Watters was a fan first

ROB LONGLEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:07 AM ET

Brad Watters never had to be convinced that the CFL was a game worth watching and supporting.

The team's new chief operating officer had a father, Bill, who was drafted by the Argos long before he became a player agent and later Leafs assistant general manager.

"It was very much an Argo fan base in our house," Watters said yesterday after being appointed as the right-hand man to chief executive officer, Michael Clemons.

"I remember going to games with my father and out in the yard punting the ball around. The CFL was always relevant in our household."

No more so than it is now for the 37-year-old, who is coming off a successful stint running Toronto's hosting effort of the 2007 Grey Cup.

Watters hopes to build on that success as well as tapping into his experience with the now defunct Ottawa Renegades as the team moves forward.

"With the Grey Cup, we had a good run," Watters said. "I think having that really showed that the CFL and the Grey Cup has a presence in this city, that there is a fan base here waiting to come back out.

"We just have to go out and capture that and hit the right spots."

Argos ownership is banking that Watters will hit the same spots he did as general manager of the team's successful (and lucrative) Grey Cup operations.

As COO, Watters will manage the day-to-day operations, including marketing, corporate partnerships and sales.

Clemons, meanwhile, will be responsible for the overall direction of the team, including football operations. He will also act as the team's governor.

"We're taking over an organization that's in great shape," said Watters, who will step down as president of the National Lacrosse League's Toronto Rock but will retain his ownership share in that team.

"We just have to continue to ramp it up."


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