from a torrential downpour that day. I'd give them a pass.

    Calgary has a stable and loyal group, and a good football atmosphere. But it is strange that after years of dominance they haven't moved the needle on attendance.

    BC I can't explain. I thought Rielly had brought a lot of hype into the market.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWhiteNorth View Post
    To each their own. I hope that the moves that the club is making start winning people back, but it won't happen overnight. The Stamps thing was obviously a draw for some and it was cool to see him emotional about it and how much that recognition meant to him. That there were other football guys in the house (many without explanation), such as Damon Allen, Stu Hill, Andre Reed... all seemed to create some buzz. Whether they were paid to be there are promotional tools, I'll admit that it impacted my perception that the game is a football event.

    Personally, I've kept my two seats despite not having lived in Edmonton for 11 years. I get back for about 2-3 games a year, and catch another 2-3 Esks games on the road when I can. I'm not saying that there isn't a line that could be crossed that might have me turning my back on it, but I haven't found it yet. I also have the good fortune of being able to afford to buy the tickets without worrying that I'm going each week, and can donate them or usually find someone to go.

    This isn't any kind of "I'm a better fan" thing. I do feel sad when I see people love of something that they were passionate about eroded. I know that it's easy to have a once-bitten-twice-shy approach to it, but it feels like some of the impediments that were in place for many people in recent years have been removed, and it's now going to be up to them, and up to the Esks to see if there is a path that they want to take to embrace it once again.



    This is only the second season of the schedule being pushed forward, and with more bye weeks built in, it's unlikely that it's getting pushed back to where it was... but I wonder if there's an element of "careful what you wish for". I get it that games in early November may be tough draws in a lot of cases, with weather, teams out of playoffs, etc, but it seems like the early season, when kids are still in school, might also be a challenge when it comes to CFL crowds. Hopefully a rebound in store in the coming weeks.
    Trust me, it was not an easy decision to get rid of the tickets. We spent 25 yrs in those seats and had a lot of good time. This was something that we agonized over for a years. It was not a financial decision what so ever. My parents and I are in a position where we can easily afford them. What it came down too was partly the drive and commitment. For us to go to a game, it's a minimum of a 7-8 hour commitment. For us to drive from Red Deer, park and take transit to the stadium, it was close to 2 hours to get there, typically just over 2 hours to get home if we stayed to the end of the game. On a week day game for a 7pm start, I leave work at 4 to be on the road before 5 so we can make kickoff and we aren't getting home until around 12:30 - 1am. It's a long day. What did it for me was the entertainment value just kept going down each year. My family sat right behind Diesel. We had chants together and songs we would sing at certain times. We had airhorns we blasted off. It wasn't just about the game it was about the experience that we had created in our little portion of the stadium. Security clamped down more and more each year on that stuff and we did less and less of it. If you watch the in game experience, it has become more and more about ramming product down the fans throat. They have that giant screen that is basically a giant billboard instead of what it should be used for which should be creating a fun in game experience, having games, video clips, highlights. In a 3 hour game in Commonwealth, I will see more advertisements at a live sporting event than I would watching tv at home. It's not close. It's become how much advertising can I pump down the fans throat and how many dollars I can squeeze out of the fans wallets. So it wasn't as much fun anymore. The final kicker for us was the last couple of seasons with how the organization did things. We did not like Rhodes. He was a sleeze ball and the way he operated things just turned us off completely. When we called in to cancel, my dad and I told the person who handled our account that Rhodes was a main reason we were cancelling. We could not continue to support the organization that had him in charge. The final kick in the nuts was the Esks not making the playoffs in a year we were hosting the Grey Cup. We bought 8 Grey Cup tickets. Those tickets weren't exactly cheap. So to not make even make the playoffs was the final straw.
    Remember winning is not enough according to Len Rhodes, President of a professional sports team.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by popo View Post
    Definitely disappointing attendances throughout the CFL in week 1.

    Edmonton can hopefully blame it on the earlier weather, and Montreal not being a huge draw. Otherwise they seemed to do it right with cheap ticket promotions, honouring Fred Stamps, and bringing in Tom Cochrane - who has some radio hits that should be universally known and likeable.
    It was a big drop after a 10 year trend.

