Question about the Argos' stadium decisions recently...

So a user on another board posted this when we were talking about the CFL.

[i]"The only people to blame for the Argos current stadium plight is the Toronto Argos themselves.

They had a chance to go in with the University of Toronto on a new Varsity Stadium. They didn't and U of T built a 5,000-seat stadium instead.

They had several opportunities to go in with York University on an athletics stadium. They didn't and now York has a 5,000-seat venue under construction.

They could have asked for BMO Field to be designed to accommodate both CFL football and soccer. Instead, they didn't say anything until 2009, when then-recent renovations made it prohibitively expensive to modify the stadium to fit a CFL field."[/i]

Anyone know enough about the Argos' stadium situation to elaborate?

Well, it’s not so much the Argos as the owners at the time, Howard Sokolowski and David Cynamon. Both were up to a lot of politcs with Rogers and MLSE about stadium situations in Toronto and with these heavyweights I don’t think Sokolowski and Cynamon really had any idea what to do. Which I can fully understand. Caught between a rock and hardplace and without the clout or monies of Rogers and MLSE to make a decision like going in on BMO.

I mean, didn’t they even have to borrow money from David Braley to own the Argos? Not exactly owners with a huge amount of collateral.

I think though that this may be a blessing in disguise as something long term could happen there in Toronto with the possibility of the Olympics down the road (main reason I think Toronto was interested in the Pan Ams) and no real NFL team opportunity in the offing if the Bills stay in Buffalo/WNY as looks is the case. So a much better stadium than BMO therefore in the possible future with the Olympics. Although that could turn out to be a baseball stadium as in Atlanta and the Braves after the Olympics.

The Varsity stadium was voted down by the university administrators who didn’t want a 25,000-seat stadium crammed into that tight space. At York, they ran into projected budget over-runs which would have seen the Argos owner on the hook for tens of millions in extra costs…and possibly more. They got blindsided by MLSE at BMO stadium when they changed the configuration which effectively banned the CFL, University or High School football from ever being played there. The city-owned BMO was originally conceived to accommodate both soccer and football, but was changed to a soccer-only facility behind the scenes and without the city’s consent.

Excellent points Xv and really shows there how much clout MLSE has there basically telling the city how the city owned stadium will be operated and who and who will and will not play out of it. Quite strange when you think of it but as I say, it's MLSE afterall.

MLSE and BMO had everything to do with leaving out the Argos and a football sized venue. In return for having an all Soccer facility it is now the sight of both mens and Womens National soccer team where they train and play international games. They have a game coming up against another country that will be played at BMO. It is the last chance for Team Canada's mens team and the opponent, who I can not think of off hand, to qualify for the next Mens World Cup. So it should be a fairly big event bringing fans into Toronto.
As someone said they were caught between a rock and a hard place with some of the other projects where smaller Capacity stades were wanted.
To make things worse Hamilton will benefit from having a new venue built to host Soccer for both the Womens World Cup, i think, and the 2015 Pan Am games. Only they will make sure that the stadium is built to accomodate CFL footbal and have room to add expanded seating if needed for the CFL season.
The Temp seating that was put in the End Zones at Mosaic have changed what temp seting used to mean and that was adding bleachers. The temp seating at Mosaic have theatre sports style seats and can be taken down and put back up as it is sectional. each section also has a luxury suite at the top of it.

And let's not forget about Rogers, they are going to renew the Bills series it seems and make Ralph's family there in the States even richer. Sounds like a plan, why would they want to have purchased the Argos and spent that money on a Canadian football league facility in their own city? How stupid of me to think that, much better to give the money to an already very wealthy American family and put the money into another country. :roll:

I don’t blame Rogers, it’s the NFL fans in Toronto that are willing to pay an average of $150 a ticket.
I know they have this advertisement for $49 tickets, but if you look at the seating chart there were only a few hundred seats available at that price.
But 50,000 fans willing to pay $150 a ticket!! that’s almost 3 times what Bills fans will pay down in Orchard Park.

Could be a matter of time before the Bills start playing 8 of their home games at the Rogers Centre.

I really don't get why the "big time" NFL fans don't just dust off their passports and make the 2 hour trip to Orchard Park. If I were a Bills fan from Ontario the thought of the team moving to Toronto would make me sick to my stomach as the Toronto Bills game day sounds like a joke compared to the Buffalo experience with regards to ticket prices, tailgating, fan enthusiasm, stadium sight lines etc.

The NFL does what is best for the NFL. I do not think that moving the Bills to Toronto would be in the best interest of the NFL while there are still areas in the US that can still be profitable for the Bills to move to but having one game a season in Toronto the NFL brings its product to the GTA the largest Metro area in Canada therefore hooking a whole region of fans to an NFL team 2 hours away and in a different country.
Bleive it or not if Toronto really wanted the the Bills full time they would most likely have to build a new venue that would be considered a football facility. Roges Centre is laid out more for baseball and as everyone will tell you it is not the best place to watch a football game.
It is hard to believe that it is already over 20 years old.

