Here is a great article from Red Nation outlining how the Argos moving to BMO will hurt Toronto FC’s support.
Monthly Archives: January 2014
Recent comments from MLSE CEO, Tim Leiweke, makes it sound like they have already decided on this move. It’s not very reassuring that he will have an open two way conversation with us.
The strategy seems to be to spoon feed us this reality, so when it does come time to discuss the Argos moving to BMO field, it will be an announcement. Not a discussion.
In an article posted on Sportsnet.ca today, January 9th, RPB President Phil Tobin stressed the same fears of all supporters – losing BMO Field as we know it.
Leiweke has responded to recent supporter concerns by assuring us that he will hear our opinion within the next six months. Trust me Mr. Leiweke, we are more than happy to share our view that we do not want to share our beloved football stadium with the other kind of football team.
Leiweke also mentions how he plans on bettering the experience. I’m sure this is something that ALL TFC supporters find hard to believe.
Funny enough… When I look through the names of those who signed the petition… there’s no Phil Tobin…
The article can be found here: http://www.sportsnet.ca/soccer/toronto-fc-bmo-field-argos-tim-leiweke-cfl-mls/
So where did this all start? in 2004, before Toronto FC was even a thought, the Toronto Argonauts were looking for a new home and a move away from Rogers Centre, then still called the SkyDome. They wanted a smaller more intimate venue for Canadian football.
Around the same time, Canada was bidding on the FIFA youth championship. The bid was dependent on a new stadium for soccer in Canada.
The idea to build a new stadium started to materialize. There were many locations considered but a new multi-use stadium at York University became the clear favourite. The stadium was to be partially funded by the Municipal and Provincial governments with the remainder and overages to be paid by the Argos.
Even MLSE was looking to invest; whether it was to purchase a stake in the Argos or to invest in the stadium.
As everything was starting to come together, the Toronto Argos did a one-eighty and signed a new long term agreement with the Rogers Centre for favourable financial terms. This ended the dream of a new stadium and possibly dashed the hopes of hosting the FIFA Youth Championship. The Argos vacated their quest for a new stadium.
Shortly after this, MLSE announced they acquired an MLS expansion team and working with the City of Toronto would build a soccer specific stadium at The Exhibition Grounds. This new stadium would be the home for Toronto FC and Canada’s National Soccer teams.
Nine years later the Argos are looking for a new home, and our game day experience is at jeopardy. They had an opportunity and funding for a new stadium, and they passed on it.
BMO Field, the National Soccer Stadium, was one of the first soccer specific stadiums in MLS. There were no yard lines on the field. The north and south stands are close to the field, giving it an intimate feel. We even eventually lost the plastic in favour of real grass.
The Toronto Argos had their chance. They decided to take the easy money in the short term. Why should we lose what we love, because of their bad decision almost a decade ago?
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find the original links to the news articles. However the Voyageurs site did have some of the original articles. Credits and original dates are below.
Argos-Leafs talk stadium; Four GTA sites under consideration York University the leading candidate
Stadium deal intrigues owner of Leafs, Raptors; But caution raised about tight finances U of T excited about improved facilities
Jim Byers and Rick Matsumoto
Articles can be found at http://www.cansoc.org/showthread.php?21341-Argos-To-Begin-Building-Stadium-By-August
Additional Canadian Press article
I could not find the Author or original date.
Article can be found here http://www.cansoc.org/showthread.php?25621-Argos-pull-out-of-stadium-officially
Wow, we’ve only been live since Friday, and we’ve already collected 103 signatures! Thank you to everyone who’s signed it and shared our passion. Please pass this on to anyone you know who loves Toronto FC and our game day experience.
Arash Madani from Sportsnet hypothesizes about MLSE buying the Argos and moving them to BMO Field. This article speculates about this possibility. One thing to note, from the previous article mentioned here, Leiweke does say he’d like to host a CFL Grey Cup outdoors at BMO. There is only one way to do that… expand the field.
I am often left with the feeling that despite previous comments from Tim Leiweke, having a conversation with supporters, this decision has already been made.
More on Arash’s article can be found on Sportsnet’s Website.
While this is something that has been rumoured before, I’m not sure how many of us would feel about this. Tim Leiweke has mentioned he would like to expand BMO field. More seats to host larger events. The main concern is, we don’t want to share our beloved soccer specific stadium with the Argos. But what about the Winter Classic?
More can be found at Sportsnet’s website.
As well as a great article can be found at Waking the Red.