Anthony Michael Peter Gabriel is a former professional Canadian football pass receiver who played in the Canadian Football League from 1971 to 1981. He played for the Ottawa Rough Riders, he was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in August 1985. In 2014, he was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame. Gabriel was born in Burlington, Ontario on December 11, 1948, attended Burlington Central High School from 1962 to 1967. While at BCHS, Gabriel played both basketball, he was a member of the Junior Basketball Championship team from 1965. He was honoured in 1967, with the M. M. Robinson Gold Medal for top student athlete at BCHS. Two memories that stick out in his mind from being a Trojan were, not making the football team in his grade ten year. Gabriel was active throughout high school playing junior football for the Burlington Braves under the direction of famed coach Bernie Custis. From there he attended Syracuse University from 1968–1971 where he played split-end for coach Ben Schwartzwalder.
Following his time in college, he went on to have a legendary professional football career in the Canadian Football League with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 1971–1974, with the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1975–1981. Gabriel's first CFL year with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1971, was rather mediocre, with only 20 catches for 265 yards and one touchdown. With rookie quarterback Chuck Ealey in 1972 Gabriel caught 49 passes for 733 yards and 3 scores during the season and helped the team win the Grey Cup over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. After the 1974 season he joined the Ottawa Rough Riders. With Ottawa he had five seasons of over 1,000 yards receiving, including four consecutive seasons from 1975 to 1978, with the other in 1981. In 1976 and 1977 Gabriel led the CFL in receiving yards with 1362 respectively. There would not be another Canadian receiver with this accomplishment until the Stampeders' Dave Sapunjis in 1993; the 1976 Grey Cup game is what fans most remember of Gabriel, with his late fourth-quarter touchdown catch from Tom Clements that won the game over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
In 1978 he was awarded the Schenley Award for the Most Valuable Player in the CFL, becoming the first Canadian to win the prize in 10 years. This feat was not repeated until 2013. In his career Gabriel was chosen ten consecutive times as the EFC/East Division's all-star tight end from 1972 to 1981; as well he was named to the league's all star team as the tight end in 1972 and from 1974 to 1980. The 1981 Grey Cup game saw. Gabriel entered the game with a partial ligament tear in his left knee. Late in the game following a questionable penalty, Gabriel left the game when his knee gave out, never to play professionally again. At the time, Gabriel stood at third among the all-time receivers behind only Tom Scott and Tommy Joe Coffey; this made him first among Canadian receivers. In his 11 seasons, he caught 614 passes for 69 touchdowns, he was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in August 1985 and in November 2006, was voted one of the CFL's Top 50 players of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network The Sports Network/TSN.
Sophomore Year – Syracuse University: Devil's Own Trophy: Top Student-Athlete Junior Year – Syracuse University: Orange Key Trophy: Outstanding Student-athlete. Final Game: set a record for a 4 T. D. game vs. Miami 1972 – Won Grey Cup with Hamilton Tiger Cats 1974, 76, 77, 78 – Voted Schenley for Most Outstanding Canadian 1976 - Led the CFL in receiving yards with 1320 1976 – Won Grey Cup with Ottawa Rough Riders catching the winning touchdown pass in the last minute of play 1976 – Most Valuable Canadian in the Grey Cup 1977 - Led the CFL in receiving yards with 1362 1978 – Selected as Schenley Award winner for Most Outstanding Player in CFL 1972 – Selected All-East All-Star team for CFL 1972, 1974–1980 – Selected All-Canadian All-Star team for CFL 1985 – Inducted into The Canadian Football Hall of Fame 1985 – Inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame 1986 – Inducted into Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame 2014 – Inducted into Ontario Sports Hall of Fame Schenley Nominations Outstanding Player 1977, 78, 81 Outstanding Canadian 1973, 74 1976, 77, 78, 79, 81Jeff Russel Trophy for Outstanding Player in the Eastern Division 1978Lew Hayman Trophy for Outstanding Canadian Player in the Eastern Division 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981All-Star Selections - Eastern Division 72–74 Hamilton 75–81 Ottawa In June 2015, Gabriel retired after 35 years in the financial advising business.
