Questions Abound

Hey all, not too much to write about this evening, so I thought I would throw out some questions that I have been thinking about and pondering discussing on upcoming episodes of the Pressbox, would love some feedback:

1. Do you think that the a new, smaller stadium would help the Blue Jays fortunes out at all? Aside from the usual lift a new stadium provides, do you think the Skydome is part of the problem?

2. Do you think that Toronto would/could support a 2nd full time all sports radio station. Forgetting the personalities, do you think there is enough to talk about on a 2nd station? Is there enough demand?

3. Honestly, do you think another NHL franchise would be successful in Toronto? Toronto commonly referred to as the hockey mecca, but is that true or is just the Maple Leafs mecca?

4. Do you think Toronto would support an NFL franchise?

5. Do you think the NHL CBA/Cap system did what it sought out to do? Was the lockout worth it?




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Pat MaGroin
Pat MaGroin
May 10, 2010 9:01 am


May 10, 2010 9:22 am

1) Skydome is not the problem. As much as I don’t like the stadium – and never did tbh, even back in the day – it’s…’fine’. It certainly isn’t as nice as some of the newer stadiums (see the new Tigers and Twins fields for instance) but it holds enough people, there’s no obstructed seats etc. They just need to field a ball club that can put butts in the seats.

2) Do we really need another sports station? Really? No.

3) We could easily support a 2nd franchise here. I’d venture to say we could support 3. Yeah, 3. I’m not saying I want to see 3, but we could easily sell out a 2nd every night yeah and since the Leafs are permanently sold out…well…

4) NFL might be the one league that does really well up here consistently. There’s only 16 games, which means only 8 home dates. It’s mainly Sunday afternoons, so there’s no conflict with Leaf games. And I think there’s enough interest up here, at least for 8 games. Still, the NFL will run into the same problems that every other league not called the NHL does…this is a hockey town, first and foremost.

5) Was the lockout worth it? No, nothing is worth losing a full season over. That said, I think the cap system is great. The GM’s are already getting around the cap system with these long term, front loaded contracts (see Zetterberg, Franzen on Detroit). I think they need some tighter restrictions in terms of how players can be signed, but yeah…I think the cap does the job.

May 10, 2010 12:37 pm

1. Provided a new stadium would be less of a financial burden than the dome, then it could help. But the main problem with the Jays since the glory years has been a lack of success. If the team’s successful, people will come, hence raising revenues. If they’re not successful, we’ve all seen the results. Its sad but I think the Jays need divisional realignment right now, there’s no way they can compete with the Bosox and the Yanks.

2. No, there’s barely enough content on one all sports station. When chum 1050 went from oldies to sports talk it failed spectacularly.

3. Yes, I think there’s thousands of Toronto hockey fans fed up with the Leafs. I for one would gladly cheer for them. It would create a great instant rivalry, would be a guaranteed financial success, etc.

4. Yes, although it would most likely spell the end of the Argos.

5. by and large yes but not totally, notably the requirement of a salary floor means that struggling teams will still struggle. It wasn’t worth losing a full season for and the players’ union has done nothing but stab themselves in the back since then.

May 10, 2010 2:22 pm

The topics you’ve listed would definitely make for good discussion on Pressbox….I hear Pressbox has passed American Idol and Glee in the ratings…congrats.

1. A new stadium would be nice – but wouldn’t make a long term difference.

2. No….

3. Short term yes…long term more than likely.

4. No question….8 games / yr….no problem.

5. Yes and no. Capping the top end has helped make the league more competitive. However, the bottom teams continue to struggle with the cap floor. The NHL has failed to address the biggest issue in the USA….They take (took) franchise fees from non-hockey markets but don’t commit to a long term business/market development strategy. Building hockey in Tampa or Phoenix needs more than a ticket promo campaign….true market development (and patience) is required….community rinks, start-up/support school and house leagues etc….

LT (not the convicted hall of famer)

May 10, 2010 3:50 pm

1. I actually think the stadium is more of a problem then most here. I think in the day of HDTV the live experience is more important than ever and right now the Skydome is nothing more than a glorified oversized theatre, which you can get the same experience at home. All outdoor sports are getting away from the multiplex stadium going to specific sport stadium. Places like the Astrodome and Metrodome are replaced by baseball first stadiums. I don’t want to get all deep, but fans want their home park to feel like special, not a big space you just seem to be renting out. the TBRays are changing staduim soon leaving the Skydome as the only non-natural grass field. Going to the stadium should feel different from watching it at home or at a bar, and stuff as simple as the smell of the grass helps that.

