Toronto Argos Attendance Problem

I feel I need to preface this entry by stating I'm not a CFL-hater. I was at Pinball's last game, I took my son to see Ricky Williams and I generally root for the Argonauts' success. The fact is, my overall interest in both the CFL and NFL has waned over the past decade. I've learned I'm not really a football guy.

Periodically, as discussed on my podcast, someone will argue with me that the Argos are more popular in Toronto than the Raptors. Almost all evidence points to the opposite, and when I'd mention the fact the Argos struggle mightily at the gate, I'd always be told "wait until they're at BMO!".

Well, the Argos played their second regular season game at BMO Field last night in front of 12,373. Last August, when 14,748 attended a game at the dome, The Toronto Star wrote it was "the team’s smallest draw for a Rogers Centre regular-season game since 2003". The excuses for that 14,748 were plentiful, from a lack of marketing dollars to a transfer of ownership.

With an even smaller crowd last night at BMO Field, there are precisely three excuses being bandied about. The first is that it was a hot night, even though it was actually a pleasant temp at BMO Field, which is close to Lake Ontario. The second is that it was a Wednesday night. Funny, but the Raptors never had a problem selling out on Wednesday nights, and they play 41 regular season games at home vs. the Argos' 10. So let's focus on the third excuse, which is that Toronto doesn't particularly care for its CFL team.

I wish this wasn't true, and hoped the move to BMO Field would result in the buzz and attendence TFC enjoys, but 12,373 is a telling number. Afterall, it was only the second regular season game at BMO Field, and the excitement is already gone. And that number, 12,373, is less than the self-imposed Raptors cap on seasons tickets. That's right, there are more Raptors season ticket holders than there were people at the second ever regular season Argo game at BMO Field.

I was kindly offered passes to the first game at BMO Field, but had to decline to attend my son's graduation ceremony. I engaged the Argonauts PR person, suggesting that perhaps I take my kids to last night's game instead, so I could write about the experience here. By all accounts, it's a great venue for football. The response from the Argos left me rather dismayed.

The next time someone tells me Toronto prefers the Argos to the Raptors, I'm not even going to engage. It's not even close, and 12,373 for game number two speaks volumes.

Good luck, Argos. You have plenty of work ahead of you.


Share this entry

Comments (90 - click here to join in!)

Rob J

It's early.

July 14, 2016 @ 11:08 AM

The Voice of Reason

Mike, the reason the Argos do not sell well is plainly due to people viewing the team as a "minor league" franchise. The CFL has not done a great job on marketing the team. The CFL should attempt to convince TSN to make the CFL a Saturday "Event" and allow fans to gather on that day to cheer on their team.

July 14, 2016 @ 11:51 AM

Barry

I think the nail has been hit on the head: Toronto just isn't passionate about the CFL.

People thought it was the Rogers Centre, and that moving to a better football stadium would be the fix. But it's a stadium that is actually not far less convenient to access via transit, so they have to depend a little more on people driving to the games. Thing is, for all the negatives of the Rogers Centre, it's an absolutely perfect location. It's next to a transit hub and a main artery, and in a section of the city with high population density. So, whatever gains they got from "nicer stadium" are wiped out by going from a prime location to where BMO is.

But on the other hand ... TFC has a history of getting good crowds out.

So ... we've got a combination of factors: a lesser location, yes, but also, a distinct lack of enthusiasm for the CFL.

July 14, 2016 @ 12:06 PM

Pants Go Brown

Take a look at the pics, even 12,373 is inflated.

July 14, 2016 @ 12:14 PM

Toronto Steve

Reason #4

Brutal commute.

Getting to BMO Is hardly convenient. More difficult, when they have road closures due to the Honda Indy, The fact that TFC draws better speaks to CFL being behind soccer in Toronto.

They need a subway line to connect to Liberty Village.

I suspect that will come when the Blue Jays will need a new home and will no doubt look west.

July 14, 2016 @ 12:20 PM

Paul

Comparing a summer weeknight game, with a winter weeknight game, is, as they say, comparing apples to oranges.
So many more youth sport activities happen on weeknights in the summer, than in winter. For example, soccer, baseball, etc., is mostly played Mon to Thur in summer, whereas hockey is mostly played on weekends in winter.
The Indy car set up meant that access to the park was limited for vehicles. Who wants to sit on public transit when temps are in the mid-30's?
The CNE will also limit access to the park at the end of August.
It's too bad the Argo's, who are supposedly the lynchpin of the CFL, were not allocated more weekend games to build the gate.

July 14, 2016 @ 12:24 PM

Toronto Steve

Paul is bang on.

I'm pretty sure the CFL will bend over backwards to accommodate the Argos in terms of scheduling and helping them succeed.

Too bad they couldnt have a bye week this week. Cuz think about it- what day would have been better than Wednesday for the Argos to play this week?

Monday- Home Run Derby- NO
Tuesday- All Star Game- NO
Wednesday- nothing- Seems like a good idea
Thursday - more Honda Indy closures- NO
Friday/Saturday/Sunday- Honda Indy Weekend/Jays are back- NO

I don't think we can read too much into two games. However, the CFL is in serious trouble in Toronto and the brutal commute to BMO doesn't help.

July 14, 2016 @ 12:30 PM

Bill Armstrong

The fact remains, the vast majority of Gridiron football fans in this city are NFL fans. And until the Argos can tap into even a small slice of that vast demographic, it won't matter where they play. I've been a Argo season ticket holder for 30 years and the slow decline has been painful to watch. The game last night, from where I was sitting, outside of the block of season ticket holders I sit with, was attended by a young, and I suspect non-football crowd. The game is a mystery to them. It's complicated and hard to follow. But this demographic might hold some promise if we can just get them to come back a couple more times so that they can develop some level of understanding. CFL players are so special. I deal with many of them in my business and when it comes to community/philanthropic causes, they have few peers. It's all about community outreach I'm afraid. And this will take time but I still believe there's a place for them in T.O.

July 14, 2016 @ 12:35 PM

The Voice of Reason

@Bill

The big buzz leading up to opening day was "tailgating"!!!! The marketing did not focus on the athletes at all. The "tailgating" is nowhere near the buildup it is at an NCAA/NFL game. The "tailgating" is another way for MLSE to gain a few dollars. Tailgating started at as organic experience, not a corporate manufactured experience.

July 14, 2016 @ 12:40 PM

Sid_V

Disappointing crowd, no doubt about it. A Wednesday night game in the middle of the Honda Indy construction zone are both negatives, but ticket prices are no doubt a factor as well. I have been to a number of Argos games over the past several years, and I have always felt that the ticket prices seemed a bit high.

An apples-to-apples comparison is very difficult, since Toronto FC seems to use a variable pricing strategy based on the opponent, but looking at a middle-of-the-road opponent (in this case, Orlando FC on a Wednesday night) the vast majority of single-game Argos tickets on TicketMaster are 25% more expensive than the comparable TFC seats. The economics of the CFL may drive higher prices, but that is irrelevant to the ticket-buying public.

It is going to take some effort to rebuild the fan base, and getting butts in the seats is a huge part of that. The three-game flex pack looks like a good deal, but I am not sure how widely it has been advertised. Deals on single games (family four-packs, anyone?) are another tool that might get the reluctant fan into the stadium.


July 14, 2016 @ 12:40 PM

it's a shame

It's a shame that the Argos struggle so much with attendance.

Way back in my teens, we went to lots of Argo games. It was so much fun & great atmosphere; a real blast!

