Why did York U back out of Stadium Agreement?

What specific reason did York University provide in 2005 for reneging on the agreement with the Argos to build a 25,000 seat stadium on the University Keele campus?
Wasn't York U going to infuse 20 million in capital funds into the stadium as well?


But York University actually made an agreement with the Argos..

from Wiki:
"On October 18,(2004) the Toronto Argonauts announced their agreement with York University, to construct a new 25,000-seat stadium on the university's Keele campus."

How could Tannenbaum/MLSE void that agreement?

No idea but C&S may have got "cold" feet, or else it was a.case of cheap RC rent, one of the two. :wink:

York did not back out, C & S did. The way the stadium agreement was written, C & S would have been responsible for any stadium construction cost over runs in addition to their initial investment in the stadium. As we know now, C & S did not have the deep pockets many people in the sports business community assumed they did (remember Braley had to loan them millions of dollars before they could even buy the Argos) and they would never have been able to the cover the cost over runs which could have run into the millions. It also didn't hurt that the Rogers Center offered them a deal with basically free rent (although I don't think they got a slice of the parking or concessions). C & S took the short term security of the Rogers Center against the risk of losing everything if the York Stadium project cost millions more than expected. Although I would have loved to have seen them build the Argos their own stadium and thus secure their long-term profitability, you really can't blame C & S for the choice they made. It was the only choice they could afford.

Another Wiki excerpt:
"The original plan was for the site to be located at York University, with the university contributing $15 million toward the cost of the new stadium. However, the university was forced to back out in May 2005.[4] The eventual site was moved to the location of demolished Exhibition Stadium and then-existing Sports Hall of Fame building."

York was "forced to back out"???

York pulls plug on stadium plan

Thursday, May 12, 2005 Updated at 12:47 PM EDT
Canadian Press

Toronto — York University has pulled out of a planned stadium project, citing a lack of time and the Toronto Argos' recent decision to withdraw.

The news is a body blow to the Canadian Soccer Association, which had insisted the stadium would be built.

But FIFA, the sport's world governing body, has said the 2007 World Youth Championship will go ahead in Canada as scheduled whether the Toronto stadium was built or not.

The York stadium, along with Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium, were to be the major homes for the tournament.

"The university was very committed to this project and was working hard to bring it to reality," the university said in a statement Thursday. "However, the circumstances around that decision have changed.

"The stadium was approved on the basis of an arrangement which included important financial contributions and guarantees. The unexpected decision by the Argos so close to the construction deadline effectively set the project back six months and has made it impossible for us to proceed in the given timeframe."

The Argos were to have contributed $20 million and any cost overruns to the $70-million, 25,000-seat stadium. But they balked at the last minute, opting to accept a sweeter deal to stay at the Rogers Centre, formerly SkyDome.

The federal government committed $27 million and the provincial government another $8 million to the York project. The university was to donate the land and $15 million.

The government money came because the Canadian Soccer Association had made the Toronto stadium the cornerstone of a bid for the 2007 world youth championship.

FIFA vice-president Jack Warner said last week the under-20 tournament will go ahead in Canada no matter what happened with the Toronto stadium.

The 24-team tournament had been slated to take place in Toronto, Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver and Victoria.

In its statement, York said it had faced an immediate commitment of $5 million for major site preparations to meet the 2007 project completion deadline.

The university said it would have been required to assume all of the risks and operating costs for a 20,000-seat stadium "with significantly reduced usage by outside parties."

""We have been working intensively to make this project happen, but, frankly, we are out of time. Our priority must always be the best interests of the York University community," university vice-president Gary Brewer said in a statement.

"We cannot, in good conscience, spend university money without knowing exact costs and funding arrangements for the project, and without the certainty that we will be able to meet the required timeline. The clock ran out on us."

The Argos were to have contributed $20 million and any cost overruns to the $70-million, 25,000-seat stadium. But they balked at the last minute, opting to accept a sweeter deal to stay at the Rogers Centre, formerly SkyDome
A fellow I met at the last TiCat home game relayed that Rogers Center agreement with the Argos is complimentary.(FREE) Is this indeed fact?

And if so, is this to prevent the Argos from achieving stability in a new home (making NFL Toronto a much easier possibility?)

And if so, is this to prevent the Argos from achieving stability in a new home (making NFL Toronto a much easier possibility?
I don't think the NFL has any plans to come to Toronto. The Bills would wind up in Los Angeles or San Antonio way before they would move to Toronto. San Antonio is to football what Winnipeg is to hockey. Toronto is to football what Phoenix is to hockey.

The only way I see Toronto in the mix, or Timbucktoo for that matter, is if they do have a brand, spanking NFL gorgeous stadium on the way for absolute sure. The NFL especially in these times is really gung ho to get out of any stadium that has an MLB team, I personally think this is very important to them. It still fathoms me that they have to play a Super Bowl in what essentially was a baseball stadium in San Diego albeit now the Padres do have their own home.

And to be honest, Toronto probably is one of the more likely cities in Canada/US that in these tough economic times might, and I repeat might, be able to pull off such a billion dollar trick.

With Mayor Ford at the helm, it wouldn't surprise me...We alll know where his loyalty lies.....Or is it we all know that he lies royally? :wink:

Los Angeles already has their new billion dollar stadium in the process (Farmers Insurance Field) and San Antonio already has an NFL ready stadium (AlamoDome) that served as the home field for the New Orleans Saints after Hurricane Katrina. A couple of hundred million in improvements would make it NFL ready on a regular basis. California and Texas are also full of billionaires that would love to join the NFL boys club. Despite the blowings of Mayor Ford, I personally I can't see politicians in Toronto signing off on a new billion dollar NFL stadium when it will kill the CFL. Maybe if it was part of an Olympic bid, but not as an outright stadium.

Football fans in Toronto have shown that they are not willing to pay sky-high NFL prices for football on a consistent basis. Even after they lowered the prices for the Bills in Toronto series, they ended up giving away tickets and even then could not fill the Rogers Center. No businessman in his right mind is going to spend over a billion dollars for an NFL team and bring it to a market that has shown so little interest in supporting such a team. Keep in mind that NFL teams can only be owned by individuals, not by companies like Rogers or investment trusts like the Ontario Teachers Fund. Who in Toronto has a spare billion to buy an NFL team? You could buy MLSE for that kind of cash.

No owner, no stadium and no interest means no NFL in Toronto.

Toronto has as much chance landing an NFL franchise as it has to host the Olympics or an F1 Grand Prix.

From a 2005 article reporting on the signing of the leases:

The deal is not rent-free but gives the CFL team improved scheduling, cost certainty and a piece of the action, from parking to concessions.

So no it isn't rent-free. I'm sure Bob Nicholson also said that back in 2009/2010 at some point but I can't find the link.

seriously? i posted a link with pretty much all the answers to the questions being asked in this thread.

If they had done what Montreal did to increase the demand, that would've been alright. Eventually tho I would expect Toronto back in SkyDome once Toronto realizes the CFL is not an inferior league or whatever other popular thoughts float around Toronto

The Argos attendance woes have nothing to do with people thinking it's an inferior league. It has everything to do with the team sucking. I stated this in a thread a week or so ago, but I remember there being 30, 35 (and someone said 40) thousand people at Argo games back in 2007. That year they hosted the East Final. When the Argos start winning consistently, people will show up. This idea that Torontonians think the CFL is bush league does not come from people in Toronto.