The long, sad saga of Toronto's quest for a proper soccer stadium - Xtratime Community
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post #1 of 123 (permalink) Old November 7th, 2002, 20:36 Thread Starter
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30,000 seat soccer stadium in works for Toronto

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam021107/soc_can1-sun.html

Quote:
Soccer stadium in works
By PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

The ruling international body of soccer has kickstarted plans for the possible building of a new stadium in Toronto by giving the Canadian Soccer Association a financial hand.

FIFA has just provided the Canadian Soccer Association with a $400,000 US grant to use towards plans for developing a 30,000-seat, natural grass stadium to be built in central Toronto. If everything goes as scheduled, the stadium would be complete no later than 2007.

The CSA already has put forth a bid for Canada to play host to the 2007 women's World Cup, including Toronto as a major complementary facility to Edmonton's Commonwealth Games, which has a seating capacity of some 60,000.

FIFA requires a minimum of four grass facilities, and Vancouver and Montreal each have stadiums that could accommodate seating for about 12,000-15,000. FIFA will announce the winning bid next year.

Kevan Pipe, the chief operating officer of the CSA, said Toronto was chosen because of the city's rich soccer history.

"You can't get away from it, it's five million people, it's the media capital of Canada, it's the corporate capital of Canada and we want to maintain our presence there in what hopefully would be a state-of-the-art facility," Pipe said.

Pipe said the CSA has identified central Toronto as its desire for a site, outlining the parameters as the Don Valley Parkway on east side, Hwy. 427 on the west side, Hwy. 401 on the north side and Lake Ontario on the south side.

He did not identify locations, but the areas which routinely come into play for stadium discussions are the old Downsview Air Force Base, Exhibition Stadium, York University and land near the Hershey Centre in Mississauga.

"We've had very preliminary discussions with certain stakeholders, but to go beyond that word preliminary would be giving it way too much emphasis," Pipe said. "We now get into the discussions with architects, with consulting firms and with stakeholders who are the owners of land."

Pipe said the CSA has not had any contact with any sports which could become tenants.

"In the end I'm sure those discussions will occur, but this is not driven by the involvement of other sports," he said. "This is driven by the need that there is a gaping hole in our overall programming."

Pipe stressed the facility would not include a running track, nor would it be used in any way for baseball. He said it could be available for other rectangular-field sports.

"If the Argos want to be a part of it from a tenant viewpoint that's fine, but this is a soccer stadium," Pipe said. "It's being built for soccer. Soccer won't be a casual tenant."

Argos owner Sherwood Schwarz, who has been looking to build a new stadium possibly in time for the 2004 season, welcomed the CSA news.

"That's very interesting," he said. "It can only be positive. If we build it, they will come."

Last edited by Jeff; September 30th, 2005 at 18:02.
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post #2 of 123 (permalink) Old November 7th, 2002, 23:31
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The CSA has been talking about this for a while now.

I wonder where they'll get the money to build it?

The FIFA money is just for preliminary studies and planning, not construction.

Now all we need is a decent pro team in Toronto....
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post #3 of 123 (permalink) Old November 8th, 2002, 14:09 Thread Starter
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Yes, all true Jeff. Lets hope the CSA gets enough cash from where ever they plan to get it from and get this thing built.

I think it would revolutionize the way that Canadian Soccer is viewed in Toronto, maybe even Canada. No doubt about it.
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post #4 of 123 (permalink) Old November 8th, 2002, 15:44
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This will certainly bring back talks of the CUSL, but at first the Lynx and Argos could play there.

I just think if there going to go all out the should make it atleast 50, 000 seats so then if we ever wanted to put a bid in for a World Cup it could be done.

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post #5 of 123 (permalink) Old November 8th, 2002, 16:28
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I think 50,000 seats would be economic suicide.

Even 30,000 is ambitious.

The Lynx would fill less than a tenth of those seats, with their present level of support.
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post #6 of 123 (permalink) Old November 8th, 2002, 17:03 Thread Starter
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Well, we can blame previous low crowd figures in the GTA on the fact that there was never a pure, adequate soccer facility in the area.

The Lynx attendance could increase to around the 5,000 mark, maybe even higher with this new facility.

High profile National games would be most likely sell outs our near sellouts. This was true with Germany and Holland selling out Varsity back in the summer of 1994. Even a game versus Iran in 1997 drew 16,000.

And that was at the VERY old Varsity Stadium. Not exactly an inviting place for a lot of people. Varsity was ancient. The East stand was built in the 1920's, and the West in the 50's. Oh and it had wooden benches, which to most part in the 80's and 90's were in very poor conditions.

I'm quite optimistic that our national squad could draw well with a new stadium and renewed interest in soccer.

Rugby needs a home too. A recent game in Kingston at Richardson Stadium drew a partisan crowd of 9,000 in the 11,000 capacity venue.

Build the stadium, maybe the MLS will follow.

50,000 is way too much. I think the stadium will be built like this:

http://www.canadian-soccer.com/post/stadium.jpg

With the corners being completed in the future for increased capacity.

But it's all wishful thinking at this point, until we get some more info on this project. I'm gonna pop open the champagne when the shovel hits the ground.
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post #7 of 123 (permalink) Old November 8th, 2002, 19:37
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I still think television is a major key to soccer attendance (paradoxical as it may seem).

People don't take a sport seriously unless it's on TV. This is why the Argonauts and other football teams suffer when they impose local TV blackouts. TV builds familiarity, name recognition, etc.

A full stadium twice a year for a couple of international friendlies is not exactly a recipe for success.

