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Argos still want into BMO Field?


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quote:Originally posted by SthMelbRed

How much would it cost to buy the Argos? If MLSE wants to safeguard the long-term profitability of Toronto FC, why not buy the Argos and fold them? Perhaps even the threat of doing so would be enough to scare city hall into refusing to allow the CFL into BMO.

The expansion fee is about 7 million for a team. If MLSE would fold the team. There would be another team in Toronto in about an hour later. The simple solution is to buy the stadium from the city. Any time you use tax payers dollars the rules change at any time.

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Here's some Argos and Cfl exec's email's if you want to write them and express your concerns. I made it clear I would not attend another Cfl game or watch on TV, or purchase products from their sponsors.

mcohon@cfl.ca mcopeland@cfl.ca mmaychak@cfl.ca rassimakopoulos@cfl.ca jnishino@cfl.ca dallison@cfl.ca kmcdonald@cfl.ca asciarra@cfl.ca

dcynamon@KIKCORP.COM hsokolowski@tributecommunities.com bnicholson@argonauts.ca mclemons@argonauts.ca mafinec@argonauts.ca jnalevka@argonauts.ca dsteinfeld@argonauts.ca

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What's the timeline on this? If the supporters look into a petition of some kind, those outside of GTA/Southern Ontario can legitimately add their names as our national stadium turf should be used by soccer teams, not football teams.

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As long as this stadium is funded largely by public funds this stuff is going to happen and one can't really complain about it. The various levels of government own the stadium and have the right to have whoever they want play there. If the City of Toronto wanted to convert it to an ice rink and have the Leafs play there that would be their right. On the one hand it is good that the government finally did start funding soccer stadiums in this country but on the other hand it does rub one the wrong way that such a big money corporation like MLSE that could afford to buy a stadium is gifted one on our tax dollar. As Jasonm already stated the solution is for MLSE to buy the stadium and then they can control who plays there. If this starts getting close to happening the entity we should be complaining to is MLSE not the city or the Argos. If the city refused to sell the stadium to MLSE then they would be to blame but if MLSE wants to control their stadium they need to give the taxpayers their money back and buy it or build a new one.

And if we are talking conspiracies maybe the various levels of government do want their money back and have put the Argos up to this. And to respond to what I know people will say, yes I know that BMO is technically our national soccer stadium but in practice it is pretty much solely TFC's stadium and always will be.

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Latest from the mainstream media on this with plenty of attributed quotes unlike yesterday:-

http://www.nationalpost.com/sports/story.html?id=2278526

http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Braley+rescue+again/2279974/story.html

http://www.thestar.com/sports/football/cfl/argos/article/731698--argos-looking-at-bmo-field-move

A group representing David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski this week met for about 30 minutes with Exhibition Place chief executive officer Dianne Young about moving to BMO Field, the home of Toronto FC.

"They've approached city councillors and they've floated the idea. That's about as far as it's gone at this point," Young said in an interview Friday.

"We're just starting any conversation. I would say it's very preliminary."

...

Two things need to happen, Pantalone said, for a move to happen. First, the CFL would have to agree to the Argos playing on a shorter field because "otherwise you're talking about expenditures of many many millions" to tear up stands and lengthen the playing surface. And, the team would also have to agree to the same "terms and conditions" as TFC such as the share of revenues for parking and food and beverage as well as agreeing to access for public use.

http://www.torontosun.com/sports/football/2009/11/27/11958091-sun.html

There could be plenty of upheaval in Argoland in the next few weeks, but don$B!G(Bt expect the Canadian Football League club to announce a move to BMO Field.

$B!H(BWe don$B!G(Bt have a lot of time left (on a lease at the Rogers Centre), but as far as I$B!G(Bm concerned, we will be playing there next year,$B!I(B Argonauts president Bob Nicholson said Friday. $B!H(BSeason ticket renewals were mailed based on (playing at the Rogers Centre).$B!I(B

It's beginning to look a little more like a way to gain leverage in their Rogers Centre negotiations but I still plan to bombard the email addresses that UltraSuperMegaMo provided above with my thoughts on this later this weekend. :(

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Sad to hear the argos are still jerking the other stakeholders around on this issue after they almost sunk the original stadium plans, just a mickey mouse ownership group.

