roger's centre

Well it’s official, the Argo’s are staying at Roger’s centre. If I was living in Toronto I’d be pissed. The atmosphere at the new stadium would have been so much better. A filled 25000 seat stadium is much more fun that a half filled 50000 seat stadium.

I have been to a ball game at the Roger’s centre and with 15000-20000 fans there I felt like I was sitting alone.

Perhaps they can borrow an idea from BC Place…Curtain off the upper deck and just sell tickets on the Lower bowl. When the fan interest increase, they can open sections up top… (Like BC might do this year!)

The problem with that is… the best seats in SkyDome are on the 2nd level.

I have never been to Skydome but if it is anything like the Big O you are too far from the action even with the closest seats.

I think the Argos have made a big mistake

I have to agree in part with you CM. When I had season tickets at BC Place, I had first row upper deck in the 80’s. Loved them better than any lower bowl seat.

I guess the ’ resounding echo’ from a partially filled skydump will be a permanent hallmark of the Argos…bad mistake in not going to the smaller venue…left a few people with great ideas holding the BAG… :!:

What a friggin’ joke. That building is not meant for man ball.

I bought season tickets just becasue they were building a new stadium, now what do I do with them, I hate the DOME.

You Guys Are Forgetting That It’s All About Profits, What’s The Point Of Spending $20 Million To Reduce Attendance Now That They’re Getting The Dome Rent Free. I Can Understand Before When It Was Looking Like The Argos Were Getting The Short End Of The Stick With The Rodgers Buyout, But Now With This Rent Free Deal Why On Earth Would They Want To Move. Plus Transportation Would Be Horrible For People In The East And West End It Would Take A 2 Hour Subway Ride, Fallowed By A 25 Minute Bus Ride.

Sorry to hear that man.

But they wouldn’t be closing the 2nd level…they’d be closing the 500 (5th) level of the stadium. Of course, if demand dictates, I’m sure they’d open it up.

I’m sick of hearing all of the complaints about the Argos staying put at RogersCentre/SkyDome. Honestly, if you were in the Argos owner’s shoes, what would you do?

Facts:

  • Argo attendence was up almost 100% last season with the team averaging over 25,000 fans/game
  • The final 3 home dates at SkyDome drew in excess of 30,000/game
  • Season ticket sales were up again this year, and are allegedly approaching the 10,000 mark (although this can be partially attributed to the promise of a new stadium)

So… now you have a decision to make:
York:

  • Costs $20M (plus coverage of any cost overruns, and face it, how many large scale projects like this come in UNDER budget?? exactly)
  • Capacity is restricted to 25,000 – LESS than what the average attendence was in the first season under Cynamon/Sokolowski/Pelley. Expansion would be costly and would take considerable time…and don’t bother with “temporary seating”, nobody likes that anyway.
  • Access to the York site is pretty much only by car. Yes, there is bus service to the subway network, but if, as so many people say, Argo fans live in the 905 area outside Toronto, why would these people drive to Toronto to take the subway out of Toronto? York has a lot of parking which would be fine for weekend games, but on weeknights they’d be competing with student parking. Plus, direct access to York is only by arterial city roads, and that would be chaotic after a game with 25000 people all leaving at once.
  • The York deal has been criticized repeatedly in the media, this forum and elsewhere as having the Argos receiving Government money for their stadium
  • Run of the stadium for concessions, advertising and date availability

Rogers Centre offered the following:

  • Significant cost savings in a rent reduction (This is NOT rent-free) and a partnership in concessions, parking, and stadium advertising.
  • Access to the much-sought after weekend dates and attaining “preferred tenant” status (2nd only to the Jays - who do not play at home every weekend)
  • All the advantages of location that the team enjoyed before: downtown at a transit hub with access by train, subway, bus, and close to the Gardner Expressway (which on weekends is not the nightmarish drive that it can be)
    (as an aside to another complaint…there is a LOT of parking downtown and you don’t have to be gouged to park there. I can always find parking within 5 blocks of the stadium for less than $10 on game day. Check out some parking maps of downtown…lots to choose from)

I think the owners made the right choice:

  • they remain downtown in the sports “district” so they can still command the attention they deserve from the city’s media. Face it, while York U is technically within Metro Toronto city limits, it is a mere 50 ft away from the vast wasteland that is York Region to the north.
  • NO MORE government money is going to support a sports stadium for a professional sports team (didn’t we learn the lesson from SkyDome?)
  • Team management is free to grow the business since they have excess capacity. While a 25,000 seat stadium sounds cosy and intimate, which it undoubtedly would be, the drawback is that ticket prices would have to go up. Look at Montreal. Small stadium, high ticket prices. It’s simple economics. I, for 1, like that the Argos are the most affordable team in Toronto and that buying seasons tickets is not a major economic hardship.
  • Rogers has provided some assistance in upgrading the stadium and will likely do more if it will help their baseball business. Anything that gets more people out to the stadium is going to be a good thing from their view.
  • even if the team continues to lose money while at the Dome, it will be less than the $20M they would have to spend to get York going. If after the first 5yr term of the new lease they decide to move out again, they can re-evaluate their position and decide on where best to relocate. York seemed like a snap decision based entirely on the collapse of the Varsity stadium deal. A proper long term decision of this magnitude should have taken more consideration since it is arguable that there were better locations available in the city of Toronto.