In June 2016, he married Lyle Confrey. They are residing in both Burlington and Newport, Rhode Island, he has three adult children. CFL Facts and Records 1985 Official CFL statistics 1971 to 1981 Ronald A. Ferroni, The 2001 Unofficial Canadian Football Encyclopedia, Hamilton 2001
The Toronto Argonauts are a professional Canadian football team competing in the East Division of the Canadian Football League. Based in Toronto, the team was founded in 1873, is the oldest existing professional sports team in North America still using its original name, they are the oldest-surviving team in both the modern-day CFL and East Division; the team's origins date back to a modified version of rugby football that emerged in North America in the latter half of the nineteenth century. The Argonauts played their home games at Rogers Centre from 1989 until 2016 when the team moved to BMO Field, the fifth stadium site to host the team; the Argonauts have appeared in the final 23 times. Most they defeated the Calgary Stampeders 27–24 in the 105th Grey Cup in 2017; the Argonauts hold the best winning percentage in the championship game and have the longest active winning streak in games in which they have appeared, at six. The Argonauts have faced every current western CFL team at least once in the Grey Cup, while their most celebrated divisional rivalry has been with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
The team was owned by the Argonaut Rowing Club for its first 83 years, has been owned by a series of business interests since 1956. The Argonauts were a fixture on the Toronto sports scene for decades, with attendance peaking in the 1970s. In May 2015 it was announced that a consortium of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment's Larry Tanenbaum and Bell Canada would acquire the team; the sale included a scheduled move to MLSE run BMO Field for the 2016 season, which has long been proposed given attendance under-utilization at Rogers Centre and announced plans to install natural grass at the domed stadium, rendering it unfit for football. MLSE announced in December 2017 that it had agreed to purchase the team outright, with the deal finalized on January 19, 2018; the previous owners continue to indirectly own stakes in the Argos, as Bell Canada and the Kilmer Group hold 37.5% and 25% stakes in MLSE. Given the length of franchise history, dozens of players and management have been honoured in some form over the years.
The team recognizes a select group of players with retired numbers: early greats Joe Krol and Dick Shatto, stalwart offensive lineman Danny Nykoluk, Michael "Pinball" Clemons, the most recent face of the team. Since the team's foundation in 1873, the "Argonauts" name has been in continuous use, a record in North American professional sports; the Chicago Cubs and the Atlanta Braves franchises of Major League Baseball are older, but both teams have changed their name more than once, the Braves have changed cities. The Argonauts claim to be the oldest professional football team in North America; the claim is debatable, as the Hamilton Tigers date to 1869. The name "Argonauts" is derived from Greek mythology: according to legend and the Argonauts were a group of heroes who set out to find the Golden Fleece aboard the ship Argo sometime before the Trojan War. Given its nautical theme, the name Argonaut was adopted by a group of amateur rowers in Toronto in 1872; the Argonaut Rowing Club, which still exists today, went on to found the football club with the same name a year later.
Given their roots in a rowing squad, the team is referred to as the "boatmen" and less the "scullers". In the 19th century, the most renowned rowing teams in the world were from the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge in England; the Toronto rowers, many of whom had associations with the English schools, adopted uniforms incorporating the light blue of Cambridge and the dark blue of Oxford. In turn, the footballers adopted the colours and the phrase "double blue" would become synonymous with the team. Blue has become the traditional colour of top-level teams in Toronto; the team's other official colour is white. Its current helmet design features an Oxford blue background, with an Oxford blue and Cambridge blue round shield inscribed with a white, capital letter A. For most of the team's history, the logo featured some form of a boat incorporating a football; the first recorded game of what would become known as Canadian football was played in Toronto on November 9, 1861, featuring University of Toronto students.
The game at the time was a modified version of English rugby and it gained popularity throughout the 1860s. Rugby itself was still an infant game having evolved out of association football in the 1830s. Seeking a way to keep fit after summer, the Argonaut Rowing Club formed their own rugby-football squad on October 4, 1873; the Argonauts Football Club would play their first game against Hamilton on October 18 of that year, beginning a storied rivalry. H. T. Glazebrook served as their first head coach. Establishment of the football team was formalized by the ARC on September 17, 1874, with a subscription fee of one dollar charged per player; the football team played a handful of challenge matches—one team inviting another to play—as an amateur squad against university and city teams every year throughout the 1870s, with one dormant year in 1879 due to injuries. In 1883 the Toronto Football Club, other city teams from Ontario and university squads from Toronto, Queens University and Royal Military College formed the Ontario Rugby Football Union.