    Hamilton suffered from a torrential downpour that day. I'd give them a pass.

    Calgary has a stable and loyal group, and a good football atmosphere. But it is strange that after years of dominance they haven't moved the needle on attendance.

    BC I can't explain. I thought Rielly had brought a lot of hype into the market.
    Hamilton also had Game 6 of the NBA finals to contend with as well.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by Jtuck09 View Post
    Hamilton also had Game 6 of the NBA finals to contend with as well.
    Good point. To their credit though they moved the game time up, and had an NBA party afterwards. Setting up the game on the big screen with fans able to come onto the field to watch it.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by popo View Post
    Good point. To their credit though they moved the game time up, and had an NBA party afterwards. Setting up the game on the big screen with fans able to come onto the field to watch it.
    I saw that but I would imagine a lot of people were at bars or parties to watch the game.

    If attendance is bad in the first four weeks of the season, then I will be really worried. I'm hoping week 1 was an aberration.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by Sectionq View Post
    Trust me, it was not an easy decision to get rid of the tickets. We spent 25 yrs in those seats and had a lot of good time. This was something that we agonized over for a years. It was not a financial decision what so ever. My parents and I are in a position where we can easily afford them. What it came down too was partly the drive and commitment. For us to go to a game, it's a minimum of a 7-8 hour commitment. For us to drive from Red Deer, park and take transit to the stadium, it was close to 2 hours to get there, typically just over 2 hours to get home if we stayed to the end of the game. On a week day game for a 7pm start, I leave work at 4 to be on the road before 5 so we can make kickoff and we aren't getting home until around 12:30 - 1am. It's a long day. What did it for me was the entertainment value just kept going down each year. My family sat right behind Diesel. We had chants together and songs we would sing at certain times. We had airhorns we blasted off. It wasn't just about the game it was about the experience that we had created in our little portion of the stadium. Security clamped down more and more each year on that stuff and we did less and less of it. If you watch the in game experience, it has become more and more about ramming product down the fans throat. They have that giant screen that is basically a giant billboard instead of what it should be used for which should be creating a fun in game experience, having games, video clips, highlights. In a 3 hour game in Commonwealth, I will see more advertisements at a live sporting event than I would watching tv at home. It's not close. It's become how much advertising can I pump down the fans throat and how many dollars I can squeeze out of the fans wallets. So it wasn't as much fun anymore. The final kicker for us was the last couple of seasons with how the organization did things. We did not like Rhodes. He was a sleeze ball and the way he operated things just turned us off completely. When we called in to cancel, my dad and I told the person who handled our account that Rhodes was a main reason we were cancelling. We could not continue to support the organization that had him in charge. The final kick in the nuts was the Esks not making the playoffs in a year we were hosting the Grey Cup. We bought 8 Grey Cup tickets. Those tickets weren't exactly cheap. So to not make even make the playoffs was the final straw.
    I can relate a lot more than you know, having lived in Red Deer for 8 years and making the trip up highway 2 with Esks seasons and a share of Oilers seasons for the whole time. I remember well the feeling of pulling into the garage on a school night/work night after midnight, and know that it's a lot to sacrifice to take things in... especially if the product isn't living up to expectations, whatever the reasons for that.

    Do you have an idea of what you'd have to see from the team in order to be open to re-committing to tickets? Obviously, the Rhodes move is done, and we're waiting to see who they bring in to replace him - how much will that affect your interest in coming back?

    People often say that "winning cures everything", and I don't buy it, but I do believe it can be helpful in making up for some of the other flaws. It's only one week, but if the Esks work to a 1st or 2nd place finish in the west this year, does that impact your decision?

    I can understand how much would have went into making the decision. My guess is, the further you go without tickets, the less likely you'll be to go back to getting them (speaking in generalizations only), so mostly just curious to see whether there's sort of a mental criteria checklist that you're thinking of or more a case of you'll know it when you see it?

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Gave my seasons up as well after the Hervey fiasco and have slowly been coming around, expect to see half the home games live this year.

    That said the Eskimos do themselves no favours.

