I have been a Argo fan since mid seventies.I can no longer make excuses to my NFL friends about why nobody goes to the games.Leave the Rogers Centre, get new ownership, get new coach and manager, play on the weekends, winning team I’ve heard it all. If winning doesn’t put but’s in the seats, then you have a big problem.They won in 2012 and 2017 and it’s gotten worse.The bottom line is Toronto has outgrown The CFL.Toronto has become New Yor , Chicago LA, it’s not Regina or Winnipeg. They are done in Toronto.Now what to do with them? I think MLSE should consider moving them outside the city. Example: Guelph. Far enough from Toronto where it still has a small town feel, yet close enough that they can still be called Toronto. There are sports teams that don’t play in there city .( NY Giants , Jets and LA Angles). What’s it matter on TV if they play in downtown Toronto or downtown Guelph, as long as they are called Toronto. The CFL and TSN need the name for marketing reasons.If you only get 12000 in Toronto and you can get the same in Guelph I think there is more of an upside in Guelph. In time they ma adopt the team and make it there own and less competition for the sports dollar. Tust me on this it’s not going to get any better, it’s only going to get worse. The demographics of Toronto are made up of people from other countries and the grew up watching Soccer. Soccer finally has its foot in the door in North America. I don’t blame all the previous Argo owners they have all tried to make it work , but it is what it is. I wish the Argos would have some sort of fans meeting , you never know where a good idea can come from. That’s my rant for today, thank you for reading this.
Toronto isn’t New York, Chicago or LA, but for some reason Torontonians wish they were. Changing demographics are hurting both Football and Hockey.
I’m sure you’ve heard this all before, but I’d give the new owners a few years to get rolling. For 2018 the folks at MLSE had just a few months before the season started; some probably were still learning about the CFL in general while already being responsible for 1/9th of it.
Generally speaking in the tech startup world you give something three years to flourish or fail. This was year 0.5. The direction MLSE wants to head with their new football franchise isn’t level or down; they expect their teams to make money and be popular. Let’s see how they do.
Yes Sully you are right ,Mlse just took over , the franchise has been trending downwards since the mid Eighties. There is nothing MLSE can do at this point, they can’t force people to go to games. Unfortunately the public isn’t buying what there selling. We have big league Hockey,Baseball,Basketbal. Like I said before, Toronto has outgrown the CFL. It hurts me to say that , but it’s true. The public has spoken loud and clear, by not coming out to games. MLSE has to step outside of the football circle and come stand where I’m standing. There is total apathy about the Argos- CFL. Thanks for your time.
I think the argos should move to Markham if possible.
I agree with Sully, it will take some time to turn the Argos around. Manning said at the beginning of the season it will take about a decade to rebuild the fan base. Earn the market’s business back. No quick fix promises for once.
They did increase attendance this year despite removing free vouchers (4 per ST in 2017) and closing off the upper east side.
TV ratings are with games involing the Argos increased 1.5% too.
They’ll never be the boys of summer like they were in the 60s and 70s, they just need to build their niche
There’s reason to be hopeful. As a lifelong Torontonian, I’ve watched Toronto FC start as an utter disgrace on the soccer pitch, and turn into a well-attended local giant of a sports team. The Toronto Wolfpack are another interesting success story. Neither play in a top-level league (meaning no disrespect; all of these athletes are in the 1% of human ability).
A revitalization is possible - the key is, as always, the game day experience. Do people being taken along by an existing fan to their first Argonauts game enjoy the evening out? Are they surrounded by a fun crowd? Do they understand what’s going on in the game? In short, are they entertained to the point that they’d lay out money to go again?
Football has some strengths - big plays are incredibly entertaining, the action is varied and scoring occurs often. But it has some weaknesses too - gridiron football is complex and explaining the rules to someone new to the game takes time. (Contrast that to soccer, where when the ball is in the net it’s 1 point; or basketball, where you can earn 2 points or 3 points if you’re behind this line.) So it can be difficult to take a random friend along and have them enjoy it.
I’ve liked the folks from MLSE that I’ve met, and they certainly have ideas on what to do to revitalize a team. By all means you’re under no obligation to support the team further, but I think given a few years you’ll see some interesting things take place. Torontonians are always looking for a new fun thing to do on an evening out.