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, with a population of 2,731,571 in 2016. Current to 2016, the Toronto census metropolitan area, of which the majority is within the Greater Toronto Area, held a population of 5,928,040, making it Canada's most populous CMA. Toronto is the anchor of an urban agglomeration, known as the Golden Horseshoe in Southern Ontario, located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A global city, Toronto is a centre of business, finance and culture, is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world. People have travelled through and inhabited the Toronto area, situated on a broad sloping plateau interspersed with rivers, deep ravines, urban forest, for more than 10,000 years. After the broadly disputed Toronto Purchase, when the Mississauga surrendered the area to the British Crown, the British established the town of York in 1793 and designated it as the capital of Upper Canada. During the War of 1812, the town was the site of the Battle of York and suffered heavy damage by United States troops.
York was incorporated in 1834 as the city of Toronto. It was designated as the capital of the province of Ontario in 1867 during Canadian Confederation; the city proper has since expanded past its original borders through both annexation and amalgamation to its current area of 630.2 km2. The diverse population of Toronto reflects its current and historical role as an important destination for immigrants to Canada. More than 50 percent of residents belong to a visible minority population group, over 200 distinct ethnic origins are represented among its inhabitants. While the majority of Torontonians speak English as their primary language, over 160 languages are spoken in the city. Toronto is a prominent centre for music, motion picture production, television production, is home to the headquarters of Canada's major national broadcast networks and media outlets, its varied cultural institutions, which include numerous museums and galleries and public events, entertainment districts, national historic sites, sports activities, attract over 25 million tourists each year.
Toronto is known for its many skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, in particular the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, the CN Tower. The city is home to the Toronto Stock Exchange, the headquarters of Canada's five largest banks, the headquarters of many large Canadian and multinational corporations, its economy is diversified with strengths in technology, financial services, life sciences, arts, business services, environmental innovation, food services, tourism. When Europeans first arrived at the site of present-day Toronto, the vicinity was inhabited by the Iroquois, who had displaced the Wyandot people, occupants of the region for centuries before c. 1500. The name Toronto is derived from the Iroquoian word tkaronto, meaning "place where trees stand in the water"; this refers to the northern end of what is now Lake Simcoe, where the Huron had planted tree saplings to corral fish. However, the word "Toronto", meaning "plenty" appears in a 1632 French lexicon of the Huron language, an Iroquoian language.
It appears on French maps referring to various locations, including Georgian Bay, Lake Simcoe, several rivers. A portage route from Lake Ontario to Lake Huron running through this point, known as the Toronto Carrying-Place Trail, led to widespread use of the name. In the 1660s, the Iroquois established two villages within what is today Toronto, Ganatsekwyagon on the banks of the Rouge River and Teiaiagon on the banks of the Humber River. By 1701, the Mississauga had displaced the Iroquois, who abandoned the Toronto area at the end of the Beaver Wars, with most returning to their base in present-day New York. French traders abandoned it in 1759 during the Seven Years' War; the British defeated the French and their indigenous allies in the war, the area became part of the British colony of Quebec in 1763. During the American Revolutionary War, an influx of British settlers came here as United Empire Loyalists fled for the British-controlled lands north of Lake Ontario; the Crown granted them land to compensate for their losses in the Thirteen Colonies.
The new province of Upper Canada was being needed a capital. In 1787, the British Lord Dorchester arranged for the Toronto Purchase with the Mississauga of the New Credit First Nation, thereby securing more than a quarter of a million acres of land in the Toronto area. Dorchester intended the location to be named Toronto. In 1793, Governor John Graves Simcoe established the town of York on the Toronto Purchase lands, naming it after Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany. Simcoe decided to move the Upper Canada capital from Newark to York, believing that the new site would be less vulnerable to attack by the United States; the York garrison was constructed at the entrance of the town's natural harbour, sheltered by a long sand-bar peninsula. The town's settlement formed at the eastern end of the harbour behind the peninsula, near the present-day intersection of Parliament Street and Front Street. In 1813, as part of the War of 1812, the Battle of York ended in the town's capture and plunder by United States forces.
