Ratio-breaking Canadian linebacker Cameron Judge has moved from the franchise with the CFL’s highest average attendance to the lowest.
After the Saskatchewan Roughriders decided against waiting for him, Judge signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Argonauts. The second overall pick in the 2017 CFL Draft is one of a number of name players the boatmen have added for the 2021 season. The 26-year-old hopes the hype results in more fans at the stadium.
“We’re trying to give them a reason to get into the stands. The players can play a responsibility in that too,” said on 620 CKRM’s The SportsCage.
“That’s definitely a goal of mine, get some more interest in the team in that city. It starts by putting out a good product on the field.”
Following an improbable Grey Cup win against Calgary in 2017, the Argos have the worst record in the league over the last two seasons at 8-28. That led to Marc Trestman and Jim Popp being fired as fan interest wained due to the poor product and lack of ability to capitalize on the momentum from a CFL championship.
The team hired Michal ‘Pinball’ Clemons as general manager. He elected to move on from Corey Chamblin and hire Ryan Dinwiddie as the double blue bench boss. Along with vice president of player personnel, John Murphy, Toronto has reworked the roster with a focus on local talent where possible and signing recognizable CFL and former NFL players.
That’s the formula the Argonauts are using to field a competitive team and entice fans — once COVID-19 allows — to buy tickets and turn out to BMO Field. The Argos averaged less than 12,500 spectators per game in 2019, which was over 5,000 fewer than the next closest team.
“The Argos are where the Argos left off,” Judge said. “Nothing has changed from last time until we go out there and prove it.”