According to Damien Cox "very possible at the moment" that the Argonauts could be joining the XFL in 2023

Reports say MLSE has lost roughly $12 Million per season on the Agronauts. It was widely speculated that they were strongly pushing for a CFL/XFL merger. The CFL has no vision on progressing. I really hope they take the team to the XFL. I would love for it to happen!

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Then just for fun… the CFL awards an expansion team to Toronto and keeps all the players and coaches from the Argos since they’re still under contract to the CFL. :smiley: :+1:


I am sure the CFL and TSN will allow that to happen as they (through Bell) own TSN.

Selling to MLSE was a mistake to begin with as they waited until 2015 to buy them at lowest point possible.

You’re right in regards to a lack of vision by the CFL.

Look for them to try to sell before folding the team.

The NFL still won’t set up shop in Toronto anytime soon.


It's also have been reported that Fenway Sports Group approached MLSE for a merger before buying the Penguins.

Redbird capital owns 10% of Fenway Sports so it's very possible that's where the seed was planted. Hard to say if they'll revisit talks


Are you guys just joking around about this? Sort of like an "onion" report?

No offense but the league needs to subsidize team Toronto (unlike other cities in Canada) if they're currently a financial drain.

Toronto needs some heavy duty problem solvers on what exactly the problem is without solving a symptom of THE problem in regards to Toronto.

There's 11-man/4-down ball all over the planet. I enjoy BOTH the 12-man/3-down game as much as the NCAA and NFL games. Why would anyone want the Canadian game to go away?


Most Toronto sports fans have no interest in the CFL. They think it is beneath them. This will be a very interesting off-season for the CFL. 10 000 crowds or slightly above in Toronto, Montreal, and BC, stability issues in Ottawa and Edmonton. Rumors that Stampeders are for sale. Add CBA negotiations, a Commissioner that hasn’t been seen or heard of in months, and who knows what else we aren’t being told about.

Symptom of the problem? We are looking for THE problem.

I wish I were Canadian. I’m sort of the Henry Kissinger of this situation – unapologetically a damn good problem solver but ineligible because I’m not Canadian. I could be an asset to this league if I lived in Canada and I were also a citizen there.

I should start a separate post called “Canadian sports tradition vs. American sports tradition” and highlight how the unbreakable Canadian tradition of the past is shooting the CFL in its foot.

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Not quite sure what cold war diplomacy has to do with this but Canadians are increasingly more interested in the NFL because it is what they see constantly, the video game they play, eventually what the games they gamble on and see on their social media feeds or chat about with casual fans around the water cooler, and the apparel they buy.

What is mostly left of CFL fans are people who went to games with their parents, or played in College, or were fans prior to cable television! Generally speaking, it is a dying brand. It missed out on the Video game generation, missed out on the gambling generation, and is now trying to grasp globalization through social and digital media.


Not sure how they would take the Argos anywhere.
Perhaps MLSE, drops Argos and gets a team in the XFL, but saying the Argos go to XFL is just ridiculous.

The league technically own all names and logos. I think Horn Chen held the original "R rights" for Ottawa, but I believe the league settled that issue and that was the last time an owner owned a logo in CFL was it not?

Player contracts are in the league's hands.

So yes, a toronto team could play in the XFL, but it would not be the Argos.

Little surprised someone that calls them an Argos fan would wish for their team to fold and choose a team with no history, a league with a bad history, and a league season that has failed time and time again.
Nothing like a league going up against the Leafs and Raptors possibly in a playoff push and the Blue Jays start up of a new season.
It would be a bad move by TSN as well. Argos attendance is horrible, but the ratings for their games have been not bad.
What has MLSE as a whole really done to promote the Argos?


Good riddance

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My son was deployed in Arizona and took a couple games, tickets on the 20 yard line were 275.00usd a piece and the place was packed. Toronto can’t put 50 to 90k people in a stadium at those prices +20% 10 times a year. It isn’t a football town.


The problem is it’s a corporate town . Those prices are cheap next to the Leafs .

The companies would back the NFL and just give em away to their friends , family and workers .

Not that I think the NFL has a chance because of start up costs and the owner billionaire would be a instant villain as long as the CFL lives .

I think the Argos is a ownership issue NFL , CFL or XFL . If MLSE actualy used their resources the place would be papered with the same corporate goodwill but MLSE doesn’t because they don’t really care about the CFL .

There are fans in Toronto .

But a few alluded earlier many of the teams tickets in the majors are freebees .

Sure the baseball team sells tickets to the unwashed still but the Raps and Leafs ticket base usually has some business behind it or the fan is extremely wealthy .

So if you are not paying to see whatever star play now going to whatever stadium why would you pay to see the Argos .

That is a tough sell in hog town .

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They can bring Quebec onside then, I’m sure they can get 10,000 a game maybe 20,000. They have no qualms about building stadiums for sports. ?

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This is a question I asked on 3D Nation " Monday Mailbag"
July 19 2021

I’ve heard a rumour that the Toronto Argonauts may leave the CFL to join the XFL in 2023. Is that something they can legally do? Can a team owner take a team and leave?