I don't know the exact ownership situation with the four different partners paying for the building but I wonder if MLSE could buy the stadium. I do think that TFC would take a major hit if the argos move in and MLSE would be protecting their investment and gaining a valuable asset. Would they be able to buy out the city, I think that they only contributed 9.8 million compared to the $18 million MLSE spent, 8 from Ontario and $27 million from the feds.

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quote:Originally posted by Grizzly

As long as this stadium is funded largely by public funds this stuff is going to happen and one can't really complain about it. The various levels of government own the stadium and have the right to have whoever they want play there. If the City of Toronto wanted to convert it to an ice rink and have the Leafs play there that would be their right. On the one hand it is good that the government finally did start funding soccer stadiums in this country but on the other hand it does rub one the wrong way that such a big money corporation like MLSE that could afford to buy a stadium is gifted one on our tax dollar. As Jasonm already stated the solution is for MLSE to buy the stadium and then they can control who plays there. If this starts getting close to happening the entity we should be complaining to is MLSE not the city or the Argos. If the city refused to sell the stadium to MLSE then they would be to blame but if MLSE wants to control their stadium they need to give the taxpayers their money back and buy it or build a new one.

And if we are talking conspiracies maybe the various levels of government do want their money back and have put the Argos up to this. And to respond to what I know people will say, yes I know that BMO is technically our national soccer stadium but in practice it is pretty much solely TFC's stadium and always will be.

the problem with this argument is it ignores the fact that Skydome (now Rogers Centre) was publicly funded (many hundreds of millions more than BMO Field). I believe in the end it cost something like 600 million. Maybe taxpayers should encourage the Argos to continue to make use of the stadium that cost taxpayers so much.

I still haven't figured out what is wrong with Rogers Centre. The stadium is in good shape. It can allow outdoors or indoors games.

Atmosphere is a problem they say. So they want to essentially damage the atmosphere of another stadium to improve their atmosphere? That's a pretty lame reason to move. If it's a money reason, they probably don't realize that they will be a tenant, once again, in BMO field. They won't be a partner, the way MLSE is. So revenue will once again not be as high as it could be. And 20000 seats would mean either less revenue than they get now, or higher ticket prices for fans. I wonder if their fans realize that TFC tickets actually cost more than Argos tickets.... hmmm...

Remember, one of the main reasons politicians built Skydome is that the Argos felt the outdoor stadium (Exhibition) was becoming a bit of an embarrassment, considering the awful conditions by the lake. I have a feeling the same old complaints would resurface at BMO. Don't forget that a portion of the TFC fanbase is always pining for stadiums like Red Bull Arena and Rio Tinto Stadium. TFC fans are happy to have a stadium and a team, but it's not like people are celebrating the amazing BMO Field as a facility. Argos fans would probably feel the same way over time.

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quote:

Two things need to happen, Pantalone said, for a move to happen. First, the CFL would have to agree to the Argos playing on a shorter field because "otherwise you're talking about expenditures of many many millions" to tear up stands and lengthen the playing surface. And, the team would also have to agree to the same "terms and conditions" as TFC such as the share of revenues for parking and food and beverage as well as agreeing to access for public use.

So Pantalone, it's okay if MLSE does expenditures of many, many millions for the construction of the stadium, the installation of grass and the public use field & bubble at Lamport, but not the Argos?

I just don't see how the same "terms and conditions" can apply to both teams when one team has spent many millions on the infrastructure and maintenance of the facility but the other team hasn't and is going there specifically not to pay those millions.

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This council may also not want to risk spending that much on stadium renovations for the Argos before an election. They're taking more than enough **** right now with the continuous tax and fee increases, and the current TTC debacle is really driving the public mad.

