Cynamon on the Fan


Argos Co-owner David Cynamon with a LONG segment on the Fan 590. Interview contains EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about the Argonauts stadium situation, his feelings as an owner in the CFL, the future of the league, Bills in Toronto, his relationship with Rogers Communications, coaching staff, front office, you name it. He's really candid, answered every question fully, no dodging.

Clear 40 minutes in your schedule, this interview is a great listen.

[url=] ... 0618_45140[/url]

Listened to some of this, thanks. Very candid indeed. Sounds like BMO is still an option albeit not on the frontburner at all as it was a few years ago. I suppose that's not surprising. But he definitely would rather be playing in a stadium that is more intimate than the RC, he made that quite clear. Interesting also how MLSE and the city basically gave no rational explanation for why BMO was made soccer-only, I find this very interesting. Although again, as he mentions, it wouldn't be that difficult to increase the length my 20 yards for CFL football. This would be done presumably if the Argos added an extra 5000 seats or so, which he alluded to would be needed.

It was made soccer specific at the request of the CSA (canadian soccer association) who fronted some of the money and It is the only soccer specific stadium in the country

the audio clip ends just as bob asks 'do u make money in this league?'

u can hear 'u can....' the end.

is there a second part to this interview or does anyone know what is said next??

Cynamon said that most teams turn a profit in the CFL, with the Argos being very close to the break-even point.

While MLSE had to cater to Soccer Canada to get the funding, that doesn't mean the city-owned stadium had to prohibit Canadian High School, University or Professional football games from ever being played there without structural renovations.

I was surprised to hear that Rogers has basically given the Argos the cold-shoulder and have had virtually no communication since they signed their current lease several years ago.

Who knows why about the cold shoulder, I don't know. Maybe they want the Argos out of there so they can do reno's as soon as the baseball season is over to make it more footballish, NFL style for the Bills experiment. Or maybe they wanted to buy the Argos and Cynamon and Sokolowski didn't want to sell. Who knows.

As I posted last year, Rogers and Larry Tannenbaum want to squeeze the Argos out. BMO field is no longer an option as MLSE made sure the Argos couldn't go there by making it a huge job to reconfigure it for football. And if Rogers still is chasing this NFL dream of theirs, whats to stop them from booting the Argos out of the Skydome to renovate it for the NFL?
This could happen after Rogers unloads the baseball to some American city. leaving the Skydome vacant, and making it easier to convert for the NFL.
If I'm Cynnamon I'm looking for a new stadium to move to. With Beckham leaving the MLS, its like Gretzky leaving the Kings.
The league is going to suffer big time. I say BMO field eventually falls into the Argos laps, because FC with be history.

Interesting. Although with Ted Rogers having passed away, I wonder if interest in the Bills is as high as it was especially with the problems they had selling tickets at the prices they were charging? They lost millions on the 2 NFL games so far so who knows.

I don't normally listen to the Fan so I appreciate the links when it is CFL related.
Thanks for the link dmont.

Interesting. Although with Ted Rogers having passed away, I wonder if interest in the Bills is as high as it was especially with the problems they had selling tickets at the prices they were charging? They lost millions on the 2 NFL games so far so who knows.
It has come to light since Rogers passing, that he couldn't of cared less about NFL or any other sport for that matter. It was reported he had very little interest in the NFL and even less in the Blue Jays. He didn't attend one game last season. It was his "advisors and confidents" who had his ear and encouraged him to purchase the Blue Jays (which were losing over $50M a year when he bought them, which he has whittled down to a $30M annual loss), and was apparently talked into renting the Bills for 5 games by these advisors (the 3 preseason games were foisted on them to boost the deal to $78M). Ted apparently went along with these expenditures as he thought it might help sell his other products through "cross-marketing."

I suspect if the Argos wait long enough, possibly 2-5 years when the MLS house of cards come crashing and the league folds, the city of Toronto will have a stadium with no tenant.
Guess who is going to come calling to the Argos.

I don't know how to say this to MLS/Soccer haters in this thread, but I will say it anyway:

You guys are idiots if you think MLS is going to fold. There are going to be more teams in next couple of years in MLS (there's a good chance that Vancouver might join MLS). If anything, there is a better chance of Argos folding than MLS. Toronto FC are already sold out for season and they have 8,000 people on their waiting list for season tickets. Can same be said about Argos?