Sorry for my long-winded rant here, but I’m almost done.

SO…
for all the outsiders not entirely familiar with the situation in Toronto, I hope this sheds a little more perspective on it.

For all the Argo “fans” criticizing the move and threatening to cancel their ticket…go to the opener at the Dome. Check out the new changes in the stadium. See if the experience is not improved. Remember, I’d rather be sitting under that roof on a rainy November day than outside. Maybe the Argos can get some assurance that the roof will be open as long as it is at least 5C and not raining (I’m just making up numbers here).

We have the facility in place to enjoy football under the best conditions possible. It hasn’t been used as such to date and I’ll agree that the experience has suffered for it. Hopefully this new arrangement will add an extra dimension to the experience of Argos football.

If i’m not mistaken they already close off level 500.

And, when all is said and done, this is the best case scenario for the CFL and the Argos. Yes, the York situation sounded attractive, and still does to a certain extent (Are you listening TiCats? There is still no stadium in southern Ontario that is in an open field setting catering to tailgating - a market is here for that!) but there were at lot of uncertainties with York as mentioned above plus the fact the owners were out $20 mill. Staying put at a renovated Skydome and being partners with a media giant like Rogers with a long term lease is fantastic, Rogers and Paul Godfrey, it would seem, would want the Argos to succeed now in their stadium and it is a win-win situation for all, unlike when the Skydome was owned by a US company. And the Grey Cup will be held probably in Toronto in 2007, again promoted by Rogers which is excellent news.

The Argos just confirmed long-term stability for the franchise and this is great news for the CFL. Hey, every stadium has some drawbacks, I don’t think it is fair to just point out the drawbacks with the Skydome. Hopefully they will have the lid open as much as possible though, I like it better with the lid open.

And TO will put on a party for the 2007 Grey Cup after the disappointing Cup in 1992 that I attended. This was in the “Blue Jay Craze” period and the “Skydome Craze Period”. This is history now, the Blue Jays are an average team now and baseball isn’t as “exciting” as it used to be, and the Skydome isn’t even of NFL standards as is now the case, so the situation is
more normalized than back in the early 90’s. And the CFL is back again, with new local ownership in southern Ontario with only the Gades situation a tad up in the air for now, but hopefully that will change shortly.

Actually CM, the 500 level was opened last year, at least to Argos corporate sponsors, and they’d have a couple thousand people up there for any given game. Of course, for the East Semi-Final they had probably in the neighbourhood of 10,000+ up there.

VERY SHORT SIGHTED-DEAL…what happens guys…when the crowds start thinning ,after a losing season (which every club encounters eventually) and your left with that huge dome and a handfull of fans scattered throughout the building…that 25,000 seat stadium is going to look awful attractive …right now, all I see is short-time gain and long-time pain for the Argos :roll: :arrow:

But Papazoola, it seems like the stadium at York is going to go ahead on a bit smaller scale at 20,000. If things don’t work out for the Argos and the Rogers Centre, that stadium will be there and can easily be upgraded to 25,000. And also remember that people now, for example Blue Jay games, are getting used to going to a game at the Rogers Centre at a half-empty stadium and enjoying themselves, like people in many American cities do at baseball games. And the same for the Argo fans, 25,000 fans is ok at the dome. It took people a few years after the Jays glory days in the early 90’s when they were selling out a lot, but people have come around and settled in to reality.

No, the Argos are doing exactly the right thing, being partners with a big corporate media giant like Rogers who can only do positive things for the Argos. Rogers is big time my friend, make no mistake about it. And the fact that they actually want the Argos in their house, well, what can I say, the Argos have lucked out.

After reading a couple of articles by Rick Westhead and Dave Perkins in The Star, I don’t know what to think, about The Star that is. Before The Star was bashing the Argos for going along with building the stadium at York and using tax payers money. Now The Star is bashing the Argos for staying with Rogers by saying their credibility is at stake and using history items to bash the CFL like the drafting of a dead player.

I believe that the credibility here, and I mentioned this earlier, is also on Rogers and for Rogers having signed the Argonauts on a long-term lease, I think Rogers sees the Argos as an asset and nothing to damage their credibility at all. If they thought otherwise, a high-tech company like Rogers would get away from the Argos like the plague, even if they thought they could make some money from them.

But, of course, The Star, did not mention this for whatever reason. The real credibility issue, if that is what The Star wants to talk about, is not with the Argos or Rogers but rather with The Star. But then, I’ve never thought of The Star as a newspaper of worthy, first-class journalism, more like those tabloid newspapers that will print anything to sell newspapers. Fortunately I don’t buy it, just look at it online once in a while.

Plus the sightlines are crap, you sit way back from the field because it’s made for baseball! :roll:

It is nice to hear from people who actually go to the ARGO games…I have season tickets and I go to see a football game…not a stadium. :lol: