Ranking the CFL Stadiums

The CFL Stadium landscape has been dramatically changed from what it was a decade ago. Since 2012, four teams now call a new stadium their home, and of course, we’ve had a team added to the league in that time with the Ottawa RedBlacks, and their TD Place Stadium has been renovated since it last had a CFL tenant. Canada’s stadium game has certainly made good progress, and the rewarding of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup was a great indicator of how far stadiums have come. The great thing about stadiums in the CFL is that they’re all unique, which makes a lot of fun to rank and discuss, which is exactly why you opened this article, so let’s get into it!

Now to be clear, I can’t claim to have attended games at all nine stadiums, I’m going to be ranking these stadiums based on aesthetics, rather than game day experience.

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9. McMahon Stadium – Calgary Stampeders

Pictured is McMahon Stadium during CFL’s West Division semifinal between Calgary Stampeders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Sunday, November 10, 2019. Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia Calgary PHOTO BY AZIN GHAFFARI /Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia Calgary

Well, you knew this was coming! This stadium’s biggest problem is that it was built in 1960, and looks like it was built in 1960 in its barebones look and character lacking design. It’s not terrible, its two stands are imposing in size and I like the big red floodlights. But for a Stadium that hosts two predominantly red uniformed teams in the Stampeders and the Dinos, why are there so many blue seats? It’s far from a controversial statement to say Calgary could be doing with a new stadium, but as it stands the sixty-year-old McMahon Stadium is here to stay.

8. Percival Molson Memorial Stadium – Montreal Alouettes

Percival Molson Memorial Stadium

Initially, I thought I would rank this stadium higher because of its uniqueness, but upon looking at it again, I just can’t do that. The stadium is surrounded by lots of interesting architecture that even seeps into the stadium itself with the Montreal Neurological Institute wrapped around one end of the stadium creating a look not replicated in the CFL. But besides that, this stadium is really lacking in character. The stands look incredibly barebones and have no colour or life to them, and we have a running track to contend with that directly impacts the field. The endzone corners have been cut out in order to make way for it, making it the only stadium in the league with that unfortunate feature.

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7. Commonwealth Stadium – Edmonton Elks

Commonwealth Stadium

Thanks to a paint job, the league’s biggest stadium looks a lot better than it did as recently as 2013 but that isn’t enough to save it from a low ranking. Built in 1978, it has two massive dominant stands which are cleverly well-connected thanks to a smaller endzone stand. But the gap between the stands and the field is larger than I’d like it to be. I understand it’s for athletics but running tracks never look good in football stadiums and just puts your fans further away from the action. Commonwealth Stadium is set to host FIFA World Cup matches in 2026, so don’t be surprised if some renovations take place in the near future.

6. BC Place – BC Lions

BC Place

From this point on, this list gets very difficult. I love the colour scheme of the seats in BC Place, it tells you all you need to know about the Lions’ identity, and in the CFL there is no other stadium like it. BC Place went under renovation ahead of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and has an impressive exterior look now, but in a sport where weather games are so iconic, I just personally prefer open stadiums to domed stadiums, which is the main reason BC Place takes this spot.

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5. BMO Field – Toronto Argonauts

BMO Field

If I was to show you a Toronto Argonauts uniform, and asked you to describe what their stadium looked like, you’d be forgiven if your answer wasn’t “all red”. But that’s exactly where the Double Blue play, an all-red stadium. The stadium itself is fine, it’s a very modern and multi-use stadium and compared to its lakefront predecessor the Exhibition Stadium, it’s a far superior stadium for the Argos to play in. I just really wish the stadium was able to better represent the Argos identity… Also, Toronto sports teams playing out of ”Bank of Montreal” field just feels and looks weird.