But then again, that's not stopped "pet projects" before...

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quote:Originally posted by Rudi

The Argo owners weren't even willing to put up the cash to buy their own team, they had to borrow half of the price tag from David Braley!

If it's simply a money issue, then the Argos don't stand a chance. It's not, though.

Its because of how cheap the Argo owners have been that I have any optimism over this not happening.

Although it appears our biggest challenge may be the CFL bending its rules.

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quote:Originally posted by Grizzly

As Jasonm already stated the solution is for MLSE to buy the stadium and then they can control who plays there.

That's not possible. The stadium is on the Exhibition grounds whoch is owned by the city. If it were built anywhere else, I am sure that would be the first option.

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quote:Originally posted by Massive Attack

As I alluded to in the same discussion at the Usector, I have no doubt that the CFL will bend those rules if it means supporting a partner. They did so ( as someone already mentioned in the Usector discussion) for the US teams that played in the CFL in nineties. I dont even think that anyone even noticed the difference.

Besides, they are even willing to allow an owner to own two teams in the same leagues. On the field inconveniences such as having an end zone that is shorter by a mear four yards is very minor compared to the financial survival of a club.

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quote:Originally posted by jimmynow

the problem with this argument is it ignores the fact that Skydome (now Rogers Centre) was publicly funded (many hundreds of millions more than BMO Field). I believe in the end it cost something like 600 million. Maybe taxpayers should encourage the Argos to continue to make use of the stadium that cost taxpayers so much.

The Rogers Center situation doesn't bear much relation to that of BMO other than that public funds were used. It was not built for Rogers who didn't even own the Jays at that time. It was built as a joint private/public bid project whose costs through bad planning and corruption ballooned to an extent not anticipated and put the stadium into massive debt before it even opened. These debts in construction and then later in running the stadium led to the government having to sell the stadium at a fraction of its cost and also to several subsequent sales of it by companies who also couldn't make a profit on it before Rogers bought it for a song. It also contributed to the defeat of the Liberal party. Regardless the fact of the matter is the government lost control of the project through their own ineptitude and have little say on how the stadium is used or who plays there. That is not the case with BMO, the government owns it so they have the right to determine who plays there and how it is used. If TFC and its fans don't like this they should buy the stadium.

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quote:Originally posted by jimmynow

the problem with this argument is it ignores the fact that Skydome (now Rogers Centre) was publicly funded (many hundreds of millions more than BMO Field). I believe in the end it cost something like 600 million. Maybe taxpayers should encourage the Argos to continue to make use of the stadium that cost taxpayers so much.

The Rogers Center situation doesn't bear much relation to that of BMO other than that public funds were used. It was not built for Rogers who didn't even own the Jays at that time. It was built as a joint private/public bid project whose costs through bad planning and corruption ballooned to an extent not anticipated and put the stadium into massive debt before it even opened. These debts in construction and then later in running the stadium led to the government having to sell the stadium at a fraction of its cost and also to several subsequent sales of it by companies who also couldn't make a profit on it before Rogers bought it for a song. It also contributed to the defeat of the Liberal party. Regardless the fact of the matter is the government lost control of the project through their own ineptitude and have little say on how the stadium is used or who plays there. That is not the case with BMO, the government owns it so they have the right to determine who plays there and how it is used. If TFC and its fans don't like this they should buy the stadium.

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quote:Originally posted by Free kick

That's not possible. The stadium is on the Exhibition grounds whoch is owned by the city. If it were built anywhere else, I am sure that would be the first option.

It is definitely possible. There are many possible situations from buying just a small portion of the Exhibition grounds to buying the stadium but not the land it is on. Agreements like this are done all the time. The biggest problem for TFC would be if the city decided the stadium is a worthwhile investment and didn't want to sell for that reason. However, here TFC would also have some bargaining power since the stadium would not be worth much if they weren't playing there.

