A new Leger survey indicates that young Canadians are receptive to the idea of the CFL adopting NFL-style rules, while older Canadians want the three-down league to remain unchanged.
The survey, which was published here on Thursday, was conducted online with 1,503 Canadian adult participants from Dec. 25-27, 2021. Respondents were asked to answer questions pertaining to CFL field size, the number of downs, and adopting NFL-style rules.
Respondents age 18-34 were 10 percent net-positive regarding the possibility of the CFL completely adopting NFL rules, while those age 55-plus were on the opposite side of the issue with a 15 percent net-negative response.
15 percent of respondents indicated that their interest in the CFL would decrease if the league were to change to an NFL-size field, while 12 percent of respondents indicated this would increase their interest.
16 percent of respondents indicated that their interest in the CFL would decrease if the league were to adopt all NFL rules (including four downs), while 14 percent of respondents indicated this would increase their interest.
Overall, respondents were neutral when polled specifically regarding the number of downs with 14 percent indicating that a change would decrease their interest and 14 percent indicating it would increase their interest.
There was an overwhelming sentiment from die-hard/frequent fans who were 17 percent net-negative regarding the possible complete adoption of an NFL-style game. Special events/infrequent fans were 3 percent net-negative on the same issue, though they were six percent net-positive regarding a change from three to four downs.
44 percent of respondents indicated that they follow the CFL to some degree. 3 percent consider themselves die-hard fans, 12 percent are frequent followers, 10 percent are special events/playoffs followers, and 19 percent are infrequent followers. 56 percent of respondents indicated that they are not fans of the CFL.