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  1. #1
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    Default Argonauts Co-Owner Speaks Out about Move to BMO

    So much for your whole "It was meant to be a Soccer-Only Stadium!" argument. Hopefully (for me, anyways) it's enough to take MLSE to court if they don't play nice with the Argos and the city.

    BMO built with football in mind

    DAVID NAYLOR
    From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
    August 12, 2008 at 10:17 PM EDT

    TORONTO — Toronto Argonauts co-owner Howard Sokolowski insists the notion that BMO Field was intended to be a soccer-specific stadium is incorrect.

    And there appears to be evidence to back him up.

    Toronto city council minutes from the fall of 2005, at which $9.8-million of city money was committed to the complex, note that the stadium proposed for the exhibition grounds was to be "capable of a conversion to a football format."

    However, the 20,000-seat stadium, built initially for the FIFA U-20 World Cup soccer tournament last year, doesn't fit a regulation CFL field, making it unusable for the Argonauts as well as amateur football teams.

    Now, as the Argos are in the process of surveying fan support for a potential move from the CFL team's home, the Rogers Centre, to BMO Field, there has been considerable push-back from soccer fans and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the owner of the stadium's primary occupant, Major League Soccer's Toronto FC.

    "This is not a soccer-specific stadium," Sokolowski said yesterday. "It was built for soccer, but it clearly had an understanding that it was convertible for football and to be expanded to 30,000 seats. That's what city council voted on."

    Sokolowski believes Mayor David Miller is doing his best to live up to council's promise of nearly three years ago, even though the stadium would require some reconstruction to accommodate a CFL field.

    "The mayor has been very helpful," Sokolowski said. "He wants to please soccer and football fans together. There's no reason they can't coexist. This isn't the Hatfields and the McCoys, but I'm not sure [MLSE president] Richard Peddie feels that way.

    "The mayor has told us a number of times that if the Toronto Argonauts want to come to BMO Field, he'll do all he can within the confines of his lease agreement with MLSE."

    The lease agreement gives MLSE control of all stadium revenue streams, which are then shared with the city. Though the city might back a potential Argos request to be cut into some of the revenue streams, there's no indication MLSE would accommodate such a request.

    It could also be argued that a stadium that requires construction to move stands to accommodate football does not necessarily meet the definition of "capable of conversion to a football format." But a spokesman for the Toronto mayor says it does.

    "What we have is a $70-million public asset that is in the shape of a stadium," Stuart Green said. "The primary occupant is the game of soccer, and what council said [in 2005] is there has to be some compatibility option [for football] there.

    "It has to be an option because that was built into the approval council gave. How that happens has to be worked out."

    Sokolowski said the Argos have been willing to talk about that for some time, but are being put off by Peddie.

    Peddie said this week that MLSE hadn't made up its mind whether to pursue stadium expansion to meet the current demand from Toronto FC fans.

    "I had a meeting with Richard Peddie three or four months ago, and he informed me that in late August there may be a time to sit down and talk about what they want to see in the stadium expansion," Sokolowski said. "Now, I understand it's not on his radar screen. I spoke to Richard last week by e-mail and it's not a priority for him right now.

    "Whether we could write a cheque [for stadium expansion] or help secure funds, I'm not sure. But the Toronto Argonauts could be part of making that happen."

    Yesterday, Peddie said he had talked with Sokolowski, but called the topic of discussion "premature."

    "It's not cheap to expand that building," Peddie said. "It's millions and millions of dollars. We haven't nailed down cost and determined if there's a return on investment, and won't for months. It's not a matter of accommodation.

    "We're just not ready."

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    why are they in the process of perhaps jumping on it after it was already built to be soccer specific?

    if CFL is supposed to be played outdoors and in in intimate setting, they would have known that for decades by now. so fuck them for being late. they were presented with options before, and now they're acting on them. no need to survey the fans. they KNOW small outdoor parks are where it's at. so why wait? i'll tell you why. because they are fuckers.


    but i do want to see what the plans are if they ever work them out.

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    Hopefully (for me, anyways) it's enough to take MLSE to court if they don't play nice with the Argos and the city.

