Als’ owner Gary Stern on the state of the CFL: ‘The sport has changed, but the league hasn’t changed’

Photo courtesy: Peter McCabe/CFL

Gary Stern has been honest and vocal since purchasing the Montreal Alouettes.

Stern wants to see the Canadian Football League flourish in the future. For it to thrive, the business side must improve. Capturing the attention of new fans is a key area where growth needs to happen, according to Stern.

“For starters, the circuit has a good fan base. These people love the specifics of Canadian football. But there is a new generation in the population looking for new forms of entertainment. These are the people we must seek to reach,” Stern told Le Journal de Montreal reporter Marc de Foy.

“Young people want to be part of something. We have an excellent product to offer. It’s up to us to make the show more entertaining, not just football. It must be made an event.”

Montreal is one of the major market cities that the CFL needs to conquer along with Toronto and Vancouver. Attendance at Percival Molson, BMO Field and BC Place has been low for a number of years. The awareness and visibility, especially in The Six and Van City, is next to nothing.

“The league probably won’t like what I’m going to say, but we’ve let these fans down over the years,” Stern said.

“The sport has changed, but the league hasn’t changed. The question was raised by the owners. Changes are needed. It’s up to us to take action. It will happen.”

Stern wants to see the CFL achieve prosperity after the financial hit from COVID-19.