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quote:Originally posted by Free kick

That's not possible. The stadium is on the Exhibition grounds whoch is owned by the city. If it were built anywhere else, I am sure that would be the first option.

It is definitely possible. There are many possible situations from buying just a small portion of the Exhibition grounds to buying the stadium but not the land it is on. Agreements like this are done all the time. The biggest problem for TFC would be if the city decided the stadium is a worthwhile investment and didn't want to sell for that reason. However, here TFC would also have some bargaining power since the stadium would not be worth much if they weren't playing there.

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What is frustrating about all this is that the club with a following is having to capitulate to the the club that has no following. The argos are trying to have us believe that their average attendance is around 26K. But check out the article below from the Regina Leader Post. I think that those numbers are actually credible base personal observations. If it came down to actual numbers and market presence, it would be no contest as to who should call the shots and rule the roost

If 26 K average attendance was a realistic representation of actual ticket sales and revenues (ie.: not give aways) why would they be contemplating selling the team? And why would they be going hat in hand to league to have teams the like the Riders share their revenues? bottom line:

- Unlike the NFL, you seldom see Argos games shown in bars and people actually following.

- Unlike TFC, I never see Argos merchandise around town.

The only thing that the Argos have on TFC is the strong support from the media.

____________

"Cynamon and Sokolowski bought the Argos after the team had fallen into bankruptcy, in 2003. It is believed the season ticket base had fallen to as low as 2,000, with the team drawing an average paid attendance of only about 10,000 a game."

http://www.leaderpost.com/sports/Argos+owners+have+enough/2100587/story.html?id=2100587

________________

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What is frustrating about all this is that the club with a following is having to capitulate to the the club that has no following. The argos are trying to have us believe that their average attendance is around 26K. But check out the article below from the Regina Leader Post. I think that those numbers are actually credible base personal observations. If it came down to actual numbers and market presence, it would be no contest as to who should call the shots and rule the roost

If 26 K average attendance was a realistic representation of actual ticket sales and revenues (ie.: not give aways) why would they be contemplating selling the team? And why would they be going hat in hand to league to have teams the like the Riders share their revenues? bottom line:

- Unlike the NFL, you seldom see Argos games shown in bars and people actually following.

- Unlike TFC, I never see Argos merchandise around town.

The only thing that the Argos have on TFC is the strong support from the media.

____________

"Cynamon and Sokolowski bought the Argos after the team had fallen into bankruptcy, in 2003. It is believed the season ticket base had fallen to as low as 2,000, with the team drawing an average paid attendance of only about 10,000 a game."

http://www.leaderpost.com/sports/Argos+owners+have+enough/2100587/story.html?id=2100587

________________

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quote:Originally posted by Grizzly

It is definitely possible. There are many possible situations from buying just a small portion of the Exhibition grounds to buying the stadium but not the land it is on. Agreements like this are done all the time. The biggest problem for TFC would be if the city decided the stadium is a worthwhile investment and didn't want to sell for that reason. However, here TFC would also have some bargaining power since the stadium would not be worth much if they weren't playing there.

Nope. The stadium and the entire surroundings of the stadium are on city land that is used for various fairs, festivals such as carribana, trade shows and exhibitions such as the CNE. Its brings in revenues for the city and holds some cultural significance.

I cant imaging the financial dire straits that the city would have to be in that would cause them to look at selling the ex or part of it to private interest.

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quote:Originally posted by Free kick

Nope. The stadium and the entire surroundings of the stadium are on city land that is used for various fairs, festivals such as carribana, trade shows and exhibitions. Its brings in revenues for the city.

I cant imaging the financial dire straits that the city would have to be in that would cause them to look at selling the ex or part of it to private interest.

Well they can sell use of the grounds (like a lease) without effectively selling the grounds to MLSE ...

Effectively TFC pays the city a retainer to keep the stadium soccer specific which more or less suits the same purpose. Sounds better than shooting the golden goose in the face, which is what moving a dying football team with 2000 SSH would effectively do.

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