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Toronto Protest Brewing?

Before we get to the TFC stadium issues, let's stay in Canada.....

*Former DCUer Nicholas Addlery scored in USL1 Vancouver's 2-1 exhibition victory over David Beckham and the Galaxy before more than 37,000 spectators in Edmonton.

*TFC supporters are suggesting a protest during the MLS All-Star Game to express their dissatisfaction with the possibility of BMO Field becoming the home of a Canadian Football League team. This dispatch was passed along to me from a supporters' message board:

The Toronto FC Supporter Groups believe it is time we turn our concerns into actions. The possibility of BMO Field losing its SSS label and being shared with the Argos is a very real possibility and something that we are aware that could become a reality. So no longer in our minds is this something that we can forget, dismiss and move on, we need to take actions, and not only during one game but actions during the season and off-season. Actions that will ensure we have done all possible to avoid this scenario. I want to be clear, TFC, BMO Field Staff and more so the Argos are not the enemy, we are protesting the possibility of our BMO Field no longer being a SSS in seasons to come. For some this may be an Anti-Argo movement, but we don't want to look it just as that. During these protests we encourage everyone to join in and participate, but we also ask you to keep the banners civil, clean and classy. You don't achieve much with vulgar language, it shows poorly on you and on what we are trying to achieve. Protest Date: All-Star Game. Protest: Everybody wears black. We are asking all TFC Supporters to wear a black t-shirt for this game. No Supporter banners, only "anti-Argo" or anti-pigskin football banners. Why the All-Star Game? Well, no game will have more media exposure than the all-star game. Not only that something like this would get coverage over the media not just in Canada but in the USA and also would put some pressure on the City of Toronto, and MLS in general. Most people are not willing to do anything resembling a protest during a TFC match for many reasons that there is no point in illustrating, so an ALL-STAR game is also the best way since TFC is not directly involved. So it is not like we are turning our backs on the team.

What do you think? Good idea?

By Steve Goff  |  May 14, 2008; 7:58 AM ET
 
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Comments

I have nothing but support for this. The only thing wrong with BMO is the turf, but if you threw in football lines with that - then it would defeat the greatest atmosphere and one of the better venues for this product in North America.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | May 14, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

does anyone still watch the all-star game?

Posted by: FC | May 14, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

They should throw black streamers.

Posted by: RK | May 14, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

We should have banners at our home games in support of this.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 14, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

There is nothing more vulgar on a soccer field than to have football lines slashing across it. This is even worse on the turf fields because it is that much more blatant (Rice-Eccles Stadium). It's bad enough that various teams have had to play on baseball diamonds over the years. Have some pride MLS and give TFC the decency the whole league deserves! Keep BMO SSS!!!

Posted by: C-Bus Table Toppers! | May 14, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Boo-freaking-hoo. Last time I checked some of the most "sacred" stadiums in England host rugby matches and concerts along with the "football" matches that they were designed for. How about protesting the use of that fake, plastic turf in the SSS first...

Posted by: Fid | May 14, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Steve--

I'd like to know your thoughts on the disaster that is Chivas USA.

They've backed themselves into a corner with an identity that they can't afford to maintain because they can't buy Mexican players under the ridiculously low MLS salary cap.

And the stands are empty.

Will they be moved?

Posted by: Shmenge | May 14, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Do they Argos draw that poorly that they only need 20K seats?

If the city owns the stadium I don't see where they can do much, you can't fight city hall. They will want to recoup their investment as quickly as possible, so adding a few CFL games will help them do that. The national team refuses to play there because of the turf. I don't think you can support a stadium with only 20 events a year.

It sucks for TFC fans. It sucked for us to have to share RFK, first with the NFL team and then with the Gnats. But that's life.

Posted by: Glenn | May 14, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Uh, Glenn...We didn't share RFK with the Redskins, THEY shared it with us, as they were there first!

