TFC, MLSE, BMO Field and the Argos

I know in many ways I'm comparing apples and oranges here - but the buzz that Tim Leiweke led MLSE has managed to create surrounding the recent signings to TFC (DeRo, and today's signings of Defoe and Bradley) - to me is a perfect illustration why I think the best thing that could happen to the Argos - and hence the CFL would be for Braley to sell the Argos to MLSE and have them play at an upgraded BMO field.

The last couple of months of TFC signings alone represent about $100 million in salaries and transfer fees - and we all know MLSE is not about losing money. To me that means they expect to be able to generate a lot more revenue than they do now from TFC. That to me means that the MLSE must have plans to upgrade BMO Field substantially by adding a lot more corporate boxes, lounges and thousands of more seats. If that can be done while simultaneously re-configuring BMO to be able to accommodate a CFL field (By making endzone seats portable) I think that is the best and most likely chance for improvement of the Argos financial fortunes.

I just don't see how Argos could finance a new stadium just for them on their own and if MLSE is willing to spend $100 million+ on a few players for a few years service then investing similar amounts on stadium upgrades to generate the extra revenues to pay for those seems to make sense to me. And from a marketing perspective - making sure their team is noticed - ownership by MLSE would be the best thing because the owners of MLSE also own most of the sports media in Toronto too.

From everything I've seen Liewekie is not the smartest knife in the drawer. Their stadium is about half full so if you take the average ticket price of 10 000 extra fans and multiply it by the number of games. I'm not even sure he can break even with those salaries. Unless the numbers are inflated just to get some headlines. The other question one has to ask is if they can afford an extra 100 million in salaries, why are they going after public dollars to upgrade a five year old stadium ?

For a start a soccer team only has 11 players and a max of 3 subs. When the other team has the ball they don't run off the
field and replaced with a completely different team. Their overhead is low, only a couple of coaches. Compare that to the CFL with 46 starters another 10 to 20 on injured and 6 on the practice roster. 13 Coaches, plus the trainers, physios.

Don't know where you got your figures about 10k average, TFC had 18k last year and considering they are the worst team in the MLS that seams to me to be pretty good. 18k (average) fans coming out 20 plus dates a year and add the odd Premier league frendlies they seem to do pretty good. Plus BMO is paying them the highest naming rights of any stadium in Canada.

As for Braley selling to MLSE, who said that MLSE wants them. I think MLSE probably looked at the books and said no way.

MLSE just signed a 10 year lucrative deal with Canadian Tire and they got a deal to market Tottenham gear in Canada

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I guess there is "buzz" in the soccer community with these signings but I've never heard of any of these guys, Pele and Beckham I know, although I know little about soccer and the players I admit, when watching Sportscentre and this came on, turned the channel. But good for TFC in Toronto to get the guys they want for their fanbase there, whatever, I don't follow soccer. Much more excited to see right now in the middle of January who wins in gridiron football in NA and right now, it's the NFL and the matchups we saw this past weekend and the weekend coming forth. That I get.

mike, forgot, what is Tottenham? I'm being serious and being lazy as I'd have to look it up to be honest. I gather it must be a soccer team in the UK (sounds British) from your post? Do they play MLS in what they call "friendlies"? :?

Earl - this goes beyond just being a diehard soccer/TFC fan news story. You've heard of Beckham - he was one of the people (along with Drake) who pitched TFC to Dafoe convincing him to come to Toronto. The press conference announcing the signings was carried live on TSN and Sportsnet - it was also carried live on UK Sports networks in the UK. Tottenham - yes is a 'football club' in the UK and is one of the top 20 club teams in all of Europe. The worth of the franchise more valuable undoubtedly than the entire CFL. Also announced today are an affiliation between TFC and AS Roma one of Italy's biggest football clubs who TFC paid a multi-million dollar transfer fee to get Bradley who is perhaps the best player on the USA World Cup team. Dafoe may very well be on England's World Cup team too - so yes these are international soccer stars. So this is a big story.

As for my musings on MLSE, an expanded BMO and the Argos this from a story on the Toronto Star's website today that I did not see until after my original post.