Look at these 30K, 40K even 50K attendance numbers from 1976.
Toronto Argonauts 1976 Schedule
Date Result .. Attendance
Sat. Jul03 CGY25@TOR25 .. 37,343
Wed. Jul14 OTT20@TOR9 .. 37,851
Wed. Jul28 EDM25@TOR20 .. 43,002
Wed. Aug04 MTL10@TOR23 .. 44,920
Wed. Aug11 OTT27@TOR16 .. 50,212
Wed. Aug18 HAM11@TOR14 .. 49,724
Sun. Sep12 HAM22@TOR31 .. 48,250
Sat. Oct02 OTT20@TOR20 .. 47,685
Sun. Oct17 MTL10@TOR29 .. 49,650
Sat. Oct30 BC16@TOR25 .. 45,404

I personally started to lose interest in football with the constant roster changes.

Good luck to the Argos in re-discovering the magic.


July 14, 2016 @ 12:46 PM

Carlos

Regarding the summer Wednesday explanation, I've been to multiple TFC Wednesday night games throughout the years (MLS liked to schedule weekday games on Wednesday's for some reason, especially a few years ago) and attendance was always approximately 18,000 or more, even during the horrible 6th, 7th and 8th seasons. I remember going to a July Wednesday game a couple of seasons ago in the pouring rain and the attendance was still about 17,000.

Regarding the Indy explanation, every summer TFC has had to deal with this issue and attendance figures have still been strong.

The Argo's have a "lack of interest" problem here in the "6". Not a "stadium problem"... nor an "Indy problem"... and not a "Wednesday night problem". Let's focus on increasing interest in the Argo's in this otherwise sports crazy city... because sitting around making excuses will be at the Argo's peril.

July 14, 2016 @ 1:17 PM

Wayner

i got a 60" TV in my basement...Its HD, I'm up close and the beer is free. Unless someone is giving me free tickets why go?

July 14, 2016 @ 2:03 PM

Wally

I've asked this before on many different sites and I'll ask it again. Who here has ever seen anybody wear an Argos jersey outside of a game? I never have.

Many here have mentioned that Toronto sees the Argos as a minor league team and I absolutely agree with them. I challenge those who defend Argos to think back to the last time the Argos were popular (outside their Grey Cup win). It was a different era of our lives where we didn't have continuous access to the sports we wanted. If you wanted football, you'd watch the 1 or 2 televised NFL games and then your local CFL game. THAT'S IT. Now you have your pick of ANY NFL game you want.

We as people of Toronto are spoiled to have sports teams in all professional North American leagues (Leafs, Raptors, Jays, TFC) but the odd man out is the Argos. The CFL is no where close to the quality of the NFL. PERIOD. The CFL has a huge problem attracting a younger audience to their stadiums and I believe it's because the younger generation watch the NFL.

You want to sell out BMO field with football? Bring an NFL team to Toronto.

People citing construction are very misguided. TFC fans had to go through 2 years of renovations with construction always playing a factor to get to games. I was at the TFC game this past Saturday and the attendance was 27,934. In fact, TFC's last 2 weekday games vs Vancouver (Tues) and Montreal (Wed) were 20,011 and 22,143.

July 14, 2016 @ 2:28 PM

Neil Clarke Warren

What Toronto Mike fails to mention in his blerb.And I shall ask.
Including commute,food, day of week and weather.
If you were paying FULL price for all your tickets,would you still have attended??

July 14, 2016 @ 2:40 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Neil Clarke Warren

I thought that was inferred by the fact I wasn't at the game yesterday.

By the way, the Argos reached out to me for the home opener. I thought it was a great idea.

July 14, 2016 @ 2:57 PM

Daniel

I agree with @TheVoiceofReason

We see ourselves in Toronto as a major league city and we feel that supporting minor league teams is beneath us. Thats why nobody supports the argos or the marlies

I just always find it funny that we Torontonians are so stupid we think MLS is anything other than a minor soccer league.

For me personally, I hope the Argos do well. I'm not an argos fan because between Steelers, Irish, Jays, Leafs, Raptors, Arsenal, São Paulo FC I just don't have enough time to fit in another league or sport.

July 14, 2016 @ 4:11 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Daniel

Because we know the MLS is the best available league. It's the highest in the food chain as far as North American soccer goes.

July 14, 2016 @ 4:12 PM

Daniel

@Toronto Mike

But The Argos are the highest in the Toronto food chain as far as North American football goes. and still nobody goes.

July 14, 2016 @ 4:27 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Daniel

See, I don't believe Toronto sees the Argos as the highest in the food chain. I believe Toronto wants an NFL team and would support one in droves.

But not Buffalo's team, an actual Toronto-based team.

July 14, 2016 @ 4:30 PM

Tim

I don't understand why the CFL and TSN don't make Friday Nights and Saturday afternoons / evenings their key dates rather than be all over the map with games with inconsistent days of the week. This model would follow suit like the NFL.

Friday Night - 7:00 PM, 10:30 PM
Saturdays - 4:00 PM, 7:30 PM

8 teams play per week, 1 team on a bye.

I am sure TSN like the reach over the course of the week with having games on any day, but could they not package the inventory with back to back games as more attractive than a scattering of games all over the week? Toronto and BC would have to figure out balance of schedule with TFC and the WhiteCaps, but there are no other tenants now that dictate dates at the venues either.

Folks who love the game know when their team plays and become accustomed as to when the games are - like we are programmed for NFL. Making a mid-week games in the summer in downtown Toronto is awful for commuters.

July 14, 2016 @ 4:40 PM

Wally

@Tim

BMO Field not being the original home to the Argos means that they get 2nd fiddle in terms of scheduling. TFC gets top priority and CFL must accommodate around them. (Note: I agree with this setup. If in some alternate universe TFC moved to Argos home field it would be MLS scheduling around Argos, as it should)

Given the recent renos at BMO, TFC started on the road for 8 games which means their 2nd half is very home-heavy. Your proposal of scheduling games on Friday or Saturday will likely be more plausible next year when TFC won't have to wait 2 months to play their first home game.

July 14, 2016 @ 5:28 PM

CQ

Stopped at the Sears outlet store in the Woodbine Mall today. They had long sleeve shirts of most CFL teams - EXCEPT the Argos and Ti-Cats!
Of course.

July 14, 2016 @ 6:20 PM

Sid_V

Interview with the club president today in the Star - Argos seasons tickets are currently 7000 and climbing, but there are going to be nights like Wednesday while they build the season ticket base. With the current huge reliance on walk-up sales, attendance is going to be all over the map. Season ticket sales are growing as per the plan and attendance this week was not a surprise.

All that being said, I would encourage anyone with even a slight interest in football to reach their stubby little alligator arms deep into their dusty wallets and get some tickets for a game. BMO Field is a great CFL venue, and the Argos are putting on an entertaining show.

@CQ - sounds like the Argos and Ticats merch is selling out before it reaches the discount aisle. Great news for the teams!

July 15, 2016 @ 7:26 AM

Daniel

@Toronto Mike

It's a really interesting argument, I don't know if Torontonians will ultimately flock to a Toronto NFL team. I was sure 100% that the bills in Toronto would be hugely successful

But I think a lot of people are fans of their own teams already and ultimately won't support a Toronto team

Also I've heard tfc fans usually have a European team they follow on top of tfc. Why don't NFL fans do the same with the CFL?

July 15, 2016 @ 8:52 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Daniel

I have NFL fanatics in the family who just think the CFL is bush league.

July 15, 2016 @ 8:57 AM

Mark H

This season you may ultimately get a true view of what Toronto feels about the Argos. For years the excuse was that the Dome was impacting their ability to draw fans and build an atmosphere, and they're right. The Dome stinks for Football.

But now the Argos are in top end stadium that's got atmosphere to burn, they've worked on the pre-game aspect to allow some tailgating etc etc.

