Lions in the local media (REVIVED thread 6-10-20)

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David
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James Cybulski was asked by Saskatchewan's The Rod Pedersen Show the state of the CFL in Vancouver. I was hoping that by being a media member and a CFL fan, Cybulski could provide a more nuanced answer. Instead, he went for the obvious - BC Place.

https://twitter.com/RodPedersenShow/sta ... 23648?s=20


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I heard the interview and disagree completely. I love B.C. Place. It’s still the best facility in the league,
especially with the retractable roof. The sight lines are excellent and the fan experience was vastly improved last year, due largely to changes in the music that livened up the stadium atmosphere.

The demographics of the fan base have also improved. It’s a much more family-oriented experience, thanks in part to the introduction of inexpensive kids’ tickets.

The only thing lacking at B.C. Place is a full house. While a good part of the millennial fan base has gravitated to the NFL, the best way for the Lions to win them back is to start winning more games. The fact that they’ve won only one playoff game in eight years is a huge factor in the loss of casual fans.


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The biggest issue I have with BC Place is its capacity. The second biggest is that 100m x 85m opening is just too small to provide any "outdoor" feel. And it never seems to retract. What a wasted opportunity.

For big events, I agree. It's a wonderfully clean and spacious first-class facility. For regular season CFL games though, it's just too darn cavernous. Even with, say, an exciting 13-5 team, we're unlikely to see the needle move all that much. The perception that anyone can walk up to the ticket window the day of the game and buy tickets at any price category is palpable. The narrative that the Lions are "struggling at the gate" has become so ingrained that it's going to take a seismic shift in marketing strategy and/or ownership change to shake things up (although the $77 season ticket for those 17 and under is a great and long overdue initiative).

If I were in charge of the Lions, I would strongly consider a configuration change by creatively (and inconspicuously - no cheesy advertising) blocking out rows or sections to get capacity to more reasonable CFL levels. Not 27,500. Once demand increases, then inventory follows suit.


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B.C.FAN wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:54 am
I heard the interview and disagree completely. I love B.C. Place. It’s still the best facility in the league,
especially with the retractable roof. The sight lines are excellent and the fan experience was vastly improved last year, due largely to changes in the music that livened up the stadium atmosphere.
Fully agree. BC Place post-renos is a first class stadium. It was a stifling sweatbox in summer pre-renos. Now--if they would only OPEN THE ROOF as much as the Whitecaps do, we'd be getting somewhere.


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David wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:16 pm
The biggest issue I have with BC Place is its capacity. The second biggest is that 100m x 85m opening is just too small to provide any "outdoor" feel. And it never seems to retract. What a wasted opportunity.

For big events, I agree. It's a wonderfully clean and spacious first-class facility. For regular season CFL games though, it's just too darn cavernous. Even with, say, an exciting 13-5 team, we're unlikely to see the needle move all that much. The perception that anyone can walk up to the ticket window the day of the game and buy tickets at any price category is palpable. The narrative that the Lions are "struggling at the gate" has become so ingrained that it's going to take a seismic shift in marketing strategy and/or ownership change to shake things up (although the $77 season ticket for those 17 and under is a great and long overdue initiative).

If I were in charge of the Lions, I would strongly consider a configuration change by creatively (and inconspicuously - no cheesy advertising) blocking out rows or sections to get capacity to more reasonable CFL levels. Not 27,500. Once demand increases, then inventory follows suit.


DH :cool:
Thanks for reviving this old thread--puts an updated perspective 4 years later on the landscape of both the media and Vancouver pro sports.


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For me, BC Place is purrfect. It is surrounded by many food outlets for a pre-game meal, easy for me to take the bus to and from the games, and the dome provides weather protection. I thought the atmosphere inside the stadium was really good last year and I wasn't fussing about the roof not being open during the summer. I can't recall how many times the roof was open.... I remember the cold night it was open and I was glad the the roof was closed for the next cold night.

Yes, I would love to have a tailgating style party atmosphere around the stadium, but I'm good with the Robson St. food scene instead.