This from The Star
"Leiweke has begun to point to a third way. Create a plan. Conceive it in all three temporal stages. Risk nothing but money. And then risk a whole lot of it. Underlying that effort is a plan for the plan: Building revenues by expanding BMO Field, buying the Argos, luring the Winter Classic, spinning money from perennial contenders. It’s all best-case scenario stuff, but no one gets stupid rich hedging their bets."

The stories on this in the Star, Sun, Globe and Mail etc - a soccer story - is being given more headline positioning than any Leaf stories right now - which almost never happens on Toronto sports pages in winter months.

Travel, sorry my man, it's soccer, I turn the channel, none of these signings or press stuff even makes me in the least to watch a game. The only way for me is to have it have to do something with the CFL. Because I can't stand watching soccer more than 2 minutes at the most.

Even Beckham didn't make me want to go to a MLS game. Now if his wife was going in a bathing suit, that would have been a different matter. With a huge screen to showcase her talents of course. :wink: (no disrespect for the soccer community, I know you get soccer for entertainment, I don't)

No worries Earl - I enjoy soccer - I know some don't. Some people love cricket - but I just don't get that sport - lol. This past weekend a couple of the soccer games I watched were more entertaining (to me) than at least three of this weekend's NFL playoff games which were disappointing compared to last week's Wildcard weekend games. Stoke - Liverpool was awesome and Defoe - TFC's new signing even scored a nice goal in Tottenham's game I was watching which was cool to see knowing he is coming to Toronto after continuing to play with Tottenham until the end of February.

I already have calls in to friends today who share four TFC season tickets to get my dibs in on any tickets they divvy out to friends - something they had trouble getting rid of last year. One friend just told me I'm just one of many he's heard from today. The demand for tickets and interest in the team these signings will create I think is comparable to the buzz that surrounded the Jays last year at this time after all their major deals. Hopefully these immediately work out better for TFC than the initial results the Jays got from all their new signings last season. (I'm still hoping things improve for the Jays too this season).

Why do you consistently comment on something you admittedly know nothing about? Who cares that you don't like certain sports? It just shows your ignorance to anything outside your little world.

Sorry to be so harsh, but man.......give it a rest! :thdn:

This is a gridiron football site. If it's a sport other than that but people are posting about, I'll post and too bad for you. I don't go and post on soccer forums though, I have respect for that in that that is their fanbase. This is a gridiron site, you want to spout out about soccer, I'm going to tell you I don't' care. If you don't like it, that's your problem. This is my site, a gridiron site, you want to talk about soccer in depth, go to soccer sites. I don't get soccer for entertainment, the more people talk about it here, the more I'm going to say I don't get it. I hope you get where I'm coming from Lenny but if you don't, well, as I say, it's your problem. On this site.

My little world counts to me and this little world here is contact, collision gridiron. Not soccer shorties.


I wasn't going to reply but....your the one who took this negative. See thread title and you'll maybe understand why soccer was talked about. It is really about MLSE and what may happen at BMO related to the Argo's. Speculation about the purchase by MLSE and the fact they are throwing around big money in Toronto. So, this is a GRIDIRON thread! People take offence when you degrade something others are interested in just because you don't like it. This IMO is close minded commentary that nobody is interested in. :smiley:

Ok Lenny, I'll be a good sport... Wow, incredible signings by TFC in Toronto, Argos need to sign an NFL name alongside Bradley, Defoe to be as relevant in TO as TFC... BMO Field is now virtually owned by TFC with these signings...

Happy? :wink:

To be fair Earl - Lennywasout has a point. I had started writing this reply myself before the last exchange between the two of you. it largely echos what Lennywasout says.

I started this thread not to get into a discussion about TFC or soccer per se, but to suggest how MLSE could help the CFL and Argos by illustrating the buzz they can generate around their soccer team. That is the type of thing the Argos could benefit from if owned by MLSE.

Also I wanted to point out how developments around TFC such as an expansion and upgrade to BMO - is likely the best case scenario for the Argos in terms of finding a new place to play. I can't see a scenario where they get their own stadium by 2018 otherwise. As I pointed out there would likely be more CFL and Argos coverage on Rogers and Bell stations too if MLSE were to own them because lets face it if TFC starts to get a higher profile - and it will with signings like this - the Argos face an even bigger challenge being noticed in that market unless affiliated with MLSE.

