The first real test of who the real primary tenant at BMO Field will be moving forward is coming soon. The 2016 Grey Cup is reportedly going to take place at BMO Field which is great for MLSE but could cause some scheduling complications given that the CFL championship takes place right in the middle of the MLS Cup playoffs.
The word that the Grey Cup could be heading to BMO Field comes from Sportsnet's Arash Madani with the official announcement coming on Thursday. The event was long linked to taking place in Toronto but the question was which facility would host the game. The Rogers Centre was still an option but it looks like the now expanded BMO Field has won out in the end.
Hosting the game is great news for CFL fans in the city of Toronto and for MLSE who will get a chance to showcase their expanded stadium ahead of a potential Winter Classic in 2017. The issue is that the Grey Cup traditionally takes place in the final week of November which could conflict with Toronto FC games should they make a deep playoff run in 2016. It is the same week of November during which the MLS Conference finals took place last year.
That potential scheduling conflict will draw some interesting battle-lines for Toronto FC fans who are very slow to trust MLSE when they say that the soccer team will be the first priority when it comes to scheduling. It is hard to see a scenario where a late November Grey Cup does not conflict with any Toronto FC playoff run that might happen next season.
One possible solution to the issue could be to move the Grey Cup up a week earlier than it has traditionally been which would allow the game to take place during the FIFA International window which already results in the MLS playoffs being put on hold for a week in the middle of November.
There are a lot of details that remain unclear on this story but for fans that are concerned about how the arrival of the Argos is going to affect TFC this could prove to be the first real test of just who is going to come first.