WINNIPEG – CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie made a visit to Winnipeg on Monday to let the fans of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have their say on all matters pertaining to the Canadian game.
“Randy’s Road Trip” pulled into the city for the seventh stop on his 10 city cross country tour and the season ticket holders in attendance resoundingly want the CFL to move up the start date of their schedule.
“We are starting to see a decline in attendance, not just the challenge of getting the fans out in the playoffs, but we’re seeing attendance decline in the late stages of our regular season.” Ambrosie told fans.
Ambrosie asked for a show of hands from the couple hundred fans in attendance, with a strong majority voting to move up the season by three weeks.
“It is clear from many that this is something that a lot of our fans desire.” Ambrosie told reporters prior to the event. “But using that carpenters axiom, measure twice and cut once. This is not a decision you’d want to make quickly just for the sake of making it.”
The CFL is considering moving up the start of their season by three or four weeks to cut down on the number of cold weather games late in the season.
“Seeing Chris Walby’s arms when it was minus-30 was something to behold, but the thing is, we’ve got to attract fans and make our game stronger.” Ambrosie told season ticket holders.
And Winnipeg football fans seem to be on the same wave length as the other western fans.
“Calgary was clearly 95 plus percent. Saskatchewan was yesterday and they were 95 percent.” Ambrosie said. “A little less, little more mixed out East, so we’re going to keep talking.”
The CFL’s commish will hold a similar event in Edmonton on Tuesday before stopping in Hamilton and Halifax next week.
“By the time I’m done I expect I’ll have seen almost 4,000 fans and heard from them, so it’ll at least provide a more informed point of view of what our fans of our great game are telling us.”
WATCH: CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie on moving up the CFL schedule