The excuses should stop.

This may be a one off and the attendance numbers may bounce back, but the excuses need to stop.

The stadium is right on a GO Line, 5 minutes from Downtown and near a Street Car if you don't want to take the GO.

The Stadium, much to the chagrin of us TFC Fans looks brilliant for Football. It's tight, good sight lines and LOUD.

At the end of the day, if Toronto won't support the Argos at BMO then the facts need to be faced that they will never support the team and ownership will always need to be chartiable if we want to keep a team in Canada's biggest city.

FWIW, I lived in Montreal when the Als were in the Big O. I went to a game one night that there might have been 2000 people in the 55k+ stadium. However, when they moved to Molson, which, unlike BMO is a bitch to get to and with no parking nearby, they routinely enjoy sell out crowds.

July 15, 2016 @ 9:26 AM

Wally

@Daniel and @Toronto Mike

I disagree then agree with Daniel. I think the reason the Bills series was not successful was because they are not Toronto's team. If Toronto gets an NFL team and it's through and through a Toronto team, I believe it would be supported.

I also believe that we in Canada take great pride in facing off against our American counterparts. An NFL team gives football fans in Toronto that opportunity.

July 15, 2016 @ 9:27 AM

Sid_V

NFL in Toronto is a pipe dream and anyone holding out for that is in for a long wait. The cost of a new team, with a 60,000 seat stadium, is over $1 BILLION, and it is impossible to justify that without heavy government subsidies on the stadium. Add in the risk around the Canadian dollar, only 8 home games a year to amortize a stadium over, and the lack of an NFL-style gameday experience due to resrictions on tailgating and public drunkenness, and it would be a fool's venture to bring the No Fun League here.

It was not that long ago that the Blue Jays were blocking off the upper deck of the dome - an NFL team and its crazy ticket prices might be supported as long as they were winning. A 4-12 team would quickly find itself playing in front of empty seats. (And the Leafs selling out every game is not a parallel to what a losing NFL team would experience, at least not after the novelty is worn off).

July 15, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

Winnipeg Drew

Part of the problem is that Torontonians judge entertainment, not on actual entertainment value (where it's hard to argue the CFL is not at least on par with NFL, you're only maybe a notch lower on skill but Canadian rules are better and make up for it), but on "bush league" vs "world class" status. The simple fact that it's invoked several times in this thread is evidence of how deep this problem runs,. Very pretentious. This is, after all, the city that lets loose by wearing a conservatively patterned tie to Leafs games, instead of a solid black one.

NFL team? It's not a football city. Places with great NFL teams and support also support the lower tiers - regional, college, and even high school leagues with loud, crowded audiences. U of T should sell out every Varsity Blues game they can muster, instead of the bleachers are pretty much friends and family only. The Regina Rams outdraw the Blues by a wide margin, and that city's tiny by comparison, Merely being what would inevitably end up a mediocre team in a high level league is not enough, you'll get a bandwagon if they win but recruiting talent actually interested in playing in Toronto will be tough and that will be rare. The NFL brass knows this.

Other cities, those whose residents don't overly concern themselves with snobbery or the embarrassment of being seen at a "bush league" game, simply sit back and have fun.

July 15, 2016 @ 10:56 AM

Rob

I have to agree with the simple argument that Toronto is just not a football city.

It resonates with certain pockets of the GTA, in traditional areas where high school football teams have existed for 40 plus years but not anywhere else. There are passionate football fans in Toronto, but they have their NFL team that they have been supporting for many years but these same people are not enthralled in any kind of football culture in the city, they just follow their team and the NFL because, well its the NFL, or they love to gamble and play fantasy sports.

I live in York Region and I can tell you that there is not a soccer field vacant in all the region between the hours of 7pm-11pm and gyms and outdoor courts are filled with kids playing basketball. Not only kids but thousands of adults participating in recreational soccer, basketball, hockey and I don't think the same can be said for "touch/flag football". These same people go to TFC and Raptors games, watch European soccer and basketball. There is a tangible soccer and basketball culture that is growing rapidly in this city, catching up with hockey (which is prevalent and will never die). There are many people who think of TFC as "bush league" and don't go but a consistent 27,000 plus who love the game and go watch TFC because they appreciate Giovinco, Bradley and just love the beautiful game. All these things create a culture and unlike our neighbours to the south, the football culture in this city is negligible and that is the root cause of 12,000 (which is totally inflated) showing up to a Wednesday night Argos game.

If these football lovers, "loved" football they would happily spend a sunny night at BMO taking in an Argos game but by my observation is they are just fans of the machine that is the NFL, not the game. But I always say, take the gambling and fantasy away from football and it becomes just irrelevant here in Toronto.


July 15, 2016 @ 11:30 AM

DZ

It was buried in Simmons' column about Grey Cup ticket prices, but it's certainly significant: Wednesday's game, despite the disappointing attendance, was the third-highest revenue Argos game in the last six years (which covers a 2012 Grey Cup season). So, it was a substantial net gain. The optics were awful, and I was more embarrassed by the excuses than the attendance itself. (Uh, Duran Duran hasn't had a true hit since 1993; if they took away the demographic the Argos are coveting, they're coveting the wrong one.)

But the fact that the Grey Cup prices are what they are means the CFL must be fairly confident that corporations are going to start buying in after years of neglecting the Argos. TV ratings are up over last season, and the fact that we haven't reached the post-Labor Day period where interest rises has to be encouraging. No doubt, there's still work to do ... I read this morning that the Argos don't sell programs at their games. WHAT!? Paging Casey Stengel; can anyone here play this game?

Sid's comments, both on the Argo's current state and the NFL aspirations of Toronto, are prescient. And I'm sorry, folks: If you're going to say that Wednesday was a disaster for the Argos "and there's no way to spin it," then you must say the same about the Bills in Toronto series.

July 15, 2016 @ 11:32 AM

TorontoFan

So I'm a big Jays fan but I also support Toronto sports teams in general. This year I've been to the Jays home opener (in addition to other games), TFC Home Opener and Argos Home Opener at BMO Field. I noticed that in the beginning there were lots of loud raucous fans at BMO for the Argos Home Opener but by half-time the stadium was almost half-empty and yes this includes well into the 3rd quarter when fans should have been back at their seats. I think the whole "bush league" vs. "major league" is definitely a thing in Toronto and I find it interesting considering that people tend to take MLS more seriously. I for one respect the Argos tradition and think it's unfortunate they drew so poorly in their second game at BMO Field. It's a great football facility (must better than the SkyDome) and I think it has a lot of potential. It's sad that the Leafs continue to sell out every game at prices averaging over $100/ticket for such an awful team yet for the Argos they're a complete after-thought. This is another reason why I hate hockey, it's for this elitist reason and why the CFL is the little guy that I think is worth supporting.

July 15, 2016 @ 11:35 AM

Barry

Honestly, I think people work too hard on the "Toronto sees itself as big league" theory to try to explain why the Argos haven't worked in Toronto on a regular basis in over thirty years.

The thing is, pretty much every other sport has worked. Hockey has always worked. Basketball has worked. Baseball has worked. Soccer has worked. Lacrosse has worked.

The only thing that hasn't worked is the Argos.

So ... maybe we need to stop making excuses. Maybe it has nothing to do with big league / little league. Maybe Toronto just doesn't like football. There's nothing wrong with that.

July 15, 2016 @ 11:40 AM

Wally

@Winnipeg Drew

Ah, I love non-Torontonians perception of the typical Toronto sports fan. We are all high-powered businessmen wearing suits to Leafs games.

One point I do agree with is "It's not a football city". In high school I find it rare for football to be at the forefront. It's always been a mix of the other sports. Some high schools don't even have a football program yet a majority have volleyball, soccer, track and field, etc.

