Interesting stuff from Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post, as Senator David Braley– owner, hilariously, of both the Argos and the B.C. Lions of the CFL– said today that his intention is to sell both clubs within three years. He also says, according to Fitz-Gerald’s piece, that “he is ‘well down the road’ in talks with more than one community to build a new stadium for the Argos.”

“Fundamentally, I’m talking to three communities — four as of Tuesday of this week — with regards to land, and with regards to building a new stadium of somewhere around 27,000 to 29,000 people for football and soccer,” Braley told the National Post on Friday.

He would not identify the communities.


Even more heartening, however, is this quote:

“Well, I’m well down the road with the municipalities,” Braley said. “I would say that it’s even possible that I could have a decision within a year. And if you do that, then you can build it in two.”

Earlier today the Jays issued a press release announcing the extension of the Argos’ lease until 2017 at the latest, though we’ve known for a couple of weeks that was coming. The stuff about the new stadium that Braley is looking into finding, however– and the other communities involved, and the depth to which they seem to be involved– is very much new.

None of this means that we have any more clarity today on when the Jays may be able to move forward with their plans to install a grass playing surface at Roger Centre– in fact, Braley left open the possibility of the Argos extending their stay at the Rogers Centre beyond 2017, if needed, saying that he doesn’t think that the team will be thrown out– but the three year exit plan and the potential to be breaking ground very soon on a new home for the club suggests that the possibility of the Argos opting out of their Rogers Centre lease early is maybe stronger than the most pessimistic of us have hoped.

Or this could all just be lip service, or some kind of negotiating ploy in the hopes of getting stadium funding out of some sucker community who is terrified of letting the opportunity to be boondoggled pass them by. I don’t know if it needs to be quite that complicated, though. Consider that less than a year ago “North of Steeles” Markham nearly subsidized a hockey arena for a non-existent team to the tune of $325-million– a proposal that was deliciously excoriated by Parkes over at Fanatico.

But please Vaughn, Mississauga, Pickering, whoever you are, don’t let that stop you from getting this Argos deal done! Shit, maybe you even have some broken down stadium just lingering around, waiting for a temporary tenant, and the Argos can move there while the shovels are in the ground– after all, the Ti-Cats are doing it in Guelph while the new Ivor Wynne (read: Tim Hortons Field) is being constructed.

Yes, that is the new pipe dream– and you know, even if there isn’t a proper stadium out there in whatever suburb lands this juicy fish, the Wikipedia entry on Lamport Stadium says it seats 9,600– huh? huh? huh? I mean, that can’t be that much smaller than what’s needed to accommodate current Argos crowds, right? Right??

Seriously, though, get the fuck out already.


Glorious image still via James_in_TO. Crotch grab in the direction of @TJGoertz for the heads up.

Comments (26)

  1. wow everytime I see that picture of roof open and real grass I just want to be there. We can only dream.

  2. #GTFO #Argos

  3. Is there a reason football can’t stay in the Rogers Centre and the Jays get a new stadium?

    • Baseball stadiums are extremely expensive…. even for Rogers

    • Because the Argos, even in their wildest dreams, would never fill a 50,000+ seat stadium; because there are no better available locations for the Skydome than, well, the Skydome; and because the Skydome is a baseball-specific stadium, not a football-specific stadium, making it idiocy for the Argos to be its only tenant.

      • Look at miamis fiasco

      • Further east along the lakeshore would work, lots of land that will be bought soon for development. I know its extremely unlikely though, and my wishes are a pipe dream.
        I just feel that it doesn’t take much to convert the dome into a football stadium, so it could become one permanently pretty easy.
        I had a good conversation about 3 Rivers Stadium, its life span was shorter than the dome’s before PNC and Heinz Field began construction.

  4. I would offer up the nice Town(City…now) of Milton but we decided a velodrome would be a better purchase. Sorry.

  5. So what you’re telling me is that this shitty league couldnt find enough owners for 8 shitty teams so 1 dude has to own 2 shitty teams?!

    that is hilarious

    • Oh it’s totally legit. I’m sure it’s just coincidence that on the year of the 100th Grey Cup in Toronto the B.C. Lions inexplicably traded their #1 Quaterback to the Argos for a bag full of used shoulder pads – and that the Argos subsequently won said grey cup on their home field, thus providing the highest possible revenue for the league that year.

  6. Seeing that picture i can’t help but help but picture and all star game at rogers centre with the a big star designed into the outfield GRASS (not turf) . or on canada day a big maple leaf… sigh this can’t come sooner

  7. +1. Gtfo

  8. All-Star game 2018!

  9. Hah. Seriously, the same guy can own two CFL franchises?

  10. Just in case this all falls through, I think it’s about time we started a campaign to get MLB to ban artificial turf. Seriously, though, after we get grass here, and Tampa folds or whatever, people will look back on that crazy time when they allowed baseball to be played on a plastic field and wonder what the hell was wrong with people back then.

  11. Well the Brampton Battalion moved to North Bay so, Arena Football at the Powerade Centre?!

    • Really??? I grew up in Brampton, and remember when that franchise was born. They use to get a lot of support, I’m surprised that they left so soon.

  12. just move the argos to fucking bmo field already…

  13. Anyone think about the home hardware clean-up crew? Will they be able to run on natural grass? Won’t anyone think of the home hardware clean-up crew?!

    • It’ll actually be better for them – the DL for the clean-up crew is the highest in the majors. Ligament tears left & right.

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