The surrender of the town was negotiated by John Strachan. American soldiers destroyed much of the garrison and set fire to the parliament buildings during their five-day occupation; because of the sacking of York, British troops retaliated in the war with the Burning of Wa
The Grey Cup is the name of both the championship game of the Canadian Football League and the trophy awarded to the victorious team playing in the namesake championship of professional Canadian football. It is contested between the winners of the CFL's East and West Divisional playoffs and is one of Canadian television's largest annual sporting events; the Toronto Argonauts have the most Grey Cup wins since its introduction in 1909, while the Edmonton Eskimos have the most Grey Cup wins since the creation of the professional CFL in 1958. The latest, the 106th Grey Cup, took place in Edmonton, Alberta, on November 25, 2018, when the Calgary Stampeders defeated the Ottawa Redblacks 27–16; the trophy was commissioned in 1909 by the Earl Grey Canada's governor general, who hoped to donate it for the country's senior amateur hockey championship. After the Allan Cup was donated for that purpose, Grey instead made his trophy available as the "Canadian Dominion Football Championship" of Canadian football.
The trophy has a silver chalice attached to a large base on which the names of all winning teams and executives are engraved. The Grey Cup has been stolen twice and held for ransom, it survived a 1947 fire. The Grey Cup was first won by the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. Play was suspended in 1919 due to a rules dispute; the game has been contested in an east versus west format since the 1920s. The game was always since 1969 has always been on a Sunday. Held in late November, in outdoor stadiums, the Grey Cup has been played in inclement weather at times, including the 1950 "Mud Bowl", in which a player came close to drowning in a puddle the 1962 "Fog Bowl", when the final minutes of the game had to be postponed to the following day due to a heavy fog, the 1977 "Ice Bowl", contested on the frozen-over artificial turf at Montreal's Olympic Stadium. Most in the 2017 game snow fell, at times throughout the game; the Edmonton Eskimos formed the Grey Cup's longest dynasty, winning five consecutive championships from 1978 to 1982.
Competition for the trophy has been between Canadian teams, except for a three-year period from 1993 to 1995, when an expansion of the CFL south into the United States resulted in the Baltimore Stallions winning the 1995 championship and taking the Grey Cup south of the border for the only time in its history. While the Stanley Cup was created in 1893 as the Canadian amateur hockey championship, professional teams were competing for the trophy by 1907. Albert Grey, 4th Earl Grey, the Governor General of Canada, planned to donate a new trophy to serve as the senior amateur championship. Grey instead offered an award for the Canadian amateur rugby football championship beginning in 1909, he failed to follow through on his offer. The first Grey Cup game was held on December 4, 1909, between two Toronto clubs: the University of Toronto Varsity Blues defeated the Parkdale Canoe Club 26–6 before 3,800 fans; the trophy was not ready for presentation following the game, the Varsity Blues did not receive it until March 1910.
They retained the trophy in the following two years, defeating the Hamilton Tigers in 1910 and the Toronto Argonauts in 1911. The University of Toronto failed to reach the 1912 Grey Cup, won by the Hamilton Alerts over the Argonauts; the Varsity Blues refused to hand over the trophy on the belief they could keep it until they were defeated in a title game. They kept the trophy until 1914 when they were defeated by the Argonauts, who made the trophy available to subsequent champions. Canada's participation in the First World War resulted in the cancellation of the championship from 1916 to 1918, during which time the Cup was forgotten. Montreal Gazette writer Bob Dunn claimed that the trophy was rediscovered as "one of the family heirlooms" of an employee of the Toronto trust company where it had been sent for storage; the Grey Cup game was cancelled in 1919 due to a lack of interest from the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union and the intercollegiate unions, along with rules conflicts between the Canadian Rugby Union and the western union.
Competition resumed in 1920 with the 8th Grey Cup game, won 16–3 by the Varsity Blues over the Argonauts. It was the University of Toronto's fourth, final, championship. Competition for the Grey Cup was limited to member unions of the CRU, the champions of which petitioned the league body for the right to challenge for the national championship; the Western Canada Rugby Football Union was formed in 1911, but the CRU did not come to a participation agreement with it until 1921, allowing the Edmonton Eskimos of the WCRFU to challenge. Facing the Argonauts in the 9th Grey Cup, the Eskimos became the first western team – and the first from outside Toronto or Hamilton – to compete for the trophy; the Argonauts entered the game with an undefeated record, having outscored their opposition 226 to 55 during the season. They dominated Edmonton. Multi-sport star Lionel Conacher was Toronto's top player, scoring 15 of his team's points before leaving the game after the third quarter to join his hockey team for their game.
