Too little, too late. Johnny come lately. Either would describe the Toronto Argonauts’ latest attempt at reviving their failing franchise.
This past weekend news began to seep out that the Argos were not only looking at a move to BMO Field, home to Toronto FC, but had tabled a formal letter to Toronto City Council regarding the move and the CFL had commissioned a study to determine the feasibility.
As a passionate supporter of the beautiful game, I’ve tabled my own letter to the Argos and CFL.
To Whom It May Concern:
Let me save you the consultant fee. It doesn’t make sense for either side and you will have a damn near riot on your hands if you try to bring gridiron football to Toronto FC’s home.
Word to Your Mother,
But as a journalist, here are three logical reasons why the proposal doesn’t make sense.
1) Stadium expansion. The current capacity for BMO is 20,500. The Argos, who drew well above that for every home game this season, would be faced with a huge loss at the gate if they were to cap sales at the present capacity. So, the only option would be expansion and because BMO Field was not constructed with that in mind, the estimated expansion costs are being pegged at $25-million. For a city that’s broke and a team that was pulled from bankruptcy just a few short years ago, that doesn’t seem like a likely option.
2) The grass. Within the Argo letter contains a pledge to repair the grass surface after every game. In other similar situations in the U.S. repair time takes up to 72 hours and if the Argos are to be taken at their word, that would prevent them from playing any Thursday or Friday night games. TSN, the major broadcaster of the CFL, can’t be looking at that favourably.
3) York University. York has long been looking for a partnership that would allow them to renovate their current stadium. A three way partnership with Rugby Canada, the Argos and York would demand much more attention when the Pan Am money faucets come on, than if the Argos went it alone.
Finally as a reminder, and again this comes from the supporter side, it was the Argos who pulled out of the Varsity stadium deal. It was the Argos who pulled out of the York deal. It was the Argos who screwed the soccer community here twice by doing so.
Simply put, they can Arrrr-go away.
– Watch Ben Rycroft on the It’s Called Football show every Monday at metronews.ca; firstname.lastname@example.org