Argos selling tickets

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:50 PM ET

Argonauts owner David Braley is a patient man. It took seven years in British Columbia to turn the Lions into a success both on the field and from a bottom line perspective.

He figures the Toronto franchise began the season in about the same dire straits the Lions did when he took them over back in January of 1997.

He believes he can make the same turnaround here in half that time or less.

“With the Grey Cup here in 2012, I think we can get this thing turned around in three or four years,” Braley said Wednesday night during half time of the Argos/Stamps game.

Braley said he was “encouraged”, not so much by last night’s announced crowd of 20,242, but by the fact that the Argos sold some 5,000 tickets in the few days between their win in Winnipeg and last night’s home opener.

Braley talked of the “brisk” sales in the small window between the two games as a decent indicator that the on-field product is starting to build back some of the credibility it lost over the past few years of poor results and the inevitable lackluster support.

“The fans have to be entertained and get value for what they are paying for. They don’t insist that we win every game but they have to feel like we have a chance to win,” Braley said. “Once that (on-the-field) credibility is re-established, we have to establish credibility off the field and that means finding a way to get fans back in the seats.”

Don’t expect to see Braley pushing for a new venue for his club. As he was in B.C. with B.C. Place stadium, Braley looks at the Rogers Centre as a viable home for his team for now and the future.

With the upper deck sealed off, he has the 30,000 seats he needs available to him to make things work financially and if, as it did in B.C., things turn around, he’ll do the same thing he did out west and re-open the upper deck to accommodate the bigger crowds.

But any talk of moving to a more cozy, more intimate stadium is a non-starter with Braley.


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