Posted by: JonInVB | May 14, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

whatEVER

Posted by: Glenn | May 14, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I support the TFC fans in this....I have been going to United games throughout the time when we played with both the Redskins and Nats, and it sucked. I think it would hurt the atmosphere at BMO. NO Canadian football at BMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Smitty | May 14, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

"offensively incoherent" I like that, Mr. Goff. You might even say "offensively incoherent on offense and on defense" if you see what I mean

Posted by: Mysterian | May 14, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I think us DC fans will be able to safely ignore this whole all star debacle, seeing as how none of our players will be on the squad.

And TFC fans shouldn't think of cfl action as an intrusion on the sacred astroturf of bmo field. They should consider it an opportunity to get drunk and throw streamers a couple more times per year. Look on the bright side, guys!

Posted by: stairs | May 14, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Chivas wont be moved.

I don't think the overhead is that much and besides they're owned by a billionaire. The league can't force a move on the team.

Chivas consider it a farm team, it would be like the Chicago Cubs moving the Iowa cubs for not selling out.
Chivas has basically a monopoly on Mexican kids with their academy in a city full of them.

Posted by: Alrjandro Ruiz | May 14, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

remember that MLSE, the owners of TFC, must agree to any changes to the stadium to allow the CFL. The CFL field will not fit at BMO now, so pretty significant changes have to be made to the stadium (demolishing the south end and moving it back, demolishing the north seats and moving it back).
The Argos also need another 5000 seats at least (they average over 25000).
So somebody will have to spend 30-40 million dollars to renovate.
Since MLSE, the TFC owners, are the operators of the stadium, and they are part of a pretty significant revenue sharing deal for events at the stadium, there's no way the Argos will get in unless MLSE agrees to it.

Posted by: satan | May 14, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Football lines should be avoided at ALL COSTS to the image and the beauty of the game that MLS pretends to push "forward" and not back. I can't watch a game on TV with football lines on the field and be happy. Everything sticks out like a sore thumb with those lines and makes it look like MLS is just trying and not gaining a foothold. Fans deserve better...

Posted by: Felix | May 14, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I think its a great idea. I hope the TFC supporters unite and really make their voice be heard.

Posted by: Felix | May 14, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Who cares about Toronto? Muppets.

Posted by: Oh Susanna | May 14, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

To show my solidarity with our Toronto brethren, today I'm going to listen to side 2 of "Permanent Waves" from Rush.

Posted by: Joe Doc | May 14, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

They should be protesting that crap they call turf.

Posted by: Matthai | May 14, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

"Not only that something like this would get coverage over the media not just in Canada but in the USA and also would put some pressure on the City of Toronto, and MLS in general."
_______________________________________

Ok, so I actually read the email. They want to protest so the "USA and MLS" can see? Are these people idiots? Americans and MLS have no control over who rents the stadium. This is an issue with whoever owns the stadium and rents it to the Argos.

Don't ruin the All-Star Game for everyone else just, especially when you're protesting to the WRONG people.

Posted by: Oh Susanna | May 14, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

My daughter's U10 development team is looking for a decent mid-week game. Do you think the Galaxy are available?

Posted by: DCUinCT | May 14, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

How can you ruin the All Star game?

I'll drive 50 miles out of my way to watch a couple of old guys have a kick about in the park, and even I don't watch the all star game....

Posted by: JkR | May 14, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I think this protest would look as foolish as when BB decided to move a section over -- unless people actually know what the protest is about. It serves no purpose unless the public or commentators know what is going on, or could find out.

Posted by: RK | May 14, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Has Payne left yet? Sooner the better . . .

Posted by: PayneGo | May 14, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Chivas wont be moved.

I don't think the overhead is that much and besides they're owned by a billionaire. The league can't force a move on the team.
==========================================

This is not correct. MLS has a unique ownership structure. If I am not mistaken, MLS owns 51 percent of each team, and the so-called "owners" own 49 percent. The league front office forced a move from San Jose to Houston a few years ago. Several years before that, it forced the Miami and Tampa Bay clubs into the dustbin of history.

