Braley has the lifeline if Argo owners abandon ship

Braley has the lifeline if Argo owners abandon ship

Steve Milton The Hamilton Spectator

Oct 15, 2009
'They're not addicts -- except perhaps in their mainlining obsession with the CFL -- but David Braley and Bob Young certainly understand codependence.

Assume that there is some level of truth, because there is,

to recent reports that B.C. Lions owner Braley

may take over the Toronto Argonauts.'

A good thing? Not really, but perhaps a necessary thing.

Read on.


As much as the enthusiasm, spirit and tone
of the CFL are driven by western teams,

the financial engine is still fuelled by the oversized
population and financial muscle of the Toronto area.

TV audiences, national sponsorships and the spark
of national media interest all originate in the Big Smoke,

whether the rest of us like to admit it or not.

Braley and Young, unlike many franchise leaders elsewhere,
see the direct danger of the NFL coming to Toronto.

The CFL governors have resisted any change
to the revenue-sharing formula,

even through Tom Wright's tenure when he broached the idea
of splitting Grey Cup profits each year

rather than waiting for the every-ninth-year windfall.

Additionally, they don't always recognize that
the survival of Lake Ontario football

is directly linked to their own franchise's health.

That may change if Braley, the power broker,
gets directly involved with the Argos,

as it seems certain he must.

Kudos to Bob Young [and Dave Braley] for
understanding the realities of the CFL.

and kudos to Braley for backing up
his convictions with his money.

I agree with you, Ron. The CFL needs Toronto badly for its financial strength. If Toronto folds, Hamilton will follow not long after, and there will be no revival in Ottawa, leaving Montreal as an orphan eastern franchise in a stunted western minor league. It isn't tenable.

8) If Toronto were to ever fold, then that would basically be the end of the CFL, unfortunately !!

Toronto folding is not the end of the CFL IMHO. It could mean the franchise combines with the TiCats here, or it could mean a different structure for the CFL. Don't get me wrong, the league should do everything it can apart from allowing them to win games of course, but should do everything to keep a team in the Big Smoke. But if it comes to pass this isn't possible, so be it, things will get restructured accordingly I believe. Remember, out of chaos comes a new structure, as they say. At the end of it, we still have this little thing called the Grey Cup championship and if the National Football League can have an honourable winner of the Vince Lombardi Trophy with no team in the 2nd largest TV market in the US, we can have an honourable winner of our national championship without a team in Toronto vying for it. Hopefully that will not happen though as I believe Toronto is an excellent CFL market, heck, they are averaging 25,000 in a not so friendly stadium with a team that isn't great. A market is there.

Why not?

How can it not be a conflict of interest for someone to own 2 teams in the same league, especially one with only 8 teams?
I guess you can't be surprised, after all it's the same league that had 2 teams named roughriders.
What's up with that?
Hey, let's have another team in Ottawa and let's call them the ticats. Ok.

Because if Braley owned 2 teams he would
be in a 'conflict of interest' position.

Other CFL owners would be questioning
every trade between B.C. and Toronto.

They would be afraid of strong players
from Braley's western division team

becoming the building blocks
of his eastern division team.


It's the same point that rockfish made above, seymour.

....and here I thought I heard Commish Cohan say we were a healthy leagure?????
Judging this article this is starting to show the '80 all over again.......I don't want to go through those times again.


I think the CFL Could Make it with out a Team in toronto
As long as there where a Team in Quebec City Hailfax Maybe a Moved Toronto Team in London
or Windsor

I hate to See the Argos go but I think the CFL could make it

Cattack, those days were the days of the Rogers Centre being the perfect shrine for both MLB and the winning Blue Jays and the NFL team was going to arrive pronto, so they said. These are days when the Rogers Centre is anything but the perfect shrine for both MLB and the NFL. So there's a difference. Toronto has a stadium that few people want in any league and that is good for the CFL in many respects in this area. Of course I suppose it won't matter to the NFL if Rogers throws so much money for the Bills when Ralph passes on, they will get the team nonetheless. But will they?