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Canadian Football League
The Canadian Football League is a professional sports league in Canada. The CFL is the highest level of competition in Canadian football; the league consists of each located in a city in Canada. They are divided into two divisions: four teams in the East Division and five teams in the West Division; as of 2018, it features a 21-week regular season where each team plays 18 games with three bye weeks. This season traditionally runs from mid-June to early November. Following the regular season, six teams compete in the league's three-week divisional playoffs which culminate in the Grey Cup championship game in late November; the Grey Cup is television events. The CFL was founded on January 19, 1958; the league was formed through a merger between the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union and the Western Interprovincial Football Union. Rugby football began to be played in Canada in the 1860s, many of the first Canadian football teams played under the auspices of the Canadian Rugby Football Union, founded in 1884.
The CRFU was reorganized as the Canadian Rugby Union in 1891, served as an umbrella organization for several provincial and regional unions. The Grey Cup was donated by Governor General Earl Grey in 1909 to the team winning the Senior Amateur Football Championship of Canada. By that time, the sport as played in Canada had diverged markedly from its rugby origins, started to become more similar to the American game. From the 1930s to the 1950s, the two senior leagues of the CRU, the eastern Interprovincial Rugby Football Union and Western Interprovincial Football Union evolved from amateur to professional leagues, amateur teams such as those in the Ontario Rugby Football Union were no longer competitive for the Grey Cup. From 1945 onward, the WIFU's champion faced the Big Four's champion for the Grey Cup, though until 1954 it had to play in a semi-final against the champion of the ORFU–by the only amateur union still competing for the Grey Cup; the ORFU withdrew from Grey Cup competition after the 1954 season, the WIFU champion was automatically awarded a berth in the Grey Cup final.
For this reason, 1954 is reckoned as the start of the modern era of Canadian football, in which the Grey Cup has been contested by professional teams. Since 1965, Canada's top amateur teams, competing in what is now U Sports, have competed for the Vanier Cup. In 1956, the IRFU and WIFU formed the Canadian Football Council. In 1958, the CFC became the Canadian Football League; as part of an agreement between the CRU and CFL, the CFL took possession of the Grey Cup though amateurs had not competed for it since 1954. The CRU remained the governing body for amateur play in Canada adopting the name Football Canada; the two unions remained autonomous, there was no intersectional play between eastern and western teams except at the Grey Cup final. This situation was analogous to how the American baseball leagues operated for years; the IRFU was renamed the Eastern Football Conference in 1960, while the WIFU was renamed the Western Football Conference in 1961. In 1961, limited intersectional play was introduced.
Because the West played 16 games by this time while the East still only played 14, this arrangement oddly allowed both the four-team Eastern Conference and the five-team Western Conference to play three games per intraconference opponent and one game per interconference opponent. It wasn't until 1974. In 1981, the two conferences agreed to a full merger, becoming the East and West Divisions of the CFL. With the merger came a balanced and interlocking schedule of 16 games per season. Since 1986, the CFL's regular season schedule has been 18 games; the separate histories of the IRFU and the WIFU accounted for the fact that two teams had the same name: the IRFU's Ottawa Rough Riders were called the "Eastern Riders", while the WIFU's Saskatchewan Roughriders were called the "Western Riders" or "Green Riders". Other team names had traditional origins. With rowing a national craze in the late 19th century, the Argonaut Rowing Club of Toronto formed a rugby team for its members' off-season participation.
The football team name Toronto Argonauts still remains though it and the rowing club have long since gone their separate ways. After World War II, the two teams in Hamilton—the Tigers and the Flying Wildcats—merged both their organizations into the Hamilton Tiger-Cats; the league remained stable with nine franchises—the BC Lions, Calgary Stampeders, Edmonton Eskimos, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Toronto Argonauts, Ottawa Rough Riders and Montreal Alouettes—from its 1958 inception until 1981. After the 1981 season, the Alouettes folded and were replaced the next year by a new franchise named the Concordes. In 1986 the Concordes were renamed the Alouettes to attract more fan support, but the team folded the next year; the loss of the Montreal franchise forced the league to move its easternmost Western team, into the East Division from 1987 to 1994, again from 1997 to 2001 and 2006 to 2013 when Montreal resumed operations, but Ottawa was unable to field a team.