Posted by: tri-village | May 14, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

getting people to wear black tshirts seems like a pretty weak protest. about as toothless as dc united's attack is right now.

why not just boycott the all-star game? a stadium full of empty seats in what is supposed to be the best atmosphere in mls's showcase game would send a clear message that their stadium is not to be messed with.

Posted by: pat | May 14, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure they will know what is going on, come on, it's JP, he does his homework. I know some of you dislike TFC and so you don't care whether they do well or fail, but as a fan of the league and someone who wants to see the league succeed, don't you see this as an overall league issue? Whether or not hardcore people who have been following the league for a long time want to believe it or not, football lines hurt the league in that they can turn off the average fan or the diehard soccer fan who isn't in to the MLS yet (which Garber has said repeatedly is the MLS' target market to capture). Now it has to make real-life sense, as they are dealing with city politicians that have their own agenda, but if it can be avoided it should be avoided for the continued benefit of the league. What I'm curious about is why the Argos want the "outdoor stadium" aspect so much, why not take that 30-40 mil and renovate the dome?

Posted by: Chris | May 14, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Unless the Toronto Supporters Group has enough money to buy the stadium I don't see how they have a say in this. Did someone promise they would be the only tenant for the stadium?? Grow up and get a life.

Posted by: KP | May 14, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Yep...who cares about the All-Star Game.

If they are serious about protesting sharing their stadium, have everyone boycott an entire match, zero fans...do they have a game coming up on ESPN Thursday night...that would at least get the attention of the entire US/MLS media.

of course people might confuse BMO for Giants Stadium...

Bombshanka that's the chance you take.

Posted by: Tweaked | May 14, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Put yourself in TFC's shoes -- you'd be angry if DCU had to do this with the Skins or any other team.

Oh, wait, everyone was upset, just last year, when sharing with the Nats.

Posted by: RK | May 14, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

why not just boycott the all-star game? a stadium full of empty seats in what is supposed to be the best atmosphere in mls's showcase game would send a clear message that their stadium is not to be messed with.
========================================

Even for the All-Star game, there will be excess demand, given the small stadium size. If TFC supporters choose not to buy tickets, others will. Protesters would have to buy tickets and then be no-shows to create empty seats.

Posted by: tri-village | May 14, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

yeah tri-village, i should have included that option, especially since they stated they didn't want to hurt MLS, and buying tickets then not showing up wouldn't hurt them financially (it'd just make them look bad).

presumably the supporters groups are going to have first crack at tickets, so if it means that much to them, then they should buy the ticket then have a protest outside during the game. obviously not everyone would do that but they could probably get enough to make an impact.

Posted by: pat | May 14, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

"breaking news" from the Sports Bog
Kornheiser Takes Buyout

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2008/05/kornheiser_takes_buyout.html#comments

Posted by: Anonymous | May 14, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"breaking news" from the Sports Bog
Kornheiser Takes Buyout

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2008/05/kornheiser_takes_buyout.html#comments

Posted by: Anonymous | May 14, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

If they are serious about protesting sharing their stadium, have everyone boycott an entire match, zero fans...do they have a game coming up on ESPN Thursday night...that would at least get the attention of the entire US/MLS media.
=========================================

See my post above. Members of supporters groups have no control over other members of the general public. They would have to buy up every seat and then be no-shows for this to work.

Perhaps if they are no-shows for a Thursday night game, and their own section is empty, that would be enough of a visual statement, even if (or especially if) the rest of the stadium is full. But that would mean withholding support for their team. Would SE/BB/LN people ever consider doing this?

Posted by: tri-village | May 14, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

BMO was built as a soccer-specific stadium, and it should be kept that way. I'm totally for protests that would take place at the All-Star Game.

Posted by: Andy | May 14, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I agree with tri-village. There's going to be a lot of people interested in seeing Becks play - enough to make up for the anti-Argos gang.

