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MLS Cup awarded to Toronto

I love the idea of Toronto hosting MLS Cup: a vibrant city with European flavor, a fan base passionate about both the local club and the international game, a breathtaking stadium backdrop with the skyline and lake, an intimate venue of around 22,000 with grass replacing artificial turf this season.

Now let's hope the weather cooperates.

The match will be played on a Sunday evening (Nov. 21), in part to avoid TV conflicts with the NFL. ESPN and Telefutura will provide live coverage. The starting time is listed at 8:30 p.m. ET, but because of the TV pregame show, kickoff will be later. Which means that, if the match goes into overtime and penalty kicks again, the trophy won't be raised until well after 11 p.m ... in late November ... in Canada.

Last year on the day of the Cup, it was nicer in Toronto (50 during the day, 42 at night) than it was in host Seattle (45 and rain). And because of the time difference affecting the East Coast TV window, the 2009 final had to start much earlier (5:30 p.m. local time).

Weather was a factor in the first two MLS Cups: a Nor'easter slammed Foxborough in 1996 and heavy rain drenched RFK Stadium the following fall. Otherwise, the conditions have typically been fine. There is some risk playing in Toronto, but clearly MLS believes the benefits outweigh those concerns.

It should also be noted that this will be one of the smallest venues to host MLS Cup; only Columbus and Dallas (twice) were of similar size.

What do you think of the choice? Vote:

By Steve Goff  |  March 30, 2010; 12:31 PM ET
Categories:  Canada , MLS , Poll  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Early Tuesday kickaround
Next: D.C. United, MLS news & notes

Comments

I agree with Toronto getting a chance to host the Cup, but I'm just not sure this should be the year. I still would have chosen RB stadium this time around.

Posted by: nairbsod | March 30, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing Garber doesn't sit in the open end line seats with the frozen rabble...

(I kid the TFC fans because I love them...)

Posted by: JkR- | March 30, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Toronto should be OK. Harrison will have to wait it's turn. Next year in United Park!

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 30, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Personally I think they should have waited until an additional Canadian team joined the league.

Posted by: csd1 | March 30, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait for the new MLS Cup 2010 website to come on line. Garber says it will be awesome.

Posted by: csd1 | March 30, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I was in Toronto in November in 2002 and the temp was in the high 50s! I think that was an all time record though. The Toronto Star even had a picture of someone surfing on the lake. Let's hope they can repeat that the weekend of the Cup.

Posted by: greifie | March 30, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait for the new MLS Cup 2010 website to come on line. Garber says it will be awesome.
Posted by: csd1 | March 30, 2010 12:51 PM |

I LOL'd. We need more if this type of post. On topic, captures the zeitgeist, and absurd...

Well played, sir.

Posted by: JkR- | March 30, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

@csd -- I'm still not sure they had a choice. I think there had been a narrow window commitment to give either the MLS All-Star game, or Cup final to Toronto. At least, I kept reading about that. Also, this actually might work better. With Vancouver coming in next year and MLS about to announce a Montreal expansion team for 2012, this is a way to get Canadians a little more invested in MLS even before those teams take the field.

I think this will be fine. I love watching the orange balls. As long as the snow isn't coming down too hard, it'll be great.

Posted by: fischy | March 30, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

The starting time is ridiculous, though. At the very least, they should start an hour earlier....especially if they want to avoid a conflict with the Sunday night NFL game which starts at 8:30. People could flip over form the late afternoon games to catch the MLS pregame.

Posted by: fischy | March 30, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The weather conditions helped the 1st two MLS Cups be classics.

Anyways, DC United will face the National team of El Salvador on June 19 at RFK in a friendly...info from La Prensa Grafica of El Salvador...here are highlights of when the two faced off in 2003 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqAM8s_osBY

Posted by: ESFan21 | March 30, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

The Cup needs to be played at the ground of the higher-seeded participant. Playing at a neutral site too often results in a neutral (read: quiet and only mildly interested) crowd and swaths of empty seats.

Posted by: Ron16 | March 30, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"...and heavy rain drenched RFK Stadium", hmmm, I was there and remember it being one of the best days of the year. Go DC United! ;)

Posted by: NVillanueva | March 30, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I've been in Toronto in Novembers past. The weather might be fine or it might be snowing. The thing I would worry most about would be the wind coming off the Lake.

