Friday, April 29, 2011

TSN Confirms Coverage of CFL Pre-Season Games

Finally TSN has confirmed coverage of 7 out 8 pre-season games on TSN and TSN2. No Hamilton at Toronto game, but I was probably going to go to that anyways, if I was in the country. Kind of annoying for those Hamilton fans that can't make the trip.

Not sure why TSN waited so long to give the actual confirmation, but good they finally did. Hopefully the ratings will be reported. Could be good for some laughs in comparison to Raptor and TFC games.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Details of Moncton Game Pre-Sale for Ticats Season Ticket Holders

Finally details have been released for the Ticat Moncton game for tickets for season ticket holders. An excerpt from the email sent out today:

Dear Tigercatatonia,

Scotiabank Touchdown Atlantic ticket sale details have been announced today by the CFL.

As a valued Tiger-Cats Season Seat Holder, you will receive an opportunity to purchase tickets to this event before the public on-sale date.

Season Seat Holder Pre-Sale: Monday, May 9th, 9:00 a.m. eastern time until Wednesday, May 11th, at 9:00 a.m. eastern time.

To purchase your seats during the pre-sale, click here and enter the promo code XXXXXXXXXX.

Inventory is limited and seats will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. Limit of eight (8) seats per person will be sold during the pre-sale. This pre-sale is only available online. Tickets will be available to the general public on Wednesday, May 11th, at 9:00 a.m. eastern time.

To book travel or accommodations through the Tiger-Cats official travel agent, please contact Red Tag Vacations directly at:

Red Tag Travel: Janet Kuzmich - 1-866-573-3824 ext. 2054 or

I won't publish the promo code, because it appears that anyone could use it. I'm sure it will get out anyways, but I'm not really sure what the team could do to absolutely make sure only season ticket holders can use the offer. Last year the game sold out and it is likely it will this year. Potentially a season ticket holder could buy at the presale and then resell them, but that would seem a bit of a douche move.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ticats Sponsoring MMA Fighter Mark Hominick

Interesting that the Cats are sponsoring featherweight MMA fighter Mark Hominick at UFC 129 at the Roger Centre. I'm not sure how much exposure the Cats will get for Hominick wearing a Cats cap and Ticat logos on his shorts, but not a bad idea for going after the youth demographic. One benefit of the Bob Young era is that the team hasn't been afraid to spend money to make money. With the season only a couple of months away, getting fans thinking about the team is probably worth whatever the sponsorship costs.

Matt Dunnigan Reeling, Adam Trafalis Released

Drew Edwards has an article reporting Ticat third string quarterback and Matt Dunnigan man crush Adam Trafalis has been released. I'm a little surprised, but the Cats must be more happy with Quinton Porter and Jason Boltus than I thought. Trafalis showing up on another CFL team wouldn't surprise me. He isn't that old and Cleo Lemon still has a job, so anything's possible.

Ticat PanAm Stadium More Expensive

As far as I can tell, two guys faxed Hamilton city hall and now the city has to pay millions of dollars extra per year. Mystifying? Sure, and now the weirdness is threatening to drive up the cost of the new stadium. PC leader Tim Hudak could help the city by promising to end this madness if elected.

From annoying to really annoying, I've noticed that Hockey Night in Canada is being festooned with a never ending series of ads for Cheetah Power Surge involving Frank D'Angelo and some motorcycle. Who is buying Cheetah Power Surge? Whoever you are, please stop. I think all the federal party leaders can agree that Canada needs less Frank D'Angelo on the television.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Yet More Winnipeg Blue Bomber Finance Analysis

The CP article I linked to in my previous post on the Bombers' finances was rather scant in terms of information. There's another version of the article that has a lot more information about how Winnipeg, despite a sucky season went from a loss to a profit in 2010.

The main factor is $981,950 in severance costs, including $160,000 to the fan reviled Mike Kelly, plus varous assistants, former coach Doug Berry, plus some others. For a CFL team, signing a new coach to a three year deal and having him tank the first year is problematic, because replacing him means paying two coaching salaries for several years. However if the fans demand the coach's head, not firing him could potentially lose the team more money if the fans stay away. With player salaries closely controlled, coaching salaries, especially severances can be considerably more variable. Luckily the Bomber fans aren't demanding current coach Paul LaPolice's head after a 4 and 14 season last year, but if there's more of the same this year, what happens.

