Is Sunday the worst sports day of the week? A fascinating Edmonton study By Steven Sandor Posted on January 28, 2015 6 0 654 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Major League Soccer plays some of its games on Sunday afternoons and evenings. FC Edmonton of the NASL plays all of its home games on Sunday afternoons. But is Sunday a day that we, as in Canadians, actually want to watch sports? Or is it a day that we’d like to get away from the sporting universe? Even the most ardent fan reaches a critical mass, where he or she says “enough” and needs to do something else than follow scores and trades and watch game after game. You need to spend time with the kids, go to the lake, just get outside, talk to real people. In the course of my editing duties at Avenue Edmonton, members of the Edmonton Eskimos brass — our city’s Canadian Football League team — sat down with me to go over an intense survey that they and Banister Research Consulting Inc. conducted. One of the key questions was: On what day do you prefer to watch Eskimos games? (You can find that full article HERE, BTW). The results were fascinating. 43 per cent said their first choice was Friday nights. 41 per cent said their first choice was Saturdays. And — get this — only seven per cent said they’d most prefer to watch football on Sundays. Now, understand that this isn’t a soccer survey; it’s not a national survey. It’s a survey of Edmontonians — commissioned by a CFL team. But you have to wonder if those numbers would hold steady on a cross-Canada level and if it’s true of all sports. FC Edmonton plays almost all of its home games on Sunday afternoons. If the numbers do bear out — it’s a sign of just how different the preferences of Canadians are than Americans. The concept of super-NFL-Sundays comes from our American friends — and it permeates our culture. There’s no denying it. But, what if there is a lesson here for Canadian sports teams — including NASL and MLS sides? That, for the best possible gates, kick off your games on Friday nights? Now, for those of you who read our companion magazine, Plastic Pitch, you may recall that in our Fall Issue (Issue 3), John Molinaro wrote about how he believes that MLS moving games — especially post-season games and even MLS Cup — to Friday nights would be good for the league. This survey gives more food for thought. It needs to be said that sports scheduling isn’t always about the best nights to get fans’ bums in seats. A lot of it has to do with television. In a place where hockey rules the universe on Saturday nights in ever month but July, August and September, it means the other teams need to slot games in ways that can still get them exposure. For Edmonton, Sunday afternoons is optimal for local TV. The study should just be food for thought — but you wonder if FCE played Friday nights at 7 p.m. local, if the Eddies wouldn’t help their attendance numbers.