Back to future for Argos

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:58 AM ET

For Bob Nicholson, the Argonauts' biggest challenge doesn't come from the border-hopping Buffalo Bills.

"You have a hockey team (the Maple Leafs) that is trying to re-tool and if they get competitive and win a Stanley Cup, that is going to do more to knock us out of the media than the Buffalo Bills will," Nicholson, introduced yesterday as the Argos' new president and CEO, said.

"And you talk about a potential second (NHL) team in this market. This is an extremely competitive marketplace and it's hard to get your message out."

The Argos turned back the clock with the hiring of Nicholson, who was the club's president from 1995-99, a span that included a couple of Grey Cup wins.

Michael (Pinball) Clemons will stay with the team as vice-chair and though he officially will be an advisor to Nicholson, his role will be more about getting him out from behind the desk and further into the public's psyche.

"My job is to say 341-Argo, to sell tickets," Clemons said. "There are several community initiatives that we are working on. We want to be Toronto's ultimate role model."

Nicholson has more than 25 years of experience in professional sports, and most recently served as president of his own Wizard Sports Group, which helped manage the 2009 World Baseball Classic in Toronto. In a twist, he also worked with the Bills in its Toronto series.

"I have a good rapport with all of the people there and I hope that will be of some advantage for the Toronto Argonauts," Nicholson said.

Nicholson also will strive to get more fans to the Rogers Centre, but leaving the building is not on his agenda. The Argos' lease at the Rogers Centre runs through the 2014 season, co-owner David Cynamon said.

The club averaged just over 29,000 fans a game last season.


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