Thanks for the question, Grant.

3DNation response

The impression I’ve received from sources is that yes, the Toronto Argonauts could technically leave the CFL and join the XFL. It wouldn’t be a seamless transition, but it’s possible.

The club would be able to keep its logo, name, and colours, though they’d have to negotiate new contracts with all of their players. It’s explicitly stated in player contracts that they are registered exclusively with the CFL, so they would be impossible to enforce in the event that the team changed leagues.

CFL coaches and personnel people don’t have a union, so it’s possible that the Argos could keep their front office staff even with a shift to the XFL.

It’s no secret that Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) was one of the driving forces behind a potential collaboration or merger between the CFL and XFL. The Argos are haemorrhaging money and it’s clear the team has no easy path to profitability with the league’s current business model. There’s no guarantee things would improve as part of an American league, but the team has nothing to lose.

Leadership across the CFL was not on the same page when it came to a potential collaboration with the XFL. The Edmonton Elks released a statement moments after the talks ended indicating they were “pleased” and “remain fully committed to the CFL and our treasured brand of Canadian football.” If that doesn’t show how polarizing this issue was at the executive level, I’m not sure what will.

Like any professional sports league, many of the people near the top of the CFL are ego-driven. They desire a sense of control and they want to be respected for what they have accomplished in their respective markets.

As much as I personally believe that talks between the CFL and XFL were never worth pursuing, there’s no denying that MLSE has achieved some amazing things.

The Maple Leafs have always been huge in Toronto, sure, but the way they’ve turned the Raptors into a money-printing national brand is pretty incredible. They also started Toronto FC from scratch and built them into Major League Soccer champions with a dedicated, diverse fan base.

If MLSE truly believes that the Argos would be better-off playing in the XFL, it stands to reason that they’ll make the leap. But I don’t believe that’s true.

The Toronto Star has a poll embedded in the original report that Toronto could leave for the XFL in 2023. 69.3 percent of respondents indicated they want the Argos to remain in the CFL and “play Canadian football,” compared to 25.2 percent of respondents who want the team to depart for the XFL and “try something new.”

These figures match virtually every poll I’ve seen regarding a potential collaboration or merger between the CFL and XFL. Canadians have strongly indicated they do not want things to change, which would only make the Argos a tougher sell in Toronto if they swapped leagues.

I believe the reason these rumours are swirling is because they provide some leverage for the Argos. As much as Toronto draws poor crowds, having a team in Canada’s largest city is important for attracting national sponsors and media attention. The rest of the league knows this, which could increase their willingness to negotiate with MLSE.

The first big item to come out since the CFL and XFL broke off talks is revenue sharing, which could revolutionize CFL business operations. It’s likely that teams will start sharing revenue in the near future, that will help struggling markets like Toronto, Montreal, and B.C.

The Toronto Argonauts should be able to depart for the XFL if they want to in 2023, but I don’t see it happening. I believe this is something Toronto is using for leverage as the CFL reevaluates its business model to maximize future success.


Of course it’s ego driven. For them it comes down to whose actually running the CFL.

The league itself or MLSE trying to assert some sort and/influence?

Kind of reminds me of the end of the USFL back in 1986.

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With Donald Duck. :duck:

That’s not nice. I actually like Donald Duck :duck::joy::rofl::beers:


Whoever gave you that answer is wrong. MLSE cannot remove the Argonauts from the CFL without the CFL’s approval. MLSE cannot fold the team unilaterally. The league has the legal power to revoke the franchise to prevent that. The league has done so many many times in Toronto Ottawa BC Montreal and Hamilton. They step in and keep it going until they find a new owner. If the CFL wishes to do so, there is absolutely nothing that MLSE can do about it.

MLSE cannot unilaterally remove the Argonauts from the CFL as the entity that it is and move it to another league. Again, the CFL has the legal power to block that from happening, as the Argonauts are a franchise of the CFL. MLSE has bought a franchise of the CFL and must operate within that agreement. No one can buy a CFL team and just take it somewhere else. MLSE would not have a legal leg to stand on if they tried.

The only thing that MLSE could do is to walk away from the team, allowing the league to take over, and I would think that MLSE PROBABLY holds the rights to the name Argonauts. I suppose that they could take that name and start a new team with it somewhere else but I’m not exactly sure on that one. However, the XFL is all about ‘badass’ names like Xtreme, Battlehawks or Executioners or Mayhem or something. A name like Argonauts in that league would probably be laughed at and bad marketing. Besides, continuing with the name Argonauts would be admitting that the brand actually is marketable in Toronto, and so why not just keep it in the CFL? So I doubt that they would take the name with them.

This whole story is crap. It’s rumors made up by a certain ego-driven BAD writer with an axe to grind against the CFL just to stir up shit and get attention, and it borders on libel.


Surprisingly he’s not that vindictive towards Sportsnet as he’s hasn’t been part of their NHL coverage for quite some time.