But they had to get a turn eventually so I suppose this year is as a good as any other.

Posted by: fedssocr | March 30, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

as someone said the other day, swap the allstar game and the mls cup game. houston in summer and toronto in winter are both bad ideas that would be mitigated by swapping them.

on the other topic, I get that it is a business and dcu needs to make money any way they can, but the el sal national team? great, so dcu can have an away game on their own field, just like the usmnt. will our own el sal star play one half for each team?

Posted by: troy6 | March 30, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

It's probably because we're trying to keep our guys fresh during the World Cup break. That's all.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | March 30, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

It should've been Red Bull Arena.

Posted by: Reignking | March 30, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Ron16: I agree about giving the game to the higher seed. Unfortunately, that's not where MLS is at yet. ...one day...

Posted by: nairbsod | March 30, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Houston for the All-Star game shouldn't be much of a problem- it's being played at Reliant Stadium, which has a retractable roof (and air conditioning, one assumes). I look forward to an MLS Cup at Red Bull Arena, but Toronto deserves a shot first. Will BMO Field's expanded seating be completed in time for MLS Cup?

Posted by: ricky_b | March 30, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Why not do it on a Saturday? Even on a Sunday you'll still be conflicting with NBC's NFL game of the week...

Posted by: Juan-John1 | March 30, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm pulling Cesc from my fantasy CL lineup...40% chance to play.

Posted by: Reignking | March 30, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Late November weather in Toronto is not likely to be much worse than late November in Foxborough or Chicago.

Posted by: Ron16 | March 30, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"...and heavy rain drenched RFK Stadium", hmmm, I was there and remember it being one of the best days of the year. Go DC United! ;)

Posted by: NVillanueva

Me too! We didn't sit for the whole game so the rain wasn't that big a problem. However, trying to wade/swim through Lot 8 after the game was a completely different story!

Posted by: soccerman | March 30, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Sunday Night Cup Final=not very smart.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 30, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Maradona bitten on face by his own dog, and has to undergo plastic surgery...

Posted by: Reignking | March 30, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

as long as they rotate it around, Toronto deserves a chance to host it as much as anyone else does.

they really ought to award it to the team with the better regular season record though and give some sort of home team advantage.

Posted by: joe_hill | March 30, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I have no problems with Toronto hosting the game, but outdoors at that time of year...it will be bitterly cold and snowy in Canada....Also, while we talk about the NFL....it will be the middle of the CFL Grey Cup Playoffs up there...something to really think about.

Posted by: ejharrisjr40 | March 30, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

It almost never snows in Toronto in November... I've been here 34 years and most of the time we don't even have snow at Christmas. The killer snow period is January and February.

Secondly, the new $3.5 million grass field will be heated (drainage + aeration too). So the field will be in great shape for the game.

Posted by: hendrix | March 30, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Sunday Night Cup Final=not very smart.

Posted by: DadRyan |

You've got to wonder why MLS and the NFL haven't figured that out. Even the CL woke up and moved it to Saturday.

Posted by: Reignking | March 30, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I'll be there if Wade does a concert.

Or "The The."

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 30, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Reward them, they took out the plastic! Good job TFC!

Posted by: boda-united | March 30, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

MLS cannot play the Cup final on Saturday because there is no TV space to be had on the Disney owned networks during college football season.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 30, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

What Kev29 said.

Sunday night prime time gives MLS plenty of chance to grow. You've got Sunday night NFL and then whatever "important" regionally televised November NBA and NHL games...that are truly deciding the champions for June in their 16 game mini-season!

Sunday night is fine with me - just wish it could be an 8:30 kick with an 8:00 start for pre-game.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | March 30, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I've suggested in the past to play the game on Friday night. I know people go out but besides High School football Friday night conflicts with very little. It would be the closest MLS could come to being the center of attention on a Fall football weekend. Otherwise, I would much rather see it on Sunday night instead of Sunday afternoon. From a marketing standpoint I always thought Sunday afternoon was moronic. Way too much football competition during the afternoon. At least there is only one football game at night so it could end up being a dud of a matchup or game.

Posted by: croftonpost | March 30, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Location is fine. The cup should be played before the World Series though. Season's too long.

Posted by: Alsatian1 | March 30, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I've suggested in the past to play the game on Friday night.

