Thursday 15 April 2010

The 2010 Hall of Fame Weekend

It was announced today that Saskatchewan will host the 2010 Canadian Football Hall of Fame weekend in August. It is the Riders' 100th Anniversary, and with former Saskatchewan great Don Narcisse entering the Hall, it seems fitting that the game would be played in Regina.

This marks the third time that Hamilton, which is home to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, will not be hosting the event. Last year the event was held in Winnipeg, and in 2003 the event was held in Calgary.

I understand the league's motivation for taking the Hall of Fame ceremony to different places, but at the same time, it seems odd. The Hall of Fame is in Hamilton, so it only makes sense for the game and ceremony to be held here.

I also don't understand the timing of the event. The NFL makes a big deal out of their Hall of Fame Weekend (granted they make a big deal about everything), and they do so during the pre-season. It helps to maximize coverage, and allows for the inductees and the ceremony to be the centrepiece. The game itself is secondary. The CFL would be wise to adopt this method. Pre-season games are sparsely attended, but if the Tiger-Cats' lone pre-season home game was to also be the Hall of Fame Game, I think attendance would spike, and the game and ceremony could be televised. This would be a great way for the league and the team to add another revenue stream. By having the game during the regular season, fans tend to be more concerned with their team's performance than with honouring the greats of the past.

I think the league is missing out on a great opportunity by holding the ceremony during the regular season. A pre-season, televised Hall of Fame Game and the accompanying ceremony could be another boon, both in terms of finances and in terms of visibility, for the league.

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