This move seems antithetical to MLS's approach to stadia, unless the real point of a team owning its own stadium is to minimize leasing fees, and to get a little extra on the side when leasing the stadium for other events (btw the Fire has leased Toyota Park not only for concerts, but for rugby matches as well... but neither of those events covers the field with an ugly grid!).

In other words, if SSS is just a code word for "we own it, so we'll make more money" then expect MLSE to cave and lease the damn thing to whoever wants it and its prime downtown location.

Concert? Check. Rugby? Check. Football? Well, that's just rugby with extra pads - check. Circus? Hell, we had the Galaxy in here last week, what could be weirder than Abel Xavier's hair - check.

Bring on the monster trucks!!!

Posted by: Modibo | May 14, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Can't believe it would even be considered to share the field/stadium with football teams.

Wasn't a big part of the point of having soccer-specific stadiums to not have to deal with football lines on the field which *cannot* be completely or easily erased? The football lines look terrible on TV. Outrageous for it to be considered for Toronto or any other SSS. Outrageous to see it occasionally in practice in Columbus.

MLS, don't kill your progress now that you've finally started making it! The fans want to see a good product on the field, and a good presentation -- which means a soccer field should look like a soccer field, not a dry-erase board.

Posted by: Eugene | May 14, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

To show my solidarity with our Toronto brethren, today I'm going to listen to side 2 of "Permanent Waves" from Rush.

Posted by: Joe Doc | May 14, 2008 9:23 AM


LOL, Joe Doc! Better yet: the Bob and Doug McKenzie comedy album, where Geddy Lee sings Take Off (to the Great White North). That song should be the unofficial anthem of TFC, along with Tom Sawyer.

Posted by: SSMD | May 14, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the no-show. Real supporters would buy tickets and not show up. Wearing black is a cop out, they are just letting their real feelings out: that they want to be DC United supporters. In fact I am starting to think this is an elaborate prank by a DC supporter to get everyone to wear United colors.

Posted by: Kyle | May 14, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Someone SHOULD brew up some Toronto Protest. That just sounds like a great beer.

Posted by: TCompton | May 14, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I find it odd anyone would expect them to roll over and take this. If they want to protest, they have that right, and I support it.

English stadiums do host rugby, you hear all about it when players complain about the turf being crap and the lines a distraction. But anyone who has watched soccer on the travesty that is Rice-Eccles stadium would realize rugby lines are nothing compared to gridiron lines. It isn't a valid argument.

TFC fans should no more embrace the Argos at BMO Field than we should have embraced what MLB did to RFK.

Posted by: cd | May 14, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Here's a question I propose:

Would you take the CFL football team if it meant they'd put in real grass to go with the football lines?

I would.

Posted by: Steve B | May 14, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Here's a question I propose:

Would you take the CFL football team if it meant they'd put in real grass to go with the football lines?

I would.

Posted by: Steve B | May 14, 2008 11:23 AM

------------------------

A CFL team would chew up the real grass.

Posted by: Doug | May 14, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Note, too, that the CFL's season overlaps far more so with MLS's than does the NFL: The Argo's first game this season is June 12, their last October 30. On the 'bright' side, looks like they don't play many Saturday games. So why do the Argo's need to leave the Rogers Centre (http://www.rogerscentre.com/about/facts/index.html)?

Posted by: Doug | May 14, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Good idea but would be better if they bought up all the tickets and then stayed at home.

Posted by: BK | May 14, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

In support of TFC, I'm going to wear black to our next home match. In fact, to support league unity, I'd suggest that TFC fans wear black to RFK on May 24.

Posted by: TCompton | May 14, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

i hope the argos move in and stay for decades

Posted by: scruggs | May 14, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

> "We are asking all TFC Supporters to wear a black t-shirt for this game."

Can we get a shipment of DCU jerseys up to Toronto for the All Star game? Wouldn't mind seeing those TFC fans joining our ranks, even for a day...

