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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old March 30th, 2006, 04:39 Thread Starter
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Toronto Soccer Stadium (BMO Field)

Now that this is a go we can forego the lame detractor and trolling threads of the past and post actual news

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Work begins on Toronto soccer stadium, with tight budget and deadline
http://www.sportsnet.ca/soccer/shown...tent=R032835AU

TORONTO (CP) - The ground has been broken. Excavation machines dot the fenced-off site and hard hats are mandatory.

The national soccer stadium is slowly taking shape at Exhibition Place, separated from Ontario Place and Lake Ontario by the strip of Lakeshore Boulevard that serves as part of the annual Champ Car race course.

Work on the project will ramp up this summer. Come November, the shell of the stadium should be plain to see.

There is not much time. The $62.9-million venue is due to be completed May 1, 2007, with the world under-20 soccer championship kicking off July 1.

"It's a very tight schedule and it's a very tight budget," said Bob Hunter, executive vice-president of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and general manager of the Air Canada Centre.

With $18 million sunk in the stadium, MLSE and Hunter are driving the project - although the owners of the NHL Maple Leafs and NBA Raptors hope to get $10 million of that investment back via naming rights.

MLSE also paid the $10-million US expansion fee for the Major League Soccer team that will be the stadium's prime tenant, starting with the 2007 season.

So, soccer is high on the MLSE priority list at present.

Hunter estimates he spends more than half his day on the stadium project. And MLSE will have 15 people running the stadium when it is finished, with another 30 to 35 operating the MLS franchise.

Hunter's staff is already well on the way to the MLS team's name, uniform and marketing campaign.

"We think we're pretty close. And we think people will like it," Hunter said in an interview in his Air Canada Centre office.

Previous stadium plans at the University of Toronto and York University were scrapped as costs grew and the CFL's Argos, once a driving force, opted to stay at the Rogers Centre.

So the fiscally challenged Canadian Soccer Association, which has been shepherding the stadium project like a single-minded but thrifty cowboy corralling his herd, came to MLSE.

The sporting giant, which had been eyeing adding soccer to its sporting empire, took up the challenge. A soccer stadium may not be a cash cow in North America, but it's another ribbon to the MLSE sporting bow.

Hunter says construction costs will not rise on his watch.

"This is going to be a very basic, basic stadium," he explained. "The good thing about it though is it's just for soccer. We're barely building it to do concerts."



With 20,000 seats and stands just one metre from the FieldTurf artificial playing surface, it will be an intimate soccer experience.

Temporary seating will expand the capacity to 25,000 during the FIFA championships, which will be shared with Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria, Ottawa and Montreal.

Of the $62.9 million, the federal government is contributing $27 million and the province $8 million. Ottawa has actually yet to fork over the money, but there is no reason to expect a change of heart. MLSE is plowing ahead in the meantime.

The city, which is kicking in a shade under $10 million and providing the land, may own the new stadium but MLSE will operate it under a 20-year agreement.

Passers-by will soon notice the structure.

"The field will be in by November. . .. all the bleachers will be done this summer, because they just won't have time to get to it in the spring. So you'll see a lot happen very quickly," Hunter said. "You'll be able to tell it's a stadium by November-December."

The lower bowl of the stadium's west grandstand, which will be a two-tier structure, will be concrete. The top tier and the east side of the stadium will be prefabricated steel trucked to the site.

The west side, which will house the press box and suites, will have 10,000 seats with another 6,500 on the east and some 2,500 in the south end.

The north end will not feature much seating. Instead it will be a plaza area that will overlook the bowl.

The MLS expansion team will play 18 to 20 home games a year and have to start on the road in April 2007 because the stadium won't be quite ready yet. The goal is to play two MLS games before the FIFA championships opens.

A bubble will cover the playing surface during the winter, with the field split into three. From roughly Nov. 1 through March 15, the indoor area will available for rentals and community use.

"You are going to be able to phone up and say 'Can I rent that field from 9 to 10 on Thursday night?' And if it's available, yes we'll rent it."

The field will be rented at "market rates," but Hunter acknowledges "this kind of now sets a new market."

They have yet to come up with a price.

"But it's got to be reasonably priced or if not, it's not community used," he added.

Hunter hopes the Toronto Lynx of the United Soccer Leagues will play there but no deal has been struck yet.

The plan for the stadium is to break even or make a bit of money.

"I can tell you this thing is by no means is it going to throw up a lot of cash," Hunter said.

