I finally got around to doing the data entry into octave for calculating the best CFL road draws in terms of attendance. For each team's road game, the attendance was compared to the mean attendance (which I blogged about here) of the home team and then averaged over all nine road games. Here's the list (rounded to the nearest fan), with no surprise, Saskatchewan being way out in front:
1. Saskatchewan 2658
2. Calgary 374
3. Edmonton 370
4. Winnipeg 200
5. Toronto - 145
6. Hamilton -634
7. Montreal -1296
8. BC -1380
Probably the biggest surprised is that BC is the worst road draw for
2008 in the CFL, closely followed by Montreal. Now these numbers are
highly dependent on various factors, such as what conference the team
is in, and when during the year specific games take place. Montreal always
having a constant number of fans and Saskatchewan having two levels of
sellouts during 2008 adds some other weirdness. Looking over BC's road games, they were a poor draw in Hamilton (18,723), although the main culprit
seems to be the Calgary games at the beginning and end of the season (30,159 and 30,275 fans respectively). They were also relatively a weak draw for their two Edmonton games (35,008 and 34,342 fans) and their Toronto draw was no great shakes either (28,273). Montreal was hurt by weak draws in Edmonton (29,911), Calgary (30,960) and BC (30,132), plus the fact their draws versus their Eastern rivals were nothing special.
I was surprised to see that Hamilton wasn't the worse (although maybe some fans showed up thinking sure fire win!). Hamilton was hurt by a relatively weak Calgary game (31,116) and two weak Winnipeg games (25,484 and 24,595 fans). Hamilton was probably helped by two games in Montreal, where the attendance doesn't change.
Saskatchewan benefited from a monster game versus Edmonton (48,808), plus excellent draws for Calgary (35,650 and 35,650), BC (38,608) and Winnipeg (29,770). Almost makes you wonder why they don't schedule two road games for Saskatchewan in Edmonton. Saskatchewan was a poor draw in Toronto (28,654), but that was right at the end of the season, where the Argos were heartily sucking.
It will be interesting to see if Saskatchewan can continue their road draw strength for 2009. Last year they probably benefited somewhat from their hot start, which in my opinion is unlikely to be repeated this year. For Hamilton, an improved team should keep them from rock bottom in terms of road draw, although I don't expect much to change.