    I have no idea what you could do about the track, but it hurts the experience.

    Beyond that, the list of things a competent president should be on to improve the game day experience and the season ticket holder (!) experience...

    1) Fight for Labour Day. It should flip every year and it would be better for the league as a whole if it did instead of favouring the same franchises it always does (Sask, Cgy, Hamilton).
    2) Reasonable concession prices. This is such a no brainer, it's been proven that people actually are more likely not only to show up, but to actually spend more if they're not being asked to pay $19 for a beer a hot dog. Reel in the stupidity here and go back to $5 being the most you can spend on any item in the stadium and you'll see a lot more bums in seats.
    3) I really think the CFL should try and push for a far more balanced schedule. By this I mean 2 Friday and 2 Saturday games almost every weekend of the year. And never have teams playing on Saturday play someone who played on Friday. Balance it. So many sloppy games are a result of rest where one team wins based on that.
    4) If you can't do that, at the very least, do Labour Day Monday and make it a huge event (theoretically you could have games at 11 MST, 2 MST, 5 MST and 8 MST) but never, ever, go against the NFL on Sunday's once they're in full swing.
    "This year, we did what we were supposed to do. We fought as a team. We fought as a team. And the fact is, we gotta go back and go to work, to make sure we finish this next time. That's all we gotta do. This right here makes us stronger. Let's understand who we are as a team. Let's understand this right here makes us stronger." - Ray Lewis, January, 2012.

    Superbowl Champs 2013.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by PDO View Post
    Gave my seasons up as well after the Hervey fiasco and have slowly been coming around, expect to see half the home games live this year.

    That said the Eskimos do themselves no favours.

    I have no idea what you could do about the track, but it hurts the experience.

    Beyond that, the list of things a competent president should be on to improve the game day experience and the season ticket holder (!) experience...

    1) Fight for Labour Day. It should flip every year and it would be better for the league as a whole if it did instead of favouring the same franchises it always does (Sask, Cgy, Hamilton).
    2) Reasonable concession prices. This is such a no brainer, it's been proven that people actually are more likely not only to show up, but to actually spend more if they're not being asked to pay $19 for a beer a hot dog. Reel in the stupidity here and go back to $5 being the most you can spend on any item in the stadium and you'll see a lot more bums in seats.
    3) I really think the CFL should try and push for a far more balanced schedule. By this I mean 2 Friday and 2 Saturday games almost every weekend of the year. And never have teams playing on Saturday play someone who played on Friday. Balance it. So many sloppy games are a result of rest where one team wins based on that.
    4) If you can't do that, at the very least, do Labour Day Monday and make it a huge event (theoretically you could have games at 11 MST, 2 MST, 5 MST and 8 MST) but never, ever, go against the NFL on Sunday's once they're in full swing.
    Specifically, with the concessions, I think there's some middle ground here.

    Much as how you need to make sure that there are some affordable tickets for the game, and to do so doesn't mean having to reduce ALL of the ticket prices, make sure that you're providing some reasonable options for food. Whether that is having a few specials each game, or a few staples such as a $3 dog and $3 burger, I agree that they create resentment if they're treating folks as a captive audience. There are places around the league that have gone with fancier options... the short-rib poutine or the 2-foot hotdogs... and that appeals to a certain segment I'm sure. Let people have access to those selections too if you want, but having some reasonable options is key.

    I think it would require a change in thinking on how they run it though, as I believe that most of the staff are volunteering for charities and church groups, much like working a bingo. It's hard to knock something that does good in the communities, but at the same time, there's already plenty of redistribution of income from the 50/50 draws that support community projects. Having to pay more to cover donations to other causes isn't ideal, but perhaps the economics don't change favorably if you have to staff them all with employees.

    As for the track - it's what got us the stadium. Yes, it hurts the experience being that much further away from the action and it affects the atmosphere, but there is obviously nothing that can be done to address it.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWhiteNorth View Post
    Specifically, with the concessions, I think there's some middle ground here.

