::Canadian Football League in the United States


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The Canadian Football League (CFL), the sole major professional sports league in the United States and Canada to feature only teams from Canada, has made efforts to gain further audience in the United States, most directly through expansion into the country from 1993 to 1995. The CFL plays Canadian football, which is somewhat different from the American football usual in the United States.

The first American team, the Sacramento Gold Miners, joined in 1993. The league expanded to four American teams in 1994 and five in 1995. In the last year, the teams were aligned into a new South Division. The three years saw numerous relocations and foldings and a number of ownership debacles. The Baltimore Stallions became the only American-based team to win the Grey Cup championship in 1995.

With the exception of Baltimore, the American teams consistently lost money. CFL games in America by the CFL's American teams typically featured attendance in the range of 15,000 and in extreme cases fewer than 10,000 (with the exception of the Baltimore Stallions who drew from 30,000 to 37,000 fans to their games), which was insufficient for what was a gate-driven league at the time. Tension also arose between the American and Canadian contingents over rule changes, scheduling, import rules, and even the name of the league itself. Facing these difficulties, the league folded all of its American teams and exited the United States market prior to the 1996 CFL season.

While expansion was the most notable CFL effort in the United States, the league had also made previous inroads. Eleven neutral site CFL games have been held in the United States, while National Football League (NFL) teams have been invited northward for interleague play. The CFL has also attempted to find a television audience in the United States, most notably during an NFL players' strike in 1982 and currently on ESPN.

Canadian Football League in the United States sections
Intro  Pre-expansion era  Expansion  Post-expansion American media  See also  Notes  References  External links  

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