ARGOS Owners shocked with success!

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Y'all come back now.

That's the message Argos owners David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski are saying to Torontonians looking forward to the East Division final at the Rogers Centre on Nov. 20.

The Argos attracted a crowd of 40,085 for Thursday's 34-11 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, which clinched first in the East. It marked the biggest crowd for an Argos home game since Oct. 28, 1990.

"I think we'll beat 40,000 (for the division final)," Cynamon said after the game. "I bet you this city might rise to the occasion with 45,000-50,000. I can't see why not. I'd be disappointed if we didn't because that's what it's supposed to be. It's the next best game to the Grey Cup, so I would expect we would get it."

Cynamon and Sokolowski will buy the game from the league, which owns the rights to playoff games, but could potentially make $500,000 or more in revenues.

Cynamon marvelled at how well the organization has come since he and Sokolowski bought the team after the 2003 season, during which the Argos were without an owner after the sixth game. The league stripped the franchise from owner Sherwood Schwarz for failing to pay bills.

"In hindsight now, (the team) was broken," he said. "I don't think we knew that when we bought it how broken it was. Regardless of what Howard and I have done, (team president) Keith Pelley fixed this thing. Everything you see (at the games) from a beautiful banner to getting 40,000 in here, this guy just comes up with ideas and ideas and fixed the problems in the (front) office, everything from financial records to proper databases to filling -- just some of the basic business principles.

"Now knowing how broken it was, I would never have believed how far we've come financially relative to where it was.

"We really have an opportunity to be successful in this town."


Cynamon said he couldn't have believed Thursday's game would draw as well as it did, even though Pelley told him advance ticket sales suggested there would be a big crowd.

"It was thick, it was real, and it's fantastic, and paid for," he said. "It's picture perfect. It's like the CFL gods are saying, 'The Argos have been beaten up enough over their lifetime.' Howard and David and Keith came in here and saved this franchise from going under.

"Somebody up there is watching us, bringing us the fans, victories, a Grey Cup. It's almost too good to be true. We're very fortunate. Maybe (it's all because of head coach) Pinball Clemons.

"It's really something unique. Because there's a buzz, there's some energy now. It's beyond our wildest dreams."

Do you think that the current owners will SELL the team to Rogers or MLSE now when the team is bring in so much money?

i dont think they'll 'steel' the team to anyone.

why dont you re-read your comments b4 posting them????

Thank you to all 271,763 fans who cheered on the Double Blue at Rogers Centre during the 2005 regular season.

On Thursday night, the Toronto Argonauts clinched a bye into the Scotiabank East Championship in front of more than 40,000 fans at home. It was the largest crowd for an Argo’s regular season home game since October of 1990, and it helped to boost Toronto’s regular season average attendance over the 30 thousand mark.

For the first time since 1992, more than 250,000 fans came through the turn styles at nine Argonauts regular season home games. In 2005, Toronto averaged more than 30,000 fans per game (30,196) for the first time in 13 seasons. In five of the Argos’ nine home games more than 30,000 fans filled the Rogers Centre and celebrated six wins by the home team.

The Argonauts family would like to thank you for all of your support, from the home opener when the 2004 Grey Cup Championship banner was unfurled, to Thursday night’s 34-11 victory that clinched first place in the East Division.

See you at the Scotiabank East Championship, Sunday, November 20, 2005, 3 PM ET, and Thank You!

The Argonauts play their final regular season game of 2005 on Saturday, November 5 against the Ottawa Renegades at Frank Clair Stadium.

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The section-sized banner of Jim Corrigall normally sits in the 500 level, high in the end zone at the place they used to call the SkyDome, with not a person to be found anywhere.

Just not last night.

Maybe not any more.

Corrigall hasn't been this popular since he was starring for the Argos about a quarter-century ago, a time when we lived and breathed Toronto football the way we live and breath Maple Leafs hockey now.

Only last night, the section that always is empty at Argos games wasn't. And the normally abandoned 500 level wasn't. And a meaningless Thursday-night football game between a first-place team and a last-place team, didn't look or sound meaningless at all.

Somewhere, from a better place, Harry Ornest had to be saying: "I'm telling you, Steve, this is a football town."

Poor Harry, who seemed to live forever and still does in my memory, didn't live long enough to witness the rebirth of Argos football. Or whatever this renaissance happens to be.

"I tried to be focussed on the game," Pinball Clemons, the coach, said after this Argos slaughter. "I looked up in the stands. I didn't want to get nostalgic."

But he did.

"It was a warm feeling. I was trying to fight it ... I looked up (during the game) and it was a more special feeling than even those days."

Those days were 15 years ago. The previous time the Argos played a regular season game with a crowd this large. That was Clemons and Darrell K. Smith and Matt Dunigan and Rodney Harding and Reggie Pleasant playing, a sporting lifetime ago. "You get nostalgic," Clemons said.