I think it’s inevitable that in twenty or thirty years time we’ll see a NFL team set shop in Toronto as sports leagues go global. Toronto seems to fit that blue print. We’ll see teams first in London, Germany and maybe Paris first. I do think Toronto is hurting themselves by not supporting the Argos. They’ll need to show the NFL, with some left over, that Toronto is more than capable of selling out BMO Field to prove they are a market that belongs in a world-spanning league. With the cost behind the concussion issue the NFL will need the support of countries to continue to be viable, in my belief. I could see the NFL co-existing with a CFL team in Toronto, maybe even with an exchange of players from both teams, but the CFL would definitely have to become less physically taxing–I’ve always imagined the CFL becoming rugby with downs. Or maybe the Argos move to Guelph as someone suggested. But a NFL team in Toronto should be called the Argonauts.
The NFL is never going to put a team in Toronto. no stadium to play in skydome built for baseball not football.
That may be right, I could care less, but MLSE should still sell the dream: that by not supporting the Argos you’re only hurting your chances.
By twenty or thirty years time there could be a stadium to replace skydome, so I’m not sure “no stadium/skydome built for baseball” will apply anymore.
Yes Sully I agree that MLSE is a good organization,and everything that has been said makes sense. Unfortunately all these things have been said every time new owners take over. The Argos unfortunately are at the bottom of the pecking order in Toronto. They are also fighting against the NFL and now even college football is becoming big.There is only so much money and time to go around. The top league and teams in Toronto get the spot light and what scraps are left over go to the lesser league and teams. I had two season tickets, but had to let one go because I could not find anyone to go with me. An example of how bad it is , I was at home watching the Argos and my nephew came over and looked at what I was watching. The natural reaction would be to say who’s playing or what’s the score, but no he said nobody’s there . If people aren’t there then why should he and his friends be there.I mention the Argos or the CFL and people laugh.I don’t get it , either you are a football fan or your not. I like all football CFL NFL College. I saw that MLSE closed the upper deck and pushed everyone down to the lower bowl. Would it not be better pushing everyone closer to center field and keep the upper deck open. Empty seats don’t look good on TV. If you can’t put butts in the seats then make the empty section look busy by putting advertisements at the each end of the stadium. It was nice talking to you Sully take care.
What, are you a pushover? 8) Tell them what’s what. If it’s the NFL they toot their horn about point out how boring it is. That people only care about the hype and don’t actually watch the game. If they say the CFL doesn’t have talent that’s not what stars like Ricky Williams said when he came up here. He didn’t exactly dominate when he came up here. The NFL game is congested, with barely a kick return game. Whereas it takes NFL teams four downs to get a first down it only takes good CFL teams three.
If it’s the NHL they like, well, maybe that one was easier when the Leafs sucked, but there is one thing that will always go against it: it’s still hockey.
If you need to it’s easy to poke holes in other sports.
Personally, I’m hoping the NFL has to do away with kickoffs. That would be a easy x against it.
In Toronto, how does the NHL sell that sport when they have the fewest draft eligible players of all the sports.
How does the CFL not sell their sport when they have the most draft eligible players available to them
also what would happen to the Jays, Raptors, MLS teams without heavy financial support from the United States. Do people think they survive because of what we do in this Country.
It’s true that TV numbers for the Argos are respectable. The problem is that majority of those people are my age and older. There at an age where they physically don’t feel like going to the stadium, its to easy to stay at home and watch it on tv.There are not enough of the younger generation.we can ridicule and make excuses to NFL fans and others because we feel offended by them but that doesn’t address the problem. Like a substance abuser you have to admit there is a problem, so you can address the problem honestly. Then look for solutions to fix it.Numbers don’t lie my eyes don’t lie, unfortunately people aren’t going to the games. Good to talk.
Considering both TV ratings and attendance was a bit this year though marginally, there would be some new fans created in that. I’d like to see a breakdown of viewers by age.
It’s gonna take time to rebuild this thing, the fact the Manning states it is about a 10 year process tells me they know it’s a challenge so there’s work to do.
I’ve noticed more younger people the past couple years, so they need a good reason to come back.
If anyone enjoys going then keep going and try not the crowds size…or lack there of discourage anyone…a challenge for me as well but looking forward to renewing for 2019.
Move them to Halifax.
I have always thought that a CFL team in the Kitchener/Waterloo/London area might do alright given a good stadium and a bit of time to build up. There is a lot of population to draw from in that area now.
However, Toronto needs a team because it is the news capital of Canada. The CFL needs the TSN TV money to stay solvent. As long as MLSE owns the Argos don’t worry about it. Any Argo monetary loss is like a rounding error to them. I believe they will build the crowds up in time. One way to quickly do it is add a few hundred bucks to their Leaf tickets. You think 19,000 Leaf ticket holders would give up their season tickets for that? Anybody who didn’t want to pony up would be quickly replaced by others that would. But they will probably try a more gentle approach for now.
So I say again to the other fans who like to poke fun at the Argos 13/14,000 loyal fans don’t worry about it.