In 1993, the league admitted the Sacramento Gold Miners. After modest success, the league expanded further in the U. S. in 1994 with the Las Vegas Posse, Baltimore Stallions, Shreveport Pirates. For the 1995 campaign, the American
Canadian National Exhibition Stadium was a multi-purpose stadium that stood on the Exhibition Place grounds, in Toronto, Canada. Built for Canadian National Exhibition events, the stadium served as the home of the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League, from 1959–1988, the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball from 1977–1989, the Toronto Blizzard of the North American Soccer League from 1979–1983; the stadium hosted the Grey Cup game 12 times over a 24-year period. In 1999, the stadium was demolished and the site was used for parking until 2006. BMO Field was built on the site in 2007 where the northern end of the covered grandstand once stood; the grandstand was used extensively throughout the summer months for hosting concerts. Exhibition Stadium was the fourth stadium to be built on its site since 1879; when the original grandstand was lost due to a fire in 1906, it was rebuilt. A second fire destroyed the stadium in 1947, which led to the city constructing a covered north-side grandstand for CA$3 million in 1948.
This part of the stadium's structure stayed as the stadium underwent various changes until its 1999 closure. Many rock concerts were held at the stadium, both the grandstand and the whole stadium were used for popular rock acts such as The Who, U2, New Order, Depeche Mode, Van Halen, Kim Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, AC/DC; when the Toronto Argonauts moved from Varsity Stadium for the 1959 season, a smaller CA$650,000 bleacher section was added along the south sideline. In this form the stadium seated 33,150; the inaugural game at the renovated Exhibition Stadium was an exhibition interleague game between the hometown Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League and the Chicago Cardinals of the National Football League on August 5, 1959. The game was the first time, it was the first NFL–CFL exhibition match held since the establishment of the CFL in 1958, marked the beginning of a three-year, four game exhibition series between the leagues. When the 58th Grey Cup was played at the stadium in 1970, Calgary Stampeders coach Jim Duncan described the condition of the natural-grass surface as "a disgrace."
In January 1972, Metropolitan Toronto Council voted 15–9 to spend $625,000 to install artificial turf. The vote passed despite five councillors changing their vote to oppose the motion, because the cost had increased from a previous estimate of $400,000. Two months contracts totaling CA$475,000 were approved to install the AstroTurf, with work to be completed by June, in time for the start of the Toronto Argonauts' 1972 season. In 1974, in a bid to acquire a Major League Baseball team, the city voted to reconfigure the stadium to make it compatible for baseball, leading to the arrival of Major League Baseball in Toronto in 1977 in the form of the Toronto Blue Jays. Planned to cost CA$15 million before growing to CA$17.5 million, the renovations, which were funded by the city and province, added seating opposite to the covered grandstand on the first base side and curving around to the third base side. Football capacity was increased from 33,000 to 55,000. Although the stadium was expanded to accommodate baseball, the new seats were first used for football and allowed the 64th Grey Cup in November 1976 to be watched by a then-Grey Cup record crowd of 53,467.
For baseball, the stadium seated 38,522, however by the Blue Jays' second season this increased to 43,739, only about 33,000 seats were made available. In its new form, Exhibition Stadium was problematic for hosting both baseball and football. Blue Jays' President Paul Beeston noted Exhibition Stadium "wasn't just the worst stadium in baseball, it was the worst stadium in sports." Like most multi-purpose stadiums, the lower boxes were set further back than comparable seats at baseball-only stadiums to accommodate the wider football field. Compared to U. S. stadiums, this was magnified by the fact Canadian football fields are 34% larger than American football fields. Many of the seats down the right-field line and in right-centre were far from the infield; some seats were as far as 820 feet from home plate — the greatest such distance of any stadium used as a principal home field in the major leagues. These seats were sold, except when necessitated by demand during the 1985 pennant race and playoffs, again in the 1987 pennant race.
As the original grandstand was used for the outfield seats, these were the cheapest seats but were the only ones which offered some protection from the elements. Because the full length of the third-base line had to be fitted between the north stand and the new south stand, they could no longer be parallel to each other; as a compromise between placements suitable for the two stands, the football field was rotated anticlockwise away from the north stand. Thus, the only seats as close to the field as before were those near the eastern end zone, no seats had as good a view of the whole field as the centre-field seats before the conversion. Although the Argonauts recorded average attendances of above 40,000 fans per game in the first few seasons following the stadium's expansion, by the mid-1980s average attendance had fallen to less than 30,000 fans per game. Being situated close to Lake Ontario, the stadium was quite cold at the beginn
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are a professional Canadian football team based in Hamilton, Canada. They are members of the East Division of the Canadian Football League; the Tiger-Cats play their home games at Tim Hortons Field. They were founded in 1950 with the merger of the Hamilton Wildcats. Since the 1950 merger, the team has won the Grey Cup championship eight times, most in 1999; the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Club recognizes all Grey Cups won by Hamilton-based teams as part of their history, which would bring their win total to 15. However, the CFL does not recognize these wins under one franchise, rather as the individual franchises that won them. If one includes their historical lineage, Hamilton football clubs won league championships in every decade of the 20th century, a feat matched by only one other North American franchise in professional sports, the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings of the International League. Neither of these teams won a championship in the first decade of the 21st century.
