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Sad day in cfl...


Brian in Boston

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What a sad day with regard to the current state of the Canadian Football League. Just as the CFL seemed to be making headway in its efforts to stabilize itself financially and re-establish itself as a viable entity in the North American sports marketplace, the league is forced to take over day-to-day operations of the Toronto Argonauts.

Granted, the move comes as no surprise. There have been rumors of this occurring since before the season began. However, it can't be a comforting thing for the league heirarchy to have to deal with this. We're talking about what should be the league's flagship, major-market franchise. This is the equivalent of the NFL having to bail out the Giants or Jets.

I hope that an owner with a ton of cash, patience and PRIDE steps to the plate for my Argos. This stinks.

Brian in Boston

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I agree.  Prior to the USA experiment with the nearby Sacramento Gold Miners, the Argos is my team.  Of course the US got exposed to it when some wide receiver named Rocket Ismail went to the CFL instead of the NFL.  At the time, Toronto was owned by Wayne Gretzky, John Candy, and Bruce McNall.  That was what really got me into the CFL.  It's a sad day, I agree.  

Chris, can you elaborate about the possible  future of le Argonauts du Toronto?  (Forgive me for the bad french.)

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I will elaborate. (If I have a frustrated tone, and you can hear loud cracks in the background, that's me hitting my blue and gold head against the wall.)

Toronto pays tons of money to play in SkyDome. While this might be the glamorous choice, it sure as heck ain't the logical one. Having been clearly exposed to the Montreal situation (move to a downtown, smaller stadium = 40 straight sellouts), they continue to try and make money by giving the U.S. SkyDome owners almost all of their gameday money (other than the ticket sales themselves).

Not only that, but from a Prairie perspective (and I won't generalize and include all of Torontonians in this, 'cause I know Chris is definitely not one of these types), many Torontonian sports fans and Torontonians in general feel they're too good for the "second-rate" CFL. Goodness, they're the center of the universe, there isn't any reason why they should have to stoop to the CFL's level. They cheered a winner when Flutie was making them a winner, now they've gone home.

I have first hand accounts of people who say that the Argos' are lucky if they draw 10,000. My dad payed $5 CDN (and bought supper for like $20) and sat in the Hard Rock Cafe and watched the Argos/Bombers tilt 2 (long) weeks ago, and was the only one that did this! These are like front row, upper deck seats, for $3.50 US!

The Argonauts should be sailing as the league's flagship team, but instead Toronto has sat by and watched their team sink to the bottom of the CFL feeding trough. Now they're going to be living off of the hard earned dollars of Montreal and the Prairie teams (most of whom are community owned)?

Again, apologize for the OT-ness. The Toronto situation is not a reflection of the CFL in general. It is without a doubt an isolated (unfortunate) circumstance, the league is in fact doing very well (with greatly improved TV ratings, many teams actually making money, and quality of play being as high as it has ever been).

Now Chris can give us the SoOnt point of view...

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i heard about domi possibly being involved: during the pre-season he usually place kicks for the argonauts, which is really cool to see.

I myself am a long time argos fan, but in the past few years, the argos just aren't the same game to go too, not just the game itself, but so much more of the argo experience is gone, no more Scully (the argos mascot) the large argonaut (the ship) that people used to win seats on is gone, leaving a big empty space, and the argo bullhorn cherr (aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrgooooooooooooooooooooooosssssssssssss) GONE!!!!!! all the things that makes an argo game an argo game dissappeared. I could understand that cuts had to be made, but it turned from a great experience to just another fottball game. I remember being at the 1998 eastern finals against montreal ( I THINK it was 1998) the place was PACKED and it was crazy. people went nuts after the argos won. it was so amazing. now they couldn't draw that kind of crowd with free tickets.

truely a sad day not just for the CFL and Argo fans, but a sad day for Professional Sport in Canada

