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Some Solace in Fact that Argos To BMO Done on Toronto FC's Terms

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It's far from perfect, but the efforts of Toronto FC supporters have made the today's news that BMO Field will have a new CFL tenant at least partially more bearable.

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

BMO Field is no longer soccer specific, but thanks to the outcry of Toronto FC supporters there is a chance it remains soccer centric.

Today, as the club's supporters bemoan what is widely considered a step backwards for the club they should at least have some sense of accomplishment. Enough has been done that even though the Toronto Argonauts are finally moving to BMO Field, it was done on Toronto FC's terms.

A lot of this, whether people like to acknowledge it or not, is a credit to Tim Leiweke. If there were another president in place at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment it is difficult to see the soccer team setting so many ground rules as to how their new tenant are allowed to use the stadium.

Gridiron lines come to mind. When it was initially reported, what feels like ages ago, that the Argos would be coming to BMO Field, the aesthetics of the field were a main concern for supporters.

Right around the time when MLSE showed that they could make those lines disappear between games, fans turned their outrage elsewhere. But it's worth noting that this was something addressed by MLSE, and if this were done a couple of years ago it probably wouldn't have been such a priority.

Then there is scheduling, which seems like an afterthought but is ultimately crucial for the atmosphere and revenue generation of a team. TFC will be given scheduling priority, again something that probably wouldn't have been the case if there were different hands that shook on this deal.

Finally, there is the main crux of the issue as it stands, which comes down to the quality of the surface that Toronto FC play on. While MLSE aren't pursuing the best option here, it is far from the worst either.

Whether or not the Argos moved in to BMO Field, Hybrid Turf would have been a good idea for the stadium anyway. People tend to forget just how bad the pitch was up until the midway point in the season.

Hybrid Turf is easier to control, especially with Canada's obvious temperature issues, and has been used effectively all over the world. This is especially true of northern England, where the climate is similar to Canada.

The fact that the soccer club were able to do this deal on their own terms doesn't stifle at least a few concerns, however, and there is no telling that even with Hybrid Turf the stadium's surface will stay in good quality.

Wembley Stadium in England has had issues with the field after NFL games, and they only host a handful every year.

Then there is the Canadian National team, otherwise known as the forgotten piece in this convoluted puzzle. Where soccer is on the national radar will truly be reflected in their treatment going forward.

The sport will continue to have a difficult time in this country until those in suits start to make its development a priority. However, those who enjoy the beautiful game should be at least partially relieved that at least one of those suits has at least some of their interests at heart.

Today's new isn't good for Toronto FC, but it could have been worse. If all of the promises are kept going forward it could even turn out to be okay. Whether or not MLSE without Leiweke is likely to do that is whole different story.