The MLS team will pay the city rent according to MLS-market lease rates.

Seeing the MLS team won't break the bank, he promised.

"Tickets are going to very reasonably priced. This is not hockey and it certainly isn't basketball either. This is a Marlies ticket or a junior hockey ticket. This is a $20-to-$30-max dollar ticket."

"We're going to attract kids and families that participate and people that connect to the national team."

The CSA has committed to six dates a year and will share the practice ground and training facilities.

Location of the MLS team's practice facility is still up in the air. Hunter says league officials and coaches have suggested they need a natural grass training surface. Ideally they want it in walking distance of the stadium.

Hunter and his staff have made the most of MLS resources.

MLSE staff have attended MLS broadcast, marketing and operational meetings.

Hunter has been down to Dallas twice to see Pizza Hut Park, which opened in July and hosted the MLS championship in the fall.

"Very nice," Hunter says of the Dallas venue, "And we stole a lot of good ideas from them."
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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old April 4th, 2006, 19:16
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but has the ground really been broken . Nothing has been said as such
on soccer central (sportsnet) and until i see actual ground work i still
will be uncertain if this stadium ever gets. built
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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old April 4th, 2006, 21:56 Thread Starter
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Stadium groundbreaking

Images tks to tguy24 at BS
http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=278340



Hey Beast! Long time no see.
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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old April 5th, 2006, 16:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe MacCarthy
Images tks to tguy24 at BS
http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=278340



Hey Beast! Long time no see.
thanks for the pix...........at least something is happening thats good to see.
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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old April 5th, 2006, 20:11 Thread Starter
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Tks to bmac at Vs for headsup

FIFA team to inspect Canadian stadiums
PETER MALLETT
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl.../?query=soccer

An inspection team from the Fédération Internationale de Football Association is to arrive in British Columbia today to begin a tour of Canadian host cities for the 2007 under-20 World Cup. The FIFA team will wrap up the tour with a news conference in Toronto on April 12 at which further details of a planned 20,000-seat soccer stadium are expected to be announced.
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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old April 20th, 2006, 00:55
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whats goin on with the stadium?? i really hoped they would build a modern european stadium, but ill go down there 1 day to check it out
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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old April 20th, 2006, 01:28 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tirona_star
i really hoped they would build a modern european stadium
Why would they build a "European" stadium in North America? We're North Americans with North American sensibilities for function and design.

There's a bunch of people complaining about one small drawing. First of all it's not that bad, secondly the final product will be better than most are expecting.
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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old April 28th, 2006, 14:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe MacCarthy
Why would they build a "European" stadium in North America? We're North Americans with North American sensibilities for function and design.

There's a bunch of people complaining about one small drawing. First of all it's not that bad, secondly the final product will be better than most are expecting.
The stadium seems to be both european and north american in style and that can't be a bad thing. There doesn't seem to be a bad seat in the house, and you can't say that about Toronto's other sporing venues.
My only problem with this stadium is like others, where they are going to
lay natural grass for the u-20 championships and then lay plastic crap
for future events. Lets keep the real grass in, you can have concerts in stadiums with grass, it happens in europe all the time.
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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old May 7th, 2006, 02:11
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is this supposed to be the national stadium of canada? werent they supposed to buildone on the york university campus?
any idea what happened with that?

Yeah Watever!!!
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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old May 7th, 2006, 18:35
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You're a year behind the times.

The Toronto Argonauts backed out of the York U. Stadium deal and the CSA had to look elsewhere for a national stadium.
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post #11 of 50 (permalink) Old May 7th, 2006, 18:42 Thread Starter
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Kind of like what it said in the posted article above
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post #12 of 50 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2006, 18:59 Thread Starter
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Just for kicks

Just for kicks
MLSEL: T.O. soccer stadium will benefit community
By MARK KEAST - Toronto Sun
http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Soccer/Can...78226-sun.html


The new logo, the Toronto FC is unveiled in Toronto on Thursday May 10, 2006. It is the 13th team in Major League Soccer and begins play in 2007. (SUN/Veroncia Henri)

With all the hype surrounding Toronto's new 20,000-seat soccer stadium these days, one question stands out: Will community associations really have fair access to it?

Those from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., who were at Thursday's launch of its new Major League Soccer franchise -- chairman Larry Tanenbaum, president and CEO Richard Peddie, executive vice president Bob Hunter, and Tom Anselmi, executive vice-president and chief operating officer -- all talked about how they expect Toronto FC to be dwarfed when it comes to access to the soccer stadium on the CNE grounds.