    Take MLSE to court? LMAO! Thanks for the laugh. I don't think the Argos have the balls to do so. As for your article, it states going to cost a lot of money and the Argos simply don't have that kind of money to spend. The same can be said about City.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonny Cheeba View Post
    why are they in the process of perhaps jumping on it after it was already built to be soccer specific?

    if CFL is supposed to be played outdoors and in in intimate setting, they would have known that for decades by now. so fuck them for being late. they were presented with options before, and now they're acting on them. no need to survey the fans. they KNOW small outdoor parks are where it's at. so why wait? i'll tell you why. because they are fuckers.
    You know, I am an Argo fan and CFL supporter in general, but this whole BMO field issue is really making me hate the Argos and CFL a lot. Heck, I am at the point that I want the Bills to come to Toronto for good and just kill Argos and CFL.

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    The issue that bothers me is how much MLSE will invest to make TFC a premier club in North America...because it seems increasingly clear that the City and Argos are going to push this issue. MLSE should build another stadium and hopefully the City breeches the agreement of the lease so that they can leverage it to get prime land leased for cheap. The issue will never go away as long as the Argos are around and the city won't want to pay for another stadium and the Argos are financed by penny savers. The outlook might be just to start anew without the distraction of ass-clowns and a grass field.
    Last edited by DigzTFC!; 08-12-2008 at 11:09 PM.

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    True, I think TFC will eventually build their own house. City is being a pain in da ass with this turf and Argos issue.

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    Anyone who knew the interworkings of a stadium deal knew this could come to the for front, the initial deal at U of T which had involvement from MLSE, the Argonauts and the CSA along with the school died when president Robert Birgeneau departed for the University of California at Berkeley. The new president wanted a facility that would be for the students.

    Remember The Man, The Legend, The Goal 5-12-07 and All That #9 Left On The Pitch, Thanks For The Memories !!!

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    Why is turf completely fine for pro football but not for soccer?

    Remember The Man, The Legend, The Goal 5-12-07 and All That #9 Left On The Pitch, Thanks For The Memories !!!

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    I love the trolls on this board.

    Maybe someone should change your login to Argos4Life and take out the TFC part because I havent seen anything from you that is even remotely supportive of TFC and what it is trying to accomplish for soccer in Canada.

    This is more media play...until the minutes are produced I take everything with a grain of salt. If this is true, I wonder if MLS knows anything about it. But if this is true, then what I said about the Mayor hedging is so true and in fact, it is MLSE is our last hope. Worrisome I know. Lord knows the city and the mayor's office is perfectly willing to whore themselves out to the Argos on this issue and sellout the soccer fans in this city so long as they can say "look ma, no lines!". And MLSE will just do whatever puts more money in their pockets.

    So let's talk about the facts. "Soccer Specific Stadium" is not a legal term. Never has been. Cinnamon-Jr there is just playing semantics. Saying "this isn't a soccer specific stadium but is a stadium meant for soccer" is just dancing around the issue. The point is (and MLSE made it clear this evening) that when the stadium plans were finalized and executed, the Argos were out of the picture. The stadium was built for the U20 World Cup and for the use of TFC in Major League Soccer. The Argos signed a 15 year lease with the Rogers Centre...when exactly did people think they would find their way over to BMO Field that necessitated the stadium's adjustment to football? And was it high school football (which can still be played at BMO in it's current state) or CFL Football with it's super long field? Don't have an answer to that do you Argos4Life?

    All contracts have caveats and hedges. It doesn't change the widely accepted fact that this stadium is a soccer stadium. The fact that we are talking about a need to fundamentally overhaul the stadium completely should the Argos move there proves that it was never built with the Argos in mind. Playing somewhat loose with the facts there aren't we? And aren't we overlooking the fact that the Provincial and Federal government also kicked in millions for the purposes of a SOCCER facility?

    This doesn't change the fact that it's bad for Argos fans and bad for TFC fans. Nobody but the team owners should be looking forward to this because they have dollar signs in their eyes.

    And if this thing winds up happening, I hope the cost of overhauling this stadium cripples the Argos, I hope Argos fans freeze their asses off outside and I hope that the NFL comes to Toronto to beat the CFL into oblivion.

    Then you can change your nic to "Bills4Life".
    Last edited by Roogsy; 08-12-2008 at 11:45 PM.

