A new national survey conducted by University of Lethbridge sociologist Dr. Reginald Bibby indicates that the CFL has strong support across the country even with the possibility of the NFL expanding to Canada.
Over 1,500 Canadians were asked in November 2021 regarding how they would feel about Canada garnering an NFL team and the conditions under which they would support such a development.
11 percent of respondents indicated that they would support the NFL coming to Canada even if it meant the demise of the CFL, which was up two percent from 1995.
18 percent of respondents said they would only support Canada getting an NFL franchise if the CFL continued, which was up seven percent from 1995.
16 percent of respondents indicated that they did not want the NFL to come to Canada under any circumstances, which was up three percent from 1995.
55 percent of respondents were ambivalent to the issue, which was down 12 percent from 1995.
These findings should be encouraging for CFL fans as they indicate strong support for Canada’s domestic league even 26 years after Dr. Bibby’s original survey regarding the issue despite the NFL’s recent economic explosion.
A survey from 2018 suggested that young Canadian football fans prefer the NFL to the CFL, but the 18-34 demographic still offered relatively strong support of the CFL in Dr. Bibby’s new survey.
17 percent of respondents in the 18-34 age demographic indicated that they would support the NFL coming to Canada even if it meant the end of the CFL, which
18 percent of young adults indicated that they would only support the NFL coming to Canada if the CFL survived, which was a six percent increase from 1995. The percentage of young adults who oppose the NFL coming north of the border altogether decreased slightly from 11 percent to nine percent.
The Canadian province that was least opposed to the NFL coming to Canada was Quebec with only eight percent of respondents indicating they don’t want the league to come north of the border. Quebec also had the highest percentage of respondents who would be in favour of the NFL coming to Canada even if it meant the end of the CFL at 13 percent.
The region with the highest rate of opposition to the NFL coming to Canada was Saskatchewan-Manitoba at 35 percent.