Face it guys, soccer is big now especially in Toronto. You guys need to stop living in bubble and realize no one in Toronto cares about Argos and CFL. If anything, there more people in Toronto that want Argos to fold instead of saving them. Argos only have themselves to blame for not finding a new home. Maybe they should just move to Ottawa or Quebec City instead of whining for not having a stadium.

You obviously do not know or choose to ignore prior history.
It's called the North American Soccer League which lasted longer and was more successful, with crowds in excess of 60,000 on average in New York and it still went in the toilet.
Currently the MLS is bleeding, no wait hemorrhaging big time. Supposedly 1-3 teams are either breaking even or making a little bit of money (with the TCF as likely the only one).
The last time I looked the average attendance was around 14,000 of which all of the experts state that at least one third of this amount involves freebies(two for one) or greatly reduced price.
Oh yes this is a big time league? Prediction 2-5 years max.

TooMuch, just to let you know, the Argos don't need to be "saved" any longer as you say. Soccer is an excellent game, I find it boring to watch myself but the skills are excellent. When TFC has been around for half as long as the Argos have, I'll consider TFC and the MLS to have half the significance of the Argos, for now, you're a new kid on the block in a relatively new league on the block in North America and the jury is going to be out on both TFC and the MLS for quite a long time. Face it, right now the MLS in the US isn't even as big as high school gridiron football.

Have a nice day.

Well, high school football is by far the single most popular sport in the United States. So soccer has a mighty huge hill to climb. Though it does seem to be very popular with girls. Unfortunately, outside of mega-cities with huge ethnic populations, soccer is not so popular.

I have no doubt that soccer could be moderately popular in Toronto — as long as there is big name competition and the Toronto team actually wins occasionally (lord knows Toronto needs a winner, any winner), but that doesn't mean the Argos will be less successful. Only someone who thinks small would think that there isn't plenty of room — and fans by extension — for both soccer and football, but as others have said, soccer has a long, long way to go to prove itself immensely popular outside of parochial enclaves in the biggest of cities. Even if it does, it won't matter one iota to football. So please, lets leave the football bigotry and the rabid round ball boosterism out of it. You simply will not be able to impose your will on football fans by wishing they go away, because the facts show that football is as popular as ever in both Canada and the U.S..

The good old Webster's dictionary says an "idiot" is an "ignorant person", "a feebleminded person having a mental age not exceeding three years and requiring complete custodial care", "a silly or foolish person" and "showing a complete lack of thought or common sense".
I guess some of us football fans fit in there somewhere at certain times of the years. :lol:
However anyone who thinks soccer will ever achieve major league status in North America must wear the same mantle.

This is the trouble I am having with the MLS. I don't think it knows what it is or what it wants to be. Calling itself "major league" is strange when, from what I've been told by soccer experts, isn't in the first tier of European leagues. The CFL by contrast doesn't say "major league". I do remember Tom Wright saying some time ago he would like the CFL to be more "major league like" or something to that effect. But it doesn't matter, the CFL is in a niche of it's own that has a history and tradition behind this niche and therefore there is no disconnect as myself and many others see it with such rules as the Canadian content and skill set of the players, salaries etc.

The MLS is disconnected with this term "major league" I think and it causes confusion. Didn't the Montreal Impact do well agains't TFC and the Impact are in a lower league called the United League or something? Going the Beckham route also exposed itself as trying to get that respect agains't American football and baseball and it seems this isn't working out too well. Was it trying to be the "major league" it says it is with Beckham? And if he leaves and no star player of that calibre to take his place, then "major league" is really not that at all.

I know MLSE bought TFC for about $20 mill and franchises are going for $40 mill now, expansion franchises. So I'll give the MLS credit on this. But I don't think the league has been around long enough to see if the bottom won't fall out and the franchises worth much less. I guess time will tell. Maybe the promise of a substantial US TV deal is what is being sold to prospective owners, again, I don't know.

This piece sort of gets what I was talking about. The last line says it all to me (again, not to compare MLS and the CFL, as I mentioned above the CFL doesn't go around saying they are "major league":

Major League Soccer: Back To The Minors

[i]Recall that British soccer superstar David Beckham signed a big deal with the L.A. Galaxy of Major League Soccer, as part of the MLS 'Designated Player' campaign to bring in some foreign stars by allowing every team to sign a foreign player at a cost written off from the league's salary cap.

