BMO Field end zone astroturf monster claims another victim

Edmonton Eskimos receiver Derel Walker is the latest to slip and fall in the north end zone at BMO Field.

The grass surface turns to astroturf at the goal line – footwear is much different for each.

With the Eskimos trailing 12-4 in the second quarter, Mike Reilly threw a ball to the end zone for Derel Walker as Argos defensive back Ronnie Yell was in coverage. Walker went to jump for the ball but slipped and fell to the ground. Yell easily intercepted the throw and the only culprit for the Edmonton turnover was the change in surface.

“A hundred percent he slipped and fell because of the turf, but it’s not something that we don’t know about, both teams play on it,” Reilly told TSN after the game.

“There’s nothing we can do about that, we’re going to run our plays and try to execute them and do your best as you can on that surface. I’ve never seen D-Walk slip and fall on a one-on-one jump ball.”

It was a crucial play as the Eskimos lost by three points which they easily could’ve gotten on that drive.

Other players from around the league weighed in, most notably Redblacks receiver Greg Ellingson.


If the players feel it’s unsafe and commissioner Randy Ambrosie has been vocal about protecting them as much as possible, the turf issue needs to be fixed.

Everyone wants the game decided on the field, but not by it.


62 Comments on BMO Field end zone astroturf monster claims another victim


  2. Fortunately, my Stampeders were able to mitigate the issue a few weeks back. Than goodness Walker wasn’t hurt of the play, unfortunately one day someone probably will.
    There doesn’t seem to be a solution, grass wouldn’t not survive. They won’t replace the entire field with artificial. I guess they could try plain dirt and see if that’s any better.
    The biggest concern to me is that seam.

    • MR. Green // July 8, 2018 at 2:35 pm //

      Hi Red. How are you today? I’m coming for a sleep over and a free ticket. I hope you have extra jammies for me. We can make a fort and play what’s in my pocket.

      • Game ticket is no problem.
        Accommodations for the night? Maybe, but I’d have meet you prior for that to be a possibility. Jammies, forts and any thrills you may seek will not, under any circumstance, be provided.

    • grow up! think before you type. F’N troll.

  3. MR. Green // July 8, 2018 at 2:27 pm //

    Poor Walker fell, however, Walker Texas Ranger (Chuck Norris), makes that play every time.
    Seriously, they better fix that. Can’t remember who said it’s a liable lawsuit on the panel. Can’t make proper cuts. It’s like running on ice from one surface to another with the cleats they wear. It is a joke for a professional league.
    Some Argo fan on here said they should go back to the dome where they get more fans. Maybe they should. Why can’t they extent the grass surface. Shouldn’t be a big deal.

    • They can’t extend the grass surface because where the end zones are is normally covered by temporary stands for the TFC games. The artificial turf only comes out 9 times a year for CFL games.
      They can’t go back to the dome because there is no football turf there anymore and Rogers wouldn’t take them back.
      It’s up to players to get used to the transition, MLSE is not going to grass over the end zone with stands being dragged back and forth and they aren’t going to lay down the plastic turf for 9 argo games.
      For the few times that players are running around the end zone it’s not worth it.

    • True Green // July 8, 2018 at 9:16 pm //

      That’s a serious flaw in he design of the stadium. Probably impossible to design a stadium that someone won’t complain about, but having an issue like that with the playing field isn’t acceptable.

      Are the extra stands necessary for soccer games? I’m assuming they must get better attendance than the Argos if they’re bringing out temporary seating.


    • Big deal one player slipped and fell, I saw a player slip and fall in the Montreal game the other night with no transition from grass to plastic.

    • Anthony // July 9, 2018 at 5:54 am //

      The stadium wasn’t built for football, it was designed as a soccer stadium. TFC pretty much sells out every game. The Argos are a secondary tenant who have to get used to the situation.

    • Do you know how to type without caps lock?

  5. The league will just sweep it under the ” carpet ” when the turf should ” be turfed “.

  6. It’s not rocket appliances here folks – If the field must be soft grass for the soccer players to flop about, make the whole damn field grass.

