BMO Will Not "Save" The Argos

I was really hoping that I'd be wrong about the move to BMO and the Argos would be enjoying sell out crowds. But unfortunately, my assessment and analysis was totally accurate once again.

It's only the second game at the "new" stadium and already the novelty has worn off. Tonight's "crowd" was an absolute embarrassment. The stadium wasn't anywhere close to being even half full. What a disaster.

Just out of curiosity, how many "fans" here attended tonight's game?

Mighty Goose. A few others were there.

The Argos only need about 18K/game to break even. I think it is doable. I assume the 12,300 (announced) was the number of tickets sold. I think a weekend game would attract enough to make up the difference.

A mid-week game during the summer holiday season... Going to give it a bit before proclaiming the Angels of the Apocalypse have arrived. After the last ten years this isn't going to happen overnight. They have to create new fans.

Agree. Plus, as I said before, the bar is LOW. Break even and Tannen-Bell will be thrilled.

Its not just the Argos... Its right across the league. People laughed 5 years ago when both the Cats and Ottawa were going ahead with 24000 seat stadiums. Who knew these would become two of the higher actual attendances in the league?
I dont give a crap what lies the Stamps print. They barely draw 20k there.. The Bombers and Edmonton aren't nuch better. We now have written proof the Lions drew only 16k last season ,and attendance has slumped badly again this season. There was even 4000 dmpty seats in Saskatchewan last game and Montreal must now regret expanding their stadium.
There are two major culprits. One is ticket prices. The other is penalties.
Slash ticket prices by 30% asap ,and then increase player salaries 15% ,but mandate practice time increases by 40%

I think its "shrinkage or Wrinklage". This league has completely disregarded young fans and they are paying the price, its only going to get worse.

I am not sure what Area51 means by "saving the Argos" because I don't believe the Argos are moving or folding so there is nothing to be "saved".

As I said above, BCE's goal is to break even with the Argos and ensure the CFL remains a viable TV property for TSN. If it means losing $3,000,000/yr, while making $15,000,000 once every 5 years on a Grey Cup to even things out, that is what they are willing to do.

I have no idea how much TSN makes on the CFL but they need the Canadian summer content - and BCE keeping the Argos alive is a small price to pay.

I think you are exaggerating, Bungle. I have no doubt every team NOT named Argo makes money. 20 years ago, every team not named Eskimo lost a TON of money so we are moving in the right direction.

Is the CFL struggling with people staying home to watch the games on HDTV? Of course. So are other Leagues. I still think attendance is very good considering the average price of tickets.

I agree penalties are a serious issue. Not sure how to fix that.

You people know there's an Indy event that has made it near impossible to get to BMO by car, right?

OH NO! - THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING! pfft!!.. Enough already! The Argos will be fine.. BIGGEST PROBLEM IS??? it was played on a bloody Wednesday evening for F sakes and no it doesn't help that the Indy circuit race or whatever is making it difficult to get to BMO stadium!! It's also only the 2nd home game for the Argos this season, so let's not lose our heads over this! "Shakes head" ..

Please stop with the excuses , it's been 20 years of excuses. The GTA is 7 Million and you can't draw 15k. This was the same attendance as the skydome ,after the Argo's won the won the GC in 2012.

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At 9 p.m. Wednesday, Lake Shore Boulevard will be closed in both directions from Strachan to Ontario Drive for the Indy.
I think this is when someone will reply with something like "True fans would jump out of a car on the Gardiner and repel down!" :rockin:

Not a great bit of scheduling on the CFL's part, although I don't know if they knew when the Indy was this year. If they did and put the game there anyway, that's just dumb. They've been closing this area for the race since 1986, it's not a surprise.

There's been a few decent patches but they've never been the same since the Jays were formed and pushed the Argos to the back of the summer sports scene, and once they became good the Argos were toast. There's just too much going on around here for the Argos to reach outside of their core base, which is as passionate as any in sports, but just too small in number. They can probably grab a few casuals and once-in-a-while people with the tailgates and cheap beer, but they'll never get that massive following that they had before the Jays. I think the best they can hope for is an average in the low 20,000's with a few sellouts for big weekend games in the fall.

Yes the Indy thing, the really hot weather, a Wednesday night all had some impact on the attendance no doubt - but 12,373 tickets sold and fewer than that actually there? That no matter how anybody tries to spin it is very disappointing.