MLS has yet to show a consistent profit as a league after $350 million in collective losses since its 1993 founding. With the Designated Player rule, the obvious goal for MLS was to add some star power and credibility to the league. Along with the construction of many manageably-small soccer venues (teams previously had to play many of its matches in converted American football stadiums in front of sparse crowds), MLS got a boost from the DP rule, as talented stars such as Marcelo Gallardo (DC United), Juan Pablo ?ngel (NY Red Bull), Cuauhtémoc Blanco (Chicago Fire) and of course Beckham came over for big contracts to add some star power and talent to their respective clubs.

Beckham was the centerpiece of this talent expansion. Beckham's arrival drew big crowds in L.A., even when dubious injuries prevented him from playing more than sparingly in his matches. Beckham's addition not only boosted Galaxy's finances, but the viability of the league as a whole, as clubs drew big crowds at their fields with fans paying to see Beckham on the road.

Despite this, MLS teams continue struggling to pay the bills, especially given the large contracts handed to these imported superstars. During this offseason, Galaxy took some money from Italian superclub AC Milan to loan Beckham's services to them, a common transaction in world soccer that typically benefits all sides. In this case, Galaxy gets valuable capital (in part to help pay Beckham's $32.5 million contract), Beckham gets some work in to stay in shape, and Milan gets themselves one of the best players in the world to help their midfield for a couple months.

Looks like the move will backfire for Galaxy and MLS, big time.

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP)—David Beckham wants to leave the Los Angeles Galaxy and stay with AC Milan after his loan to the Italian club is scheduled to end next month.

The 33-year-old English midfielder announced his intentions Wednesday after playing in Milan’s 2-2 exhibition tie at Glasgow Rangers. Beckham has scored twice for Milan and been included in the team’s 25-man roster for UEFA Cup games against Werder Bremen on Feb. 18 and 26.

His three-month loan is due to end March 8.

“At the moment my lawyers are not talking to the Galaxy,? Beckham said. “But I have expressed my desire to stay at AC Milan now, and it’s just down to Milan and Galaxy to come to an agreement.?

“I have enjoyed my time here,? he added. “I knew I would enjoy it but I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I have and do as well as I have.?

Beckham is about two years into a $32.5 million, five-year contract with Major League Soccer. The Galaxy had no immediate comment.

He's basically gone. Milan certainly welcomes him, and if Beckham wants to go, he will go and every side will find a way to make it legally work.

Now, like most superclubs, Milan is drowning in €€€€€€ and will probably not only eat Beckham's contract, but pay Galaxy a healthy transfer fee. The short term is not a huge issue for Galaxy. They'll find someone functional to replace him in the midfield (they already had to do so much of the time anyway due to Beckham's injuries) and should manage to stay competitive in 2009.

The big problem is that Beckham was by proxy the league's largest draw, and now he is gone. The big problem MLS battled as they struggled to stay afloat was credibility: MLS was seen as less than second rate to the EPL's, Bundesligas and Serie A's of the world. Signing a superstar like Beckham was seen as a coup by MLS, a sign that they were shedding their not-quite-second rate label and making their move to become one of the world's great soccer leagues. And then Becks, on a simple loan to a Euro club, now says he wants to leave, essentially to play for a real FC. It's the sort of Mickey Mouse dismissal that MLS had to be afraid of with these high priced designated players.

True, the other clubs haven't lost their designated players (DP's), and it's likely many of those DP's see out the terms of their contracts and add significant on-field value for their clubs, while maybe even helping sell a few extra tickets. And Beckham certainly isn't doing this out of any malice, nor did he necessarily see his tenure with Galaxy as some stepping stone to a role with a top European club. But David Beckham was the crown jewel of the MLS Designated Player movement, the great world-recognized status symbol that MLS was on their way up the chain.

And now he's on his way out, soon to leave the Galaxy, and MLS, holding a bag full of transfer money with bills to pay, seats to fill and no idea what to do next. [/i]

You’re comparing apples and oranges here. NASL failed because they over expanded and demographic wasn’t as multicultural like how today’s society is in Canada. If you look at MLS history, they have been improving. Now they got teams making money while signing big TV deals with ESPN and Hispanic sports channels unlike the past where every team was losing money. Not only that, but now we got teams paying $40 million to get into MLS.

But MLS is bigger than CFL in Toronto though.

Have you been to Toronto lately? A lot of people want Argos out so they can bring Bills. Soccer fans in Toronto couldn’t care less about CFL as long they don’t try to invade BMO field.

MLS is first tier league in USA. That is why they're called Major league Soccer. As for Impact goes, they're a good team that won tournament against 2nd year TFC team. Also the fact that TFC simply didn't take tournament too seriously.