Today was supposed to a good day. After 9 long years Toronto FC finally clinched their and ‘our' first ever playoff berth. Not only did last night's victory clinch a playoff spot, it also moved TFC up to second place in the Eastern conference putting us in great position for a home playoff game.
There is finally a positive buzz around TFC. However for some fans that buzz was taken away Thursday morning when an inquiry about playoff tickets led to confirmation from an MLSE representative that the North End stands at BMO are being removed beginning next season to accommodate the Toronto Argonauts.
An email confirmed that the North end will not be available for seating next year as a result of the Toronto Argonauts moving to BMO Field. In order to fit CFL specifications, the stadium needed to be extended to fit in an end zone.
For months we have been told that the Argos coming to BMO would not affect TFC, would not affect fans and our experience. For myself and a couple thousand fans in the North End that is no longer the case.
As I'm sure season seat holders throughout BMO can attest, sitting week in and week out, year after agonizing year with the same group of fellow fans, builds a bond, and builds an atmosphere in each little pocket of the stadium.
Simply moving fans to another part of the stadium does not make up for that. It does not and cannot replicate the experience. The excitement of seeing friends after a long winter. The pre-game drinks on the North End patio. The energy on attacking corner kicks and the heckling of the opposing teams goalie. All gone.
On a much more personal note, no one else will care like my friends in the North end about the birth of my daughter in January (a daughter who by the way already owns a TFC jersey). No amount of accommodation when it comes to relocation can make up for that.
On top of it all, the lies and frustration, the real slap in the face is another line from that same email. In regards to relocation. The email states that if we are unhappy with our new seats and we don't want to renew, they will refund our deposit.
That's it, that's all. If you're not happy with what's available to move to, you can just give up your season tickets. Move on, sucks to be you. I guess as season seat holders we are not as valued as we like to think we are.
Now instead of attending playoff games with joy, excitement and passion, part of me will be saddened. Typical TFC.