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    I've never seen anyone so desperate to see No more CMNT team games in Toronto and no REAL star power for TFC as well as say good bye to ANY Hope of ever seeing a high profile team here for a friendly...

    Ah well have fun Montreal with all yer CMNT games and having Liverpoo over for friendlies...
    M.U.F.C.U.M GAMBA OSAKA Toronto FC


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    Quote Originally Posted by CBlake View Post
    Why is turf completely fine for pro football but not for soccer?

    they tend to keep the ball off the ground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CBlake View Post
    Why is turf completely fine for pro football but not for soccer?
    Ask the players that aren't willing to sign here and play for the team.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roogsy View Post
    Ask the players that aren't willing to sign here and play for the team.
    After playing on it... I realize now that what their saying is true... I was hurtin for damn near a week after just playing on it for an hour. Not just me either...

    Ah yes as for the troll... you know he's just doing this shit to be a dick.. Just ban him... Not just ban but IP ban... Screw this nonsense already. TFC could build their OWN ground somewhere else and the Argos would wanna go there too.. Fuck TFC could be playing at Old Trafford and the Argos would be following right behind like Milhouse saying they have a right to be there too.
    Last edited by BC101; 08-12-2008 at 11:30 PM.
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    I was thinking tonight about some of the logistics that are needed to make the stadium "CFL" ready. You can't expand "north" because of the Food building, so it all has to be south, which is possibly since there is nothing there but parking space.

    But it isn't just about tearing down the South stands and building them 100 yards down the road. You'd have the midfield seats at the 30 yard line!!! So how are you going to get the entire East and West stands centered? The only way is to completely tear down the stadium and build it from scratch.

    So in their greed, the Argos, because they are Johnny-Come-Lately, think their crummy 30mill is worth totally re-doing the stadium.

    Does anyone else not see this? Because if there is another way this stadium doesn't have to be torn down to scratch and built from nothing again, please let me know because it is blowing my mind how people are willing to tear down a stadium that is not even 2 years old.

    Oh...and on a financial note...I do believe Steel and Concrete is much higher than when BMO Field was originally built. So the costs would be much higher.

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    I would hate for the argos to play in BMO. It would not make it seem like such a special location. I see it as the home for TFC and football (euro, not North American), But if we add in the Argos then it takes away the feeling of BMO being soccer specific. I hate seeing the NFL lines on football pitches in the states so why add them onto our pitch? And they better not be thinking about this removable pitch shit. This would cost more than just adding grass would it not?

    I just hate the idea of the argos moving to BMO. Stay where you're wanted...in the past maybe?

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    I stated before, I used to go to 1 or 2 Argos games per year. If they move to BMO Field, I will never watch or attend an Argos game ever again.

    And I will scalp every last one of my TFC tickets.

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    some sort of demonstration must be put on to show the city and the argos what tfc fans think about this situation

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roogsy View Post
    I stated before, I used to go to 1 or 2 Argos games per year. If they move to BMO Field, I will never watch or attend an Argos game ever again.

    And I will scalp every last one of my TFC tickets.
    Word...Never again at a home game me if that goes down. Scalp Scalp Scalp... and watch as BMO field becomes like oh I dunno Columbus... And laugh while the TFC away support far outweighs the home.


    edit

    WTF someone post i hate being the last poster...
    Last edited by BC101; 08-12-2008 at 11:58 PM. Reason: FOR FUCK SAKES POST DAMN IT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roogsy View Post
    I was thinking tonight about some of the logistics that are needed to make the stadium "CFL" ready. You can't expand "north" because of the Food building, so it all has to be south, which is possibly since there is nothing there but parking space.

    But it isn't just about tearing down the South stands and building them 100 yards down the road. You'd have the midfield seats at the 30 yard line!!! So how are you going to get the entire East and West stands centered? The only way is to completely tear down the stadium and build it from scratch.

    So in their greed, the Argos, because they are Johnny-Come-Lately, think their crummy 30mill is worth totally re-doing the stadium.

    Does anyone else not see this? Because if there is another way this stadium doesn't have to be torn down to scratch and built from nothing again, please let me know because it is blowing my mind how people are willing to tear down a stadium that is not even 2 years old.