One other interesting piece of information in the article was that CFL revenue paid to the Bombers increased by $122,000. It would be interesting to find the actual total number paid to the teams for 2010, but an increase is still positive.

Staying with the Bombers, season ticket sales are already past 16,000, which is impressive for a team that was the worst in the CFL in 2010. The new stadium is probably helping out some what, plus some delusion on the part of Bomber fans that Buck Pierce will stay healthy. Interestingly I've heard no word on how Ticat sales are doing this year. If they were going fantastic, one might have expected to hear something from the Cats.

There's probably some bitterness about the stadium debacle that could take more than a year to subside. Likely the fans that buy the most tickets will keep buying, but some tickets to some angry casual fans might not get sold. Plus the fact with the Moncton game you're only getting eight home games and forced to buy a potential playoff game could also be causing some problems.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Arland Bruce Contract Extension Analysis

Good news that Arland Bruce (the third iteration) signed a contract extension with the Ticats, as a Bruce retirement would have deleterious effects on the Cats upcoming season. Bruce's numbers the past two seasons have been excellent, 86 catches for 1303 yards and 8 TDs last year for Hamilton, and 88 catches for 1242 yards and 10 TDs between the Ticats and the Argos in 2009.

Clearly Bruce and import Dave Stala (1015 yards) are the main targets for Kevin Glenn this year, with Marquay McDaniel (994 yards) and Maurice Mann (787 yards) trying to usurp them. After those four, there's a considerable dropoff in talent. Can non-import Matt Carter (137 yards) emerge after the departure of Chris Bauman to the Eskimos as a viable fifth receiver? Possible, but I wouldn't bet on more than 500 yards max from him this year. Hopefully someone else emerges from the various import wide receivers invited to camp this year. Having a good fifth and sixth option receiver option, especially with the high probability of one of the receivers being injured at some point in the season is required if the Cats are going to beat out the Alouettes in 2011.

Friday, April 8, 2011

2010 Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Black

I haven't gotten around to this story about the Bombers posting a profit of slightly over $400,000 after going a miserable 4 and 14 in 2010. According to the article, the Bombers lost over $1.2 million after going 7 and 11. What isn't stated is that the Bombers head coach in 2009 was the much loathed and much quoted Mike Kelly. Likely Bomber fans prior to the start of the 2010 season were ecstatic over the removal of Kelly and loaded up on season tickets in anticipation of a better season with Paul LaPolice at the helm.

Didn't work out that way, but at least the Bombers made a decent amount of money for such a crappy season. It probably helped the Bombers weren't bad out of the gate before Buck Pierce got injured (remember those last five words for 2011) ending up with just over 26,000 average attendance.

Here's a Winnipeg Free Press article about the Bombers' finances including news that season ticket sales are ahead by three weeks from last year (although I can't really see much optimism for next year) and increased corporate interest to boot. The Bomber loan for their new stadium seems pretty ugly, although a Grey Cup soon in the new stadium should be pretty profitable.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Riders Too Good for Salary Cap

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have gone over the salary cap! Mind you by a measly 26K, but still. Teams should stay under it. Under league rules Saskatchewan is only fined the amount they went over (over $100,000 fines double, then triple after $300,000). Personally I think the league should make the fine double the amount right from dollar one.

Note the Riders also violated the salary cap in 2007 and in 2008.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Bomber Scratching Post Idiocy

I'm a bit mystified by someone in the Bomber organization possibly impersonating a Ticat staffer on Drew Edward's Scratching Post blog. I'm surprised that someone was stupid enough not to post from a non-Bomber IP address. I'm also surprised that people seem to care that much about Steven Jyles.

Winnipeg looks like they could be especially poor this year, maybe even worse than last year's 4 and 14 record. Mike Kelly at least had a better record than that. Just saying.