Last Call - Story of Toronto and what is the real problem

Canadian cities with CFL franchises are in control when it comes to the future of the CFL. In southern ontario the story has changed since mid-00's. Hamilton and Toronto were in question during a time where other CFL cities were growing further ahead. Economically speaking both CFL franchises were trailing in the 4th qtr with no hope of a comeback.


Everything was to be blamed. The stadium. The ownership. Calling out every commissioner we ever had.

Non Canadians?

Understand Toronto is a melting pot for foreigners and investors who come and go. They put no roots in the community nor do they care about anything involving the city (sounds like GTA ego) Hamilton is unlike most cities in Canada. Its a blue collar community that if you live in the city you are passionate about your homeland. So yrs later after the southern ontario problems were brought to our attention. The 2 franchises have gone in different directions. why?

Should we really care?

Hamilton did what they had to do. Great ownership. Field a competent Football team. Build a new stadium while maintaining IVS tradition. The Tiger-Cats brought back the passion of Hamilton Football. It gave people in the city a rally point for an organization that is a big part of the community. Isn't that the great Canadian story?

Toronto blame?

Toronto is not the Toronto of the '50's,'70's -'00's. Its a different city today.I recall the GTA years ago and how mighty has it changed. Toronto was always a focal point in school text-books and videos with the CN Tower lit up to show strength and vision. It was a place where dreams came true. Look at that skyline! The Leafs demonstrated the peoples values of strength and honor. HNIC Saturday Nights were the time the nation came together after the recession. These dreams and visions is why there were Maple Leaf fans across the country and still are many today. Families had the torch and it was handed down to generation to generation.

Todays torch is not the same torch. Why?

Majority of people that live in GTA do not know the history and tradition of the city they live in. People have moved from small Canadian towns with the vision and dreams making it big after growing up believing Toronto was the 'big smoke' Small companies shared the same vision. Relocation from another Canadian city to Toronto was extremely common in the late '90s.

GTA is in trouble again. But don't tell the people who live there.

Living in Toronto holds a responsibility of a certain life-style. But when people demand a life-style not yet earned or deserving it causes an economical downfall seen in almost every populated city in the world since the early 1900's. Majority of the population in GTA have little money to spend on family items never mind sporting tickets. Jobs are hard to find and if you get a good one it likely doesn't pay to live among your desired means. After all you live in Toronto the most amazing city in the world (at least thats what you hear) if you aren't spending $500 on dining and entertainment weekly you are not living right. And if people are making decent money these days they are living small in a over priced condo/apartment and still have no cash to raise a family or save for retirement. You aren't going to retire living in GTA are you? If you disagree with my financial assessment of Toronto go pull up a real estate guide and financial life-style magazine. Politicians have let Canadians down in a big way especially in Vancouver and Toronto. Watching how people live in a city like Toronto makes me wonder why people would not want to move to Hamilton or Ottawa or London.

Inferior knowledge of Canada?

What is in the GTA that makes people go ''still gotta live here'' There are people in all cities including NYC, LA, Chicago, Vancouver, Montreal, or somewhere in Alaska all say the same things ''I hate where I live. My city sucks its boring'' Truth is majority of people have little knowledge of the cities in the world today and only think about the negatives of living in a city. The grass is always greener on the other side is a common trait in people today. Complaining about everything is the agreed upon strategy to make themselves feel worthy. People in Toronto calling Edmonton a bad city. Have you been to Edmonton? Last I've been there Edmonton has a thriving downtown where as Toronto is standing still.

However there are people who do something about it. Who take control of their lives for themselves and their family. Ever been to TO? I do not feel Canadian in that city. Ever been to Ottawa? Quebec City? Halifax? Saskatoon? Winnipeg? Banff? Jasper? Calgary? Kelowna? Yukon? I have and you feel Canada in your blood visiting these cities. These communities are the heart and soul of our nation. Ever been to Kingston? Heart and soul of Canada right there. Ever been to Niagara Falls? .... same thing. Ever been up to N. Ontario? complainers say its boring nothing to do. Well nah, those are the greatest places to have the times of your life.

So the assumption that Toronto is the centre of the universe for Canadians is true but not for what they assume the representation it stands for. GTA is where you go to dream. Its a vision of what people tell us Canada was and still is. I grew up thinking Montreal was the bad place and Toronto was the good place. Its what politicians wanted you to think. Its what you heard from your buddies. But sorry Montreal is far ahead of Toronto in every category. Much more Canadian and passionate town on a bad day compared to Toronto. One of the nicest places to live in Canada is Montreal. That city has heart and soul. Never compare it to Toronto.