    It’s not like this is the first year for this issue.

    • Except that the soccer field is all grass and where the CFL end zone is located is normally covered with stands.
      The soccer team has so many fans that they drag out temporary stands. MLSE is not going to grass over an area that is normally covered in stands, they wouldn’t be able to grow grass there.
      Players can learn how to transition.

      • Too bad soccer players can’t learn to flop on turf. Actually – maybe a little turf burn would stop their foolish antics.

        • richinbanff (Rich Wilson) // July 8, 2018 at 4:26 pm //

          Soccer would be much better with an electrified field, to prevent all the unnecessary theatrics.

    • Stampeding // July 8, 2018 at 4:16 pm //

      What do you think happened Yup? That they ran out of grass seeds so they decided to finish the field with old turf?
      The area where the turf is isn’t playing surface for soccer, its the ground where bleachers sit. These bleachers would destroy natural grass.

  7. Paul Smith // July 8, 2018 at 3:22 pm //

    This takes the “Argo Bounce ” to a different, and potentially dangerous level.

  8. Of course they could just leave the bleachers where they are (behind the end zone) for the soccer games, but those fans would then whine that they’re too far back from the soccer net….

  9. It’s the same for both teams. You make the best of it and move on. It is what it is.

    • True Green // July 8, 2018 at 9:20 pm //

      Except the Argos play on it 50% of the time and have more opportunity to get used to it. Western teams will play on it once per year or about 6% of the time. Other eastern teams might see it twice per year.

  10. The organization STILL doesn’t get it!!! Not just the turf, I was at the game buying beer and what beer cans do they give me???
    Ones with the blujays logo on them…buy a pop I get TFC cup…are they for real!!! They couldn’t afford to market Argos cups….they did have argo popcorn buckets I noticed to be fair…and they also play the same time jays are playing down the road…..UNREAL ..then we wonder why they have problems

    • The Jays were playing at 1PM and the game was over by 4PM. Most TFC games are played the same day as the Jays and they don’t have problem filling BMO.
      How many Argo fans would go to a Jays game? Argo fans hate the Jays and TFC, Jays fans would never go to an Argo game, it doesn’t matter if they play the same game.

  11. Pennyrocker // July 8, 2018 at 3:48 pm //

    Whine and blame all you want Edmonton got shown the door. It is the same for all that play on that field deal with it.

  12. Robert Shmigelsky // July 8, 2018 at 3:50 pm //

    Better go all turf then if all grass isn’t an option.

  13. Leo Lewis // July 8, 2018 at 3:53 pm //

    The areas with the artificial turf are the locations of the temporary stands for the soccer games. What is unclear…. are the temporary stands set on top of the artificial turf or is the artificial turf installed each time the stadium is used for football (and then removed)?

    If the artificial turf is reinstalled for the Argo games, it seems that the solution would be to install Field Turf instead of the old style Astro Turf. Field Turf is very much like real grass and would minimize much of the current problem.

    However, if the temporary stands are placed on top of the artificial turf, there is likely no solution to this issue.

    • Couldn’t they also place those stands on top of Field Turf?

      • Leo Lewis // July 8, 2018 at 6:00 pm //

        I am not sure. The temporary stands may be the folding type that rolls into place on wheels. If that is the case, the long strands of Field Tuurf may get caught in the wheels.

      • The stands do roll on top of the Field turf, that’s the issue. The stands are normally in place, except for 9 times a year when the Argos play there.

  14. Time to end the use of temporary stands because player safety and the integrity of the CLF has priority.The CFL must have the “balls” to say no more, and grass it.If not, the players and fans could request a meeting with Doug Ford, the provincial leader.

  15. Big deal. Some American teams run around on baseball fields with dirt infields. Teams used to play on old artificial turf laid over concrete, it’s not ideal, but I just don’t see it as that big an issue.