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i'll admit, Doug Flutie and Pinball Clemons made me a US Argos fan...then Flutie left and so did ESPN's cameras, so i haven't seen a Canadian game since.  I still follow the Argos, see how they're doing every now and then and yes this is a damn shame, it's like the Canadiens having to be bailed out by the NHL or the NBA having to run the Lakers.  *looks around canada* i don't see any other flagship franchises in the CFL(sorry to anyone offended by that, but it's true) and the one they got has the double whammy of having gone to :censored: fieldwise and cashwise.  why the hell do americans own the freaking skydome anyway?  then again an american owns the habs and a japanese guy owns the mariners, so what do i know?
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i always liked the argos.............Flutie, Pinball, Michael Bishop (sorry but he's a former Wildcat). It's sad to see a once proud franchise fall by the wayside. For the sake of Argo fans and the good of the CFL i hope things can turn for the better.
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BOOOOOOOOOOOORING!!!!!!!!! Seriously who cares. In Toronto we have NHL hockey, Major League Baseball, NLL Lax, NBA Basketball. Why would anyone care about some 3rd rate football league? Hopefully the Argos are finacially screwed and we can get them out of town and make room for the NFL.

The CFL might be good entertainment in Saskatchewan and Manitoba where the only other game in town is watching tumble weeds drift by. The league should have left Toronto in the 80's. Hopefully it's on it's way out the door this time. Who has time to watch a bunch of has been's and never will be's?

That was taken off the TSN Your Call for this story...like Sy said...thats not to say that all of Toronto feels that way but its definately out there

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...and the funny thing is that the Argos on-field fortunes are looking better now than they have in the past five years. With Pinball as head coach and Damon Allen at the controls, they're in second in the East and initiated the Bomber-Beatdown conga line. :angry:
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As a rider fan that bleeds green ( I really need to get that looked at) it sucks to see that happen to the Argos even though they beat us at that last Grey Cup the riders actually made it too... as mentioned before teh thing that really hurts the boatmen is that they play in teh skydome... how many universities do they have in better locations in the city... it worked so well for montreal why not TO, hell when school is in at Regina its wall to wall university students haveing a great time watching some great football... so dont give me any of this second rate football crap...
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The good thing about this is that the league has taken control over the franchise, which would allow the scenario for the club that makes the most sense, i.e.:

(1)  Team plays its remaining 2003 schedule;

(2)  Team's franchise is revoked by the CFL after the season;

(3)  Corporation owning franchise declares bankruptcy, thereby breaking SkyDome lease;

(4)  New ownership steps in to take control of "new" Argos franchise, which just happens to have same name, same roster, etc.

(5)  New owners find new home for team other than SkyDome, thereby making the team financially viable.

This unlike the Ottawa mess with Horn Chen some years ago, which turned into a total debacle and may have held up the birth of the Renegades by a year or more.

Hopefully this will be the way it plays out; I'm sure that the Argos are an attractive franchise to a potential owner.

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Now im not very informed on this topic, but i do try to catch some CFL games whenever they are available...um never.

I think thats a problem, i know there probably isnt much demand, but all the football fans here, im sure they'd tune into some good ol summer ball. With all the cable channels, im surprised not anyone really picks up the games. The XFL had like a 3 share at its lowest, im sure a cable channel would take that. Arenaball does OK, i think?

Anyhow, im sure the rumors of a possible NFL franchise may have something to do with it, but if they think stalemating a cFL team out as an attractive beacon for a hotly contested expansion franchise, especially with glazer buying the dodgers,(NFL Rule: Cant own other pro team in other city,) some say he sells bucs and presses hard for LA expansion, with rose bowl renovations possibly coming,) They'd be mistaken.

Anyhow, back to my original point, cfl needs american tv deal.

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Anyhow, back to my original point, cfl needs american tv deal.

and that can only be gotten if doug flutie returns to canada or someone puts a team in america again...you know it and i know it. :;):  cus when espn showed teh cfl, it was basically either flutie & the stamps or argos, or the baltimore stallions against somebody.

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Just pulled from the CFL web site:

Dear CFL Family:

As we approach the mid-point of the summer, it is clear that 2003 is shaping up to be an exciting year of growth for the CFL. From sponsorship support, to television viewers, to the competition on the field, the CFL continues to gain strength and build momentum. Despite this very positive outlook for the league as a whole, there remain some challenges that demand leadership to ensure that all of our franchises share in the renaissance of the CFL.

