The Toronto Argonauts were founded in 1873 and their history is deeply planted in the hearts and minds of the team’s many adoring fans, but with the CFL recording an all-time low in overall interest, has the team played its last season within the parameters known as the Canadian Football League?
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment has astonishingly been losing a whopping $12 million a season on the Argos, and the Argonauts are the team that have been cited as the most plausible to be striking a deal with the XFL. Of course these developments were put on hold back in July in an official capacity, but the talks are still underway it would seem.
Attendance has obviously been an issue, the Covid-19 pandemic not only doing a number on the overall league in terms of halting their 2020 season quite evidently. Attendance has been reported at a mere 9,800 or less a game since they returned for this season!
The XFL is set to make its return in 2023 and under the guidance of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his more than capable team of execs; so a re-vamped version of the league is set to commence at that time, and many are excited to say the least (this writer included).
But can the Argos be a part of that list of teams that take the field as of the aforementioned time period?
Johnson of course, who is half Canadian himself on his father’s side, the legendary professional wrestler, Rocky Johnson, who historically, along with Tony Atlas, became the first-ever WWE tag team champions of a black ethnicity. Dwayne Johnson played for the Calgary Stampeders during his time in the CFL.
The rumor mill suggests that it is in fact quite likely as it stands right now that the Argos do make the move. As do other sources, specifically Damien Cox, freelance journalist who published a piece about this at thestar.com. It’s not definite, but it seems very possible at the moment, it would undoubtedly seem.
“attendance amidst pandemic restrictions has been horrific, less than 9,800 per game, and the rumour mill suggests MLSE might fold or sell the team after this season, or convert it into an XFL franchise when that league returns in the spring of 2023.”
The Argos are set to host the Hamilton Tiger Cats in the East Division final on Sunday December 5th at 12:30PM EST. The question being posed is the same one I asked above—in a sense—can it truly be the last time that a CFL game will be played in Toronto?
They defeated the Ti-Cats 31-12 the last time they played them on the 12th of November. Astonishingly, they only drew a reported 6,247 fans in attendance for that game. The Argos lost their last game on the 16th against the Elks. the Elks won 13-7.
If we look at the facts, it seems like that can very well just be the case in the end, dear readers, especially with the XFL potentially seriously interested in making that deal for a team that is at the top of their division, but astonishingly lacks attendance and overall interest.
But overall interest and attendance isn’t the only problem. Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment own a plethora of teams which include the Toronto Maple Leafs in Hockey, The Toronto Raptors in basketball, and Toronto FC II in soccer, among others. These aforementioned teams take a lot of money, and so if the Argos are losing them money instead of earning, the likely response is what has been churning and churning in the rumor mill it would seem, which is the evident and potential sale of the Argos.
Whoever wins the East Division final will obviously be headed to the 108th Grey Cup and face the winner of the West Division final between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Roughriders.
Can the Argos possibly win the Grey Cup in their potentially last season in the CFL?
Right now, all we have are questions, but the outcomes are something that need to be discussed and perhaps thought about, and as we’ve stated here and as the aforementioned piece at the The Star points out: We should be ready for anything and everything, dear readers. A new beginning might be in store for the CFL, the XFL and the Toronto Argonauts before 2023 dawns bright with hope and promise.
“So, gather up your jackets, move it to the exits
I hope you have found a friend
Closing time, every new beginning
Comes from some other beginning’s end…”
-Dan Wilson /Semisonic
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