So now we get to the CFL. And where are the fans in GTA? Know this. They are near-by. And there are a lot of them. Residents who move 1 hr or 2 hr outside of Toronto care little to drive into town for a CFL game or any game for that matter. Would you commit to season tickets?Cost of travel,etc

These habits have changed in the GTA for sports fans and where the fans commence to attend.

Around Canada?

Nothing has changed in Hamilton, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg because the cities are growing at a pace where economics and lifestyle grow together. Unlike Vancouver and Toronto where its a disaster zone to live.

Ottawa is a proven example of how a city and their sports teams grow together and it's working amazingly well. Just wait until the Sens move to downtown Ottawa. Landsdowne Live is one of the greatest sports districts in the world and it aint done developing.

The CFL is not dying in Canada. It's strong, vibrant, and growing extremely well on all platforms. The problem is cities like Toronto and Vancouver are not keeping up with the CFL.

No blame needed however.

This notion that the CFL is inferior to other leagues makes little to no sense. And I wouldn't even take it as an insult just as that same person if whom was a hockey fan would feel when someone from the U.S.A disliking the game of hockey. If a person has little to no interest in the CFL how would that person carry the same knowledge you and I do about the game? Its like calling out a person or a community without any knowledge.

Blame award goes to the people of Toronto for ruining Toronto

Only issue to blame are the costs for attending sporting events are going up while people have to start controlling their spending. It is why attending games is just a bit too much for many individuals and families everywhere in the world. $400/$900 for a Grey Cup game in a city that hosted the game numerous of times in the last 15 yrs is not business savvy. It does provide a point however to what is wrong with the economics in the city of Toronto. And not the problem with the CFL.

If the CFL or the Toronto Argonauts wanted to expose the CFL Grey Cup in the city of Toronto. They are economically placing themselves out of a market that is home to millions of people struggling for survival to live in the 'Great Big Smoke'

Then again. Maybe the people in GTA would rather economically support the Argos the way that seems more viable. 1 or 2 hours outside the GTA where survival appears more likely.

For the people and the Argonauts

I am a loyal reader of the board and had to register to respond.

BEST POST EVER on CFL MESSAGE BOARDS. Hall of fame post. You are 100% accurate. Too many people
call out issues for this and that but its in reality a more larger issue. There is an economical reason for everything. Look at your own habits of change. I rarely follow certain sports a way I once did. Does not mean I am less of a fan. I rarely read articles,etc or newspapers like I once did.

Its not because I hate to read. Or hate the CFL which would be a reason from an outsider.

My lifestyle habits have changed and has not allowed me to do so anymore.

Argonauts are fine in Toronto but owners need to start reevaluating aspects of operating the franchise in a market that is fickle for not only Argos but every other sporting team not named the Maple Leafs.

Many of others mentioned in their posts but the Grey Cup should be seen as the world championship of Canadian Version Football .

The branding of our sport needs to change as the times do and be seen more as you are the best in the world .

We can say without a doubt we play for the championship of the World of Three Down Version Football just like the NFL plays for the world championship of four down football .

Branding needs to change . Toronto needs to come to see the Grey Cup the world championship game of Canadian Version Football .

I actually agree with a lot more of what you said here than the conspiracy claims you made here. Economics plays a large factor in what people will spend their money on and I explained here as Argos season ticket holder partly why being a STH doesn't really make economic sense for many.

You really think branding the CFL as the #1 Canadian Football League in the world when it is the only Canadian Football League in the world is going to do anything?

We've been going around in circles for years and years. The Argonauts fans are still out there and watching on tv has become the norm for too many. Marketing to me has been the biggest issue. They lost many diehards who came to every game when they moved to Skydome and didn't allow long time primo seat owners to get their seats first. That was the first step. Marketing on and off for years has done little.
They need to market to new Canadians. Commercials with historic clips need to be shown.

I'm personally sick of talking about this year in and year out. It's up to the owners to hire professionals who know what the hell they are doing.

You can make close football parallel in Toronto with Los Angeles. Two liberal city with a very large influx of immigrants not interested in football. The same reason the NFL struggled in LA is the same the CFL struggles in Toronto. This is not a knock on Immigrants but Indians are more interested in grass hockey than they are in football.