Posted by: croftonpost | March 30, 2010 2:42 PM

Friday night is notoriously bad for TV. But that might work if they just allowed home field advantage to continue for the final.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 30, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

This is vastly superior to that 11 AM EST start for Dynamo vs Revs at RFK for MLS Cup 2007!

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | March 30, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

My opinion has nothing to do with it being promising for TV ratings. It's a bad choice of day and time for travel support of the clubs who make the final. Unless of course, you're rich, your boss doesn't give a darn if you show up at work on Monday, etc.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 30, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Dimechelis's mask is as ridiculous. I mean the clear ones look weird, but dude looks like a perv with that thing on!

Posted by: DadRyan | March 30, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh hello...

St Johnstone 2 (Chris Millar 12') - Rangers nil

Edu on the bench, Beasley not in the squad

Posted by: Kev29 | March 30, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Beasley is washed up IMO. Yes, for Friday or Sunday night. Dad-I'm not rich enough to even consider traveling to the game let alone worrying about the time of the day. RFK or Philly is about all my budget can handle. :)

Posted by: Gambrills4 | March 30, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I know I'm picking nits, but you should probably have put "host" in the headline somewhere. The headline sounds like Toronto has already won the title without the game.

Posted by: gr8nylacbiz | March 30, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't Dimechelis have a mask sponsor? Shaving cream, after shave, pain relievers.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 30, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Ha. Hey, how do they come up with the stats on the distance players have traveled in the games? I read about the US women wearing GPS's in their bras, but how do they get those stats in these CL matches?

Posted by: DadRyan | March 30, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Re: Cup not at RBA

Word is that RBNY didn't want to host the Cup during the first season at the new digs. They want to have everything running smooth before hosting the Cup. I'd wager they also want the surrounding area to be something other than brownfields when the Cup comes to town too...

Posted by: alecw81 | March 30, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

The Bayern fans are singins "Skip to the Lou?"

Dadryan: I'm guessing that with digital recording they can select the player pixels and track them throughout the game.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 30, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Look who just made his way past DeMerit and the rest of the Warford defense...

Watford 0 - 1 Crystal Palace (Stern John 31')

Posted by: Kev29 | March 30, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I would definitely choose MLS Cup if United was participating (TV only no passport or budget for travel to Canada for me either) but I have Skins season tickets as well to worry about and I hate eating tickets. I guess there's always StubHub.

Posted by: croftonpost | March 30, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Ron16: I agree about giving the game to the higher seed. Unfortunately, that's not where MLS is at yet. ...one day...

Posted by: nairbsod | March 30, 2010 1:22 PM
-------------------------------------------------------

Interesting statement. With the NFL, it's the opposite. It's come so far along -- its championship is such an amazing draw -- presumably neutral cities get in a bidding war to host.

I'd say the MLS isn't really far enough along to have a neutral site host. The Cup final isn't a big enough event. Right now, I understand the desire to ship the final to new stadiums to attract local interest, but really the game's not a big enough event to make that work. Someday, it might be.

Posted by: fischy | March 30, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe MLS has the gall to start it's season at this time of year when NFL teams are gearing up for the draft.

And cherry blossoms are blooming!

And don't they know some people work on Saturday nights!

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | March 30, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I will hold my applause until their choice of Loverboy, Gordon Lightfoot or Bryan Adams is announced as the halftime entertainment.

Posted by: IamAM | March 30, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm holding out for the Starland Vocal Band, ABBA, or the Captain & Tenille. :)

Posted by: croftonpost | March 30, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize how close the seats are to the field at Allianz Arena. I like it even more now. Now if I could just read those banners...

(I'm sure half of them are recipes for eggless cookies)

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 30, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Toronto is a fine host for the cup final. I went to the TFC v Cowlumbus game at BMO last april for my bachlor party weekend. Toronto is a great town. great night life. a lot of people out walking around on a chilly friday night. Any bad weather really wont dampen the crowd. it was chilly but not freezing at the game. Durring the game we had sun, rain and wind, sleet, then sun again all in two hours. The crowd was awesome, we stood the whole time. The game will sell out in minutes, so no worries about empty seats. They could play the game in the skydome and probably totally fill the lower bowl.
the sunday night game is a bad slot but, better than sunday afternoon up against the full NFL slate. should have been a 7:30 start. the late nfl game is over by then and the sunday night pre game has not started yet.(i think some pointed that out, and were right) A few people said Toronto should have gotten the all star game first, they have already hosted the all star game. MLS v West Ham. I guess DC can forget getting an all star of cup final until we get a new ground of our own.