My follow-up posts that yes are more soccer specific were to answer YOUR questions about who these guys were and what was Tottenham. So because I answered those to then read your post saying this discussion should only be on a soccer chat board is a complete headscratcher to me.

As for your last comment about needing an NFL-name type signing. Not really - just tap into the marketing machine that is the MLSE - and maybe leverage season ticket and corporate box sales to Argos in an upgraded BMO with TFC packages to the benefit of both teams.

Do agree Travel that MLSE could be a real asset for the Argos in the sometimes strange world of Toronto.

Just to follow-up on that very point Earl - here is an example from tonight of how MLSE cross-promotions could benefit the Argos if they become part of the MLSE family.

This clip was from tonight's red hot Raptors game at the ACC. -

Exposure and promotion of TFC players and the soccer team - at a basketball game - both in front of thousands of sports fans in the ACC and many more watching on the national television broadcast of the game. You even had the basketball play-by-play guys talking up TFC. Just think of how good that could be for the Argos if their new signings got introduced at Leafs, TFC or Raptors games and got talked about on their telecasts. That would help raise their profile immensely in my opinion - as someone who until recently lived in Toronto for 25 years and hung out with Toronto sports fans all the time.

[quote="mikem"]Don't know where you got your figures about 10k average, TFC had 18k last year and considering they are the worst team in the MLS that seams to me to be pretty good. 18k (average) fans coming out 20 plus dates a year and add the odd Premier league frendlies they seem to do pretty good. Plus BMO is paying them the highest naming rights of any stadium in Canada./quote]
The fact that you honestly believe that TFC averaged 18,000 people sitting in BMO and that according to Damien Cox ('nuff said) the Argos are losing $6 million, just makes me giggle.

Yes, who knows, maybe even that type of marketing might work for me to get interested in soccer if I was at a game where MLSE did this promoting for their soccer team. On second thought, not sure if it would work come to think of it. :wink:

LOL. Well maybe it won't make you a soccer fan Earl but it may make an Argos fan out of some other MLSE teams' fans. Cross promotion certainly made one friend of mine - a life long Leafs fan who bleeds blue - a basketball and Raptors fan.

He already owned Leafs and TFC season tickets and was continually receiving these great offers from MLSE to entice him into becoming a Raptors season ticket holder too. He wasn't much of a basketball fan but he asked a few people at work and friends like me if we would be willing to buy a few of the tickets - like we all buy some of his TFC and Leafs games - and he got positive feedback so he gave in and bought a pair of Raptors season tickets.

Now this is his 4th year of owning Raptor season tickets and he actually goes himself to as many Raptors games as Leafs games because he enjoys them and has become a huge Raptors fans. Five years ago he didn't even follow them on TV much. That never would have happened without MLSE cross promotions.

I would like to think there are many who would discover a passion for CFL football for the first time or perhaps rediscover a lost passion for Argos and the CFL because of such cross promotions if MLSE becomes the owners of the Argos.

I know all that but the math still does not add up. Everyone who has season tickets I’ve heard and read (That’s not you obviously in Florida) says that there are less than 10k at the games. But lets use your number :slight_smile:
So they are spending 100 million dollars to put an extra 2000 people in the stadium ? How does he recoup that MLSE money with an extra 2000 paying customers ? This will last two years at most and MLSE will turf will kick his arz back to L.A

I think this is the first of many major announcements you are going to see coming out of MLSE in the next couple of years. I think you will see BMO expanded to somewhere in the 25,000 - 30,000 seat range with many more corporate boxes. The Argos will end up as an MLSE team I think, You will see Toronto hosting a future Winter Classic there. MLSE is all about growth and they've clued into the success of winning is the best way to fuel that growth - something the no names of the Teachers Pension fund never seemed to get.

They hired Leiweke to grow MLSE not just be a caretaker CEO. He is not dumb at all - in fact there are articles about him from his time in LA as CEO helping build AEG into a $10 billion dollar juggernaut, Staples Center, the Galaxy and Kings into winners that describe him as being one of the most successful and powerful people in LA. He ain't a dummy - that's for sure.