"...but Canadian rules are better and make up for it". Outside of actual CFL fans, I'd wager a zillion dollars that the everyday person has no clue about rule differences. Rule differences are not sexy enough to advertise to non-CFL fans.

" Places with great NFL teams and support also support the lower tiers - regional, college, and even high school leagues with loud, crowded audiences." I agree with this but this isn't a Toronto problem this is a Canada problem. For the most part Canadians don't have such an emotional connection to their college/university, especially compared to the states. But I would argue that when it comes to hockey, Canada does support the lower tiers and now we're seeing support for the lower tiers of basketball (Raptors 905, CIS Basketball).

"Other cities, those whose residents don't overly concern themselves with snobbery or the embarrassment of being seen at a "bush league" game, simply sit back and have fun." Guess this is why TFC is consistently selling 20k+ tickets to excited fans and playing in the inferior MLS compared to the EPL or any other European league.

If the Argos go under, they should be moved to Halifax. The east coast has a grand total of 0 professional teams. Putting even a "bush league" team there will be supported tremendously.

July 15, 2016 @ 11:44 AM

Barry

@ Wally

In fairness, it seem clear from his post that he's either never actually been to Toronto, or is just trolling.

Either way, you just took some bait. (A very good response, though.)

July 15, 2016 @ 11:54 AM

Wally

@Barry

Yea I knew he was a troll from the get-go. But if never hurts to actually prove them wrong with a legit argument.

Also agree 100% with your post. Toronto has never struck me as a football city, at least in my lifetime. I often hear references to the history of the Argos and them being "the oldest professional team in North America" but all of that is just excuses.

July 15, 2016 @ 12:01 PM

TorontoFan

I don't think grassroots is the problem. It's not like there's a big grassroots baseball presence in Toronto, yet the Jays are Number 1 in the A.L. in attendance so far this year. If the Argos are successful on the field that doesn't do anything as evidenced by their Grey Cup victory in 2012 resulting in an actual attendance DECREASE in 2013. I've been born and raised in Toronto my whole life and what I've seen and heard is that CFL is really seen as "bush league" like it or not. That's the systematic problem and I don't think that's likely going to change. It's a pity because the product on the field, although of lower quality compared to the NFL is still quite entertaining.

July 15, 2016 @ 12:04 PM

Barry

@ TorontoFan

I actually think there was a bigger grassroots baseball presence than people realize. As a baseball fan, I have a certain bias, but people have talked about the Jays being a sleeping giant. Though attendance dipped during the lean years, the TV numbers were always good and for about six or seven years were showing a shift in demographics to a new generation -- so it wasn't just hangers-on from the glory days. There's also been a massive online presence of Jays fans since the early 2000s -- one of the most active fanbases around. And when Pitch Talks was started (it was originally a Toronto thing) several years ago, it was an instant and huge success.

Earlier, someone asked how many Argos caps you see people wearing. (Few, if any.) That's a good indicator of a team's popularity. But we've always seen a lot of people wearing Jays caps -- they were everywhere. And until the new logo came in, caps were hideous, so they weren't being worn for fashion -- those were Jays fans.

In the end, it took relatively scant success (a late-season surge) to bring out the huge crowds. People who were aware of the ticking bomb that had been beneath the city's surface for years (I was among them) weren't surprised to see the explosion. I could see it coming, and kept on saying that if we had one good playoff run, you'd see the RC filled. The sleeping giant was a light sleeper.

July 15, 2016 @ 12:33 PM

TorontoFan

@Barry

All very good points actually. I started watching the Jays myself as a 10 year old kid in 1992 right at their height and continued until around 2003 then stopped watching them entirely due to their medicore performance but resumed at 2010 with Bautista and company piqueing my interest. But yes I think the "Sleeping Giant" theory was definitely true because it's a real thing now. I've been a flex pack holder for the last 4 years and actually aiming to be a season ticket holder for next season for the first time.

July 15, 2016 @ 12:42 PM

Tron

Sometimes a company fails and it's not their fault, most of the time it is, the Argos fall into the latter. For decades the Argos were lazy, short sighted, leeching, unimaginative, and unwilling to look at reality of the situation and just make excues about everything. Putting all the blame on Skydome and think that just changing venues is all they need to do is exactly where the problem is. Pushing to go to BMO was another short-sightest easy way out that plaged the Arogs for a long time. As for "Toronto fans fault" I think every successful company will say that once you start blaming the population/customers for the lack of success of your company you are already beyond help.

They left the Ex becaue the weather is too bad near the lake, they go to the Dome and want to leave the Dome because it doesn't feel like football, now go to BMO and in the second game already some are using the excuse it too humid? The other excuses don't messure up either, Duran Duran? traffic? weekday. There only 9 regular season home games, average out once every two weeks, if you can't plan a day out to watch it with so few games to commit too. That's a problem. Now Argo Prez is saying it going to be inconsistant in the first few years? Anybody who follows sports know there's always an attendance bump when you move to a new venue in the first year or so. If you selling on half your tickets with still the curiosity of a new stadium what will happen when the stadium isn't a selling point anymore|

The Agros going to BMO just shows the short sighted, lazy, bandaid solution they always do. If they really were intersted in growing football they would have partenered with one of the local Universities like Montreal did with McGill. They would have helped give back to youth football & partner with a univeristy program who can cross promote, hopefully would give it a bit of a buzz on unversity campus. Build a football culture from there who can hopfully follow the CFL and Argos even after they leave the university. The Argos need to skew younger, this would have given them a stadium that they can claim and build football in a more grassroots/univeristy level. Instead the Argos leeched off the soccer stadium, and instead of thinking forward and long term. They are just Malibu Stacy with a new hat.

Last year I had a 2 for 1 voucher to go see the Argos, I literally couldn't find anybody willing to split the coast of a single ticket so we can both go. I know a lot of sports fans who would go to anything, Leafs, Raptors, TFC, Jays, even freakin Marlies, Rock and I know some who even like going to Christie Pitts to see the baseball Leafs. Never had anybody interested in going to the Argos, The problem is so much more than a stadium and waving the flag and guilt tripping potential buyers isn't goint to do the trick.

July 15, 2016 @ 1:13 PM

Wally

@TorontoFan

I totally agree. I think Argos management overestimated the popularity of their team with the move to BMO. Moving to a stadium such as Varsity creates not only a packed stadium, but also drives up demand when people are unable to get tickets because they are sold out. Last year before the Jays went on their epic run, you could walk up on game day to the ticket booth and find reasonable tickets. Then after they started winning, those tickets became rare, and demand went up, and prices went up.

@Tron

I find it particularly interesting that as part of the Argos advertisement campaign they mention specifically Liberty Village as a source for new fans. This is in attempt to cater to a younger audience and try to establish a base for the future.

What they fail to realize is that those fans in Liberty Village have already been advertised to by TFC over 10 years ago. Most of those individuals were against the move by the Argos for one reason or another. If that truly is where they are aiming their advertising towards, they will have a tough time convincing new fans to go to games.

July 15, 2016 @ 2:33 PM

TorontoFan

@ Wally

I think those fans that were supposedly against the move to BMO Field was because of the unfounded fear that the Argos would ruin their field which has proven not the case. That being the case, I think those individuals around Liberty Village will now simply ignore the Argos and continue to act like they don't exist. I'll tell you this, I wouldn't mind going to another Argos game (I went to the Home Opener) but I'd be hard pressed to find anyone willing to go with me. I went with 2 people for the Home Opener because they were intrigued with the new home (as was I) but it seems like that's about it now.

