Maybe this odd roommate situation is going to work out after all for Toronto FC and the Toronto Argonauts. Much ink has been devoted to this odd BMO Field union, especially with regards to the impact it will have on the playing surface. There was worry that the Argos would tear up the pitch under Friday night lights, leaving Toronto FC with a mine field to play on shortly thereafter.
However the release of the CFL schedule today is promising when it comes to BMO Field's tenants co-existing peacefully. Just as Tim Leiweke promised, BMO Field will be Toronto FC's stadium first and Argonauts games will be fit into gaps in the MLS season.
Instead of having to worry about resetting a pitch in a couple of days to get it ready for soccer, the grounds crews at BMO Field will have time to fix the field. At the very least the gap between Toronto FC and Toronto Argonauts games will be five days. That only happens once in July, otherwise the gap is even greater.
The Argonauts will open their season, and the CFL's, on June 23 at BMO Field against rival Hamilton Tiger-cats. That will be the first of nine home games they play by the lakeshore in 2016. They also play a preseason game against the Tiger-cats on June 11 at home.
As aforementioned, the closest they ever come to encroaching on Toronto FC's turf is on July 25 when they play the Montreal Alouettes at home. Toronto FC then play six days later, meaning five days of pitch preparation in between, when they take on the Columbus Crew on July 31.
While the scheduling gap between the two teams is a promising sign, as well as a sign that at least one promise has been kept, it certainly isn't the end of this story. Toronto FC supporters and media will still be inspecting the pitch before every match and any noticeable issues will be voiced in full.
There is also the problem of what comes after the regular season, as both teams could make playoffs runs this year. Even if the Argonauts don't, BMO Field is set to play host to the 2016 Grey Cup on November 27. Last year's MLS Conference final games were played on November 22 and 29. That time of year will be particularly precarious as well because the cold weather will make the pitch more difficult to maintain.
Nonetheless, these two schedules intersect in a "best case scenario" sort of way. There is still a decent possibility that it will not work out, and that the gap between the games will not be enough to fix the field, but it easily could have been worse.
Here's a look at the 2016 Toronto Argonauts home schedule, and how it relates to Toronto FC.
Hamilton Tiger-cats @ Toronto Argonauts - June 11 (presumably at BMO Field)
Next Toronto FC home game: June 18 vs. LA Galaxy (6 days in between games)
Hamilton Tiger-cats @ Toronto Argonauts - June 23
Next Toronto FC home game: July 2 vs. Seattle Sounders (8 days in between games)
Ottawa RedBlacks @ Toronto Argonauts - July 13
Next Toronto FC home game: July 23 vs. D.C. United (9 days in between games)
Montreal Alouettes @ Toronto Argonauts - July 25
Next Toronto FC home game: July 31 vs. Columbus Crew (5 days in between games)
Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ Toronto Argonauts - August 12
Edmonton Eskimos @ Toronto Argonauts - August 20
Next Toronto FC home game: August 27 vs. Montreal Impact (6 days in between)
BC Lions @ Toronto Argonauts - August 31
Hamilton Tiger-cats @Toronto Argonauts - September 11
Next Toronto FC home game: September 18 vs. New York Red Bulls (6 days in between)
Calgary Stampeders @ Toronto Argonauts - October 10
Saskatchewan Roughriders @ Toronto Argonauts - October 15
Next Toronto FC home game: October 23 vs. Chicago Fire (7 days in between)