Argo Apathy

I'm sorry but some monumental shift has to happen here.

I've been to probably 2 dozen Argo games at Rogers Centre. More often than not, I've been there in support of my hometown Tiger-Cats. I live in Toronto, I have been there for the better part of 8 years.

Tonight I had free tickets to Argos/Riders. I sat in the south-east corner. This is the corner where the Argos come out and contains what should be the most ardent fans of the club. Well even in this corner, there were as many Rider fans as Argo fans amongst the attendance tonight. Furthermore, there were as many passers-by as there were fans of either team. These are peiople who seemed to be looking for the Jays and happened to come across a football game. While this is good that newbies are afforded exposure to the CFL, the sentiment was far from positive for the majority of casuals in attendance.

All I could hear around me was:

-"Why are the Argos winning 8-0? Did they go for 2?"
-"Is it 3 downs?"
-"Why are the flags red? That's so silly, they're supposed to be orange"
-"The challenge flag is yellow? Why is it opposite?"
-"Why does the ref wear a black hat?"
-"That endzone is so big"
-"The endzone is so big its so 'easy' to score!" to which I replied, "Its also hard to defend!" to which I was rebutted, "Yeah, exactly.. its easy to score!"... %^&^&! Its arbitrary as to which is the more desirable attribute: 'ease-of-score' or 'ease-of-defence'... regardless of the argument at hand, to these Hogtown casuals, the answer was always whichever is the norm in the NFL.

While there are those as oblivious to the game in all corners of the country, the sheer number in attendance at this game in Toronto was disturbing. Toronto is a city sufficiently large enough that even when drawing sub 20,000 crowds, rest assured 11,000 have never been to a game before.

To the general population in Toronto.. the CFL is NOTHING!!! There is no presence in the community... no significance what so ever... There is a general presumption that American football is the standard to which the differences in Canadian football are to be ridiculed regardless if both games came about through their own natural and legitimate processes and evolutions. There is no appreciation for the history of the Argos or the validity of Canadian football...

I don't know what needs to happen to change this but these were my observations... The league is in deep trouble in Toronto. There are next to no youngsters to really take the tradition of this team forward in the community.

Sadly, you aren't going to succeed at combating this idiocy so long as Toronto keeps wanting to be New York instead of part of Canada. My response to the Torontonians who desire an NFL team is a similar response many dumb Leaf fans give to me regarding Hamilton's NHL dreams and the Hamilton Bulldogs (season opener Oct 8th BTW Ti-Cat fans, right after the Winnipeg game).

What, you think you can support an NFL franchise? You can't even support your CFL team. :lol:

My father was transferred to Toronto when I was a kid, so I grew up at CNE Stadium. The place was a bit of a dump, you'd get some biting winds coming off the Lake, and the teams were mostly average at best, but it was packed. The Argos were drawing in the low 30,000s in the early 70s - to crowds like 47,000 when they expanded Exhibition Stadium for baseball....and the game from some of those seats was just a rumour! The atmosphere though was amazing.

The $64,000 question is: what happened to those rabid fans from the 70s and 80s? It was 30-40 years ago, not a century ago. Didn't kids my age back then who grew up watching Joe Theismann, Bill Symons, Jim Corrigal, Anthony Davis, Terry Metcalf etc., become lifelong fans? Why aren't they introducing their kids to the great CFL game? I realize mistakes have been made marketing the CFL (or more specifically, not marketing it), but surely the game should stand on its own.

First, I have lived here all my life and have been an Argo season ticket holder foir 15 years.
I have defended the Argos and the CFL virtually all my life going back to the school days when yes the majority were wannabe American and NFL fans.
Therein lies the problem, the wannabe factor, we are a "World Class City" mentality.
You cannot change that when the majority including the media hype this nonsense.
That's why and rightfully so the rest of Cananda hates the people of the City of Toronto.
Short of moving into their own stadium, I am not sure what else one can do.
The dome is a horrible place to watch a game, any game that is.
Here is a very good article in the Sun today and I prety much agree with it.

[url=http://www.torontosun.com/2011/08/18/unless-they-get-a-new-stadium-argos-are-doomed]http://www.torontosun.com/2011/08/18/un ... are-doomed[/url]

I agree. Fan support in toronto itself sucks. most of us fans come in from the 905 area or further...

the Dome only works because it is near restaurants and transit hubs...

only other place they could move to would be Varsity Stadium, if it got renovated... nothing else in TO would work.