July 15, 2016 @ 2:42 PM

Sid_V

@Tron, the Argos are not making excuses or guilt tripping anyone. They are trying to improve their product, starting with a better stadium and building from there read the interviews with the management team - they know this will be a slow process to bring fans back literally one ticket at a time.

They are in this for the long haul. It is way to early to be waving the white flag the way the naysayers seem to be doing.

July 16, 2016 @ 1:50 AM

Bruro

The Molson Indy setup, the heat, the Wednesday night time, all are excuses. Guaranteed TFC wouldn't have had that problem if they had that time slot Wednesday night. I was at the game and was shocked by the turnout. After Wednesday I firmly believe it's only a couple of years and Toronto will finally say goodbye to the oldest professional sports team in NA. MLSE promised a lot more buzz that would go into marketing with the team but all we've heard about is the gimmicky toned down Canadian version of a tailgate party. They have to do a lot more than that. MLSE will probably try and off load this franchise in 2-3 years and there will be no buyers.

July 16, 2016 @ 8:51 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Bruro

Just to clarify, MLSE does not own the Argos. Bell and Larry Tanenbaum own the Argos.

Rogers had no interest in owning the team, likely because TSN has the broadcast rights.

July 16, 2016 @ 9:07 AM

Wally

Saw this tweet re: Argos game.

Tweet link

While I do agree with @Bruno that if things don't turn around quickly, the best business practice would be the off-load the Argos. But that tweet gives me the impression that Bell/TSN will do everything in their power to prevent that. TSN has the exclusive rights to broadcast CFL (as mentioned by @Toronto Mike) and they will not want to lose a team in the biggest sporting market in the country. Even if that's likely the best option for the league.

@Sid_V
"...they know this will be a slow process to bring fans back literally one ticket at a time.".

Their mistake has been that they overestimate the Argos current popularity. Take TFC for example, BMO field was initially a 20k seat stadium. Despite the teams futility they managed to sell nearly all their tickets every year and thus the expansion was warranted to 30k. Argos needed to start small, at Varsity stadium for example, and grow from there. If TFC started at the dome, they wouldn't exist today.

July 16, 2016 @ 12:19 PM

Anonymous

Apologies. Link is here:

Link

July 16, 2016 @ 12:21 PM

Lou

@ Wayner

To get off your couch & out of the house u Sloth!

July 16, 2016 @ 3:18 PM

Bill G

The CFL and the Argos in Toronto would be (if it isn't already) an interesting case study.

On paper it should be an easy win: There is a huge pool of self-proclaimed football fans in Toronto and huge pool of people who passionately support Toronto-based sports teams. Yet the Venn diagram of these groups intersecting just leaves a tiny sliver of CFL / Argo supporters. (I get that the CFL-NFL rules are different, but are rugby union and rugby league fans boycotting Rio because its Rugby 7s?)

The CFL has become largely irrelevant in this market. The football fans are NFL fans - akin to how the hockey fans are Leafs fans (how much buzz was there in the city about the NHL playoffs this year? I spotted very little).

Toronto doesn't have an English Premier League team but TFC gets support. So I think the "inferior league" argument doesn't hold much water. There are - what - 100+ Division I NCAA schools feeding into 30 NFL teams and 9 CFL teams ... pretty clear that talented athletes are playing up in the CFL.

To paraphrase Yogi Berra - if people don't want to watch the CFL/Argos it's hard to stop them. Disappointing, because the CFL is an entertaining brand of football.

P.S. I was at the game on July 13 ... programs were available of sale and I bought one for $3. Couldn't find the 50/50 ticket draw sellers, though.

P.P.S Some twitter commentary has reported that the poor attendance was actually the third best Argos gate (when measured in $$$) in the last three years. So the new owners are not papering the stadium.

P.P.P.S I will likely try to make it to future Argos games this year.

July 17, 2016 @ 1:08 AM

Collingwood Dave

I have been Argos fan since the 70's. My Dad had seasons tickets and took me to every game at exhibtion stadium. I can't understand why the Western teams like Sask. Winnipeg, Edmonton sell out, and the Argos can't draw flys. The CFL is much more exiting game to watch but Toronto people are spoiled with American football and think NFL is coming. News flash it is not.Oh Wednesday games don't help, how about a Saturday or Sunday. I live in Collingwood and I am taking the 2 hour trip to BMO field on the 23rd and that is a Monday, WTF.BMO is the only venue with grass turf in the league and it looks awsome on TV. Come on Toronto and get out there and support your football team.. Rant over....

July 17, 2016 @ 11:54 AM

Wally

@Collingwood Dave

"The CFL is much more exiting game to watch...". According to who exactly? If it's football fans then that can be understandable but to non-CFL fans (who the Argos should be targeting) it's just football and I'd wager a good amount of money that football doesn't resonate with them.

July 17, 2016 @ 5:06 PM

Tron

Wally says " But that tweet gives me the impression that Bell/TSN will do everything in their power to prevent that. TSN has the exclusive rights to broadcast CFL (as mentioned by @Toronto Mike) and they will not want to lose a team in the biggest sporting market in the country. Even if that's likely the best option for the league."

No doubt TSN/Bell is going to pull every string for the Argos to have the best chance to succeed. The CFL already has a reputation of "odd" player movement when we see "trades" of star players to struggling franchises especially in bigger markets. It does make you wonder if special treating like that, or giving Grey Cups to certain cities while ignoring others can actually sour other cities that do support the league.

I tried CFL, I just personally couldn't get into it. First and mostly a league with 75% of the teams make the playoffs I find very difficult to spend time following it. I also don't really like the rules like man in motion and the odd clock rules.

July 18, 2016 @ 3:12 PM

chuck99

There are two major reasons for the poor attendance. The more expensive seats cost $200 which is way too expensive for a CFL game. Also, Toronto is simply not a football town. Attendance at the Buffalo Bills regular season games was lackluster. I do not think you will ever see an NFL franchise come to the city. It would cost in excess of one billion dollars for the team and new stadium and would be a very risky venture considering how few people attend Argos and Bills games. If Toronto was truly a football town, the Bills games would have sold out and the Argos would be getting crowds in excess of 25000 per game.

July 18, 2016 @ 3:57 PM

Bill

Reality is, the Argos and the CFL are viewed as minor league and just not cool. There's just too much competition for the sports dollar in Toronto, especially in the city, and the Argos just can't compete. Argos fans tend to be older 905ers, the franchise would be much better off outside the city in a suburb like Vaughan.

July 18, 2016 @ 5:26 PM

LosDrahos

Every time I read that the CFL is "Minor league", I take it personal.
The comment is referring that anyone who follows the CFL enjoys "Minor" League and is insulting my 35 years of football knowledge.
I agree with BILL G; "100+ Division I NCAA schools feeding into 30 NFL teams and 9 CFL teams ... pretty clear that talented athletes are playing up in the CFL." How could you not?
I believe it's just a case of : "if they are not been paid Millions then how could it be any good"? Money doesn't make you any good or better. It just makes you richer.....and more arrogant. That's it.
Or "i can't get into it because of the rules". Are you kidding me?? Fair catch. Nuff said.
Or the mentality "if it ain't American". Hillary and Trump. Need I say more?
I am a fan of both leagues because I love football. I do not care what league is better because I respect the athletes and the talent it takes to play the game in either league.
Even though the MLS is 16th +- in Soccer rankings I will never insult the league. I have far to much respect for it's players, the fans and all the good it brings to the communities.
This is a conversation that shouldn't even be happening.
Go Argos!! Long live Football.

