Should they suspend the Toronto franchise

throwing it out there as a simple conversation piece .

is it time for major changes and still protect the three down market in the GTA .

by suspending the Argos not killing them off entirely ..... time maybe right with no NFL openings to worry about with a new stadium .

Is there a way out of the mess with the conflict of interest of rights deals and ownership ..and the Toronto optics of lack of interest by all those involved including ownership and fans .

the CFL would need to pay the fees for June to November and retain all pro football rights to the BMO CFL stadium for it to be a successful operation .

Cut off the arm to save the patient but protect the pro football market from predatory US leagues in Toronto during the CFL season .

I believe the CFL should remove the chess piece off the board and make sure MLSE consortium does not try to move a pro team in Toronto to play any games at BMO while the league is alive .

This can be done by paying the same exclusive rights fee the Argos do today for using the stadium .

I would use those rights and 9 dates for Canadian football special events , skill games etc ... U sports football .... any three down football you name it but no Argos in the CFL for awhile . Just get together and pay the rent with exclusive pro football rights to the stadium in lieu .

I believe that 7 to 10 years maybe more would make a difference and hopefully MLSE is broken up by then or one for them buys out the other or someone in government challenges the competitive business practice in Toronto controlling sports /media unfairly .

sometimes it's all abut good timing ... heart grows fonder for something ....

My belief necessary constructive action with damage control and positive steps should be taken by CFL leadership in Toronto .

Key protective steps would be necessary for this to work properly with all stakeholders so there is not a drastic loss of ratings etc .... not sure it would hurt the league in the end anymore ... I no longer believe they need Toronto to survive .

**I use to think they have to have a Toronto team because of media coverage and national head offices

but not if the CFL protects the market during the CFL season** with proper deals at BMO for other key three down events .

I think there is a way out . It will cost them a protected exclusive lease deal .

If they don't protect the pro football market during the CFL season while away it becomes a problem .

If they do they can survive the fire and get out from under the boot and promote the game at the roots level and protect the heritage of the three down game at the centre of the universe .

I would fill those 9 dates at BMO .... again not for a financial return just to protect the market for now ...

open up the one side lower deck for spectators .

9 dates

very early June a two dates CFL skills competition .

July a U sports all star game . skills competition

August a Junior football all star game . skills competition

September Host a local GTA High school game .

Sept /October Host a York university - Toronto University game

October host the national flag football championship .

October /November host womens national football championship

November Junior football championship

November Vanier Cup Championship .

this will fulfil the lease and protect the market at the same time .

Not sure the lease deal would cost but would be necessary to keep any predatory US league out at BMO during the CFL season .

MLSE can still have a XFL team from feb to may .

MLSE can still have a NFL regular season game in December .

But from June to end of November Canadian football is protected with the lease agreement .

That's my spit ball solution to Toronto .

if they can turn it around with a miracle before the east final great if not it's time for a change in direction of Canadian football in Toronto .

Not sure what the offset for the Argos is for the league what is subtracted today in the bottom line for keeping them alive .

Is there any national sponsors that would leave ?

I dunno .... is there any sponsors staying around today in the CFL because the Argos exist ?

My belief is the ratings are a wash ..... without them .

I could be wrong .... is there significant viewership loss in Toronto by not going to watch the CFL on TV if it goes dormant not sure anymore . Like to see some good analysis of viewership .

Is this just an opening for a NFL team if that happens .....

There are some concerns in my suggestion .

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well, you seem to have put a lot of thought into it.

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I think if you suspend the team you’ll have smaller crowds.

In their absence the fans will 1) not talk about the latest touchdown being thrown by Macbeth. 2) not buy any merchandise in great quantities 3) will find something else to do and 4) some of the fans will unfortunately pass away.

Argos have to change the marketing strategy.

  1. Figure out what ethnic radio stations are broadcasting in Toronto. Let them broadcast games.

  2. Work with radio stations to promote karaoke bars and local musicians. Have fans vote on their favourites and have the winners sing the national anthem. The last couple of singers at BC Place stadium were awful. Have a local band play either pre-game outside the stadium or during halftime.

  3. Have guaranteed win nights. If the team loses then ticket holders get 10% off on a local ethnic cuisine restaurant. Percentage escalates if the team wins. After a loss you pick a different restaurant. A team like Edmonton would at least help local business.

  4. Another poster suggested bringing in high school bands for the game. I would also support bringing in Cricket, baseball, field hockey or soccer players for halftime.

  5. Reach out to any organization that can receive charitable donations. Set up a system where each one has a promo code. Every time a fan punches in the code MLSE pledges 10% back. All of a sudden you have salesmen who will work for free to promote the Argos. At the end of the season as part of fan appreciation the top charities get those big cheques handed to them.

  6. I think you can have the Argos host up to 4 neutral site games. Decrease the supply of games in Toronto and the demand might go up. It also gives fans an excuse to travel to Moncton, Quebec City etc.

  7. Hire celebrities to hype the game online or in person. The hay day of the Argos was when John Candy was patrolling the sidelines.