You can put the blame of the Argos not already being at Varsity squarely at the door step of the Royal Conservatory of Music, as well as the University of Toronto for bowing the RCMs demands.

pardon my ignorance but what do they have to do with it?

The Argos were going to move to Varsity and help pay for renovations to get it to 25,000 or so seats back around 2005. A deal was being ironed out and then the Royal Conservatory of Music (which is located right behind Varsity Stadium) said that it would be too much noise for them with construction and crowds, so the deal was kiboshed because UofT sided with them instead of the Argos. UofT went ahead and renovated Varsity Stadium afterward, so the likelihood of the Argos ever playing at Varsity is all but nil.

That sucks 25,000 would be perfect.

...The CFL has lost it's shine in the Big Smoke....Probably because of the nfl wannabee factor...The younger generation does not have the same identification with the CFL as in the past...I don't see anyone really going out of their way to change that either....NOT a good situation...The 100 year celebration is in this city :oops: ..I certainly hope it brings some recognition to the league and the T.O. Argos because they sure need it....Maybe someone from Manitoba should give them a little advice/heads-up....Winnipeg was the 3rd largest city in the 50's ..mainly because of the railway...that changed..BUT through it all they managed to keep their professional franchises alive with a failing population (Jets left but the fans never threw in the towel and have since returned)...T.O. ..can't say the same about their teams and the support...(maybe the leafs but i'm sure if they didn't have their tickets left to fan/ family members, in perpetuity, you'd see their arena half empty......It seems that there's something missing in Toronto/Argo land...Is it that they don't care anymore? (they did once)..I think they need to correct things by looking at a smaller venue for starters....As for the attitude toward the CFL in general...I don't know what the answer is..Ownership has to do a re-think on the total operation of the boatmen...Maybe then we will see something positive in the years ahead for the Argos and the CFL.. :roll:

imo, Montreal has the right idea, small venue with the dome for a couple games a year only. TO needs to forget about trying to sway the masses, ain't going to happen. Take care of your 20,000 die hards first and when the playoffs come around the demand will be there for the rest of the casual bums.

Take look at the TV audiences- there is a post on this today. The Argos are the best TV draw of the 9 CFL teams. They tend to draw 50 to 100 000 viewers better than the other teams. Toronto is the big draw on the networks. I have often wondered if the team is financially helped through these revenues? I would not be surprised if TO gets more revenue from TSN because of this fact? It pays for the networks to have an Argo team. How else could this team survive on 20 000 fans per game without extra revenue? If the Argos were to field a better team, I am certain their game attendance would increase. I lived in Montreal in the 70's when the Argo's drew 35 000 and, were the best draw in other team's stadiums. Leo Cahill was a great coach who signed some NCAA greats- Jim Stillwagon, Joe Theisman, Leon McQuay and others. Leo Cahill would recruit NCAA All Americans to come to his team. Cahill was a colorful coach who we all loved to hate. he once stated that " only an act of God will beat us tomorrow."They were beaten but it did not take an act of God to do so.

In latter years the Argos had great teams - Doug Flutie and others took the team to Grey Cups. As noted above, give the Argos a Flutie , a Joe Theisman etc and, the fans will return. The youth, however, are oriented to the NFL. I have young relatives in Toronto who won't look at a CFL game but, on Sundays and Monday evenings will tune in to the NFL. The older fans, though, would return if the Argos had a better team. I'm an Alouette fan and, I love the CFL but I don't watch every game. I might miss the Lions or the Roughriders but, for certain I always watch the Argo games!

The Argos have an excellent coach and, a good football team. In the TV series on the team Barker has demonstrated he can work with the media. QB has been their problem since Damon Allen retired from football. Toronto is the media center of Canada and, the team will benefit should they utilize this media. The older guys, like myself will turn out when the team starts winning and, perhaps the team can utilize someone like Mike Clemmons to stir up the youth interest. I have positive feelings about the Argos and, certainly believe they have the fan base to make it.

Just the other day got into an argument with some dude, he was saying I wish the Argo's folded, only way we get an NFL team is the Argos fold. I said if that ever happened the whole CFL may fold, he said he didn't care, as long as Toronto got an NFL team.

/facepalm

I know the CFL wouldn't fold if that happened, but it certainly wouldn't help.

Fact: Attendance went down in 1984, after the first Grey Cup victory in 31 years.

Fact: Attendance was less than 20,000 a game, with some crowds in the 12,000 range, for the two years when Flutie was an Argo.

