Toros vs. Leafs: Toronto's Teams Battle at the Boxoffice
Vintage Leafs is a blog that posts pictures from the Toronto Maple Leafs' past. Today Vintage Leafs posted this cover from the Toronto Star's Star Week in 1975.
If you're my age or younger, you don't remember the Toronto Toros. The Toronto Toros were a WHA team that played in Toronto from 1973 to 1976. The fun stuff happened when the Toros left Varsity Arena for Maple Leaf Gardens for the '74-'75 season, hence this cheeky Star Week cover.
The Toros moved to the Gardens for the 1974–75 season. However, by this time Harold Ballard had regained control of the Gardens. Ballard was a violent opponent of the WHA; he never forgave the upstart league for nearly decimating the Leafs' roster in the early 1970s. He deliberately made the Toros' lease terms at the Gardens as onerous as possible. The Toros' lease with Maple Leaf Gardens Ltd. called for them to pay $15,000 per game. However, much to Bassett's outrage, the arena was dim for the first game. It was then that Ballard demanded $3,500 for use of the lights. Ballard also denied the Toros access to the Leafs' locker room, forcing them to build their own at a cost of $55,000. He also removed the cushions from the home bench for Toros' games (he told an arena worker, "Let 'em buy their own cushions!"). It was obvious that Ballard was angered at the WHA being literally in his backyard, and took his frustration on the renegade league out on the Toros.
Oh, to have been blogging about Harold Ballard in those good 'ol days. In 1976, the Toros officially lost that "battle at the boxoffice" and flew the coop for Birmingham. It's hard to believe they failed with a fierce logo like this...
Only 7 comments? C'mon, we can do better... Leave a comment above and let's keep this conversation going!