Somehow 18,000+ managed to make it to the Molson Amphitheatre across the parking lot for the Duran Duran concert. It was packed according to friends who were posting pictures on Twtter and Facebook from there last night. Even the grass areas above the stands looked full in some of the social media pics posted from there at the sme time we were seeing pics of an almost empty east stands at BMO.

It is going to take a lot of work - and some good luck to rebuild the Argos fan base. Maybe there are a lot watching on TV - but they sure aren't buying tickets - yet.

Once they came up a couple of thousand short of a sellout with several Hamilton fans there for a much hyped home opener - it should have been clear to everybdy that this is going to take time and a lot of work for TanenBell. .

Management knew going to BMO alone was not going to be enough to turn things around but would think last night was well under their expectations.

So now there's some clear adversary, let's see how ownership and management responds moving forward this year and next.

For this season, they really need to stick to their plan focusing on the game day experience (tailgate, Shipyard etc...) and put the sales focus more or less on the lower level east side for the best optics on TV.

Earlier this month, they've partnered with TravelZoo with pricing roughly 50% off. This was for last night's game and July 25 vs. Mtl

Promo code: TRAVELZOO. If anyones knows anyone who may be interested. No cost for the membership.

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If you look at where the discounted seats are located, it's clear to me that the team knew these 2 games are hard sells.

Moving into 2017, without the compression with TFC ala the renovations, there is no reason why there should be midweek games next year with the exception of holidays and Thursdays during the summer since it's for TV reasons.

Also, they need to hold the line on pricing and give it a chance to rebuild. The Jays had pricing freezes for about 5 years until they got really popular so it can be justified. Don't make the same mistake as past ownership.

I would even revisit pricing on the east side and there is clearly stronger demand on the west. Perhaps create a pricing level 'C' in each colour. Sections 105 through 109 need to be the highest priority since they show the most on TV.

It's early for a post mortem here, but these are just my ideas on what they should do.

Anyother thoughts?

The only thing that will save the Argos will be if they can get the league to agree to them playing all 9 home games in a season against Hamilton. I mean really , can anybody dispute the fact that the only time there's a half decent crowd in Toronto is when the Cats come to town ? And of course the irony of this is that it's us Cat fans that make the trip down the QEW for these games the only reason that the attendance is above average for these games. Yup it's sad but true but as I've said for years when it comes to the sports scene in Toronto , if it doesn't involve skates and a puck then forget about it ,as for the Jays and Raptors ? No real fans only Bandwagon jumpers when they're winning BUT other than that :roll: for the Argos ? well it's very obvious that if the game doesn't involve a team wearing Black "n" Gold then it just doesn't matter period and that my friends is very unfortunate.

That's exactly it - - excuses, excuses.

I don't remember the Argos ever having this small of a crowd - - 12,000 - - anytime at the Dome. And there were some terrible weeknight games then too.

I think you're pretty much 100% spot on, one more thing is I think the ads they play on TV, while a good idea, show zero clips of actual football being played. They seem more like ads for a burger restaurant than a football team. Show highlights of nice catches, hard hits, touchdowns, etc. They don't seem to be selling the actual game at all.

What the Argo fans need is a temperature controlled indoor Stadium with a retractable roof. :roll:

Agree with most of your points Mightygoose. Bobo isn't far off with the current state of affairs though either with it being the Ti-Cats and their fans helping fill the stands.

One of the things that hurts them this year is that they got such a late start on everything with new ownership - and nothing really pushing any single ticket sales until June 1.

Last year the Ti-Cats were pushing GREAT DEALS on season ticket sales as part of Black Friday week sales around the time of the Grey Cup Game and they sold hundreds of new season ticket packages BACK IN NOVEMBER. They aggressively marketed Christmas gift packs - that were a pair of single game bronze tickets and a Ti-Cats touque for $59. They sold hundreds of those packages.

During the year they do various Flash Sales around Father's Day or at other times of the year throughout the year to blitz either season ticket deals, flex pack deals or single game seats packaged up with something like the toques or a scarf or som other Ti-Cat item. They especially push 'specials' on games that are likely slightly harder sells.

I think the Argos were hurt that new ownership was slow off the marketing mark on things - having not taken over until the New Year and having so much on their plate with the BMO renovations and move of the team.

For next season the marketing of various ticket sales need to be be starting THIS season like the Cats do so successfully.

And even doing all that - it will take time, luck and a lot of work to work.