Question: How does one "utilize" the media, other than by buying ads?

At 2-6, can you please explain how you think the Argos are "a good football team"? Also, with a career record of 25-37 and not one above .500 season (two 9-9 seasons, one 5-13 season and the current 2-6 season), can you elaborate on why you think Jim Barker is "an excellent football coach"? All evidence seems to point to the opposite.

As much as I hate the MLS and the TFC, can you imagine what the team would be like if there was no BMO Field?
In the dome, this thing would have gone out of business after the first year.
As it turns out, the TFC will still go out of business but at least they created a buzz for a few years and demand for tickets in the small venue.
Dare I say again, the Argos must move out just like the Als did by the U2 mistake.
They still come into the dome once per year for the playoffs.

That would be a great idea, but where would they go? Varsity is out; BMO, I believe, is a non-starter (someone correct me if I am wrong, but weren't the Argos rebuffed previously by BMO); York is probably too far outside the city. I would love to see the Argos play in an open-air, 25,000-seat stadium, and only use the Dome for the playoffs, but there just doesn't seem to be a viable option available.

Found this:

December 03, 2009

BOB NICHOLSON
It was great seeing so many of you at the Grey Cup festivities in Calgary. Several of you asked me to clarify what is happening with a potential move of the Toronto Argonauts to BMO Field, as recently reported in the media. I wanted to send you a note to keep you informed about these reports.

We at the Toronto Argonauts are preparing to play at Rogers Centre in 2010. By now, our season tickets holders have received renewal notices for their seats at Rogers Centre. At the same time, we are working with the CFL to conduct a feasibility study to see if it is even possible to play our game at BMO Field. This review will take place during the next month. We at the Argos will immediately advise our fans of any plans as they arise but at this time, there has been no decision to relocate.

Our ownership is committed to putting the best product on the field and delivering the best gameday experience for our fans. The feasibility study at BMO Field will help us determine if our fan experience can be enhanced with better sight-lines, closer proximity to the field and a more intimate facility, while upholding the standards of our League.

While a move in time for the 2010 season is far from certain, any season ticket holder who renews their seat at Rogers Centre would have the option of a refund if the team moves to BMO Field. Again, this is all speculative until the feasibility study is complete. We will continue to act in the best interests of our amazing fans, the CFL game and our franchise.

All the best to you and yours in this holiday season.
Sincerely,

Bob Nicholson
President & CEO
Toronto Argonauts Football Club


AND
In November 2009, it became public that the owners of the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League were in discussions with the City of Toronto over the possibility of moving from the Rogers Centre to BMO Field, potentially as early as the 2010 CFL season.[8] The CFL agreed to study the feasibility of the Argos playing at BMO Field, which was built too short to fit a full length CFL field.[9] According the MLSE chief operating officer Tom Anselmi, without significant renovations BMO Field could only fit a 100-yard field with 15-yard endzones or a 110-yard field with 10-yard endzones, which is 20-yards short of the standard 110-yard field and 20-yard endzones.[10] On December 16, 2009, the Argonauts officially abandoned the idea following receipt of the CFL study, which stated that "Canadian football could not be played there in its current state."[11] As of 2010, Toronto FC are contemplating the possibility of expanding the facility. BMO Field could accommodate an additional 8000 spectators without making fundamental changes to the existing facility, increasing the ground's total capacity upwards of 30,000.[12]

The Argos are just consolodating, that’s all…

The Toronto Argonauts need almost a Mafia type attitude in order to get this team back with the big crowds.

they need to force certain "people" to support the Argos and be positive influences..

aka newspapers, tv stations, Radio stations.

It'd be like Don Corleone bringing the head of the Toronto Star into his office and making him an offer he can't refuse.

"either your blood or your signature will be on this piece of paper that promises no more negative articles about the Argos and the CFL will be printed"

the Argos and the CFL need to start bullying the City into submission. Make some threats that will force the City into making an effort in supporting and promoting their Argos or finding ways to make them suffer.

I could think of one. the CFL and the NFL should sign an agreement that Toronto will not get an NFL team until there are signs of support, promotion and declining negativity from the Cities Media and Council for the Argonauts.

force them into a situation and make them stick to it.

"you want an NFL team? then you better start supporting your CFL team and stop being so negative and insulting towards our league!"

the CFL is being way too passive with Toronto. they need to push some weight and kick the Cities Ass!

every other city does whatever they can do improve their support and their attendance, why should Toronto be any different?