    Much as how you need to make sure that there are some affordable tickets for the game, and to do so doesn't mean having to reduce ALL of the ticket prices, make sure that you're providing some reasonable options for food. Whether that is having a few specials each game, or a few staples such as a $3 dog and $3 burger, I agree that they create resentment if they're treating folks as a captive audience. There are places around the league that have gone with fancier options... the short-rib poutine or the 2-foot hotdogs... and that appeals to a certain segment I'm sure. Let people have access to those selections too if you want, but having some reasonable options is key.

    I think it would require a change in thinking on how they run it though, as I believe that most of the staff are volunteering for charities and church groups, much like working a bingo. It's hard to knock something that does good in the communities, but at the same time, there's already plenty of redistribution of income from the 50/50 draws that support community projects. Having to pay more to cover donations to other causes isn't ideal, but perhaps the economics don't change favorably if you have to staff them all with employees.

    As for the track - it's what got us the stadium. Yes, it hurts the experience being that much further away from the action and it affects the atmosphere, but there is obviously nothing that can be done to address it.
    Hey, if someone wants to spend $10 on a 2 foot hotdog or whatever the hell that monstrosity Duane Forde ate was, go nuts. But $9 for a normal hot dog is what turns people off. Same with $10+ beers. I understand the arguments against lowering liquor prices but the fact is all they've done is create a situation where people pregame and show up half lit so they're only buying a beer or two anyway. There's been all kinds of studies and the Falcons and Ravens both publicly said their *profit* increased when they made the prices affordable.

    As far as the charity angle goes, for the 50/50 I get it and it's a great idea, but if it means paying $10 for a hotdog then maybe give me a tax receipt too after I drop $50 for two pops, two hotdogs and some popcorn.
    "This year, we did what we were supposed to do. We fought as a team. We fought as a team. And the fact is, we gotta go back and go to work, to make sure we finish this next time. That's all we gotta do. This right here makes us stronger. Let's understand who we are as a team. Let's understand this right here makes us stronger." - Ray Lewis, January, 2012.

    Superbowl Champs 2013.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWhiteNorth View Post
    I can relate a lot more than you know, having lived in Red Deer for 8 years and making the trip up highway 2 with Esks seasons and a share of Oilers seasons for the whole time. I remember well the feeling of pulling into the garage on a school night/work night after midnight, and know that it's a lot to sacrifice to take things in... especially if the product isn't living up to expectations, whatever the reasons for that.

    Do you have an idea of what you'd have to see from the team in order to be open to re-committing to tickets? Obviously, the Rhodes move is done, and we're waiting to see who they bring in to replace him - how much will that affect your interest in coming back?

    People often say that "winning cures everything", and I don't buy it, but I do believe it can be helpful in making up for some of the other flaws. It's only one week, but if the Esks work to a 1st or 2nd place finish in the west this year, does that impact your decision?

    I can understand how much would have went into making the decision. My guess is, the further you go without tickets, the less likely you'll be to go back to getting them (speaking in generalizations only), so mostly just curious to see whether there's sort of a mental criteria checklist that you're thinking of or more a case of you'll know it when you see it?
    My parents had 2 tickets and I had 2 tickets in a row. When it comes to Rhodes, the whole handling of Hervey really turned myself and my dad off of the team. You guys know I liked Hervey as a GM, so did my dad. It wasn't so much about firing the man but more so how and why it was done. There was nothing remotely football or fan related about that dismissal. It was 100% about Rhodes's ego, it was self serving and all about him. So the fact that the Board allowed it, was a real piss off and sort of reinforced to us that the team didn't give a crap about the community or the fans. But it definitely wasn't a decision we just made on a whim. It was years in the making. The big reason like I said is the overall entertainment value has gone down a lot in my books. It really had nothing to do with the football product. Sure winning is important but we are football fans, we like watching football and this is the best product we have to watch that is close. It was little things for me. Like I said, it was the clamp down of security. We called them the fun police. The puncturing of beach balls, the clamping down on cheering loud, using horns. All the things you don't get to do when you are at home. I used to go to the knothole gang when it was in the endzone. They used to fire little footballs like crazy, now they don't. I used to catch multiple balls a year, I haven't got one for 3 or 4 years because they don't throw them out anymore. The firetruck was a HUGE piss off to me. That was what made the Eskimos. The Stamps have that horse, we had the fire truck driving around, lights and sirens going, fire men firing balls into the crowd. I used to jump out of my seat when I was a kid for that truck, standing on my seat waving at it. I have an 8 1/2 and a 6 yr old. I just started taking my oldest to a few games a few years ago, my 6 year old only recently. They have NEVER seen that truck. NEVER. I know for a fact they would love it and it would fire them up to see it when the Esks score just like it did for me for.