    Oh...and on a financial note...I do believe Steel and Concrete is much higher than when BMO Field was originally built. So the costs would be much higher.
    They can make south end mobile so you wont have to worry about being too far from the game. I'm more worried about getting those football lines off the pitch since i've long since accepted that we're stuck with a plastic surface.

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    The grass is my biggest problem as well. I really wasn't on the pro-grass side until I started to see for myself that players refuse to come here to play (whether it is to sign for TFC or the CMNT) because we have turf...that did it for me. Before I was just a sympathizer, now I am a full-fledged advocate.

    And I am not sure how they can possibly cover 30-50yards of field that needs to be added with "tracks". And you still have stands that are not "centered".
    Last edited by Roogsy; 08-13-2008 at 12:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roogsy View Post
    I stated before, I used to go to 1 or 2 Argos games per year. If they move to BMO Field, I will never watch or attend an Argos game ever again.

    And I will scalp every last one of my TFC tickets.

    Straight up... If they put football lines on that stadium you can say goodbye to me as well.
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    This is pissing me off. Up until now, I've been very supportive of the Argos on this board even though I'm not a fan of the team or the league ... at all. However, all this constant insistence is pissing me off. They had their chance .... and they blew it. Please don't mess with a good thing! Whats next? Rogers converting the Skydome to be NFL specific and moving the Blue Jays to BMO Field? Might as well rename it Mistake by the Lake v.2.0.

    I hope the Argos die a quick yet painful death WHEN the Bills make their move to Toronto permanent. Their 130 years history of mediocrity can go to oblivion as well.

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    I see anything cfl in bmo field and I'm buring the fucker down to the ground or they can have bmo field and give use a new place and with one free season ticket for all the ticket holders

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    P.S. If you don't have an account with Globe and Mail open one and state your displeasure.

    Toronto needs to know that we are not going down with out a fight... forget that... we are not going down without WAR.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinUtd View Post
    They can make south end mobile so you wont have to worry about being too far from the game. I'm more worried about getting those football lines off the pitch since i've long since accepted that we're stuck with a plastic surface.
    I don't think they can just move the south end because there are concessions and plumbing and piping and all that shit underneath there.

    The only way to do it would be to get a zoning dispensation from the city and go north. But then, as Roogsy said, the field wouldn't be centred.

    It's a completely retarded stupid idea.

    You know, you'd think the Argos would want to build their own stadium anyway. Don't they care about controlling their revenue stream 100%?

    Or are they that afraid of the Bills?

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    I think the co owners of the Argos are just saying stuff to the media to take away the real issues. There scared to shit of the NFL coming to town and the fact that there team is slowly falling apart. I'm sorry why is it that the Argos can't even make over 30k at there games and there "one of the best teams in the east"? Yet the Hamilton Tiger Cats which have sucked for really the last 10 years really can always sell out or have a pretty full building??? DEDICATION. Which is excactly why the argos can't come to BMO.

    Just thinking after this rant......the moral of the story is.....the CFL, the Argos, the CFL loving Toronto City Council.....can all go to HELL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James17930 View Post
    I don't think they can just move the south end because there are concessions and plumbing and piping and all that shit underneath there.

    ummmmm when tens of millions of dollars are involved. i don't think this is a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuSaPuNk View Post
    I think the co owners of the Argos are just saying stuff to the media to take away the real issues. There scared to shit of the NFL coming to town and the fact that there team is slowly falling apart. I'm sorry why is it that the Argos can't even make over 30k at there games and there "one of the best teams in the east"? Yet the Hamilton Tiger Cats which have sucked for really the last 10 years really can always sell out or have a pretty full building??? DEDICATION. Which is excactly why the argos can't come to BMO.

    Just thinking after this rant......the moral of the story is.....the CFL, the Argos, the CFL loving Toronto City Council.....can all go to HELL.

    i think that's the point. they look at hamliton being in a smaller stadium and see that it sells out, and that the atmosphere is better than it is at skydome. that's why they want to move to BMO in the first place. did you miss that?

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    So why did they pull out of not one but two stadiums negotiations?

    I am sure they knew BMO Field plans were proceeding forward, why didn't they step in at that time? Why after the stadium has existed for 18 months do they now start sending out feelers for pushing their way in?

    This whole issue is giving me a headache.

 

 

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