4. Tim Hortons Field – Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Tim Hortons Field

A very new and very open stadium. Tim Hortons Field opened in 2014 and hasn’t looked back since hosting two Vanier Cup games, a Grey Cup (another to follow in 2023), and will host a Canada MNT Soccer match against the States this month, and then an outdoor NHL game between the Leafs and Sabres, so it must be doing something right. The two big stands are impressive and having them designed differently from each other rather than being a copy and paste job is also really cool. There’s a standing section/sports bar as well by one of the endzone which is certainly a cool-looking feature, helping to propel ’the donut box’ into the top half of the list.

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3. TD Place Stadium – Ottawa RedBlacks

TD Place Stadium

Similar to Tim Hortons Field in that it features two dominating stands with unique designs, spots three and four really did come down to the wire in my mind but TD Place sneaks just ahead. The south stand has a curved design, features a great red and black patterned colour design and let’s not forget about the outside exterior, which looks great and stands out to give the stadium an iconic look. The north stand is older and helps to connect the redeveloped new TD Place Stadium with the old Frank Clair Stadium, perfectly tying in the old with the new.

2. IG Field – Winnipeg Blue Bombers

IG Field

This was tough, it was tough to pick a number two and number one on this list, my opinion might even change again by the time this is published. But right now, I’m picking IG Field as the second-best stadium in the CFL, you can’t help but be impressed at first sight. Seating that wraps all around the stadium, an intimidating dark blue colour scheme, and I really love the unique look of the roofs in the two big sideline stands. This stadium would belong in any sports league in the world, it’s no wonder it’s hosted an NFL pre-season game, multiple soccer games and an outdoor NHL game. It even has a great exterior look as well. Many Bombers fans would’ve been sad to say goodbye to Canned Inns Stadium in 2013, but IG Field is a modern fantastic stadium, fit for the two-time reigning Grey Cup champions.

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1. Mosaic Stadium – Saskatchewan RoughRiders

Mosaic Stadium

The newest stadium in the CFL, Mosaic Stadium opened its doors to the Riders in the CFL and Mosaic has been an immediate great addition to the league. The outside of the stadium has a really colourful green and white wavy pattern which immediately tells you who play here, and where you are. The roof is a really impressive piece of engineering, with a curved design that’s meant to prevent the accumulation of snow. The roof doesn’t go all away around, but the exposed stand at the end zone is built below ground level to offer protection from elements such as the wind, and it’s a design feature I really like as it makes the stadium stand out as its own. The all-green seats top it all off and overall, it really is a beautiful stadium.

BC LionsFree Agency 2022
Calgary StampedersFree Agency 2022
Edmonton ElksFree Agency 2022
Hamilton Tiger-CatsFree Agency 2022
Montreal AlouettesFree Agency 2022
Ottawa RedblacksFree Agency 2022
Saskatchewan RoughridersFree Agency 2022
Toronto ArgonautsFree Agency 2022
Winnipeg Blue BombersFree Agency 2022

10 thoughts on “Ranking the CFL Stadiums”

  1. You rank Commonwealth stadium 7th behind much smaller, but newer stadiums partly based on the fact that the smaller stadiums hosted an NHL game. Commonwealth Stadium hosted the very first outdoor NHL game that started the whole movement…..but this is not mentioned.

  2. You also didn’t mention that Montréal is the only stadium that doesn’t have seats with backs, mainly benches, ow!

    1. That’s not exactly true actually. Many seats in Calgary don’t, and in Toronto, the backs of the seats are very low and rather uncomfortable actually.

      1. Montreal isn’t the only stadium with seats that don’t have backs. That was the comment I’m referring to.

        In reality, I’m not sure it really matters honestly. People would agree that one of the biggest spectacles in football is Lambeau Field and that’s all benches too.

        Personally, I will take benches over the seats that force you out of them unless you only weigh 120 pounds in Toronto.

  3. Just in, Colloras was just taken off the free agency list. He signed a 1 year contract extension for the Blue and Gold along with Bighill, Jefferson, Jeffcoat to name a few.

  4. I found it rather amusing that many of your comments were in relation to the color of the seats, really that makes a difference.? What if you are Color ?

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