Then you fast forward to last night. At a place that was a ghost town two seasons back. For a franchise that for too long has been more about yesterday than today, closer to death than life.

Forty-thousand and 85 people paid to watch a game between first and worst. In Toronto. At the Rogers Centre graveyard. On a weeknight. With traffic jams. And all that happened was the Argos clinched first place, some kid kicked a field goal from 50 yards to win a million dollars at halftime, Dave Mann and Uly Curtis were honoured before the game, Leo Cahill gave out a coaching award in the third quarter and in between the Argos and Tiger-Cats rotated which players would get thrown out.

And also, some guy on the JumboTron got down on one knee and asked a young lady to marry him.

All on a Toronto Thursday night, with Argos football alive and kicking, far removed from the life support we have become all too familiar with.

"I think we've created a real buzz," said Adrion Smith, the defensive back who knows of lean Argos days. "I think we might be sneaking into second (among sports teams) in the city. We'll never beat hockey. But we're doing okay."

Not that long ago, this was a stadium deemed unsuitable for the Argos. The owners said that themselves. They promised a new outdoor world and didn't deliver, and oddly, no one seems to care.

In a city where trend is everything, the Argos have become fashionable once again. The stigma that haunted this franchise and maybe their league is gone.
The numbers are up, in the stands, on television, in almost every place where it matters.

All that's missing is the kind of football buzz you hear in an Edmonton or a Regina: The sporting world can't be changed in a day. But still this change defies logic and explanation.

Next up for the Argos at home is the Eastern final, for which they play host.

A sellout -- bite your tongue -- is not out of the question. It might even be expected.

And that would make Jim Corrigall smile -- and in case you can't remember the bad old days, Jim Corrigall never smiled.

sorry! :oops:

They keep growing on this success and sometime
down the road they'll be main eventers. LOL

Good job!

Did I miss something here? KK you did say ‘sell’ in your post.

so much for that sure tax right off.........

By the way, great to see the Argos bringing in the fans. If Toronto is in the Grey Cup here Nov. 27th and the Lions are not I'll be cheering for the boatmen for sure. I have 6 Grey Cup tickets. As well, I am a Burris fan so if it's Calgary and Toronto I guess it's a win win situation.

In reality though everyone knows this years Grey Cup will be between the Lions and the those Rider beasts of the East. :shock:

yes, but I messed up. :oops:

Excellent articles and thanks............ D.G.! :smiley:

I think that even people who hate the ARGOS , should be happy about this.

And CONGRATS should also go to , the PEOPLE OF HAMILTON. :smiley:

This is great for ALL of , the CFL. :smiley:

HOWEVER , should I be worried about what STEVE SIMMONS , writes? He is always wrong , and he seems to suggest that this has just happened ALL out of the BLUE , from nowhere. :wink: :lol:

Maybe STEVE , as a so called "pro" sports writer , if you had been paying attention the last 2 years , and bothered to check the T.V. ratings for the last 5 years , this would be not such a mystery to you. :wink: :lol: :smiley:

ottawa had a crowd of nearly 28 000 yesterday, with 21 000 paid…

but atleast butts are in the seats, and those will pass on the message of how much fun they had…CFL in ontario is growing.

WOW........that is just great for OTTAWA......Remember? It looked empty at the beginning of the game and there were lots of MONTREAL, fans there.
But it did fill up more later......Now they just need a PROPER OFF SEASON , for promotion and getting some good players , and lets see.

And I agree.........

I agree its good to see butts in the seats for fan challenged Gades. Apparently the latest rummour is that John Jenkins(thank god) will not be hired and surprise, Joe Paopao will be back next year. If so, that is also a mistake.

as much as i think Paopao should go...i can respect that they are giving him another chance, cuz he DIDNT have the proper off-season this past year.

give him one more year with some new free agent signings, and see how they do next year.

so if the team fails in '06, and misses the playoffs, then there will be NO DOUBT he is the problem.

where did u read this rumour of Paopao stayin??

In the morning papers. Certainly I would rather have continuity and Joe back instead of the dinosaur Jenkins. Agree give him one more year, but the Gleibs have to sign some free agents. The Defense and especially the small DB’s have been brutal.

they should get Hack on the O-line, then get 1 or 2 recievers, cuz they rely on Armstead too much.

if they add some GOOD guys to the defence, then thats a huge bonus.

which paper was this news tho?....ottawa citizen, toronto sun, or star..??

this was on
It's been a tough week for Paopao with news getting out that Jenkins had been patrolling the sidelines recently in another CFL stadium telling people he was "taking over in Ottawa" next season.

"You guys saw what was in the papers this week, and we're not not going to be here denying that, so you can interpret things as it is," said Renegades president Lonie Glieberman

A Canadian Press story on page 8 in the Toronto Star, article from yesterdays game.

The ARGOS and HAMILTON are looking GREAT. Now , can we fix OTTAWA?