July 20, 2016 @ 2:41 PM

Judy Szyszka

I feel so embarrassed for The Toronto Argo's Team. The population of this beautiful metropolitan city
could and should sell out every game. The C.F.L. needs the Southern Ontario market to survive, and there is NO better football than the Canadian Football game. I am a Hamilton Tiger Cat fan through and through, but I want the Argonauts to survive and the fans to always be there. Look what the Ti-Cat players had to endure while waiting for Tim Horton's Field to be constructed. Fans had to travel to Guelph,ON to see their team play, and they went in droves. If you've never been to a game buy a ticket, take your children or a family member. Going to a C.F.L. game is very reasonably priced and very entertaining! Please support your team

July 21, 2016 @ 4:05 PM

Barry

I think people are making a mistake if they think the issue is that the Argos are not NFL.

It's really not about CFL/NFL at all. There just isn't a huge football fan base in Toronto to begin with.

It's not that the Argos are competing with the NFL. The Argos aren't competing against "other football teams," they're competing against other sports teams. So, their competition for sports dollars comes from three major sports that overlap the football season: baseball, basketball, and hockey. And even basketball has struggled a bit for TV ratings.

Toronto FC has succeeded because there are actually a lot of soccer fans in Toronto, and in fact, a lot of those fans are disinterested in the other sports. They're soccer-first. There just aren't all that many football-first people.

That's what the CFL is up against in Toronto: the NHL, the NBA, and MLB. Those are some big beasts to tame if you're the Argos. Saying "CFL is great football" doesn't do much for people who aren't football fans to begin with and can find a great hockey league, a great baseball league, and a great basketball league, and all in conveniently located venues.

July 21, 2016 @ 5:04 PM

Weel

I disagree that Toronto isn't a football city. Thousands go to Buffalo every weekend and the ratings for NFL football in the GTA are strong. If the Toronto Whatchamacallits started in the NFL this year, the Rogers Centre would be filled 50K+ strong, the same way the Raptors, Leafs and Jays are supported.

In Toronto, the CFL is seen as a minor league team, in a minor league league. It's a niche product with 10K hardcore supporters, but beyond those people, the rest of the city just doesn't care enough, especially with so many other sport/entertainment options.

People always point to the ratings of the CFL. It's true the CFL has strong ratings in Canada, but that doesn't translate to the GTA nearly as much. The ratings in the local GTA market for the Argos are TFC-like. These big numbers the CFL are posting are due to strong national support, not GTA support.

People have to realize that the Argos are a niche team that should be playing along the 407 in a stadium of about 15-20K. These grand delusions that they'd return to their glory years of the 70's and 80's are just that, grand delusions. Times have changed. Toronto has changed. There just isn't a big market for this team and there never will be.


July 26, 2016 @ 8:24 AM

Sid_V

Lots of people missed out on an entertaining Argos win last night while they sat at home waiting for the NFL to come. Attendance bumped up, which is good news, and the fans that made it down looked like they had a blast. (I saw a photo of Dave Naylor and Steve Simmons enjoying themselves in the stands.) Some very positive TV numbers were released yesterday to - CFL viewership is up significantly over last year, including an increase of almost 50% in the 25-34 demographic. Seems a lot of people are postponing those trips to Brampton Walmart to watch the games.

July 26, 2016 @ 9:53 AM

RYAN

Toronto will lose argos plus found out nfl knows about attendance struggles and starting to see Toronto as a weak gridiron market so definitely hope argos move to Halifax and nfl wouldn't dare put a team in Toronto.

July 26, 2016 @ 10:34 AM

Wally

When people think having 16,000 at a 30,000 seat stadium for a Monday game is a "good attendance number", you're going to have a bad time.

The Raptors can have a Tuesday night game against the Milwaukee Bucks in a stadium that holds just shy of 20,000 and they will still outdraw the Argos.

@Sid_V
"I saw a photo of Dave Naylor and Steve Simmons enjoying themselves in the stands"

TSN will be out in full force trying to bring up the numbers. Not surprising when the company owns part of the team and has exclusive broadcasting rights. You think that radio station will have a serious discussion about the Argos attendance problems? Never.

July 26, 2016 @ 1:14 PM

Barry

For reference, the average attendance at a CFL game this year is 25,202, so yes, it looks like the Argos have some work to do.

One thing I find unfortunate is that many seem to feel that if someone doesn't attend Argos games then it is a character flaw -- as if it's the fault of individuals that the team and the sport doesn't appeal to them.

Different markets have different appeals. Every other professional sports team in Toronto has managed to find an audience, and that includes "minor leagues" like MLS and lacrosse.

It's not the job of an audience to find a team/sport to support. It's the job of the team/sport to find an audience. If the audience is there and they can't find it, that's their fault. If the audience is not there, they've got trouble. But you can't make people be your audience if they don't want to be, and you can't fault them for not having the interests you want them to have.

July 26, 2016 @ 1:49 PM

Sid_V

@Barry, you make a good point. It is up to the team to provide a compelling product that will bring in the fans. On the flip side to that, however, it is just as unfortunate when non-fans root for a team to fail, and do everything they can to run down a team because they don'the happen to support them. There are way too many people who invest a great deal of time and effort rooting for the Argos to fail. There are a lot of sports and entertainment options I have no interest in, but for the life of me wouldn'the run down in public or try to keep others from enjoying them.

A quick point on CFL success - if a CFL team can average 20k in paid attendance, they will make money and be viable. It doesn'the matter if this is more, or less, than the Raptors might draw on a Tuesday night. (And I remember when MLSE was forcing season seat holders to buy Raptors tickets with their Leafs tickets in order to get basketball attendance over 10k; what goes around comes around in professional sports.)

July 26, 2016 @ 3:07 PM

Sid_V

Actively rooting for a local sports franchise to fail seems to be a uniquely Toronto thing. I don't get it.

July 26, 2016 @ 3:09 PM

Barry

@ Sid_V

Rooting for a team to fail is just mean-spirited and pointless. I'm not sure why people do it. What's the motivation, other than wanting to see others deprived of something they enjoy? I really can't understand that mindset.

I mean, I'm skeptical about whether the Argos can succeed in Toronto, but I'm skeptical of whether football can succeed at all. And I don't actually want football to fail here -- I would love to be wrong. I sure don't root for my opinion to be right on something like that.

July 26, 2016 @ 4:05 PM

Robert Bruce

Was at last night's game against the Alouettes. While a little better than the debacle against Ottawa, there were still rows and rows of empty seats. In a 25,000 seat facility and in a 5 million metropolitan market, that's pathetic. Blue Jays just down the road had 40k for a middle of week match against a no name team. Can't blame a weekday match or the summer heat on this. People in the 416 couldn't give a rip about 3 down football.

The game itself was boring as hell and this is part of the CFLs problem. Why, why on earth do they insist on being different from the NFL for the sake of being different. Biggest beef is the 3 minute warning and the stoppage of the clock on every single play after that. From 3 minutes to zero in each half takes an eternity. Last night's game was well in excess of 3 hours and I swear an hour of that was the last 3 minutes of each half.

July 26, 2016 @ 7:38 PM

Wally

I do agree that rooting for a team to fail is in poor taste. I do not agree that this is a Toronto-only thing.

Exhibit 1: Arizona Coyotes. Everyone in Canada would love that franchise to fail so it can be moved to a hockey market.

The same argument can be made for the Argos. I don't think people want the entire sport of football or the CFL to die. They want to see the sport being played in markets that support their local team. In a city with a population of ~3 million, there just seems to be no appetite for the game.

July 26, 2016 @ 7:55 PM

Sid_V

@Robert Bruce, with the 2-minute warning and three-per-team time outs, the last couple minutes of an NFL game drag on much longer than in the CFL. Both leagues have work to do in improving the flow of the game (time to conduct reviews and challenges are a serious problem). But neither holds a candle to the glacial pace of an NBA game during the last minute or so.