Toronto has always been, and will always be, an important market for the CFL. We all share in the responsibility to ensure that all of our teams are part of these exciting times in the CFL. To this end, and after carefully examining several options, the League has stepped in and taken over leadership and management of the Toronto Argonauts. We?ve taken this step in the best interests of the team, the fans, and the League to ensure the long term success of this important component of the CFL.

So what does this mean? Effective immediately, the CFL has assumed full responsibility for leadership and management of the Toronto Argonauts franchise. CFL Chairman, Paul Robson will lead a ?Toronto Franchise Management Team? which will assume responsibility for the management of day-to-day operations, with full authority based on an approved operating budget. With the support of the Board of Governors, we are continuing our efforts to find strong, committed and connected ownership for the Toronto Argonauts to build the support and success we know the franchise is capable of enjoying.

Broadcast numbers reflect the success and popularity of the Canadian game. TV viewership on TSN and RDS is solid and the fans? response to the CBC?s decision to broadcast games earlier this year has been thunderous. In fact, earlier this month more than 542,000 viewers tuned in to watch the BC-Montreal game. In addition, corporate support continues to grow, with sponsorship numbers up this year between 20-25% over 2002.

As we continue to build upon the great momentum of this League, we thank you for your on-going efforts and support -- particularly through this transition period ? and look forward to sharing with you the continued growth and success of our teams well into the future.

Sincerely,

Tom Wright

Commissioner, Canadian Football League

Translation: We realize this makes us look bush, but we're going to do the best we can to make sure Toronto doesn't fold, finding new ownership with pockets deep enough to make it work there.

F***ing Sherwood Schwartz.

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This looks like a tremendous opportunity for the NFL to make some money and maybe even look like good guys. That's probably why the following scenario won't happen.

1. NFL expands to LA and Toronto for 2005 season.

2. NFL pays CFL a fixed sum as "territorial fee" for coming into Toronto market.

3. CFL moves Argos to smaller, more practical stadium and uses some or all of NFL's "territorial fee" to mitigate Skydome's lost revenue for 2004 season (because an NFL team will likely play in Skydome, they won't have any lost profits beyond 2004 season if Argos move).  It also makes it more appealing for private investors to buy the Argos since there won't be as expensive of a lease.

4. NFL Europe adjusts its schedule so that the World Bowl champ will meet the prior season's Grey Cup champ in a home and home series (using home team rules) during the last 2 weeks of the CFL pre-season. NFL absorbs all travel expenses.

The 4th item really isn't a necessary element, but I think it would be cool to do.

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I hate when certain closed-minded Toronto fans use the argument that they're waiting for the NFL to move into Toronto.  IT WON'T HAPPEN.  Between the volatile Canadian dollar, the high felony rate for NFL athletes, plus the fact that SkyDome, for all it's sterile wonderment is TOO SMALL FOR AN NFL FRANCHISE, it will NOT happen.  Not in your, my, or anyone's lifetime.

The NFL mandates, I believe, a 65,000-seat facility; the Dome tops out at what, 55000+?

Maybe I'm wrong, but I do believe that's a sticky wicket right there...

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I hate when certain closed-minded Toronto fans use the argument that they're waiting for the NFL to move into Toronto. IT WON'T HAPPEN. Between the volatile Canadian dollar, the high felony rate for NFL athletes, plus the fact that SkyDome, for all it's sterile wonderment is TOO SMALL FOR AN NFL FRANCHISE, it will NOT happen. Not in your, my, or anyone's lifetime.

The NFL mandates, I believe, a 65,000-seat facility; the Dome tops out at what, 55000+?

Maybe I'm wrong, but I do believe that's a sticky wicket right there...

I couldn't agree more. I live in the GTA and I can't believe that a lot people in Toronto thinks that an NFL franchise will ever come. The only possible scenario would be if Toronto got a summer Olympic games while a team is considering moving to Toronto and the Canadian dollar is up to at least 85 cents at the SAME time.

Of course once that happens, the Cubs will win the World Series!

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