The Labour Day Classic has existed since 1949. It out dates the existence of the CFL by 9 years. If you love the CFL, than you love this weekend of football.
Unfortunately as the Toronto Argonauts struggle through another season of placing a footprint within Toronto’s sporting landscape much of the celebrations throughout the CFL this weekend largely goes unnoticed in these parts.
So why not try and change things up a little bit. Why can’t the Argos host a game on Labour Day? It’s often been said that Toronto is more of an event based city than a diehard sports town. So why not have another event on the schedule that gives ticket sellers in Toronto a little more meat on the bone.
Hamilton has successfully done the same thing by adding both an amateur football game and an afternoon concert. They didn’t always but give them credit for building an event and adding even more value to a game they don’t really need help trying to sell. It’s a great day for Hamilton fans and one that people in Toronto largely ignore.
Now I know that Hamilton has hosted a game on Labour Day every year except for 2 in their franchise history. But maybe we need to look at the larger picture.
If the schedule was reversed would Hamilton fans all of a sudden stop cheering for their team? No chance. So Hamilton can do everything its planned to do today next week while the marketing team in Toronto, as stated earlier, gets something with a little more meat on the bone as it tries to sell tickets to an already partially sectioned off BMO Field.
The rematch game in Toronto has never really drawn well so nobody can make the argument that all the hype of the Labour Day game spills over anyway.
If the sting of no football on a Monday in Hamilton is too much to bear than maybe the Ti-Cats can host Ottawa while the Argos take on Montreal? An event based football game with the added angle of the two largest cities in the country going head to head can work just fine. As I’ve stated many time with “veteran” Argo fans Hamilton isn’t on the radar as a city that draws any angst for the “new” type of Argo fan ownership is trying to attract.
I know traditions are hard to break but the reality is this massive weekend of CFL football doesn’t really get much play in what I’m so tired of hearing is “the largest market in the league.”
Hosting the Grey Cup and even winning the Grey Cup has never resulted in more fans in the seats the following year.
But maybe a Labour Day game can than a random date in the calendar that never does.
Written by: Anthony Ciardulli
You can follow Anthony @comicanthony