Watching the Argos at BMO Field: My Experience

Thanks to this recent Toronto Mike'd guest, I took the entire family to this afternoon's Argos game. It was my first Argos game at BMO Field.

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Normally I bike to BMO Field, but since all four kids were going, we took the Go Train. it was the very first time in my life I took the Go Train and damn was that slick. A comfy six minute ride from Mimico to Exhibition couldn't have been more convenient.

By the opening kickoff, one thing was crystal clear. Argos games look a million times better at BMO Field than at the dome. The weather was perfect and the field looked great. This is a fantastic venue for football.

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You don't get the energy from the crowd you get from TFC supporters, but it was fun with so many Roughrider fans wearing green. The crowd was pretty thin at kickoff but looked much better by the end of the first quarter. There's no denying it, though. This team has a serious attendance problem when they can't come close to filling BMO for a 4pm game on a beautiful Saturday.

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When Mike Hogan heard I was coming to the game, he invited me up to the booth to see him and Jeff Johnson calling the game for TSN Radio. I managed to get media passes for me and my oldest son and we peeked in every room. Here are shots from the TSN Radio booth.

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Here's a peek into the TSN booth.

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I wanted to say hi to Don Landry, but they keep him locked up in this room throughout the game.

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And finally, here's where the press sits at BMO Field. I'm told Sean Fitz-Gerald was there, but I didn't see him. There was coffee and food. I did not partake.

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In the end, the Argos lost a close one, but it was a fun game in a great stadium. I really hope the Argos can fix their aforementioned attendance problem because they've been here since 1873 and I'd like them to stick around.

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It was the very first pro sports event I've attended with all four of my kids and a good time was had by all. Thanks, Jackie.


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Comments (9 - click here to join in!)

Urooj Islam

Sounds awesome, man, thanks for sharing. Glad it went well.

And yes, there's nothing better than the GO Train if you're going to and from between Union, Exhibition or Mimico, such a quick and scenic trip. Things get a little slower and more dull when you get up to Long Branch, though.

Although, I'm stunned that Toronto Mike had never taken the GO Train. No idea how that's even possible.

October 7, 2017 @ 10:13 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Urooj Islam

I've always lived in Toronto, and I never considered the Go Train because I could always just take the TTC.

October 7, 2017 @ 10:26 PM

Wefewee

Interesting shot of you with TSN’s Mike & Jeff - with the logo of The Fan right behind.

October 8, 2017 @ 9:12 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Wefewee

I wondered about that too, but then I figured it out. It's a sign with The Fan logo on one side and the TSN Radio logo on the other. So they show the station's logo on the outside so you see it in the stadium, but that means the other logo is visible in the room.

October 8, 2017 @ 9:17 AM

Liz

Nice, Mike!

What a fun afternoon with your family.

Great picture, too!

October 8, 2017 @ 1:22 PM

Justin

I was at the game yesterday too - my first time at BMO for a regular season Argos game.

I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable the experience could be despite the sparse crowd. Most of those that are there are the die-hards. It was raucous at times and the crowd was really into the game. But one thing struck me as I looked around the stadium: FAR too many people there are 50+. Most of the aforementioned die-hards are holdovers from the glory days of the 80's and 90's. This franchise has had a total inability to attract young fans for a while now and it doesn't bode well for the future of this team. I'd love to see the Argos stick around be prosperous again but it's hard to envision at this point. And it's a shame.

On a positive note: after yesterday I know I'll probably be visiting BMO again for a game next season

October 8, 2017 @ 3:47 PM

Rick C in Oakville

I haven't been to an Argo game in over 15 years, but saw many at the old Exhibition stadium when I was younger.
Maybe the Argos should give some free passes to football teams playing in the GTA. My son played in the Hamilton East football league from 10 years of age until he was 16, and the Ticats always gave free tickets to the league to get the young teams out to watch. They even had events where select teams were picked to play one of their regular season games prior to the Ticats game. The kids thought they had made the big leagues when they took to the field.

October 9, 2017 @ 9:11 PM

Wayner

And the seating!!! At 6' 2" it is nearly impossible to find leg room at seats at the Rogers centre or the ACC. My seats for the Argos were fantastic. Also, the price was right... I plan on going again next year

October 10, 2017 @ 3:49 PM

Derek

I have been a season ticket holder since 1996 - and as much as I hated to admit it - this year was my "lon the bubble" year for continuing. Last year I was in the southwest corner, just up from the cheerleaders and the location, combined with the piss poor football really started to turn me off making the trek to the games.
During the off-season, my buddies and I decided to move our seats to the endzone. It turned out to be the game changer decision. What a great place to watch a game! BMO is a beautiful facility and (not having been to a TFC game in years) I can only imagine how great the atmosphere would be if the place was full.

Before I sign-off. I want to take issue with @Justin who labelled the 80s and 90s as "the glory years". It really wasn't! There were flare-ups of glory in the early 80s (1983 Easter Final vs. Hamilton), 1991 (John Candy, Bruce McNall and The Rocket) but that's about it. When Flutie was their QB in 96 and 97, the average game attendence was under 18000. From 1992 to 1995, the team was terrible and the Blue Jays and the Bills were amazing and very few people chose Canadian football.

The consistant glory years where the team drew capasity crowds and dominated the headlines was in the late 60s and most of the 70s before the Blue Jays arrived on the scene. The drought of not winning a Grey Cup since 1952 and letting the championship slip away in '71 (Google Leon X-Ray McQuay fumble), was IMHO more compelling and alluring to Toronto sports fans then actually having a winner. After the Argos won in 1983, the battle to stay relavant began and it's been going ever since. Full points to the team for hanging in for 34 plus years, in spite of the CFL's past goofiness, inconsistant marketing and brand erosion in a competetive marketplace.

Anyhoo! I love the Argos. I support the Argos. Winnipeg is in town on Saturday. Buy a ticket or six and drop by section 116 and say hi to me and the kids!

D

PS - TiCats are out of the play-offs. Just sayin'

October 16, 2017 @ 10:47 AM

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