Last month, we covered the Toronto Blue Jays’ plan to lay down real grass in the Rogers Centre, and how the resulting logistical issues could force the Argonauts to relocate to a new home (“The grass is always greener”, February 3).
The fate of the Argos, the champions of the 2012 Grey Cup, remains in limbo, but the University of Toronto recently granted the Argonauts permission to use Varsity Stadium as the venue for the team’s 2013 preseason games.
The recently renamed Varsity Centre will be retrofitted to accommodate 5,000 seats, which the team’s loyal fanbase should easily fill.
The Argos have not played at Varsity Stadium in 55 years. They will face the Montreal Alouettes there on June 20.
Chris Rudge, the CEO of the Toronto Argonauts Football Club, has stated that the club is currently in negotiations for a new lease with the Rogers Centre, and has promised that all future Argonauts games will be played at the Rogers Centre. But this is not a certainty, since there is still a possibility that the Argos will be relocated to a smaller stadium more suitable for a CFL team unable to fill the Rogers Centre’s 50,000 seats.
How will the addition of a CFL team to the St. George campus impact students’ lives? There will likely be no big changes; the Argonauts have already made UTM their home away from the Rogers Centre while using UTM’s practice facility and have shared the space harmoniously with hoards of stressed students.
If anything, the move might increase public awareness of and involvement in U of T’s sports programs through a potential CFL partnership with CIS. However, some students disagree that the change will have even that impact on the university.
“It’s a waste of the Rogers Centre. We have a world-class stadium and we are giving it up for Varsity Stadium. If the players don’t protest a possible stadium change, I hope the fans do,” says Kyle Kuczynski, a third-year history and political science major and centre on the UTM hockey team. “CFL-CIS partnership won’t do anything to boost U of T sports. Winning will help—maybe if the varsity football team wins more than two games a season, they would get a little bit more attendance.”
Although the fate of the Argonauts is still uncertain, a solution is expected to appear in the coming months.