So, once again, more loud whining about the Argos. The owner of the
Argos is an old, rich man. You don’t get old and rich if you’re
stupid. Mr. David Braley is hopefully talking up the possibility of a
solution to an issue that is entirely of his own making.
The Argos “play” in a “stadium” called the Rogers Centre. To those of
us who actually paid for the thing, it is Skydome. When I say paid, I
mean $600 million 1980s dollars of taxpayer money went into it. It was
expensive and awesome in 1989. It was awesome until about 1994. It
started getting handed down for pennies on the dollar to various local
corporate interests (remember “Sportsco”?), until Rogers
Communications got it in 2004 for $25 millon. Rogers was desperate to
not have the Argos leave the dome, which they were going to do, to the
new stadium being built (that would be BMO Field, although the
location had not been determined), and so they offered them free rent.
This deal was renewed under Braley.
So the notion that something needs to be “solved” it a bit more
complex than we are being led to believe here. Rogers now realizes
that extending free to the Argos was a mistake. Their actual content
producer Blue Jay baseball team, that fills the stadium and their TV
properties, wants the Argos out so they can put in a real grass field.
Very interesting. For the very reason that Rogers wants the Argos out,
we hear the reason TFC fans do not want the Argos in, at BMO Field.
Grass field is incompatible with Canadian Football.
TFC fans, and the people of Toronto, should be very wary of what is
going on. Rogers wants something. They can promote any point of view
they want, and freeze out dissent completely on their media
properties. Braley wants something that is basically consistent with
what Rogers wants. The large media companies in Toronto get what they
want. Rogers got a friendly write-up about the Argo situation on the CBC
website as well as the Star today. They get this because they pay
the Star and the CBC millions of dollars a year in advertising buys.
You will not hear any mainstream opposition to the Argo move to BMO
for this reason.
Essentially, no one wants the Argos in their facility, which should be
a giant red flag for everyone involved. It will be very interesting to
see Rogers and MLSE trying to deal with this. As TFC’s owners, MLSE
have little to gain and will assume much risk if they take them in. I
was left shaking my head when the Argos did not come to the soccer
stadium when they had the chance. They had their chance, and instead
took the free rent at the Dome. That is where they should stay. Rogers
offered it, and only a fool would help either of them out of their
So, there’s an article on the Toronto Sun website. I won’t make it a link, but here’s the url – http://www.torontosun.com/2015/04/24/live-leiweke-updates-bmo-field-argos-talks
Understandably, they won’t publish my comment, which appears below. Spam and pointless bickering is fine, apparently. Sigh.
Here is my take.
Rogers Communications and the Jays situation in the dome is driving the debate about BMO Field. It has nothing to do with the Argos or TFC. The CFL at the dome is simply a problem for Rogers.
This is being discussed because CFL is incompatible with grass in the Dome, just like it is incompatible with grass at BMO. Any serious observer can understand this. The Dome was built to accomodate both the Jays and the Argos. That is why the sections move. The Argos declined to go to BMO field, because Rogers didn’t want them to leave the Dome, and offered to let them stay for free years ago. Now, they desperately want to put a natural grass field in the Dome to improve things for the Jays. Rogers owns the Jays and the Dome. The Argos are in the way for all of their plans for these major assets. Rogers is just trying to make this someone else’s problem, and it’s really amazing to me that they are getting a free ride here. The media seems happy to make this TFC versus Argos. It’s not. This is Rogers not wanting to deal with a problem they created. They won’t pay to relocate the Argos. They won’t do anything for the owner of the Argos (I wouldn’t either, but that’s another side of this).
QMI won’t say anything because they are afraid Rogers will pull its advertising. Same with every other news outlet. So, the story becomes, the poor Argos, why won’t anyone help them? News to everyone: Rogers can afford to deal with this. Make them pay for a stadium for the Jays, or for the Argos, or both. This should never be allowed to be a problem for the people of Toronto, and it’s a real shame it’s being put in a TFC versus Argos context. It’s Rogers versus the people of Toronto.
Leafs tickets are seen as an investment to hold, not a conditional payment on success.
The Leaf team is an incredibly valuable sport property that is basically destroyed every year by the media that keep them incredibly valuable.
How? The players are given exalted status based on next to nothing on an achievement scale. People get excited about 5 game winning streaks. There’s so much micro-analysis that no one looks at what is required to actually get league, and playoff results.
I decided a long time ago, after the NHL went to massive TV timeouts and an extra playoff round, and silly shootouts (that affected the standings!) that I couldn’t follow the Leafs all the time anymore. The NHL is a very frustrating league; unclear in its approach to what is quite a simple game, determined to create rules designed to alter conduct that is shamelessly encouraged by its marketers.
This year, after Randy Carlyle exited, the Leafs were ran into the ground, to get a high draft pick. Why is this a good way to operate in the world’s major hockey league? Incentivizing a poor season record makes me very disinterested in a game that has markedly deteriorated through bad stewardship over the decades.
There will be no extra playoff revenue this year. The figures might look a bit bad this year. They still will never lose money. Toronto people love their team, and quality does not matter. Why is this? The early 70s teams were worse than this year. The 80s teams were worse than this year’s team. Everyone still came to see them, and read about them, and watched the TV sports. The asinine coverage in newspapers, websites and the blogosphere, of meaningless practices and irrelevant melodrama, is now just so much clickbait. It’s out of proportion to anything else in the NHL. The issue is not that fans pay to see the Leafs play. It’s that they pay to view those websites, and read those newpapers, watch and listen to those shows, podcasts, and the sports radio circus. It’s something everyone has in common, and Toronto will always be this way about the Leafs.
Unconditional interest, no matter what happens. Since even the mundane process of not winning is so intensely interesting, and profitable for so many media outlets, and for the team itself, the outcome of games becomes incidental. It’s something that might affect the value of your investment in Leaf tickets. As long as something is happening, it’s automatically fascinating. Unless you actually decide you’re not interested, and start following something else.
There is this industry, called “Climate Change”. It has commodified and quantified the infinite human capacity for worry. I am going to refer to this worry as “change”.
The change will happen regardless. The increased ability to measure and discuss change is itself irrelevant to the fact of the change.
Why does anyone think governments should do something about change? Government is for human systems. Roads. Borders. Laws. Taxes. Schools, in some cases. Governments are the last human organization I want looking at change. Change is inevitable and unstoppable. I don’t think anything is more guaranteed to happen than change, except the sale of worry over it.
This is the true story of what is happening. Yes, things are different. Yes, it can be measured better than ever. Yes it can be discussed more thoroughly than ever. It does not mean that it should be characterized in any way, for the benefit or to the detriment of anyone. And that is all that happens. The sale of worry.
Ignore the commodification of worry. There will never be a time when people do not think they have reached some limit. Never. It is a human trait to extrapolate, based on available technology. The fears and worries of this age will seem simple in 50 years, compared to what science will then be able to measure and discuss. Same as it has ever been.