    So for me. The balls would have to come back. The firetruck would have to come. Way better music. I am not talking old people music, I am talking getting a guy in there who knows how to pump up a crowd with music. Playing the right song at the right time. When the defense is coming on the field for a key series, playing that right song to get the crowd fired up. I have nothing against al the new artists, some are very talented but playing the latest slow Drake song just because it's popular doesn't mean it's the right song. Create an atmosphere that you can't get at home in my climate controlled out of the elements home. They would have to drastically tone down the amount of commercials they show. I don't like watching them on TV so why do I want to buy tickets, drive 2 hours each way, spend money on 2 meals for my family, a tank of gas to sit in the seats for 3 hours and be bombarded with commercials. Before the game, during the game, at half, after the game, every stoppage. It's non stop.

    So honestly, like you said, I don't know when or realistically if I will ever come back. In all likelihood, my little family of 4 will cherry pick a couple of games a year. Wait until I know the weather is good and buy tickets.
    Remember winning is not enough according to Len Rhodes, President of a professional sports team.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by Sectionq View Post
    My parents had 2 tickets and I had 2 tickets in a row. When it comes to Rhodes, the whole handling of Hervey really turned myself and my dad off of the team. You guys know I liked Hervey as a GM, so did my dad. It wasn't so much about firing the man but more so how and why it was done. There was nothing remotely football or fan related about that dismissal. It was 100% about Rhodes's ego, it was self serving and all about him. So the fact that the Board allowed it, was a real piss off and sort of reinforced to us that the team didn't give a crap about the community or the fans. But it definitely wasn't a decision we just made on a whim. It was years in the making. The big reason like I said is the overall entertainment value has gone down a lot in my books. It really had nothing to do with the football product. Sure winning is important but we are football fans, we like watching football and this is the best product we have to watch that is close. It was little things for me. Like I said, it was the clamp down of security. We called them the fun police. The puncturing of beach balls, the clamping down on cheering loud, using horns. All the things you don't get to do when you are at home. I used to go to the knothole gang when it was in the endzone. They used to fire little footballs like crazy, now they don't. I used to catch multiple balls a year, I haven't got one for 3 or 4 years because they don't throw them out anymore. The firetruck was a HUGE piss off to me. That was what made the Eskimos. The Stamps have that horse, we had the fire truck driving around, lights and sirens going, fire men firing balls into the crowd. I used to jump out of my seat when I was a kid for that truck, standing on my seat waving at it. I have an 8 1/2 and a 6 yr old. I just started taking my oldest to a few games a few years ago, my 6 year old only recently. They have NEVER seen that truck. NEVER. I know for a fact they would love it and it would fire them up to see it when the Esks score just like it did for me for.

    So for me. The balls would have to come back. The firetruck would have to come. Way better music. I am not talking old people music, I am talking getting a guy in there who knows how to pump up a crowd with music. Playing the right song at the right time. When the defense is coming on the field for a key series, playing that right song to get the crowd fired up. I have nothing against al the new artists, some are very talented but playing the latest slow Drake song just because it's popular doesn't mean it's the right song. Create an atmosphere that you can't get at home in my climate controlled out of the elements home. They would have to drastically tone down the amount of commercials they show. I don't like watching them on TV so why do I want to buy tickets, drive 2 hours each way, spend money on 2 meals for my family, a tank of gas to sit in the seats for 3 hours and be bombarded with commercials. Before the game, during the game, at half, after the game, every stoppage. It's non stop.

