It’s time for Mr. Braley to sell the BC Lions.
His legacy is secure. He was the savior of this franchise when he bought the team in January of 1997. He actually kept the Canadian Football League afloat by becoming the life boat to the sinking Argonauts franchise in Toronto. The league has expanded and secured a big money television contract since he owned a quarter of the CFL’s teams.
A league award and a BC Lions Club award should be named after him. Perhaps the Lions training facility in Surrey, or something at BC Place should have a plaque on it in his honour.
But it is time to go. He did say a couple of years ago he wanted to be rid of both of his squads by the time he was 75. He is 11 months away from that birthday. He rid himself of the double blue earlier this year.
The Steel City entrepreneur should have sold the Leos after the 2011 Grey Cup win here. The clubs value was never higher. Although I think the “For Sale” sign has been out for a great deal of time.
Like the Argoooos, this Lions franchise needs fresh blood. As documented here before, the Leos are a distant fourth in this market behind the three’ C’s, the Canucks, ‘Caps and Canadians when it comes to your sports entertainment dollar.
They need to draw a younger crowd. The gang at Nat Bailey and the other football team at BC Place, the Whitecaps highlight the fan experience at their games and it is working.
The current bus board and Skytrain advertisements for the Lions, which are targeting people under the age of 25, look like they’ve been put together by a first year marketing class at Kwantlen.
Attendance was down at BC Place in 2014 and the offence was offensive on the field.
Let’s hope the next wave of planted “Braley plans to sell the Lion stories” are true.
The sad thing is other people see what is going on and with Braley’s self imposed deadline, there could zero interest for awhile.