;)

Posted by: hoser | May 14, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Don't ruin the All-Star Game for everyone else just, especially when you're protesting to the WRONG people.

Posted by: Oh Susanna | May 14, 2008 9:32 AM
------------------------

I'm pretty sure that the All-Star Game ruins itself for everyone.

Posted by: BK | May 14, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

glad to see fans take to the streets, hopefully the numbers will be large enough to make their voice heard.

Posted by: nico | May 14, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

First, a moment to gloat about a Football team asking a soccer team for a place to play...

Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

That said, I think the protest is well thought out and I am in support. Forget the black, everyone in Red to show TFC support. And lots of 'This is OUR House' signs.

Course, if the football team wants to pay for a heated grass field, that'd be worth considering.

Posted by: DCU-ATL | May 14, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

In Pamplona (Spain), people used to protest by turning their backs on the event. Nothing more strange and making the point than watching people in the stands chanting and doing all sorts of stuff facing backwards. It was actually kinda cool.

Posted by: juanma | May 14, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Scruggs is a bitter dude.

Posted by: DirtyHarry | May 14, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Okay,

MLSE has stated that the supporter stands would be movable in order to keep the intimacy of the field and football lines cannot happen in order for this deal to go through. The main purpose is to have someone else foot expansion fees of the field to accomodate 30,000. What this protest is really about is the "crap they call turf". If a CFL team becomes a tenant there is zero chance of having natural grass and getting completely rid of the football lines. This is my biggest beef with the Argos moving in. During gameday nothing would really change, except that the side stands would be further away from the pitch.

Posted by: DigzTFC | May 14, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I have nothing but support for this. No football lines ever in Toronto's SSS

Posted by: Tim F. | May 14, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

How good can Toronto's atmosphere be if a mere CFL team can defeat it?

Posted by: Jacknut | May 14, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

buy every frigging seat, and cover them in streamers, don't go to the game, watch the disappointment on tv, then don garber will have something to say to the toronto argos

that would be a protest

Posted by: streamers | May 14, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure that the All-Star Game ruins itself for everyone.
_____________________________

You get a chance to watch the best MLS players take on a sold Premier League team. I would pay money to see that. Plus, you get to see Johnny Spector

Posted by: Oh Susanna | May 14, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I agree that the crime in this is the lines on the field. Which can be dealt with via grass.

The only protest against business that will cause them to take actions is if you actuallya expose a risk to their revenue stream. Buying all the tickets, drinking all the beer and wearing black shirts will only serve to have you laughed at by suits as they look down on you while standing alonside their Argo brethren. Are you going to buy the shirts from them too?

You need to organize some kind of boycott that hits their wallet and seeing as you've sold out your stadium for the year you're kind of screwed. They've already got your money which is all they want.

Organize a BMO concessions and TFC merchandise boycott and you might make a difference. Besides it would prove to the rest of us that you're more than a drunken bunch of ice farmers.

Posted by: Steve | May 14, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

In Pamplona (Spain), people used to protest by turning their backs on the event.

Posted by: juanma

Now, they just throw things at Iker Casillas.

Posted by: RK | May 14, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

All of you asking for Paynes head need your own examined.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 14, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Let the Argos play there. Just make a clause in the contract that the football lines have to be 1) yellow. 2) temporary(gone by soccer game day). and 3) laid down over the top of the permanent soccer markings. Let's see if they like it.

Posted by: Tables turned. | May 14, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I hate football lines. Ick! I always think the ball is going out of bounds sooner than it is.

BTW. How embarassing that Galaxy lost to a USL team.

Posted by: Amanda | May 14, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

LOL, Joe Doc! Better yet: the Bob and Doug McKenzie comedy album, where Geddy Lee sings Take Off (to the Great White North). That song should be the unofficial anthem of TFC, along with Tom Sawyer.

Posted by: SSMD | May 14, 2008 10:43 AM

"cooo-roo-coo-coo, coo-coo-coo-cooooo..."