  8. Listen to your fans. If they want Sunday games, then make it happen.


I felt I had to show a possible viable solution its a huge risk

A real gamble for the league to remove a large stakeholder in MLSE as one large consortium ... but individually they may still have a place at the table to partner with the league without the ties to a team .

I could be wrong on my assertions that the CFL leadership will protect the Toronto market properly when the CFL is played from June to November or care to promote the game itself by taking care of the grass roots .

With many sponsors leaving Hockey Canada I see an opportunity to solicit some to see Football Canada as a possible replacement for some of them and Toronto could replace the Argos with a national amateur level championships for the GTA and nationally for all levels of play and fill those 9 dates at BMO with a smaller footprint of Canadian football but an important one none the less .

It's a drastic move and there maybe no consensus for what I feel is a solution to the market and protecting while still promoting the three down game itself for 6 months of the year until there is a return to Toronto .

I don't blame anyone for disagreeing and not liking what I suggest .


It seems drastic. On one hand, Toronto hasn't really shown they deserve a franchise. On the other, how do national sponsors react to a league that no longer has a presence in the nation's largest market?

As much as I'd like to see the city lose its franchise, I can't help but think that would be the CFL cutting off its nose to spite its face.

This is a tough one. I legit can't figure out how I feel about it.

I could see MLSE pulling the Argos themselves and running off to the XFL and playing in Rogers. Yeah, they would totally do that.

But if the league pulls the trigger.... I wonder if MLSE doesn’t use that as an excuse to do exactly what I just described, but this time with justification in their own minds. And I could see the people of Toronto barely noticing, and those that do notice just thinking they were too good for Canada anyway.


You could be right on everything ..... . Not sure who really cares about the game itself .

Just wondering does two of the three at MLSE want the CFL team anymore .

Rogers definitely were not interested .

LT seem to go along with Bell after the Bills bid .

Why didn't Bell just go alone ?

... many wondered why they didn't just buy them from Braley by themselves back then

did they need LT to swing the BMO deal for the expansion and locker rooms at BMO ... I think that's why .. so when the crowds were an embarrassment that first year with the Grey Cup they changed the approach

to just keep the lights on and man the doors but will not attempt to stock the shelves fully and have shut off part of the store to the public .

It's just does not feel right ... for some time . It feels off ... like conscious thought of putting on a face with nothing behind it .


my only thought at this time is that suspending the team will mean that it will be gone permanently. There will be no coming back


I didn't have the attention span to read the entire thread but I apparently don't understand what exactly "suspending the team" is. Doesn't that provide more of an opening for US football to move in now that no one is using BMO Field regularly? Or are you thinking the only other option is for the Argos to declare bankruptcy and fold?

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the CFL cannot suspend or penalize a franchise that hasn't broken any explicit league rules or violated any explicit contract between the league and team.


That's how I see it. if the MLSE wants to continue operating the Argos but the CFL decides they don't want them. It opens the door wide open for MLSE to lease out BMO to the XFL and all of the sudden a new competitor enters the nation's largest market.

Not a very good plan


I don't see any reason the league would do so at this point anyways. As long as MLSE is willing to keep the team operating--and they're supposed to be more accountable for their efforts to do so since they'll now be sharing in the revenue generated by the better run clubs--then let them.

Plus, with Genius Sports coming on board as a new partner in creating revenue, why would they limit the potential market reach there?


So are the Argos broke? Why are we talking about this now, @Jasmine?


Sad days for a franchise that's 149yo, next year a remarkable 150! I have no answers to their attendance issues, but I can't see suspending them is any kind of answer. Sorry Jasmine, not buying.


It will be interesting to see what sort of effort MLSE put in to celebrating 150 years of Argonaut Football in Toronto

I think we know the answer already

But the League can’t suspend the Franchise. To penalize the loyal fans who still go is not a good look. And as previously stated…you make it easy for MLSE to make alternate arrangements that could hurt the League further


Montreal and Ottawa .... heard the same thing .... but this will be done differently with a lease for Canadian football events the same as the Argos by the CFL .

The Argos is the centre of the universe for media and head offices and thought they need to be retained up until this year .

The optics and advertising of a empty stadium game in game out in a small venue is damaging the CFL brand every game hosted at BMO . I would say it had a rippling effect thru the league

Many organizations and businesses recognize the effect of this damage and take action when a franchise is not performing to a standard .

Plus the league is tied to a deal with media rights and keeping the Argos afloat that is keeping the entire league from seeking other partners and a competitive bidding process required to build the league .

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My plan included a lease from June to end of November with exclusive rights .

It made a huge difference in Montreal and Ottawa both were dead and seemed to renew the experience when taken a different approach years later .

but in this scenario Canadian football is still at BMO for 9 dates but promoting Football Canada and grass roots with CFL coordination .

The hole I see there is, currently there is no separate lease with the Argos since MLSE both own them and the operating rights to BMO.

In addition if the league suspends the team against ownership's wishes, why would MLSE even want to discuss 9 dates and at what price would they command? The cost of the new lease plus the cost of the events they wish to put on would be on the shoulders of the other 8 owners. Expenses they don't have now and would have very little to no chance of recouping


I don't think this answers my question. How long has the stadium in Toronto been empty for games? 3 years? It's also clearly not the only empty stadium this year.

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