    So honestly, like you said, I don't know when or realistically if I will ever come back. In all likelihood, my little family of 4 will cherry pick a couple of games a year. Wait until I know the weather is good and buy tickets.
    I have the conversation regularly with a buddy that I sit by, and when he's shaking his head at things they're doing, I'm constantly stuck saying... "Look, they already have us - they don't need to add extras to keep us. These things they're doing are to appeal to someone else." Doesn't matter how much I know it to be true, it still stings a little to feel taken for granted. To be pushed aside in favour of chasing more lucrative demographics.

    The things that you mention... the music, the firetruck, the mini footballs, they don't mean a thing to me, but that doesn't matter. You're not the only one I've heard that is upset by the lost tradition of the firetruck, and I think it speaks to a larger erosion of some of the traditions. My sense is, there is the start of a shift back occurring - maybe that's the optimist in me, but having Kenny Ladler back last game and Brandon Zylstra on the sidelines next week - even though they're recent Esks, it seems to be tapping into the tradition about not forgetting guys when they leave and playing into the meaning of Once an Eskimo Always an Eskimo. They're small steps, to be sure, and they're not without some mis-steps along the way, but hopefully, it's a course-correction and a recognition that this can still be a game-day experience that isn't "your father's Oldsmobile", while still tying into and honouring traditions. I even saw that they're bringing back the dogs at halftime this week - one of the things I hear bemoaned along the same lines as the firetruck.

    Again, I want to be clear, I'm not saying what you want is invalid - just different than what I want. I do believe that there is room for both, and what you want isn't getting in the way of anything for me, but I do think it's a bit like threading a needle when you take the ticket buying public as a whole. I also believe that it's valuable to have the conversations, as I do think that people within the EEFC read this board. Not all of what we want can be delivered on, but I'll settle for taking steps in the right direction and feeling like the club has some alignment with "the Eskimo Way" in how it conducts itself off the field as well.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWhiteNorth View Post
    I have the conversation regularly with a buddy that I sit by, and when he's shaking his head at things they're doing, I'm constantly stuck saying... "Look, they already have us - they don't need to add extras to keep us. These things they're doing are to appeal to someone else." Doesn't matter how much I know it to be true, it still stings a little to feel taken for granted. To be pushed aside in favour of chasing more lucrative demographics.

    The things that you mention... the music, the firetruck, the mini footballs, they don't mean a thing to me, but that doesn't matter. You're not the only one I've heard that is upset by the lost tradition of the firetruck, and I think it speaks to a larger erosion of some of the traditions. My sense is, there is the start of a shift back occurring - maybe that's the optimist in me, but having Kenny Ladler back last game and Brandon Zylstra on the sidelines next week - even though they're recent Esks, it seems to be tapping into the tradition about not forgetting guys when they leave and playing into the meaning of Once an Eskimo Always an Eskimo. They're small steps, to be sure, and they're not without some mis-steps along the way, but hopefully, it's a course-correction and a recognition that this can still be a game-day experience that isn't "your father's Oldsmobile", while still tying into and honouring traditions. I even saw that they're bringing back the dogs at halftime this week - one of the things I hear bemoaned along the same lines as the firetruck.

    Again, I want to be clear, I'm not saying what you want is invalid - just different than what I want. I do believe that there is room for both, and what you want isn't getting in the way of anything for me, but I do think it's a bit like threading a needle when you take the ticket buying public as a whole. I also believe that it's valuable to have the conversations, as I do think that people within the EEFC read this board. Not all of what we want can be delivered on, but I'll settle for taking steps in the right direction and feeling like the club has some alignment with "the Eskimo Way" in how it conducts itself off the field as well.
    You are right, a lot of the things I described that they eliminated aren't geared for me anymore. But those things contributed to making me a football fan as a kid. When I was a kid, we my family started to drive from Red Deer a couple times a year to see Esks game. Then as my siblings got older, we started going to more games. Pretty soon we as a family bought 6 seasons tickets which started our 25 yr run. Then as my siblings got older and moved farther away, we went down to 4. But as a kid, it wasn't just the football, the football could only keep my attention for so long. It's a 3 hour game, sitting for 3 hours is hard for a kid, they get bored. My kids are no different. As I said, they are now 8 1/2 and 6. They are always all gun hoe to go to the game. My oldest is better than the youngest but once we creep into the 3rd and 4th quarter, they are getting tired and bored. As I said, it's not just 3 hours for a game and another 30 mins to get home. It's an 8 hour day for us. It's a LONG day for an adult, let alone a kid. So by the time we get into the middle half of the 3rd quarter, they have been doing this for 5 hours.