"good day, I'm Bob McKenzie, this is my brother Doug..."

howzitgoin' eh?"

Posted by: take off you CFL hosers! | May 14, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Streamers idea is good.
the problem with the city owning the stadium is the supporters have little to say, Toronto sure as hell isn't Seattle.
No metro natural democracy.
I know nothing of the politics up there and maybe they can use the internet to flood the powers that be with their "protest" now. I think they should be bannering it up though at all home games why not at the away games they travel to.

Posted by: Dadryan | May 14, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Look, we have these guys protesting, there are protests in Houston over a new stadium and in San Diego to get better MLS and soccer coverage on a local station.

Here in DC we have a stadium process that has lasted way too long, a front office not knowing which way is up and a clue less coach?

What does the Barra do? Sing.Same as always.

Posted by: The Barra is Gutless | May 14, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

No love for Triumph?

I'm young now.
I'm wild now.
I want to be free.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 14, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Any other major league would not tolerate any other lines, logos, etc on the field. It's just unprofessional and second class. Another problem is the uprights, I wouldn't want to see those being left up.

Posted by: Dan | May 14, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

sorry ive got a soft spot for the argos. the rocket played there.

...and i dont like any of the other teams in mls.

Posted by: scruggs | May 14, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

They play high school pointyball in Frisco every weekend. There's lacrosse in Carson, Commerce and Bridgeview. Columbus was retro-fitted for concerts. Wigan and Reading (RIP) share grounds with rugby teams. Croke Park, the spiritual home of GAA in Dublin, hosted soccer while Lansdowne Road was being reconstructed. Oh and Bruce Springsteen is playing Old Trafford on May 28 and the Emirates on May 30.

Methinks MLS can't afford to be idealist about the stadiums right now.

Posted by: AM | May 14, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I fully support the protest. I also support it during the All-Star game, but I would go further than that. Maybe organize a modest march in Toronto. Would any of this help? Not is capitalism has a say. And, capitalism always has a say.

I would, however, encourage the banners and signs to not be anti-gridiron or anti-Argos, the team. They should be PRO-TFC, PRO-SSS, and anti sharing the stadium with the Argos. I don't think this should turn into a battle with gridiron because I believe that soccer will have a tough time winning if that becomes what it's about.

BMO becoming a home for American/Candian Football would be an insult. A complete insult against soccer fans. Soccer is about organic, natural, beautiful ideals and can only thrive when you have people more concerned with passion than the almighty, or alwimpy as it stands right now, dollar. And, I've said this before and will say it again...

Better not to have a team if it's run and dictated by greed. It's not going to be doing soccer ANY favors. Trust me. In no time, the image of soccer will revert and destroy all progress so far.

Posted by: Sean | May 14, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"MLS, don't kill your progress now that you've finally started making it! The fans want to see a good product on the field, and a good presentation -- which means a soccer field should look like a soccer field, not a dry-erase board."

Posted by: Eugene | May 14, 2008 10:31 AM

-----------------------------

MLS isn't behind this! That's the last thing they would want. If I am not mistaken, neither MLS nor Toronto FC owns the stadium. They might not have any say in the matter.

Posted by: KR in DC | May 14, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

PLEASE PLEASE-- the goal for all of MLS should be for NO football lines on ANY Soccer field. It projects the image that soccer is a subordinate sport to the MIGHTY American football. It is hard to take it seriously when football lines scar up the field !! Just Say NO !!

Posted by: Mike | May 14, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

'Soccer is about organic, natural, beautiful ideals and can only thrive when you have people more concerned with passion than the almighty, or alwimpy as it stands right now, dollar.'

Posted by: Sean | May 14, 2008 1:45 PM

Get over yourselves people, its a game and a business at this level just like everywhere else in the world. Just a lot less popular here (North America) than elsewhere.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 14, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, last post by me. Not intending to be (more) anonymous.

