Rob Ford says city needs new football stadium
Published Tuesday, July 23, 2013 3:36PM EDT
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford speaks where boxing great George Chuvalo was presented with the key to the city at an event in Toronto on Monday, March 26, 2013 . (Frank Gunn / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Mayor Rob Ford says he is doing everything in his power to get a new 35,000 seat football stadium built in the city.
Ford made the comment to reporters after returning from a week-long vacation to the Prairies, which included a stop in Winnipeg to watch a CFL game at that city’s new $200 million, 33,000-seat stadium.
“We need a football stadium in this city bad,” Ford said. “Just go out to Winnipeg. They have a brand new stadium and it is packed. You get caught up in it; it’s an amazing, amazing experience.”
The Toronto Argonauts have played their home games at the Rogers Centre since the stadium opened in 1989, however with the Blue Jays openly discussing replacing their turf field with real grass the team could find itself in need of a new home, as such a move would make it impossible to reconfigure the stadium’s seats during baseball season.
“I am doing everything in my power. I am trying to sit down with the owners number one and let’s see where we can build it,” Ford said of a potential new stadium for the Argos. “We can either work with U of T, we can work with BMO (Field) or maybe we can work with Downsview (Park) or Woodbine.”
In 2004, the Argonauts were in discussions to be the chief tenants of a brand new football stadium on the University of Toronto campus, however community opposition eventually resulted in that project being scaled down, making it too small to host a CFL team.
The Argos then entered into discussions with York University to build a football-specific stadium on their campus, however that project never came to fruition either.
Speaking with reporters Tuesday, Ford said it is time the Argos get their own home.
“In Winnipeg you can just see it is made for football,” he said. "We need a football stadium, especially after winning the Grey Cup."
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