2. This is tough question, if the Fan really picks up the best talent & diverse staff there should be enough hours in the day for a single station. But they don’t. So I do think you can open for another sports station. I find myself listening to alternative away from the Fan like Brady on 640, WGR (national hosts & even local guys) I even watched The Score back when the simulcast their Sirus show. I think if you pick up the right on-air and off air talent, and most important promote themselves as different and bring what The Fan can’t, they can make a run against them. I think the Team didn’t do a good job at that respects. Plus the Fan of that time period was very different than the station of today. Since Rogers picked them up the quality gone straight down

3. Yea I do, but what I am more concerned is what it would do to the other sports in the market. All the other sports already feel they are getting the scraps of attention, if there’s another NHL team that will get no doubt much worse. As a SPORTS fan, this is something I don’t want to see.
4. I think NFL would do fine here, like all said here, just a bit more than half a dozen games, a year a city this size should be able to sell that out.

5. Not really sure, salary cap does have more parody but I do wonder at times if big city markets than are in a disadvantage because the cost of living in cities like this are higher so maybe the larger cities might be in a disadvantage? I’m not really sure. It hurts the opportunity to do trades as everybody has to stay around the same numbers and quality players might need to be dropped just to fit under the cap so fans have a harder time connection to players. On this question put me down as undecided.

Al from Burlington
Al from Burlington
May 10, 2010 3:55 pm

1. Jays apathy is the result of poor team performance for so many years. Skydome has nothing to do with it.

2. NO – There is not even enough fresh topics to keep the Fan interesting.

3. Not so sure, I do not think Toronto is a “Hockey Mecca” BUT it is a Leafs and event town.

4. NFL – No problem.

5. The CBA/CAP helped bigger teams make more money and split the NHLPA. Rousing success if you are a big market team owner.

May 10, 2010 4:41 pm

1) I think a new stadium would probably give the Jays a nice attendance boost (especially for the next 10 years or so). Although, as others have mentioned, the Jays problem is not really the stadium, IMO. The problem is they haven’t made the playoffs for 17 years and they have a negative reputation in the city. When the Jays turn it around people will come back regardless of a new park. Having said all that – I’d love it if they built a new one.

2) If Toronto gets a 2nd NHL team and/or an NFL team, then yes. At the moment, I think it would be iffy.

3 and 4) I don’t see why Toronto couldn’t support more franchises. Compare T.O. to some other cities (from Wikipedia):
-Minneapolis: 390,000 (city) 3,500,000 (Metro). 4 teams in 4 major sports leagues.
-Denver: 598,000 (city) 2,500,000 (Metro). 4 teams in big 4 sports.
-St Louis 354,000 (city) 2,800,000 (Metro). 3 teams in big 4 sports.
-Cincinnatti: 333,000 (city) 2,100,000 (Metro). 2 teams in big 4 sports.
-Buffalo: 272,000 (city) 1,200,000 (Metro) 2 teams in big 4 sports.

And then you have Toronto: 2,500,000 (city) 5,500,000 (Metro). 3 teams in big 4 sports (with all due respect to FC and Argos).

Compared to those cities, Toronto is fairly under served from a sporting perspective. If Toronto’s teams weren’t so painfully mediocre, this city could be a sports powerhouse. The people and the money are here.

5) I’m not sure. But it seems to be better for the smaller market Canadian teams. That’s something I like.

Raptors Devotee
Raptors Devotee
May 10, 2010 4:58 pm

1) The Skydome has a good location for it and is a functional stadium, but not a true ballpark. Even winning may not be enough, as the city seems pretty jaded by it. I am all for a baseball true park, and if done right, people will go for the experience of going, and it will not wear off. Winning will just put more bums in the seats.

2) No. Just improve the one we have now. Hogan is tolerable, The Gameplan is solid, and PTS with Brunt co-hosting is the best radio in Canada period.

3) Yes. No-brainer, not to mention the rivalry. It would make both teams better.

4) Yes, but it has to be our own, not anything close to the current Bills debacle.

5) I don’t know enough about it to comment intelligently on it.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x