Posted by: Steve | May 14, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I hate football lines. Ick! I always think the ball is going out of bounds sooner than it is.

BTW. How embarassing that Galaxy lost to a USL team.

Posted by: Amanda | May 14, 2008 1:19 PM
-------------------------------------------
The football lines bug a lot of us. I get confused by them, too sometimes.

MLS teams lose to USL teams more often than some people think. And sometimes it's not just the MLS club's reserves (like us last year in USOC play when we faces USL2 Harrisburgh or the way the USL2 Richmond Kickers embarrassed our DCU reserves in preseason play a couple months ago.) Sometimes it may be a combination of reserves and starters (like the when the Galaxy lost to the Richmond kickers in USOC last year). Of course, my favorite is when Clavijo played almost all of his starters and USL1 Seattle Sounders waxed the Colorado Rapids 5-0 in USOC play last year.

Sometimes the "big" dog gets bit in the ...

Posted by: yankiboy | May 14, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

As far as the TFC supporters' protest goes-- I say go for it. MLSE and the city have been taking them for granted because they have become spoiled and expect for TFC to sell out all the time now. That well could run dry next season if they keep money grabbing--sorry--"maximizing revenues" and looking for additional "revenue streams".

Don't get me wrong--I got nothing against capitalism; I luv it. I'm just saying that MLSE got a sweetheart of deal with BMO (right place, right time, right capital, right ownership group). They place is selling out. But it's not guaranteed to always be that way. The Argos have been a bit shaky financially in the last decade or so (just my opinion). I would prioritize TFC over the Argos. TFC is the hot ticket. I wouldn't go out of my way to alienate those fans. I really wouldn't.

Posted by: yankiboy | May 14, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Hate to crash the love soccer/hate football-fest, but can someone explain to me what gives Toronto soccer fans the right to tell the stadium's owners and the taxpayers who paid for the stadium how they are allowed to use it?

Posted by: Mysterian | May 14, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

@Sean:

Help me out here: I think, based on your post, that you think capitalism is part of the problem here ("protest," people should be "more concerned with passion than the almighty dollar" and "greed" being the clues). If I'm wrong, please explain.

But if I'm right, then your economic theories lean toward socialism, I'm guessing. And if THAT's true, then wouldn't Marx argue that TFC is morally obligated to share the field with the Argos?

Posted by: Joe Doc | May 14, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

LOL! Venues are shared all over the world. Get over it people. I'm in favor of the Argos playing on FC Toronto's turf.

Posted by: Jack from Mississauga | May 14, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Hate to crash the love soccer/hate football-fest, but can someone explain to me what gives Toronto soccer fans the right to tell the stadium's owners and the taxpayers who paid for the stadium how they are allowed to use it?

Posted by: Mysterian | May 14, 2008 2:17 PM
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i would suggest to you that since they, as paying customers have made the stadium a financial success so far--that their voice should be heard. If your customers walk then BMO and MLSE and thhe TO government would really have some financial problems on their hands. The Argos have been up and more often down as far as the income that they generate. Although they are a storied club, their is some sort of weird TO psyche that makes many of them want to shed the Argos because they have the dream of an NFL club or they just don't care.

I usually say always bet on "black" but in this case, I would recommend that the city bet on "red". The Argos aren't a sure thing. I can't see the Buffalo Bills playing too many games their either. Its too small. The parties that you mentioned have investeed their capital--no doubt. But MLSE and the TO city government should realize that there is no promise that the TFC faithful won't walk away from the club.

TFC aren't the Leafs. The Blue Jays were selling $2 tix not too long ago. The Raptors are still on the periphery of the sports landscape, even as they contiunue to win games and build their base. I would rank them as more important in some ways than the Jays and the Argos.

MLSE has a lot of pensioners money invested in it from unions like teachers. I understand that they need to maximize their revenues. They should just be really careful how they try and do it. The city might be better to look at the bigger picture. Especially when it seems like so many in TO could care less about the Argos than they do TFC.