Posted by: jjfooty | March 30, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

The TO will be a great MLS Cup host, and MLS absolutely needs to gravitate toward its better markets for the final so long as the league insists on sticking with this ridiculous Super Bowl knock-off instead of adopting a home-and-home final like they really ought to. Seeing as MLS had no problem letting Foxboro, MA (hardly a tropical paradise, and a rather lame MLS market to boot!) host two finals, the league has no valid excuse for shunning stronger markets like Toronto and Chicago.

And as far as weather concerns go, it's high time MLS finally got over its fear of chilly weather anyways. If anything, colder is actually better for the most part -- trust me, MLS Cup in Toronto in late November will offer a much better game than Houston will offer for the All-Star Game in July, when it'll be like 101 degrees with 99% humidity and the players will be moving like snails from the 10th minute onward!

Posted by: WorldCitizen1 | March 30, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize how close the seats are to the field at Allianz Arena. I like it even more now. Now if I could just read those banners...

(I'm sure half of them are recipes for eggless cookies)

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish

They are underegging their cookies.

Posted by: Reignking | March 30, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm holding out for Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet to reform, and No Means No. Maybe The Hanson Brothers could do a crossover Football anthem instead of the usual Hockey fare.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 30, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I googled a couple of those red banners. They are the names of towns in Bavaria which are (I presume) advertising for tourist season. Bad Imnau is either a place with hot springs or a reform school (Bad I'm now, get it? Get it?)

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 30, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Wow - Palace now 3-nil up. Jay DeMerit "having a 'mare" according to BBC London.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 30, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

They are underegging their cookies.

Posted by: Reignking | March 30, 2010 4:09 PM

I guess that's better than tossing their pudding

Posted by: Kev29 | March 30, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Ribery with the deflected FK from 25-ish yards. VdS had no chance. FK given up by a Neville handball.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 30, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention Rooney has had a hand(or foot) in both goals.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 30, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

There's also a banner behind the Bayern goal for Highlander. I looked for another on the Man U end, but... wait for it... wait for it... there can be only one.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 30, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Evra gets pickpocketed by Olic. 2-1 to the cuckoo clock makers. Rooney injured on the play while trying to avoid running into the Bayern player from behind. Weird injury. Rooney slows down and puts him arms up and then just lands oddly.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 30, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Uh...how in the hell will an 8:30 start NOT interfere with NFL games?? Anyone ever heard of Sunday Night Football on NBC? It's usually a pretty damn good game. Stupid scheduling by MLS, they should just have it on Saturday. Far less people watch college football than NFL.

Posted by: kdiff813 | March 30, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

GRASS and fan-passion make perfect chemistry for MLS Cup in Toronto. DCU deserves better from the D.C. politicians who have lost sight of progress and an extra revenue source.

Posted by: juke2 | March 30, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Ron16: I agree about giving the game to the higher seed. Unfortunately, that's not where MLS is at yet. ...one day...

Posted by: nairbsod | March 30, 2010 1:22 PM
-------------------------------------------------------


I'd say the MLS isn't really far enough along to have a neutral site host. The Cup final isn't a big enough event. Right now, I understand the desire to ship the final to new stadiums to attract local interest, but really the game's not a big enough event to make that work. Someday, it might be.

Posted by: fischy


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

Totally agree with you on this fischy, not too much else to be said. Sad that MLS can't see this.

Posted by: SoundersMob | March 30, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize how close the seats are to the field at Allianz Arena. I like it even more now. Now if I could just read those banners...

(I'm sure half of them are recipes for eggless cookies)

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 30, 2010 4:00 PM |
----------------------------------------------------

It's great unless it's raining. On the way to a Cup match there, I was talking to a local on a Metro train -- I was running late and a big storm was blowing through the area. He told me his brother had season seats there and it used to be a problem, but that they had covered the stands to protect fans. True enough, except the rain cover protected folks in the fourth or fifth row and up. The corporate turn-back-in seats I got the week before flying over were in the second row. I think I was never that wet in my life. Didn't want to miss any of the actual game, so I waited to get the poncho at halftime. The closeness of the pitch was very cool. When the action was on the sidelines, you could almost reach out and touch....

Posted by: fischy | March 30, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

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