Empty seats, no wor­ries

Toronto Arg­onauts pres­i­dent Copeland not con­cerned about club’s at­ten­dance woes

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

It’s been a tough start to the CFL sea­son for the Toronto Arg­onauts, with more ob­sta­cles ahead.

The Ar­gos drew just 11,219 spec­ta­tors to their 28-15 home loss to the B.C. Lions on Fri­day, their low­est at­ten­dance since re­lo­cat­ing to BMO Field to start last sea­son. And that came af­ter just 13,583 fans at­tended Toronto’s 32-15 sea­sonopen­ing win there over the Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats on June 25.

But Ar­gos pres­i­dent Michael Copeland isn’t con­cerned.

“I think we as a group, from own­er­ship right down to man­age­ment and staff, un­der­stand this is a re­build,” he said.

“Ask any­one who’s try­ing to build a ma­jor brand, very rarely is it done overnight. We’re go­ing to take our time and have pa­tience while we do it but work ag­gres­sively each day un­til we reach that goal.”

There were fac­tors work­ing against the Ar­gos on Fri­day.

Not only was it the start of a hol­i­day week­end but the Toronto Blue Jays were also in ac­tion at Rogers Cen­tre ver­sus the Bos­ton Red Sox. How­ever, the open­ing-night at­ten­dance sent up red flags as Hamil­ton is usu­ally a solid draw for the Ar­gos.

Last year, 24,812 spec­ta­tors — many clad in Hamil­ton’s colours — watched the Ti­cats beat Toronto 42-20 at BMO Field to kick off the 2016 cam­paign.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.