    • An old friend who played in the CFL during the artificial turf over concrete days said it was like falling down on the highway.
      They either need to find another surface – field turf or something that can live under temporary stands – or find another way to provide the seats the temporary stands would hold. It doesn’t seem like an unsolvable problem. And it needs to be done.

    • Where do they run around on baseball fields with dirt?

  16. What are they going to do cancel the game. Move it back to Friday…Blue jays played, move it to Sunday….Blue Jays played. Drink your beer, enjoy the day. That’s what I did. Go Argos Go

  17. I have a simple solution Lampert stadium, or build the Argos their stadium. If the CFL wants to be taken seriously in Toronto stop relying on other teams stadiums and step up and build one for the Argos. If Toronto matters to the rest of the teams in the CFL pitch in and build the Argos a stadium.

    • Robert Shmigelsky // July 8, 2018 at 7:25 pm //

      It’s the city stadium, not the soccer team’s stadium. If TFC fans want their own stadium then build it on their own dime.

      • BMO stadium only got built because of the soccer team. The stadium only got expanded because of the soccer team. The naming rights to BMO are because of the soccer team.
        The city of Toronto makes a fortune from the soccer team.

        • Robert Shmigelsky // July 8, 2018 at 9:13 pm //

          I heard BMO was going to cancel the naming rights deal until the Argos came abroad. No one watches TFC on TV.

          • Shhhhh. You’re not supposed to mention that. Ruins the idea that anyone really cares about TFC.

        • Which doesn’t change the fact that the city owns the stadium. Nice deflection though.

    • Huffs dentist // July 8, 2018 at 7:51 pm //

      How much did Toronto pitch in for the Hamilton, Winnipeg and Saskatchewan stadiums? All teams are of equal importance to the league.

      • How much did Toronto pitch in for BMO stadium?
        Very little, only $10 Million the majority of the financing came from MLSE

        • Don’t believe that’s true. Perhaps you can provide your source to back up your claim. Or is it just your opinion?

  18. I am not saying it is the soccer teams stadium but if everyone on this board is saying it is not ideal the only solution is to get an ideal stadium.

  19. The Argo players didn’t have a problem, didn’t see their defenders falling down or their receivers.
    One guy slips? live with it. The Esks don’t have to play their again this season.

    • True Green // July 8, 2018 at 9:26 pm //

      Again, that’s necause the Argos play non it 50% of the time. Everything other team plays on it roughly once per year.

  20. I see valid points from all comers, from across the CFL. There’s unfortunately only one solution, but it’s too costly. There’s a raised rolling bleacher section that could be put in place so that the entire length of field could be grass, and on non-TFC game days could be removed to allow for it to grow. However, it’s extremely costly and cumbersome. It’s not just opposing players either, I’m pretty sure I remember SJ or another Argo slipping on a route last year. Player safety should be paramount. Imagine if that caused an ACL tear and ended a career. With potential renos in the north section, I hope this gets addressed for ALL players, but still manage to keep the game experience great for CFL and TFC fans.

  21. TheLastArgoFan // July 8, 2018 at 10:53 pm //

    Everyone here is also aware that the end zones are only 17 yards deep versus the CFL standard 20 yards right?
    The stadium is too short for a full length CFL field, even though it was mandated that the stadium be able to accommodate CFL football.

  22. is anything about toronto cfl friendly? how much longer do they stay in business with <13000 a game?

    • How much longer. According to the ownership group, many years. They have smartly announced this is a long term plan and don’t have quick fixes.
      Argos $ losses would be tiny in the scheme of MLSE.

  23. Jim Bob // July 9, 2018 at 1:05 am //

    A rather SMALL part of the field overall. Surface should all be the same. I am sure the TURF SURFACE experts can find a quick solution to the problem either this season or going into the next season. Simple as that.

  24. Move to Lamport stadium.

  25. Skydome(Rogers center) was built with public money for the Argos and Jays. Ted Rogers bought it for fraction of the cost to build it in a deal which should have been illegal and probably was. Argos get the boot.

  26. Have never liked artificial turf it’s like playing on concrete natural is safer less nicks less wear and tear on the players.

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