The good news continues for the CFL as it set a new playoff attendance record of 181,717.
Crowds in excess of 37,000 in both Toronto (37,835) and Edmonton (37,359) for the division semifinals, coupled with incredible turnouts in the division finals in Vancouver (55,227) and Montreal (51,296), vaulted this year's overall attendance over the previous mark of 173,842 set in 1983.
The British Columbia Lions beat the Saskatchewan Roughriders 27-25 in overtime in Sunday's West Division final, while the Toronto Argonauts posted a 26-18 upset over the Montreal Alouettes in the East Division final.
The playoff mark comes on the heels of sharp fan growth in Hamilton and Toronto that helped the CFL's regular-season attendance increase for a third straight season.
More than 2.2 million fans flocked through CFL stadium turnstiles in 2004. That's an eight per cent improvement over last year's total of 2,044,350.
"The success this league has seen over the past few years in attendance is a direct reflection of the outstanding efforts made by each of our member clubs to connect and reconnect with their fans," CFL commissioner Tom Wright said in a news release last week.
The 92nd Grey Cup final is this coming Sunday at Ottawa (CBC, 4 p.m. ET) .