MLSEL, with financial help from all three levels of government, is building the facility and is on the hook for cost overruns, but the city owns it.

The pro soccer team will be around for nine months of the year. With a dome to be placed over the facility during the winter months, local soccer associations, plus those running clinics and the like, will be able to rent it for whatever market-rate fee the city sets -- say, $150 per hour.

Hunter says MLSEL has to provide the city with a minimum of 50% access time to the community at market rates.

That is why, as Peddie says, Ontario Soccer Association executive director Guy Bradbury and a group of local soccer association kids were on hand at the news conference. For optics, at the very least.

Peddie says the MLSEL board was sold on a venture with a projected return on investment, "significantly lower than we normally ask for," convinced that the project has "benefits tougher to quantify," that go beyond ticket and sponsor revenue. There are the 100 million people worldwide, they say, who will be watching the FIFA under-20 world championship in July 2007. More kids watching and playing soccer means new generations of healthy, granola-eating MLSEL customers, we guess.

Peddie says the members of the board are citizens of the city too, concerned about youth crime and other local societal ailments. No doubt those comments will be greeted with chuckles by those who see the corporate giant as a shameless profit-seeker hoodwinking us sheep and looking to land whatever that minimum return on investment their teacher's pension fund overlords demand of them.

Still, without seeing the details of the agreement, with the levels of government involved, we'll have to assume it's a good thing for local soccer.

Bradbury is sold. With soccer growing in Ontario -- 440,000 members, 10,000 referees, 35,000 coaches -- the top concern for the OSA is the facility situation. That includes fair access to what is currently available, the need to build more and shore up the decrepit state of many that are out there.

It does raise the question of the private sector helping to get more sports facilities built. Hunter says MLSEL looked at buying a multi-plex hockey facility and operating it itself, in part to house a practice facility for the Maple Leafs and Marlies. But they couldn't make it work from a cost perspective.

"We're just not in the adult hockey or community hockey league business," Hunter said.

Therein lies the gap. As Karen Pitre, a consultant working with the city to draw up an action plan to help address the facility issue, says: "We're good at building big sports facilities, but the infrastructure that's non-existent is the level below that ... the soccer fields to train kids so they can get to those big facilities. You can't make money on the community facilities."

MLSEL says it is involved in the soccer deal for the good of the community. But it isn't in this for autographed soccer balls. Peddie says they are city builders. They are brand builders, too. And the city needs to make money on this deal. MLSEL covers the first $250,000 in losses. After that, those losses are split by MLSEL and the city. They split the profits.

Any hope of attracting private dollars to the sports community to build hockey rinks and community soccer fields or swimming pools will come down mostly to wealthy benefactors looking to give because it's good for the community. That is what the culture and arts community has accomplished.

Or, some company needs to be sold on something such as brand awareness. Pitre says it will be up to the sports community to get better organized and do a better job of setting and selling what those returns on investment are.

Still, they may want to look to the soccer stadium deal for pointers on the subject. There is a reason Mayor David Miller called in MLSEL, as Peddie says, to bail out a project that was sinking fast. MLSEL has both the deep pockets and the business acumen and would have been happy just to be tenants in the soccer stadium.

"It's the city's job to deploy its resources to improve our quality of life, and (private/public partnerships) is one way of doing that," Anselmi said.
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post #13 of 50 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2006, 15:51
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The ticket range to see the Toronto FC play in the new stadium will range from $15.00 - $65.00. I hope MLSE lower the $65.00 tage that
is quite expensive for a new team. i would like to see the top ticket around $40.00. whats your opinion?
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post #14 of 50 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2006, 23:12
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$65 is steep, but remember, this is a major league and there are big bucks involved. Also the stadium is not that large, so the price per seat will reflect that.

Meanwhile, you can pay $23 to sit in the outfield at a (yawn!) Blue Jays game, or $62 to sit behind home plate on second level.
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post #15 of 50 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2006, 15:18
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Originally Posted by Jeff
$65 is steep, but remember, this is a major league and there are big bucks involved. Also the stadium is not that large, so the price per seat will reflect that.