    The Esks have stripped away all the other stuff that adds to the entertainment value of the game that I as a kid loved and got me hooked. They took away the balls. They fire out some in that giant gun but it's nothing like they used too. As I said, I haven't had a ball in my direction in at least 3 years. I used to get some yearly. So my kids don't have trying to get a ball to look forward too like I used too. There is the firetruck they took away that my kids don't have anymore to look forward too. The mascots used to do all kinds of stuff. Beating on stuffed animals, doing crazy stunts. Throwing up signs. As a young adult, during a few games when I got a little tipsy I started yelling at the Bear. Pretty soon that became something that a bunch of us around me did in the stands every game. It was part of the fun of going to the game. The Esks have 2 mascots and what exactly do they do anymore, can anyone tell me? I see them walking around the track maybe give the odd high 5, they might throw up a sign occasionally but that's about it. I remember as a kid watching one of the mascots standing on part of the stadium and like a WWE guy, jumping in the air and doing an elbow smash on some stuffed animal. Guess what me, my brother and cousins did the next game when we were in the Knothole gang. As soon as that mascot got near, we remembered that, starting chanting "elbow smash", the mascot heard us, started pumping his elbow, spins around, gets the whole section chanting "elbow smash" he does it and we all go nuts. That was over 25 yrs ago and I STILL remember that. I don't have a clue who played that game or if the Esks won but I remember that non football related entertainment thing. My oldest is 8 1/2, I started taking him to a game or 2 a year when he was 5, I can bet you he was ZERO memories of anything because nothing memorable ever happened. He might remember when it was $2 dollar hot dog day because he ate 2 and he was pretty proud of that. I have dozens of non football related memories from the stuff that didn't happen on the field that all added to the overall entertainment of the game and made me want to go back. When I told him, we no longer had tickets, my son shrugged his shoulders and said "that's OK, maybe we can go to a game sometime." Tell that to me when I was his age, I would have been devastated because I looked forward to going. My son doesn't care because it's boring.
    Remember winning is not enough according to Len Rhodes, President of a professional sports team.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    They need to bring that fire truck back. I agree 100%.

    My wife and I walked by the fire truck after the home opener and I told her what it used to do and she said "that's awesome!. Why did they stop?" You bring that back it'd be a cool part of the game day experience for sure.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by Jtuck09 View Post
    They need to bring that fire truck back. I agree 100%.

    My wife and I walked by the fire truck after the home opener and I told her what it used to do and she said "that's awesome!. Why did they stop?" You bring that back it'd be a cool part of the game day experience for sure.
    As a dad of 2 kids who like football and watching sports sort of but when you ask them to sit for 3 hours, it's hard, what is a selling feature for them too look forward too other than junk food? I can't think of anything right now. When I take them to junior hockey games, the Red Deer Rebels have a mascot that runs around the arena and is physically in the stands. He slides up and down the rails, jumps around, does stupid stuff, slaps hands, gives stuff out, interacts with the kids. My kids think it's great. Do they do any of that at Esks games? Nope.
    Remember winning is not enough according to Len Rhodes, President of a professional sports team.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by Sectionq View Post
    As a dad of 2 kids who like football and watching sports sort of but when you ask them to sit for 3 hours, it's hard, what is a selling feature for them too look forward too other than junk food? I can't think of anything right now. When I take them to junior hockey games, the Red Deer Rebels have a mascot that runs around the arena and is physically in the stands. He slides up and down the rails, jumps around, does stupid stuff, slaps hands, gives stuff out, interacts with the kids. My kids think it's great. Do they do any of that at Esks games? Nope.
    Fully agree with this. I took my littlest dude to the games starting when he was about 2. The only way I could get him excited about the games was by having tickets in the front row. By placing us there, the mascots and cheerleaders would come by and he would usually get one of those mini footballs. As he got older I was able to move up and under cover as I invented little games that we could play (Which player is going to lead the half in yards, kind thing) to keep his interest in the game, and it worked. The one thing that bothered me is that we were on the East side of the stadium and in order to get him om the field with the players, after the game, we had to go around to the westside, through all of the concourse traffic, which made in very hard to take advantage of.