How did the NFL resolve the issue? By taking the game away from LA and then doing a reboot years later. That for commercial reasons was not feasible with the Argos....

The real problem? One is the negative media towards the CFL and the CFL itself. But also the NFL is part of the problem, I have talked to a lot of young people=. My Nephews who are in their 20s for example and they see the CFL as minor league.

What they do not see is that the CFL is the Highest Level of Football in Canada. They bet NFL games on Pro-line, they hear all about Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton etc.. and they hear nothing of the star players in the CFL or they think of them as NFL rejects.

There is a negative connotation towards the Argos and the CFL itself. The League and the Argos in my Opinion are mostly to blame...

LA has nothing compared to Toronto. Los Angeles is a massive sports town with huge history. Toronto does not. It is a major hockey community and that is all.

Marketing the CFL has nothing to do with anything which is fact.

Toronto sports radio/tv could talk Argos for 24 hours a day and it won't affect a thing right now. why?

Because nobody listens to sports radio like maybe you and I would. Walk around Toronto. You will see the following.

-homeless people
-visa vistors
-immigrants trying to survive

do you think they are interested in sports radio? do they even own a radio? a car? a television?

Those people in Toronto are not marketable for anything never mind a sports team.

I know hundreds of people who live in the GTA. I know 2 families who make over $500,000 a household and they can barely make ends meat living in their condo. They want to move to Mississauga or Londong.

How in the world do you expect a young person to get attracted to a Toronto sports team?

The Raptors fans are a perfect example. The people who keep them in business and mainstream are people with money. White-men aged 40 plus and business professionals. Who look to have a good night out in the winter. And if the Leafs are not winning the Raptors will only be popular until they are eliminated.

Then the people who appear to be the face of the team (WE THE NORTH) are young people of all ages, ethnic groups, who majority are from poor neighborhoods who inspire to be something else than themselves. (nothing wrong with dreaming big and wanting to make the NBA) but other communities have been down that road with NHL.

NBA is still young and fresh with the people they marketed 10-15 hrs ago. So it will take time for that phase to run out.

East Indians do not make up even a fraction of the population in GTA. That is a myth. More Chinese/Koreans do and that isn't even half. Majority of the people in Toronto are white-british/scottish(huge population of scottish), and latinos make up a good # in many northern areas.

I dislike ppl talking about immigrants as it a bad thing. Or its the root of all evil. In any city majority of immigrants that come from India, Pakistan, Latinos tend to live together which makes it appearing that they are the majority.

White/Black/Chinese/Koreans tend to move around not confining to one particular area for various reasons.

Marketing players and teams is not the media job but it indirectly has everything to do with it. But think about this for a moment............

What does the NHL do differently than the CFL? What does TSN as a network do differently for NHL broadcasts compared to CFL broadcasts?

Most of the people that work at TSN do both. Its produced the same. The graphics are the same. The production set/design is the same.

The amount of advertising for games is the same.

There is zero, zero, zero difference. Always has been like this.

The one thing that is different between NHL/CFL and the NFL. Is the american population-agenda. Meaning the game itself on paper makes it the most popular thing in the world that moment.
American Sports is viewed (high school/college/pros) to be the biggest thing in town. That is a culture phenomenon that only hockey/canada can compare.

The americans are going through issues themselves with how leagues are being run and how the NFL is watering down their product and diminishing what once was their proud save and grace.

Monday Night Football means nothing anymore. If you weren't around the '70's-'2000s you would never understand.

Things are changing because of greed and the hurt of decisions poorly made by human beings. Sort of why people are voting for Donald Trump because people are tired of this.

A lot more goes into things that just peoples perception of a league.

Maple Leafs play in league against teams from New York, Chicago, LA, etc.
Blue Jays play in a league against teams from Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, etc.
Raptors play in a league against teams from Dallas, New York, LA, etc.

Argonauts play in a league against teams from Regina, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, etc.

Perception is a big factor in which teams are thought to be cool enough to follow.

Dan. That has nothing to do with it. Mentality like that is sooo dumb.

So hockey must not be big in Canada then. Cause the NHL Leafs play the same cities. Last I checked those games between Winnipeg and Toronto or Edmonton and Toronto or Ottawa and Toronto or Montreal and Toronto were pretty slick and favored those smaller cities.

