I personally wouldn't worry too much about Toronto, this crowd was larger than just about any regular season home games they had for years on end in the late 90's. Give them a 28,000 - 30,000 seater made just for football and it would be packed all the time.
Except nobody mentions that a large portion of those tickets were freebies, give aways if you will. There was definately not 28,800 at the Rider pre season game, maybe 25,000 and a lot of people still getting to their seats at the end of the 1st quarter.
Every season ticket holder got an additional free ticket per seat to the game. I guess if a lot of people aren't going to come anyways, make up for it with giveaways and make some money on concessions.
Toronto I am afraid to say is a Maple Leaf(not hockey) town mainly.
With about 25,000 Argo fans and another 10,000-15,000 wagon jumpers.
Yes we are making inroads, after the great Schwarz debacle of years before.
What better proof then an increase in season tickets this year to 14,000 and a nearly soldout Grey Cup.
I would not put too much stock into the pre season crowd though.
I predict an average crowd for the team at 33,000 this year and with a soldout Eastern Final.
Go Argos all the way to the GC.
I guess you guys are "green with envy", lol.
And by the way sambo, jman and dust plus other prairie followers, when is that fair city of yours going to build a new stadium. To rid itself of the delapidated TF?
Boys let's get into the 2000 century just like the Peg is.
What on earth is wrong with 18,000 in Toronto? I was floored when I saw that number! That's incredible for an exhibition game in Toronto - not to mention the first (ie, worst) exhibition game. And I don't believe that a) 29,000 people were at the game in Saskatchewan, and b) 29,000 tickets were paid for.
It did take awhile for everybody to get to their seats....because the crowd was so large, and the staff didn't handle the lineups very well. But if you were at the game, you know that the fans were there, and 99% of the seats had a butt in them.
As for the freebies, the Riders have done this every year for quite awhile now, and never got that large of a crowd, so if you put some perspective on that fact, it was a great crowd.
It was a combination of a perfect day for football, a booming economy and the Farm Progress show wrapping up an hour before the game (which helped ticket sales but hindered the ability of people to get to their seats on time).
But whatever the factors involved, the simple fact is, it was a sell-out!
Attendence at Taylor Field will be up this year. Count on it!