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Toronto FC II to move downtown for 2018 season

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The Young Reds will play at BMO Field and are exploring the possibility of Lamport Stadium.

USL Photo - Sergio Camargo turns away from pressure on the ball against Orlando City B Martin Bazyl

Toronto FC II are leaving the Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan and will play their home matches in downtown Toronto from the 2018 season, Waking the Red can reveal.

As has been the case this year, more games will be played at BMO Field but nearby Lamport Stadium is also being explored as an option.

A screencap posted on Twitter by Namu Yoon on Monday shows an email sent to season-ticket holders from club president Bill Manning. It explains that “TFC II will be playing home games at BMO Field and Lamport Stadium” in 2018.

Club sources have told us, however, that while BMO Field is confirmed, the Lamport option is not yet set in stone.

Lamport holds 9,600 fans and is currently the home of the experimental rugby-league team the Toronto Wolfpack. It is located on King St, immediately north of BMO Field - the walk between the two venues is less than 15 minutes - on the other side of the rail tracks and the Gardiner Expressway.

TFC II play in the United Soccer League (USL), which was promoted to Division II status by U.S. Soccer immediately prior to the current season. The Young Reds have an average home attendance of 1,061 this year, which ranks 26th out of 30 teams.

The hope will be that a more accessible location for the city’s main population core will boost those numbers. One of the two games they have played at BMO Field so far this season, against the Bethlehem Steel in May, attracted a crowd of 3,033 - though that took place immediately after a first-team game, with one ticket getting fans into both.

The move could also have implications as far as the Canadian Premier League is concerned. Almost everyone associated with the league has expressed opposition to the idea of MLS ‘B’ teams joining the new national top flight, but TFC II would surely be better positioned at a venue such as Lamport should that stance ease.