A quick look at the CFL preseason schedule reveals an interesting quirk in southern Ontario.
The Alouettes and Argonauts are slated to play on Thursday, May 30 in Toronto. That’s not the weird part.
What’s odd is that the game is scheduled to kickoff at 11:00 AM ET.
That’s strange. And it gets weirder.
The Argos don’t appear to be selling tickets to the game on their website. The club’s schedule includes an icon for tickets sales but it merely redirects to the ticket page that makes no mention of a preseason game.
“Oh no! These tickets went fast and we’re unable to find more right now,” says a banner on the webpage.
What’s strange is that the venue map doesn’t resemble BMO’s regular season seating configuration. It’s… odd.
A google search led me to a press release from early last month — one I clearly missed — that explains why the circumstances surrounding Toronto’s preseason game are so abnormal.
The Alouettes and Argonauts are playing a game at Varsity Stadium for a group of school kids. And that’s pretty awesome.
Varsity Stadium is a fantastic venue, located downtown on campus at the University of Toronto. It houses approximately 5,000 seats, most of which should be filled with school-age children when the Argos kickoff their preseason.
The game isn’t pure charity — the tickets aren’t being given away, but sold at $20.00 apiece — and some are being held back for season ticket holders.
Even so, this is a cool initiative for a team that desperately needs to entice new, young fans. The Argos’ most recent preseason game at BMO Field drew just 5,532 fans and there’s little reason to believe this year’s contest would have drawn more. Why not try something new?
This is a neat initiative that may play a small role in increasing Toronto’s ticket sales in the long-term. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.