Argos Growing Fan Base**

Thousands of Toronto-area football fans seized their chance to meet members of the Toronto Argonauts over the weekend.

The Argonauts held autograph sessions at local shopping malls, an initiative designed to keep players close to the fans throughout the off-season. The first appearance was held at Pickering Town Centre on Saturday afternoon and featured wide receiver Tony Miles and kick returner Bashir Levingston. Saturday was also the first opportunity for fans of the team to test out the brand new 20-foot tall interactive inflatable, giving everyone the chance to try out their throwing arm and kicking leg. 6 year old Mariena was the winner of the team’s colouring contest.

On Sunday, the Argos met more fans at Vaughan Mills as running back John Avery and defensive back Chris Hardy took time to sign autographs and get their photo taken with Argo die-hards. Jahvon, 9 years old, took home the colouring crown at this stop.

Toronto Argonauts mascot Jason and the Blue Thunder cheerleaders were also in attendance at the malls.

Watch for the Argonauts in your community as more mall appearances are planned. The next scheduled stop is on Saturday, March 25th at the Woodbine Centre (500 Rexdale Blvd.) at 3:00 p.m. featuring cornerback Adrion “Pee Wee� Smith and linebacker Chuck Winters.

in 2003, the argos season/ home opener only drew 15K
in 2 short years, they drew 30K to the season/home opener....double!

in 2004, thier home playoff game drew 2005 thier home playoff game drew 44K...a difference of 7K

special events like this grow the Argos / CFL'S fan base. this is why i expect them to draw 35K for thier season/home opener in '06.

( same with hamilton...they drew 15K to thier home opener in 2003 and 29K in 2005.)

We'll pack the house this time around!!!

Good posting DG. No other Toronto team is connecting with the community like the Argos. On top of which, there is the massive Stop The Violence program initiated by the Argos which is garnering unbelievable publicity over the winter. Plus, I believe the Argos have contributed $100,000 to this worthy cause. Again, where are the so called major league teams with the mega bucks MLSE and Rogers backing?

Nice dg for sure. The Argonauts are in the same boat as the Leafs, in my books anyway, for the no. 1 team in Toronto. All other teams can't compare with history, tradition etc.
I'm a TiCat fan no. 1 but I have to admit that the term "Argonauts" sends shivers down my spine with the history of the rowing club behind it and going back to the 1800's etc. Makes the Blue Jays and Raptors look like nothing.

Excellent find DG. Will be interesting what the naysayers on this site will have to say.

so far they haven't said anything...any similar effort a team makes is good for the CFL aswell.

good to see the toronto-CFL team tryin to win the hearts of disgruntled toronto sports fans...leafs and raptors have both sucked for 2 years in a row ( bluejays sucked for 13 years now ), so maybe T.O. sportsfans will be lookin for something new?

Despite the pro media stance, I am starting to feel like Earl. The Argos are climbing up the ladder.

Well, as much as the media fails to, or doesn't want to, admit it, Canadians love the CFL .... Its status, popularity etc in Canada deserves a lot more attention by the (lousy) media. 2nd-biggest sport/league in Canada, easily. (sadly, it still seems that CFL-bashing is the 3rd-biggest sport in Canada.)

Really though, good on the Argos, this is great initiative ... this is what has to be done to make fans and keep fans. They're doing a great job over there and I'm really happy to see how well this team has turned around ... they're on fire! Now we just need Ottawa to take some pointers ....

Still, I HIGHLY suspect that the Jays and Raptors still get more press than the Argos ... which makes no sense to me. Again, that seems to be the media, doing their "job" ... neglecting the CFL .... like I said, 3rd-biggest sport in Canada.

This is good to see because the Argos have finally realized that they must work to gain and retain their fans. The attitude that "people should come to see us...we've been here for over 100yrs" is finally gone under the watch of Mr Cynamon and Sokolowski and Keith Pelley. The only team that can continue to go on with blatant disregard for the fans is the Leafs. The Jays have learned their lesson, the Raptors theirs, and the Argos are in there too. Toronto is a highly competitve market for both sports and entertainment. You have to earn your place and the Argos are doing a great job in carving out their spot. Great to see!

Part of what is likeable about the CFL is that they have to reach out to get fan support. The big 4 leagues don't have to reach out because the owner of a team can always threaten to move his team. In the U.S., even a league as marginal as the NHL has cities offering incentives to attract franchises. The Pittsburg Penguins are a perfect example. The downside for the CFL is that there is presently no place for a seriously troubled franchise to go. What do you do with the Renegades if they fail in Ottawa? The closest thing would be setting up bleachers in London or Quebec City and hoping you could boost capacity to 15000. Under those conditions, a franchise would still lose a lot of money.

Well, from London and live in Hamilton. London having a team would be awesome, just over an hour to get to, be a season ticket holder of the Cats and the Gades. I'm serious, it would be great. But ain't going to happen I guess.

Man I wish the CFL could operate successfully with a business model that worked for 10,000-15,000 seat stadiums then we might be in a situation like the big 4 leagues with places to go to. In my dreams only I guess.

like the pic og the post.

good to see that the fan bases are growing in TO and Hamilton, hopfully my NFL TO firends will get into the CFL as well.

Toronta...gotta love the place..
Thats what all my newfie friends say..
Young rock ...
Is it true ...the Blue Jayes are contenders..
Hope so...cause we beat the yanks in there game...GO Canada.,.,.

I hope that the Raptors will be conterders someday.

Ahh the Raptors...Never knew what it was like to be a Rider fan 'till the Raptors came to town....

I know they played an Ex game in WPG a few mouths ago, how was that?