Argonauts Sold to Bell and Larry Tanenbaum

The Toronto Argonauts may have finally found a form of life support to help the struggling franchise: the franchise has been sold to a new ownership group consisting of MLSE partners Bell and Larry Tanenbaum. The Argos will  move from the unfriendly concrete confines of the Rogers Centre to a much more aesthetically pleasing stadium and, more importantly, a true outdoor experience for fans in 2016: BMO Field.

Argonauts Sold to Bell and Larry Tanenbaum

The Argos’ lease with the Rogers Centre was set to expire at the end of the 2017 season, when natural grass will be installed in the dome. The dome was home to the Boatmen since 1989, when the team moved from Exhibition Stadium to what was known as Skydome. BMO Field will be the fifth home to the CFL franchise since 1873.

The much-needed positive news for the Argos comes at a time when we hear mostly negativity surrounding the franchise and its owner, David Braley, who has surrendered the reigns.

Attendance has wavered for the Argos, who are only two full seasons removed from being Grey Cup champions; everyone is quick to point out that the state of their home is the root cause of this problem. The solution is likely not just a new home but it’s a great start. A new marketing team will help bring awareness to the big move.

Jeffrey Orridge, the new CFL commissioner, said upon taking the job, “Toronto is our priority.” The savvy Harvard grad will also realize that a new home is just the start and the journey to the revival of this storied franchise is just starting. The real test will be marketing the Argos towards a younger fan base, a new home for the double blue might bring excitement into Toronto. That could wear off quickly with out proper marketing, however.

It’s important to also note that Rogers will not be a partner in this purchase, the Argos there for are not owned entirely by MLSE, fans may speculate about the Argos receiving special treatment by broadcasting rights holder TSN as they are a division of Bell Media, of course that is just what will be talked about to make this story more interesting.

Make no mistake, this is a major announcement not just for the Argos and their fans but the entire CFL, even Ticats fans should be ecstatic that their provincial rivals will be in stable hands for now, no one wanted to see another CFL franchise disappear.

For now Argos fans can breathe a sigh of relief and now focus completely on football, more importantly with last year and all the distractions on and off the field for the boatmen, the players and coaching staff can now focus on winning. As GM Jim Barker made it perfectly clear in his first media appearance this year the Grey Cup is their ultimate goal this season. He’s right it should be, the time is ticking on Ricky Ray who is in the final year of his contract this season same for head coach Scott Milanovich.