July 26, 2016 @ 8:06 PM

Joe mathieson

CFL football is just not very good anymore. I was an Argo subscriber from 1977 to early 90's. We were treated very poorly by the team and requests to improve seats were ignored. I gave up my club level seats after being told I could not improve my 30 yard line seats. Talked to a buddy who gave up his seats two years previously and he was offered front row 50 yard line seats at same time I was lied to. I watch NFL also and 10 years ago bought Bills season tickets. As fans we are treated extremely well, there is a program to upgrade your seats, and ticket prices are great unlike the gouge for Bills tickets in Toronto. About 20% of Bills ticket holders are Canadian and real tailgating is fantastic. The drunks are always the ones gamers. I was at the Montreal game this week and it was poor entertainment with obviously piped in sound. A Toronto NFL team would be a monster hit but I would stick with my Bills.

July 26, 2016 @ 8:40 PM

Red

The only thing keeping the CFL afloat is a couple strong Western teams and good TV ratings. There are issues in all of the big markets - Van, Mon, Tor. If you can't even get 20K to games only 9 times a year, you have a big problem. If Bell or Rogers ever decide that the CFL isn't an attract TV product anymore, the league would be dead.

July 27, 2016 @ 11:42 AM

Jason

People are wishing the CFL to fail? Just watch TSN for a bit. They promote the league as if everything is perfect and it's the greatest thing ever.

It's crazy to say to blame public for not supporting the team. The Argos have lived off the public tit and their tradition for years and have given the public no incentive at all to give a shit.

July 27, 2016 @ 11:46 AM

Sid_V

Rogers has done all it can to get rid of the Argos, including sabotaging their schedule. They are seen to be an obstacle to The Great NFL Dream in Toronto. That is why moving out of the Rogers 'Dome was so important to the Argos' survival.

Bell needs the CFL to provide content to their five TSN channels. There are only so many Cross fit Games and darts championships you can show. (Sportsnet has the same problem with content - outside of the Jays, they need to come up with something better than seven days a week of Nick Kypreos and old poker tourneys if they are going to make money).

In light of that, the 2016 CFL ratings are good so far and holding their own against the Jays juggernaut. The Argos will have a couple years at least to rebuild their fan base at BMO after being eviscerated by absentee ownership and a hostile landlord; this year's Grey Cup guarantees a profit for the team , and part owner Bell can quietly leverage their CFL-on-TSN TV profits (similar to what went on with the Jays until last year when their September run revitalized the fan base.)

Summing it all up, the soccer-uber-alles naysayers, NFL fanbois, and others who are wishing for the Argos to go away, will have to wait a whIle. This isn't going to play out based in one or two disappointing attendance numbers.

https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/eh-game/the-great-canadian-ratings-report--cfl-continues-to-bounce-back-as-audiences-rise-10-per-cent-201845861.html

July 27, 2016 @ 1:40 PM

Bobby da brain

This ain't going to end well

August 21, 2016 @ 7:40 PM

Bobby da brain

Some observations from me
As a 47 year old I can give you my 37 years of football viewing.
- I used to go to to Argo games in 1981(55K in attendance) at exhibition stadium
-loved the CFL
- we could not afford cable up until 1981
-once I got cable and started watching NFL I WAS HOOKED!
-I saw the CFL for what it was....second rate. That's just my opinion
If you want a guy like me to go to Argos games I am all in. Providing you go to NFL rules. It's just a far more strategically interesting game. The CFL can't keep my attention with run, pass, then punt. Three downs just doesn't work for me.
I can accept that a revamped 4 down CFL won't be NFL quality, but, I would pay to see this. Please no more 3 down game.
BRONCOS FAN SINCE 1986 and happy to have celebrated 3 Super Bowl Wins!

August 21, 2016 @ 7:50 PM

uncle roberto

I had argos season tix for a couple of years.
but found I had trouble getting people to come to games with me.

This is back around 2005.

A co-worker kind of ruined the CFL for me. He pointed out how CFL teams clamor for cut NFL practice squad players. So the 5 or 6th best WR on any NFL team might be the #2 receiver on a CFL team.
Then when you compare price. I can't get a good ticket at BMO for less than $50

I can drive 90mins to Buffalo or 3+ hours to Detroit or 4.5 hours to Pittsburgh and see the best of the best for a similar ticket price. and an infinitely better experience.

The Argos should move to York U or Vaughn. Their fan base is a more mature group that likes to drive to events, move out to the 'burbs.

August 27, 2016 @ 2:28 PM

Woody

Hi folks, I'm a long time CFL fan ( my wife says watching me take in a game is like seeing wildlife in their natural habitat ). As a Roughrider fan for 48 years, I've seen the ups and downs of my team and my league. I've been exiled to Winnipeg for a few decades and have been a Bomber season ticket holder and still go to a couple of games a year. We've all heard talk about CFL vs NFL, ticket prices, anonymous players, stadiums, and of course - TORONTO.
The bottom line is: If you enjoy watching football, Buy a ticket or watch on TV. If you can't get to a game, send someone else. I have partnered with the charity, " Kids Up Front Toronto " and bought 4 season tickets which they give out game by game to Toronto area kids.

August 29, 2016 @ 3:39 PM

LosDrahos

@WEEL
Times will change again.
The Raptors and Jays had poor support just 3 years ago.
Times always change.

September 19, 2016 @ 5:30 PM

Sid_V

The only constant is the Conspiracy. Just ask Kassia from Toronto.

September 20, 2016 @ 7:13 AM

david

The Argos problem began with the arrival of the Toronto Blue Jays in April 1977--before that the sports scene in Toronto was the Leafs from October to May and the Argos from late June to late October--in other words there was no other competition--In addition the Argos used to be "loveable losers" up until 1983 when they finally won the Grey Cup (Condredge Holloway QB/Joe Barnes etc)--after winning the Grey Cup the novelty of watching them wasn't there anymore either. Nobody in the GTA cares about the Argos (little alone the CFL)--there is no doubt that Tennebaum/MLSE wants to bring the NFL to Toronto (along with Alan Slaight (former owner of the Raptors and at least 2 other groups))

October 10, 2016 @ 5:03 PM

Tim Byers

I have been a CF.L.fan for 50 years. So many comments have merit and many others do not. Back in the 50's and 60's college players would come North to the C.F.L. as they were paid more money here! Remember when Skalbania tried to buy a win with the high priced players from the N.F.L.? David [I run better without the ball] Overstreet, Billy white shoes Johnson, and the biggest bust of them all Vince Ferragamo. Some Toronto fans,most? still think you live in the centre of the universe down there. All franchises go through bad times, I'm a season ticket holder in Winnipeg. So go the Leafs no Stanley cup since 67 and support is still there in droves is amazing. Blue Jays are winning you have many fans go. Not winning few fans. The ultimate band wagon jumpers of all. N.F. L. franchise? Never say never. The Jets came back to Winnipeg and are sold out all the time as well. With only 15400 seats. Support your team like the one fan who donates his tickets to youth in the city. Our getting to the new stadium is not a treat either. The big winner was the U.of M. Bisons. I will take the C.F.L. over N.F.L. anytime. It is more hype than anything else. I am a Vikings and Patriot fan but Big Blue through and through.