All I'm saying is that if you build it, they still won't come unless you do a lot of other stuff besides. It's not a panacea.
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post #8 of 123 (permalink) Old November 8th, 2002, 20:59 Thread Starter
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Remember the Montreal Alouettes?

Venue sometimes is everything.
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post #9 of 123 (permalink) Old November 8th, 2002, 23:27
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I'm just saying as long as were doing suicide we might as well go all out. If the Lynx would get a winning team, plus this stadium then more people would go trust me. Plus the CPSL could play there 2.

And if Hamilton can support a 28k stadium why cant TO do 50k.

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post #10 of 123 (permalink) Old November 9th, 2002, 05:01
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post #11 of 123 (permalink) Old November 11th, 2002, 17:50
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After building such stadium, the best way to attract the crowd is to bring in good teams to play us in friendlies. (Italy, Brazil, Argentina, England, France). Even if these teams would destroy us, people would go in to see the superstars. We would also get better by playing such teams. I mean how many people would go to a Canada-Honduras game??? I am tired of seeing Canada play such teams. Let's bring in the big boys! We will see a difference in attendance!
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post #12 of 123 (permalink) Old November 11th, 2002, 20:28
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Its not that we dont want to bring in the big boys it they dont want to come. Its very hard to get a european NT to travel to north america.

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post #13 of 123 (permalink) Old November 12th, 2002, 17:39
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sebastian50
Its not that we dont want to bring in the big boys it they dont want to come. Its very hard to get a european NT to travel to north america.
About 5 years ago they brought Portugal and Denmark to TO for a mini competition with the Canadian NT. Portugal won.
I went to both Canada-Portugal and Denmark Portugal (it was held at Skydome on artificial pitch) and it was a success. I think something like 20,000 attended - great atmosphere too.

So it's Possible. If not the best teams, at least teams like Portugal (which many consider one of the best) and other countries in top 20 or 30 in the World such as Croatia, Romania, Czech Republic, Norway, Sweden. That's one way to learn to play World class soccer. If you play the same teams over and over (Canada always play Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica, Cuba) you will not get the exposure/experience needed, and Canada needs that.
Look at US - in the last 5 years they played Germany and Brazil like 3 times, and other good teams. Why can't we?
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post #14 of 123 (permalink) Old November 12th, 2002, 17:43 Thread Starter
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Originally posted by Marius
About 5 years ago they brought Portugal and Denmark to TO for a mini competition with the Canadian NT.
And Portugal and Denmark never woved to play on Skydome's Artificial surface again.

But you're right ... it is possible. And i'm sure the CSA will fess up the dough knowing a sellout.
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post #15 of 123 (permalink) Old November 14th, 2002, 16:24
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Jarrek, great news.

This will surely change many thins but not everything. This is only a building block or first step.

I guarantee some fool is going to come here and start talking about WC proposals.

Great news nonetheless.

The only thing that can make the stadium profitable is an Argo move with the CSA, an MLS franchise and the Canadian Rugby Union sharing the place.

Grass is easily managed with the right turf.

Nice to here some good news.

Reprezentaciju ste ukrali, istinu ne možete

"Football is an extension of the war by other means"

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PS. Iako si najavio ne moraš dolaziti u Hercegovinu, ovamo nisi dobodošao. Sasvim sigurno su ti otvorena vrata onih koji su skupa sa tobom radili na zabrani utakmice, i otvorena su ti vrata njihovog grada gdje se pale i brane hrvatske zastave.
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post #16 of 123 (permalink) Old April 19th, 2003, 19:07
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A New Stadium For Toronto ?? Maybe.

University of Toronto is having a hard time getting its act together.

Meanwhile the city has received a proposal for a 30,000 seat stadium at Exhibition Place.

Source
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post #17 of 123 (permalink) Old April 20th, 2003, 18:21
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Yeah, I also saw an soccercentral on Sportsnet yesterday Pipes commenting that if a stadium doesn't get built now it probably never will. Unsure which sites are being looked at, I'm guessing Varsity may be an option as well as a lakeside site.

Good report connecting the natural alliance that the Argos, the CSA and the Rugby Union should have.

I can see this one going through...with UEFA putting up money and the CSA committed to it I believe that it will happen.

Now whether or not it's done correctly is another matter.

I'd like to hear some opinions on this one. Because this stadium could solve many, many problems for soccer around here.

Though there was no mention of the Hamilton proposal. Odd.

Reprezentaciju ste ukrali, istinu ne možete

"Football is an extension of the war by other means"

Franjo Tudman

PS. Iako si najavio ne moraš dolaziti u Hercegovinu, ovamo nisi dobodošao. Sasvim sigurno su ti otvorena vrata onih koji su skupa sa tobom radili na zabrani utakmice, i otvorena su ti vrata njihovog grada gdje se pale i brane hrvatske zastave.

Last edited by Ljubuski; April 20th, 2003 at 18:24.
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post #18 of 123 (permalink) Old April 24th, 2003, 22:27
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Whats the point of having the stadium in a place where you can only use it 5 months of the year? Vancouver has a mild climate all year round. :P
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post #19 of 123 (permalink) Old April 25th, 2003, 01:07
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The problem is the Toronto subway system doesn't quite reach Vancouver - yet.

So we need a stadium where Toronto fans and players can go.
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post #20 of 123 (permalink) Old April 25th, 2003, 01:19
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I was responding to the CSA and FIFA (why would UEFA be involved? I assumed that was an error in thought) proposal. These are different projects are they not?

Anyways if the 2010 Olympics come to Vancouver, BC Place will be torn down after and a smaller outdoor stadium willl be built there according to city plans. Or a new stadium at UBC. I just hope the CSA and FIFA would support the Vancouver option later on.
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