Argos: We're just looking at our options

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:49 AM ET

There could be plenty of upheaval in Argoland in the next few weeks, but don’t expect the Canadian Football League club to announce a move to BMO Field.

“We don’t have a lot of time left (on a lease at the Rogers Centre), but as far as I’m concerned, we will be playing there next year,” Argonauts president Bob Nicholson said Friday. “Season ticket renewals were mailed based on (playing at the Rogers Centre).”

But Argos co-owners David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski — who reportedly are leaning toward not selling the team — have met with city officials regarding an eventual move to BMO Field.

And they’re enthusiastic.

“There have been preliminary discussions, but they have been serious as well,” said Joe Pantalone, the deputy mayor of Toronto and chair of the board of governors of Exhibition Place.

“We’re prepared to get married, but we need a proper proposal. Absolutely (an Argos move to BMO Field), would be good for Exhibition Place, the city, and the CFL.”

Of the discussions about moving to BMO, Nicholson said: “I would say we’re always looking at our options. Howard and David continue to explore them going forward.”

Nicholson could not confirm that Cynamon and Sokolowski have decided to not sell the team.

Neither Cynamon nor Sokolowski returned messages Friday.

CFL commissioner Mark Cohon, during his annual state of the league address in Calgary at the Grey Cup, said he wants to have a resolution on Cynamon and Sokolowski’s plans “in the coming weeks.”

BMO Field would be shorter than a CFL-regulation size field of 110 yards, but the Argos hope the league would overlook that.

It’s thought the field would be as short by as many as four yards in each end zone, but it could be more. CFL end zones are 20 yards in length.

An alternative would be to demolish some stands at BMO, a venture that would cost millions of dollars and one that is not favoured by either the Argos or Exhibition Place.

“Once you overcome (the field length), if the Argos were interested in moving, there is no doubt it could happen,” Pantalone said. “It’s really in the Argos’ and the CFL’s corner now.”

Said Cohon: “This is a very recent development. Our football operations people have not had an opportunity to go in and look at this in thorough detail.”

If Cynamon and Sokolowski maintain ownership of the Argos — David Braley, who owns the B.C. Lions, is thought to be the lone suitor — it’s unclear what the future holds for general manager Adam Rita and head coach Bart Andrus.

In the past two seasons combined, the Argos were 7-29 and Andrus struggled mightily this past year, going 3-15.

“We wouldn’t make anything public until post-Grey Cup, and I’m not suggesting there will be anything to announce,” Nicholson said. “The fans have hung with us. We owe it to them to build a franchise we can be proud of, and we have a lot of work to do.”


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