In their first forty years of existence, the Tiger-Cats were a model franchise, qualifying for the playoffs in all but three of those years and winning seven Grey Cup championships. They are one of six teams in the modern era to win the Grey Cup at home and were the first to accomplish this when they did it in 1972. However, since 1990, they have missed the playoffs on eleven occasions and have won just one Grey Cup in 1999, their lowest moment came when they lost a CFL record 17 games in one season with just one win during their 2003 season. The franchise has started to return to prominence after qualifying for the post-season in four of the past five seasons, including a loss in the 101st Grey Cup and again in the 102nd Grey Cup; the owner/caretaker of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Club is businessman Bob Young, who purchased the club on October 7, 2003. He was born in Hamilton, Ontario and graduated from Victoria College at the University of Toronto, his fortune was earned in the software industry and he is the owner and CEO of Lulu, a self-publishing website.
As of 2011, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Executive Committee consists of three people: Bob Young, Caretaker. Although the current Hamilton Tiger-Cats were only founded in 1950, football in Hamilton goes back much further than that; the history of Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Club can be traced back to November 3, 1869 in a room above George Lee’s Fruit Store, when the Hamilton Football Club was formed. The Hamilton football club played their first game on December 1869 against the 13th Battalion. In 1872, the Hamilton Football club began play at the Hamilton AAA Grounds and they became known as the Tigers in 1873; the Hamilton Tigers began play in the Ontario Rugby Football Union in 1883 and won their first Canadian Dominion Football Championship in 1906 when the Tigers beat McGill University 29–3. The Tigers continued in the ORFU until 1907, when the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union was formed; the IRFU became known as the Big Four and the IRFU became the East division of the modern CFL in the 1950s.
The Tigers faced stiff local competition with the ORFU's Hamilton Alerts who, in 1912, won the City of Hamilton its first Grey Cup, the trophy, now awarded to the Canadian Dominion Football Champions, by beating the Toronto Argonauts 11–4. In the following season, the Tigers won their first of five Grey Cups when they beat the Toronto Parkdale Canoe Club by the lopsided margin of 44–2; the Alerts were refused entry into the ORFU in 1913 with many of its players opting to join the Tigers, while the Alerts faded from existence. The Alerts gave way to a team under the name Hamilton Rowing Club from 1913–1915, who played in the ORFU. 1914 saw the complete amalgamation of the Hamilton Alerts and the Hamilton Tigers and the football club continued playing under the name "Tigers". In 1915, in the final pre-war season, the Hamilton Tigers won their second Grey Cup. After over a decade-long drought, the Hamilton Tigers won the Grey Cup championship game in 1928, 1929 and 1932; the 1941 season saw the Tigers suspend play for the remainder of World War II.
The Hamilton Tigers folded because a number of players had gone into the armed services. It is believed by some that the failure of the Tigers is what caused the IRFU to be dissolved, the Eastern Rugby Football Union to be formed; because of the absence of the Tigers, a new club called the Hamilton Wildcats were formed to play in the ORFU in 1941. The Wildcats were given permission to use players from the Hamilton Tigers, but not the traditional black and yellow colors of the Tigers. In 1943, the Hamilton Flying Wildcats, stocked with Royal Canadian Air Force personnel, won the 31st Grey Cup. Things returned to normal in 1945 when the IRFU and the Hamilton Tigers resumed play while the Wildcats continued on in the ORFU. In 1948 the Hamilton Wildcats joined the IRFU to replace the Tigers who joined the Ontario Rugby Football Union; the Tigers and Wildcats switch of unions only lasted. At this time, the Tigers and Wildcats competed for fans and bragging rights so vehemently that neither team could operate on a sound financial level.
The Tigers and Wildcats amalgamated in 1950 to form the Hamilton Tiger-Cats that would compete in the IRFU. Under the guidance of prominent and distinguished local leaders such as Ralph "Super-Duper" Cooper and F. M. Gibson, i