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Thanks for posting that Dusty. BC Place's location is a contentious issue (well, the stadium's very existence is. Some call it a white elephant). One irrefutable fact is that by being located downtown, it is very well served by food options. Many eateries have filled the eastern end of Robson in the last 5 years, from gourmet restaurants to sun-drenched patios to "cheap eats" (A&W, pizza by the slice etc.). And as I posted a couple of weeks back, if you're going to a Lions game and really on a budget, you can grab a $1.50 hot dog and Coke at Costco, just steps away from BC Place.

For those that haven't been to a game in the last few years, BCP have really stepped up their food options inside the stadium as well. There are some very enticing international options.


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The Dog Pound or Courtnalls or what it was a few years back never survived. Always packed on game days but rest of year not so good I'm thinking. BB


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Ballistic Bob wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 2:40 pm
The Dog Pound or Courtnalls or what it was a few years back never survived. Always packed on game days but rest of year not so good I'm thinking. BB
That pretty much goes for many of the restaurants/bars near BCP. Very busy whenever something is happening in BCP or Rogers Arena, but fairly quiet the rest of the time. I'm pretty sure there is still something operating out of the old Courtnalls/Dog Pound location. However I don't know if they operate 7 days a week or maybe just when something is happening. Original Joes in the Rosedale is always full pre-game and does well post game as does the craft brew house in the old Dix location. Shark Club does well whenever something is happening. Only location that seems to have disappeared recently was Jimmy's Pub corner of Robson and Homer. Again it too was always full pregame and did well post game as well but I think didn't fare well at all if something wasn't happening at one of the sports venues.


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Yep Jimmy's pub gone. Nothing at the dog pound corner last year. Maybe something this year. Boston Pizza might be the buzz killer


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Ballistic Bob wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:19 pm
Yep Jimmy's pub gone. Nothing at the dog pound corner last year. Maybe something this year. Boston Pizza might be the buzz killer
I miss Jimmy's. I liked to stop there before games. I thought something was running in the old Dog Pound this year but maybe I'm thinking the year before. BPs does well but I don't think they open until 4. A group of was going to hit it pregame one time last year but found a lineup about 50 deep outside the doors when we got there.


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A lot of fans have gravitated to the Parq Casino for pre- and post-game food and drinks in recent years, especially since it offers the most convenient underground parking for season ticketholders and casual fans. I no longer set foot outside B.C. Place except to walk the 20 steps from the casino door to the stadium gate.


"I think [Fred Fateri] was like a lot of people who watch football, hockey or any professional sport on television. They sit there and think they could coach better than the professional. Some people really think that." - Bob Ackles, The Water Boy
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TSN1040 just did a poll about getting free tickets post-pandemic and which one listeners would prefer to attend.

This really points to the perception problem the club has. Marketing/advertising efforts have to be geared to changing misperceptions and stereotypes.

Image

Here are some comments:
  • I get offered free lions tickets all the time and can't be bothered.. Fans are a bunch of old guys that smell like cigarettes and garlic sausage, not my cup of tea.
  • The Lions have, by far, the worst fan experience in Vancouver. Give me the C’s tix!
:bang:

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I saw the poll and the comments. Given that it was a Twitter poll on Jason Brough's show, the respondents probably didn't include a lot of Lions' fans but the comments were brutal and definitely point to a perception problem in the market. As a lifelong Lions fan and season ticket holder, I can attest to how difficult it is to give away extra tickets. I no longer even try to use the freebies that come with the season ticket package.


"I think [Fred Fateri] was like a lot of people who watch football, hockey or any professional sport on television. They sit there and think they could coach better than the professional. Some people really think that." - Bob Ackles, The Water Boy
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Yea, when you're a pro sports team and trailing Single 'A' baseball for free ticket giveaways in your market, you've got an image problem.

They're on the right track with youth tickets (17 and under) and College Corner. Winning will help too, but they need to do something (when we do get back to regular capacity) about creating a better atmosphere. I would not be averse to tarping as the Whitecaps do.


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Please sell the team, Mr. Braley.
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