I know this may sound absolutely silly, but would there be an advantage to starting a second CFL team in Toronto? Or a third?
Imagine the natural rivalry if the Toronto Argonauts were playing the Scarborough Hurricanes (think RCAF Hurricanes), or the North York Royals? This idea is the exact opposite of what most would be inclined to think would work in that market.
But think again, how many soccer teams does London, England have? Twelve! Population difference, about 2.5 million. I know, there are many historical reasons for this, and soccer is by far the only game in town in England. But you see my point.
Stadiums, investors and territorial rights aside, could this work to revitalize the CFL in the Toronto market?
Yes from 1950 to 1979 they could have established another team . It probably would have helped one with the divisional set up and two with the playoffs and three with an intense rivalry . They would have had to get rid of the blackouts as well sometime in the late 70's .
That was the heyday for Argo football .
Now the CFL may need to leave downtown Toronto and seek the refuge of a suburban city team stadium over playing to the downtown crowd if they don't fix the low attendance at BMO . One team is a hand full right now .
A $50 million stadium model (like Saputo Stadium in Montreal) and a $20 million franchise fee, plus $3-5 million for capital investments, and you've got a team. Surely there are a few business people in the GTA who have $75 million to play with?
Yes back in those hey days I believe two Toronto teams could have existed. One more in the West end and one in the East end and would have built up a rivalry. But maybe by now the cry would have been join the two together.
A $50 million stadium model (like [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saputo_Stadium]Saputo Stadium[/url] in Montreal) and a $20 million franchise fee, plus $3-5 million for capital investments, and you've got a team. Surely there are a few business people in the GTA who have $75 million to play with?
Another area team would Work, like your comment. However, TODAY people want and expect a top-notch facility with reasonable costs for transportation and game treats. Just add a small 200 or 300
million to your capital costs. Cornfields were good in the '30s. Today not so much!
Most fans want big time.
The GTA is a HUGE area. Lots of people simply do not want to go to downtown Toronto.
I personally think a team in Richmond would likely be successful, but good luck finding an owner and building a stadium, which is a pretty sad state of affairs given the population and $ in the region.
Not many want to go see the Toronto Argonauts when they see other Toronto sports teams playing against New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, and other large American cities. However, the CFL would be the highest level a team representing Scarborough or Mississauga or etc. would be playing at.
I'm pretty skeptical about it working now, but I think it could have worked if the team(s) had been established in the 70s or early 80s. I believe Harold Ballard was trying to do just that around that time, too. I don't recall why it never got off the ground.
On the other hand, it IS working in Hamilton. But they have THF. If there were a THF in another part of the GTHA, it might work too . . . though I'm sure if that were the case the Argos would be looking carefully at playing there themselves.
Again, this may seem far fetched at first glance, especially with the "we deserve "world class" entertainment" mentality that seems to exist in Toronto. But the success of Toronto FC suggests there is a type of sports fan in Toronto that is willing to build a culture and a following around a non-
"world class" team. Toronto FC, for those who want to know, currently ranks 736th on the Football Database club rankings. Hardly worth any notice from "real" soccer fans (sarcasm).(I'm a fan of the Ottawa Fury - are they even ranked?)
The success of Toronto FC also suggest that old world, European values do carry over to the new world. Just look at the fan club following that the team has.
And mega-project stadiums, like what we see in Atlanta for example, will be the exception rather than the rule.
As a business model, all you have to do is break even by attracting 25,000 fans to 9 games. That's it. More inter-city rivalries in Toronto proper may just do that.