October 29, 2016 @ 7:09 PM

Tim Byers

I have been a CF.L.fan for 50 years. So many comments have merit and many others do not. Back in the 50's and 60's college players would come North to the C.F.L. as they were paid more money here! Remember when Skalbania tried to buy a win with the high priced players from the N.F.L.? David [I run better without the ball] Overstreet, Billy white shoes Johnson, and the biggest bust of them all Vince Ferragamo. Some Toronto fans,most? still think you live in the centre of the universe down there. All franchises go through bad times, I'm a season ticket holder in Winnipeg. So go the Leafs no Stanley cup since 67 and support is still there in droves is amazing. Blue Jays are winning you have many fans go. Not winning few fans. The ultimate band wagon jumpers of all. N.F. L. franchise? Never say never. The Jets came back to Winnipeg and are sold out all the time as well. With only 15400 seats. Support your team like the one fan who donates his tickets to youth in the city. Our getting to the new stadium is not a treat either. The big winner was the U.of M. Bisons. I will take the C.F.L. over N.F.L. anytime. It is more hype than anything else. I am a Vikings and Patriot fan but Big Blue through and through.

October 29, 2016 @ 7:09 PM

Tim Byers

I have been a CF.L.fan for 50 years. So many comments have merit and many others do not. Back in the 50's and 60's college players would come North to the C.F.L. as they were paid more money here! Remember when Skalbania tried to buy a win with the high priced players from the N.F.L.? David [I run better without the ball] Overstreet, Billy white shoes Johnson, and the biggest bust of them all Vince Ferragamo. Some Toronto fans,most? still think you live in the centre of the universe down there. All franchises go through bad times, I'm a season ticket holder in Winnipeg. So go the Leafs no Stanley cup since 67 and support is still there in droves is amazing. Blue Jays are winning you have many fans go. Not winning few fans. The ultimate band wagon jumpers of all. N.F. L. franchise? Never say never. The Jets came back to Winnipeg and are sold out all the time as well. With only 15400 seats. Support your team like the one fan who donates his tickets to youth in the city. Our getting to the new stadium is not a treat either. The big winner was the U.of M. Bisons. I will take the C.F.L. over N.F.L. anytime. It is more hype than anything else. I am a Vikings and Patriot fan but Big Blue through and through.

October 29, 2016 @ 7:09 PM

Tim Byers

I have been a CF.L.fan for 50 years. So many comments have merit and many others do not. Back in the 50's and 60's college players would come North to the C.F.L. as they were paid more money here! Remember when Skalbania tried to buy a win with the high priced players from the N.F.L.? David [I run better without the ball] Overstreet, Billy white shoes Johnson, and the biggest bust of them all Vince Ferragamo. Some Toronto fans,most? still think you live in the centre of the universe down there. All franchises go through bad times, I'm a season ticket holder in Winnipeg. So go the Leafs no Stanley cup since 67 and support is still there in droves is amazing. Blue Jays are winning you have many fans go. Not winning few fans. The ultimate band wagon jumpers of all. N.F. L. franchise? Never say never. The Jets came back to Winnipeg and are sold out all the time as well. With only 15400 seats. Support your team like the one fan who donates his tickets to youth in the city. Our getting to the new stadium is not a treat either. The big winner was the U.of M. Bisons. I will take the C.F.L. over N.F.L. anytime. It is more hype than anything else. I am a Vikings and Patriot fan but Big Blue through and through.

October 29, 2016 @ 7:09 PM

Tim Byers

I have been a CF.L.fan for 50 years. So many comments have merit and many others do not. Back in the 50's and 60's college players would come North to the C.F.L. as they were paid more money here! Remember when Skalbania tried to buy a win with the high priced players from the N.F.L.? David [I run better without the ball] Overstreet, Billy white shoes Johnson, and the biggest bust of them all Vince Ferragamo. Some Toronto fans,most? still think you live in the centre of the universe down there. All franchises go through bad times, I'm a season ticket holder in Winnipeg. So go the Leafs no Stanley cup since 67 and support is still there in droves is amazing. Blue Jays are winning you have many fans go. Not winning few fans. The ultimate band wagon jumpers of all. N.F. L. franchise? Never say never. The Jets came back to Winnipeg and are sold out all the time as well. With only 15400 seats. Support your team like the one fan who donates his tickets to youth in the city. Our getting to the new stadium is not a treat either. The big winner was the U.of M. Bisons. I will take the C.F.L. over N.F.L. anytime. It is more hype than anything else. I am a Vikings and Patriot fan but Big Blue through and through.

October 29, 2016 @ 7:09 PM

49ersgang

Hey Rob I have been a niners fan since 89 way before gambling and fantasy fb became what it is now, there are many football fans in Toronto hardcore nfl fans you bring the ny giants or the Patriots Dallas Cowboys married with better prices than the bills in t.o series mass sellouts...London England gets the better games, in Toronto the argos died in 92 and the NFL took over once you were able to watch more nfl games. An NFL team in t.o will always be to expensive however I would always drive to NY or fly to the Santa Clara to watch nfl fb then go to an argos game we just don't care about the argos or the cfl in Winnipeg they do not here

October 30, 2016 @ 11:39 PM

FBguy

Someone should go ask REDBLACKS management ( OSEG ) what their secret is, they've sold out every game at TD PLACE save for two since that team came back into the league. That's three years and counting. Get the Argos the hell out of Toronto that city doesn't deserve them. The biggest canard of all is this phobia of losing the GTA market - who cares !! - they don't support the team as it is just deal with it. There are only seven Canadian teams in the NHL after all so what's so horrible about an eight team CFL ? the TV ratings are strong across the country, way more than soccer will ever be, time to bail on the big smoke.

November 8, 2016 @ 3:22 PM

Jim Bob McGee

The team had won 2 Grey Cups in a row in the late 90's and had the greatest player (Doug Flutie) to ever step on a CFL field playing and couldn't even bring in more than 18,000 people to the stands. CFL football is dead in Toronto, time to move on and move em to QC/Moncton/Halifax.

April 22, 2017 @ 5:01 PM

Shawn Pritchard

If your truly a football fan why cant u enjoy both the Nfl and Cfl ? I enjoy both for different reasons. I certainly dont compare one to the other. I go to my hometown Eskimo games a few times a year at 75$ for a premium seat. I also take an annual junket to Cali to watch my favorite team the Raiders play. Either in Oakland or sadly San Diego no more. Ticket prices for a premium seat at those venues ? 175$ US . So for the people saying its too expensive..cmon ! Im sure u could get a decent seat at BMO for 30$. And calling the CFL a bush league is just plain ignorant. CFL just like the Nfl are terrific athletes. Most of the Americans that play ball up here are products of NCAA div 1 schools. Many were drafted by NFL teams. And alot more would play in the Nfl if they were 4 inches taller or 40 lbs heavier. Size matters in the NFL and thats fine. A bigger athlete isnt necc. A better athlete. And the Cfl gives our Canadian univetsity/college kids a place to play professionally. Only the best of the best. I like having something thats uniquely ours. Wheres your civic and national pride ? Our canadian summers are so short id rather sit outside in fair weather and watch PROFESSIONAL football than in my living room watching crap Nfl pre season or early NFl reg. season. And if u think the NFL is going to Toronto, think again. You dont think they factor Torontos apathy for their hometown pro football team as a big reason they wont go there? Moreover the $$ it would take for a suitable Nfl stadium , fees for a new or relocated franchise, weak Canadian dollar , the failed Bills experiment. Toronto's claim that its a football town doesnt pass the laugh test. I can think of 4 cities , 3 in the US and the 4th not in Canada that the Nfl would expand too before even looking at a serious Toronto bid. Anyways people who think the CFL sucks ...your either not a real football fan, or youve honestly never kept an open mind and tried . Your loss.

June 15, 2017 @ 12:39 AM

Rob J

"Please like what I like" never works.

June 15, 2017 @ 5:56 PM

Leave a comment


Only 90 comments? C'mon, we can do better... Leave a comment above and let's keep this conversation going!


« Playing online real money games during the Canadian winter Open Mike »