Meanwhile, you can pay $23 to sit in the outfield at a (yawn!) Blue Jays game, or $62 to sit behind home plate on second level.
you're right, but i just hope the price (it's not fixed yet,but just what Toronto fc site has said it would be within that range) will not scare off
any supporters.
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post #16 of 50 (permalink) Old May 18th, 2006, 02:22
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With the advent of the new national stadium, the CSA is putting in a bid to host the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.
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post #17 of 50 (permalink) Old July 19th, 2006, 01:46
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Check out the state of construction of the new stadium with the Live webcam.

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post #18 of 50 (permalink) Old September 21st, 2006, 22:23
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The stadium will be officially called "BMO Field" - pronounced Bee-Moe.

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post #19 of 50 (permalink) Old September 30th, 2006, 19:30
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Don't use artificial grass in Toronto FC stadium: players
by Peter Mallett, Globe and Mail

Several of Canada's top soccer players hope to persuade the builders of Toronto's new soccer stadium to go on a nature kick.

The Canadian Soccer Association has insisted on an artificial FieldTurf playing surface at the 20,000-seat, $64-million BMO Field, which is nearing completion at Exhibition Place. But several national team players are pleading for a natural grass surface.

“It [FieldTurf] kills the culture of the game,” said Julian de Guzman of Toronto, a midfielder with Canada's World Cup team and Spanish First Division club Deportivo La Coruna. “This stadium is supposed to be our new icon for soccer in the country, and the approach seems to be very cheap. It is a step backward in my eyes.”

De Guzman's Canadian teammate, Tottenham Hotspur defender Paul Stalteri of Brampton, Ont., also gives the surface bad reviews. “The best salesman in the world couldn't sell me on it [FieldTurf],” he said. “I hope in my career I never have to play on it.”

But the CSA is comfortable with its decision, chief operating officer Kevan Pipe said. “There is absolutely zero chance of natural grass being installed,” he said.

Pipe said FieldTurf has met the highest possible standard — the 2-star certification — of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association. He said the surface will be installed in early November and will be ready for play when the facility opens next May. That's when expansion club Toronto FC will open its first Major League Soccer season.

FieldTurf is a synthetic fibre playing surface with a base of sand and rubber made to simulate natural grass. The Montreal-based company has sold its product to several National Football League and Major League Baseball teams and U.S. colleges. The Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League and baseball's Toronto Blue Jays play on FieldTurf.

Peru used the surface for the 2006 under-17 World Cup, and UEFA recently approved use of the surface.

“The 2-star surface debuted for our China exhibition matches in Newfoundland last month, and both the women's national teams of China and Canada loved it and cancelled their training on real grass,” Pipe said.

Charmaine Hooper of Ottawa, a veteran of Canada's national team, denied Pipe's claims of support from women players, saying she played on the surface last summer for the W-League's New Jersey Wildcats.

“I absolutely hate it,” said Hooper, 38. “These people who are passing or making it okay for us to play on these surfaces, they don't play on the stuff and they don't know. In general, most players don't like it.

Hooper said her feet hurt after only a few days of playing on the surface. She said the surface soaks up heat, and the ball takes strange hops and doesn't run the same way as on real grass.

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, owner of Toronto FC, is overseeing construction of the stadium.

Toronto FC head coach Maurice Johnston hopes to recruit some of Canada's top players for his club, and is aware of concerns regarding the playing surface.

“Any player who doesn't want to play on FieldTurf is not someone who we would be interested in having on our team,” Johnston said through a team spokesman.

That won't sit well with many of the club's potential signings, including national team and Houston Dynamo midfielder Dwayne De Rosario of Toronto.

“I am definitely 100-per-cent pro grass,” De Rosario said. “If they get grass in there instead of an artificial surface, it would be easier to draw better players and teams from Europe to play exhibition games and the fans will respect the team.”

In Vancouver, the Whitecaps of the United Soccer Leagues are planning to build their own soccer-specific stadium. Owner Greg Kerfoot has insisted that the playing surface must be grass.

TSN soccer analyst Dick Howard is a member of the FIFA technical committee that originally approved FieldTurf in 2001. He said the committee will be monitoring the situation.

“I think time will tell concerning this issue,” Howard said. “The surfaces are getting more sophisticated and we will see it used more and more eventually.”

FieldTurf co-founder John Gilman defended his product. He said most of the criticism comes from players who likely have not played on a surface that was properly maintained.

“Having a natural-turf stadium makes the facility unusable and uneconomical,” Gilman said. “You have to use the stadium day in and day out for it to be a multiuse facility.”
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post #20 of 50 (permalink) Old October 25th, 2006, 15:11
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can't wait for it to open!!!
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