    Please don't take this the wrong way as I know you came from Red Deer and had a much longer day than me. This is NOT a "I made it work" post, its intended to agree with you about tailoring the experience to the kids.
    Edmonton Eskimos, 2015 grey cup CHAMPS!!!!!

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by Sectionq View Post
    As a dad of 2 kids who like football and watching sports sort of but when you ask them to sit for 3 hours, it's hard, what is a selling feature for them too look forward too other than junk food? I can't think of anything right now. When I take them to junior hockey games, the Red Deer Rebels have a mascot that runs around the arena and is physically in the stands. He slides up and down the rails, jumps around, does stupid stuff, slaps hands, gives stuff out, interacts with the kids. My kids think it's great. Do they do any of that at Esks games? Nope.
    In the rush to go "new school" with technology, it seems that moving away from some of the classics has had a notable effect.

    I appreciate the length of the day, but one of the best things that the Esks do for kids is the post-game Kids Club where they let them on the field, and have them interact with players, mascots, etc. This may not be something that can easily be worked in, especially when there is a drive ahead of you, but talk about a memory maker and something to keep young football fans coming back.

    My theory when I run into a customer service failure from a business or a situation where they are losing my business... If I don't care about them, I just walk away without telling them, and may even take the steps of telling others if they've really ticked me off. If I do care, I'm telling them why I'm leaving, in the hopes that they can learn from it, if not address the reasons immediately. I'm not saying that you'll necessarily immediately find someone that's automatically empathetic, but for people that want the restoration of traditions, using the Firetruck as one example of that, adding your voice through a letter to the Eskimo office explaining some of the things that led to you canceling your long-term season tickets is more likely to create some traction. They won't change it for one person, but if there are others voicing the same themes, over time, there may be a tipping point where something gives.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    My family is also in Red Deer and for us the drive was a huge part of the decision to cancel this year. Basically if I'm going to make a day of it, the live experience needs to give me something I can't get on TV. So, for example, don't run the jumbotron like a TSN broadcast - I don't need to see guys milling around on the screen between plays, I can see them doing that on the field. Show a replay or even those player 'headshot' things of who made that last play would be more worthwhile. I feel like we used to see those ALL the time (on the black and white(ish) screen!), but I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen that in a season now. When Larry Dean lights it up, show people who Larry Dean is besides a helmet and a number. Put a face to the big play that just happened.

    Agree with Q on the footballs and fire truck too; you can't get that in your living room.
    "Because this Eskimo experience is not made for just anyone" - KP

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by Jtuck09 View Post
    They need to bring that fire truck back. I agree 100%.

    My wife and I walked by the fire truck after the home opener and I told her what it used to do and she said "that's awesome!. Why did they stop?" You bring that back it'd be a cool part of the game day experience for sure.
    Not only was it entertaining for the kids, It was unique and it was ours.

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    Re: Eskimos vs. Alouettes; 2019 Home Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by Sectionq View Post
    As a dad of 2 kids who like football and watching sports sort of but when you ask them to sit for 3 hours, it's hard, what is a selling feature for them too look forward too other than junk food? I can't think of anything right now. When I take them to junior hockey games, the Red Deer Rebels have a mascot that runs around the arena and is physically in the stands. He slides up and down the rails, jumps around, does stupid stuff, slaps hands, gives stuff out, interacts with the kids. My kids think it's great. Do they do any of that at Esks games? Nope.
    To be fair, at the game last Friday Punter was up in the crowd in our section in the second half. There were a pile of pictures taken and my kids were hoping he’d make his way over to us. There were also cheer leaders up in the stands selling pins who stopped to high 5 my little guys and chat with them and they loved it. Little things that might be going in the right direction. I go to a number of Rebels games as well and I agree that Wully Bully has a very active role at the games. Hell during the Memorial Cup year watching playoff games (for the WHL) on tv, my oldest got excited anytime we spotted him on tv.

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