I have been very pesimistic about the Argo's - you had to know the Howard and David show would not last - they would not pay the bills forever.

I am afraid the years of the Argo, and the CFL in the East, being on death's door are about to reappear.

The only solution is for the teams out West to take a smaller piece of the pie and allow the Argo's and Ticats to break even.

Freaks me out when I hear people question the Argo's viability. Even after two terrible seasons they still draw way more than Montreal,Winnipeg, Hamilton and are even or ahead of BC and Calgary.

Seven teams would be a nightmare. First you can kiss the East/West thing goodbye. You can kiss Scotiabank possibly Wendy's and many of the National partners goodbye. TV rights.... 5 Million tops... Expansion to Ottawa probably becomes next to impossible.

Grey Cup revenues should be shared every year based on a combination of viewership and where it is held. Can you imagine the NFL handing over the revenues to the superbowl to one team !?

SMS withouth revenue sharing is absolutely stupid. It protect markets that need little investment and maintenance to pull in revenues while preventing markets that need to be more flexible and more responsive to "star power" to develop their product and market.

All the old problems that have plagued this league forever have just been masked by the unprecedented long period of growth and prosperity.

Those mostly out West who don't get it. One day when your watching your four team league on Canwest or some obscure cable community channel and a league like the UFL or Arenal project of the day has grown and taking the second tier talent it will be too late.

First of all...kudo's to Steve Milton for writing such a thoughtful and in-depth piece on the realities of the CFL!!!!! :thup: :thup: :thup: A great piece of journalism.

This also leads to the issue of "conflict of interest".
Steve Milton works for the Hamilton Spectator.....which is owned by the Toronto Star. My read is that each paper has it's own editorial freedom (unlike Can-West's newspapers) so Hamilton may not be served too badly, from an editorial point of view, by the dual ownership. In other conflict of interest that affects the readers.

The prospect of dual ownership in the CFL is not something that I would want. But if the scenario that Steve Milton writes about plays out, then maybe dual ownership is the only alternative.
The league itself would have to set the rules about how dual ownership must work so the rest of the league, and the fans, can continue to watch a competitive CFL.
One thing I would like to know is how David Braley plans of getting more fans to the blue team games when nothing much has happened despite the best efforts of previous owners.

...until people get tired of a watered down product.

Follow the money, ONknight.

Losing the Toronto franchise would take a big chunk
out of the big city exposure national sponsors want.

Fewer national sponsors means less money
so CFL salary caps would be brought down.

Read this quote from Steve Milton's article
I linked to at the beginning of this thread.

As much as the enthusiasm, spirit and tone of the CFL are driven by western teams,

the financial engine is still fuelled by the oversized
population and financial muscle of the Toronto area.

TV audiences, national sponsorships and the spark
of national media interest all originate in the Big Smoke,

whether the rest of us like to admit it or not.

So you think that Braley would trade the worst players from the Argos for the best players from the Lions and thereby alienate the Lions' fans, the team, coaches, sponsers, management and risk reduced revenue from ticket sales, missing the playoffs, sponserships, concessions, etc.?
That scenario makes no sense to me.

Clearly, the best case scenario for Braley would be to maintain strong, competitive teams in both cities and maximize the opportunity to have both teams proceed through the playoffs and appear in the Grey Cup. That would be a marketing and financial bonanza for Braley.

Concerning the point made by rockfish, yes the CFL has a team in the Western Division called the Roughriders and, at one time, they had a team in the Eastern Division called the Rough Riders. What relevance does that have to your conspiracy theory concerning the Lions and the Argos?

I thought that the Argo’s have the football rights to Skydome, if this is still the case wouldn’t Rodgers out bid anyone for them, just incase the Bills come here to stay or and NFL expansion team?