Whoever mentioned their nephews in their 20's look at the CFL and consider it somewhat minor league - those nephews have a point. Even my nephews here in Hamilton who have Ti-Cats season tickets will tell me the same thing. Especially living in the GTHA. The other sports that play and attract fans in this area - hockey, baseball and basketball have teams that play in the very best league in the world in those sports.

TFC do not play in the best soccer league in the world - and seem to have few watch them on TV - but have carved themselves a nice niche for a fun in stadium experience with a loyal following.

The Argos - as much as I know people here hate this when it is said - do not play in the best football league in the world.

And I know people like to say it is the best 'Canadian rules' football league in the world - and that is technically true. But in reality it is nitpicking. If it really were a completely 'different' game from the football played south of the border - why then are people who have NEVER, EVER in their lives played the game able to come up here and star almost immediately - having never ever played this 'supposedly different' game. It is because it really isn't that different. It is largely the same game with a few rule tweeks that might impact certain required skill sets for certain positions - but otherwise is largely the same game.

Hey I'm a fan of the CFL - but I can understand why it struggles in a market that does have three major league teams in leagues that are indisputably the highest level of play in their respective sports - and in city in this day and age that has overwhelming exposure to the NFL that is regarded as the best football league in the world. A league whose championship game and playoffs are watched by several million more Canadians than who watch the CFL playoffs and championship game.

Heck even the CIS - the second best 'Canadian rules' football league - brags when a few of their players are good enough to get drafted by an NFL team - the major league. And in recent years NFL Canada has recently had a higher profile on campuses with many Canadian university football programs than the CFL. This past summer the NFL had a presence at big flag football events in Montreal, Hamilton, Vancouver and Regina. So young people are seeing NFL stuff in places many here don't realize.

And with so many younger people not on cable - and NFL on CTV - guess what football young people are more likely to watch?

And as others have pointed out the Leafs biggest rivalries in hockey that fans most look forward to are not with American cities - it is with Ottawa and Montreal - so I don't at all buy the American wannabe argument others put forth. Same with TFC - you just know TFC fans would LOVE it if both them and the Impact make their conference finals. That would be insane for them because of the rivalry there. Much more significant than playing New York.

Who is this, Donald Trump? You forgot to mention the rapists, pimps and drug dealers. The city is teeming with vagrant hordes, ready to maim and murder for a scrap of bread. And those are just the ones making $200k+ per year. Time to drain that swamp!

Yes of course perception is a problem , NFL is viewed as the best in the world and in Toronto they looked down at the CFL as minor league that is one of the biggest problems the CFL faces is the value of their product which packs a big bang for a small buck . If you have no pride in your product it's pretty hard to convince others to join .

I take it you love Japanese leagues and German leagues of American football and that has legitimized US's perception that the world plays this expensive sport world wide .

You have to take pride that the roster of Canadians are legitimate pros and the roster of US players are interchangeable especially the starters with the NFL . Flutie stated the starters in the league are as good as the
NFL that needs to be seized upon and drilled into the football minds of Canadians in order to value their own league .

Sorry that I'm sooo dumb. What are you, 13 ?

We're a hockey mad nation, or did you forget ?

I'll try to simplify it for you. Do the Argos play against any teams from the States ? No. They are then perceived to be minor league just as Pat's nephews have said. Get it.

I won't stand in your way. Go ahead and talk about something that has been talked about so much that it has more threads than a bedspread.

Toronto WILL become the new Canton, Ohio and the CFL will hold an exhibition game there out of nostalgia as the NFL does with Canton.

Only a matter of time. This will happen, mark my words.

I am bored with the Toronto Argo talk - God knows I've done enough of it. Our best case scenario is Break Even. I don't see better than that.

As for the worries about the Jays, TFC and Raptors being so popular, this too shall pass. A year or 2 out of contention and the Jays/TFC will fall off the map. The Raptors to a lesser extent.

Again your points are pointless and doesn't add up. You are just assuming. Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Winnipeg have other pro sports leagues and CFL fans seem to add up dont they? It has nothing to do with 3 other pro leagues. Thats like saying 4 pro teams cant work. They do almost everywhere.

The #1 way to embrace Argos football is to build a new out of this world stadium that makes the Argos profitable and powerful in the downtown Toronto skyline. Built a massive dome 35k seat stadium. Retractable walls/roof and make it a CFL and NCAAF home to bowl game and 1 regular season game a yr.

Make it the nicest building in TO and that will make people want to come.

Are you paying for it because I don't want to?

Let's just enjoy the Argos and the CFL without worrying everything to death - advice I need to take as well.