Posted by: yankiboy | May 14, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I think the only logical thing to do is to ban TFC fans from all MLS away games.

Posted by: God | May 14, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"MLS, don't kill your progress now that you've finally started making it! The fans want to see a good product on the field, and a good presentation -- which means a soccer field should look like a soccer field, not a dry-erase board."

Posted by: Eugene | May 14, 2008 10:31 AM

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MLS isn't behind this! That's the last thing they would want. If I am not mistaken, neither MLS nor Toronto FC owns the stadium. They might not have any say in the matter.

Posted by: KR in DC | May 14, 2008 1:54 PM

The other purpose of having soccer-specific stadiums was for the clubs to have the revenue streams associated with them rather than having to pay rent. Having that revenue stream makes the business more viable. So I'd find it shocking if Toronto FC didn't own the stadium, at least in part, or at least have some say into the use of the stadium.

Hey, anything's possible, but for Toronto FC not to have control of their stadium would fly in the face of everything Garber's been talking about in terms of the reasons for building these things.

Posted by: Eugene | May 14, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

"MLS, don't kill your progress now that you've finally started making it! The fans want to see a good product on the field, and a good presentation -- which means a soccer field should look like a soccer field, not a dry-erase board."

Posted by: Eugene | May 14, 2008 10:31 AM

-----------------------------

MLS isn't behind this! That's the last thing they would want. If I am not mistaken, neither MLS nor Toronto FC owns the stadium. They might not have any say in the matter.

Posted by: KR in DC | May 14, 2008 1:54 PM

The other purpose of having soccer-specific stadiums was for the clubs to have the revenue streams associated with them rather than having to pay rent. Having that revenue stream makes the business more viable. So I'd find it shocking if Toronto FC didn't own the stadium, at least in part, or at least have some say into the use of the stadium.

Hey, anything's possible, but for Toronto FC not to have control of their stadium would fly in the face of everything Garber's been talking about in terms of the reasons for building these things.

Posted by: Eugene | May 14, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I'd also find it bizarre that the CFL team's inclusion would be for the purpose of paying to expand the stadium to 30k seats (or 40k) when for sure Toronto FC could make that money back in the addl ticket sales in relatively short order.

No, I think this thing is much more simple, its really just an opportunity for MLSE to make more money from their stadium by charging another tenant rent. I don't think they were counting on the fans protesting.

Posted by: Eugene | May 14, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

@Posted by: Fid | May 14, 2008 8:35 AM

you are crass but correct. Plus on any given weekend I see many a Prem side playing with Rugby lines on the fields; although they tend to be more faint than the NFL lines.

The turf there should be their first concern and continuing to win should be second for them.

It would be nice to keep the gridiron lines off the field, but if the city says the Argos are in, they are in. Just force them to remove the lines or use water soluble paint that can be washed easily and make them pay for it.
The Bears used to make the Fire replace the turf at Soldier Field all the time.

Posted by: papa bear | May 15, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Rugby lines are not as bad as foolishball lines. Rugby lines don't appear that much on the feild as opposed to foolishball lines that covers the field.

Posted by: sky | May 15, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

The gridiron lines are not the only technical issue at play here. In fact, to most TFC fans that is not the most important issue.

The CFL field is huge, considerably wider and longer than the NFL field. To accomodate the field the supporters section in the south end of the ground would need to be knocked down and moved further away from the pitch in order to accomodate the CFL field. The Argos said last year that they would want to keep the center line for the football games in the same place as the soccer half-line. There is the major concern, an intimate soccer specific stadium being essentially ruined to accomodate second rate football.

Furthermore the Argos have a track record of breaking promises. On two previous occasions The Argonauts walked away from agreements with the Canadian Soccer Association and the City on building new stadia for football and soccer. Bottom line they cannot be trusted. If Garber is serious about his wish for soccer specific stadia he needs to lobby hard for this not to take place.

Posted by: bgnewf | May 15, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

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