I will testify that a not insignificant number of people from Ontario do actually dust off the passports and head down. It's a good time actually. I went down 2 years ago, last year and this year and will be headed over to Detroit next month to catch the Packers - Lions game, should be fun.

When I want to watch an NFL game live, I've gone to Buffalo in the past and it works. I just wouldn't go to Toronto for that "NFL experience" as for me it just has to be in the States and The Ralph is a true football specific stadium unlike the Rogers Centre that isn't that at all. But the Bills will be staying in Buffalo or WNY I'm sure. This article is interesting, maybe a brand new facility in the Falls. I agree with the gist of this article, why spend some $200 mill on an outdated stadium in the boonies (boonies for Buffalo), makes no sense to me either. The Falls though is a different story than Orchard Park.

Niagara Falls and Milstein may figure in future of Buffalo Bills

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Im not talking about the tens of thousands of fans that already go to Buffalo, but the ones that don't. I just don't get what the motivation is to see an NFL game in a Crap building and pay triple the price of a regular ticket. It seems like the type of people that go to these games are guys with too much money and not enough brains. Its probably the kind of people that like the NFL because it's "cool" and would follow bowling if it were marketed as being "cool".

You are probably most likely correct with that statement and the Bills and the NFL are no dummies if they can make money and draw a whole other Metro region to become Bills fans then the NFL and the Bills will continue to play one game a season at Rogers. Sooner or later Maybe those who are caught up in this relize that the Bills will never move to Toronto into Rogers Centre figure this out then maybe it would no longer be in the NFLs best interest to play a game a season there.
The only way that Toronto could possibily get an NFL franchise is if they built a new football specific stadium

This is not entirely accurate. When the Argos approached the university about partnering with them, the Royal Conservatory of Music, which is right beside Varsity Stadium, said no. They said that the noise from construction and then from 25,000 fans 10 times a year would disrupt their operations, so UofT backed out of the deal. The Argos aren’t playing at UofT through no fault of their own.

Although the Argos do play at Rogers center for their home games it could be worse. The facility although built in 1989 is well kept up and has a lot of modern amenities. BMO field has been said by player and Management of Toronto FC is said to be already outdated in comparision to some of the other new Facilities that have been built for use of MLS teams. Saputo Stade is already said to be much better facility with over 30 luxury suits since the capacity has been upgraded for their move to the MLS from the NASL from 13,000 to 20,000 and has over 30 luxury suites all the way around the top of the single level stadium. The upgrade on the North side section with a modern covering along with more modern seat along with the new modern south side grandstand which will be two levels along with plently of luxury suites. The end zones are left open on both ends to enable it to be blend in with the surrounding park area. The burms in the end zones would allow for overflow crowds to sit on the hill for an unexpected overflow crowd along with room in front of the Burms to place in a variety of temporary seats that have been rumored to be a erected in a variety of ways. from some simple bleacher seats to adding the new type of temp seating that has been placed at Mosaic in the end zones in which is sectional to be able to put up and take down easily by section and stred for events that will be known ahead of time that will need this type of seating for different events. Each of the sections also have the possibility to have its own luxury sweet around the top of the singls level of Theatre style seating.
So for now although it does not have the best views for a football game it does have a retractable roof for the confort of fans as the weather begins to get colder during the fall keeping the fans in confort.
Stadiums such as Cannada Inns and Ivory wynn have been falling apart for years now and are considered filthy and not well kept with old fasioned concession areas along with not enough and not clean rest room facilities along with seating that is falling apart and a lack of luxury suites.

True enough cflsteve about the Rogers Centre. I think if Rogers wasn't into this bringing the Bills to Toronto thingy and was more into the Argos and CFL, I wouldn't be trashing the stadium nearly as much and probably would want to go there more often to see the Cats play the Argos and even be a Jays fan a bit. But that is not the case, so it seems. And Rogers could care less about me, obviously.

And yes Blogskee, I do remember now that you mention it the U of T Conservatory of Music issue with a large Varsity Stadium and having clout there. Who knows what might have happened if that wasn't the case.

Except that not a lot of fans are willing to pay that. Rogers papers the house for those games with a ton of freebees. Before one of them they were literally out on the street giving away tickets.

I find it hard to believe Rogers is giving away free - - as in zero cost - - tickets to the Bills game. I'll take a free pair, please. Let me know where I can pick them up.

to watch a losing teamm to boot.

Go anywhere near the Rogers Centre on game day. Or if you know of any Rogers employee in the GTA, he or she should have dozens of freebee tickets!!!!!!!!!! They still can't give them all away to fill the place!!!!