BMO Field: Wikis

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BMO Field
BMOFieldLogo.jpg
West-stand-bmo-field.jpg
Location 170 Princes Blvd, Toronto, Ontario M6K3C3
Coordinates 43°37′58″N 79°25′07″W / 43.63278°N 79.41861°W / 43.63278; -79.41861Coordinates: 43°37′58″N 79°25′07″W / 43.63278°N 79.41861°W / 43.63278; -79.41861
Broke ground 2006
Opened April 28, 2007
Owner City of Toronto
Operator MLSE Ltd.
Surface Grass
Construction cost CAD $ 62.5 million
Architect Brisbin Brooks Beynon Architects
Capacity 20,500
Field dimensions 115 x 75 yards
Tenants
Canada men's national soccer team (2007-present)
Toronto FC (MLS) (2007-present)
Toronto Nationals (MLL) (2009-2010)

BMO Field (pronounced /ˈbiːmoʊ/ "BEE-moe") is a soccer-specific stadium located in Exhibition Place in the city of Toronto. The open-air structure can seat up to 20,500 spectators, depending on seating configurations. It is owned by the City of Toronto, and managed by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. It opened on April 28, 2007 with a 1-0 loss by home side Toronto FC against the Kansas City Wizards.

Aside from the adjacent parking lot, the stadium is accessible by public transport via the Exhibition GO Train station, the 509 Harbourfront and the 511 Bathurst streetcar lines, as well as the 29 Dufferin and 193 Exhibition Rocket bus routes.

The stadium was known as the National Soccer Stadium during international FIFA competitions, including the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Contents

History

BMO Field is the fifth stadium to be located at its exact location at Exhibition Place. The most recent was Exhibition Stadium, former home of the Toronto Argonauts and Toronto Blue Jays, which lost its permanent tenants with the opening of SkyDome (Rogers Centre since 2005) in 1989 and was demolished in 1999.

The stadium was part of Canada's successful bid to host the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup.[1] The original plan was for the site to be located at York University, with the university contributing $15 million toward the cost of the new stadium. However, the university was forced to back out in May 2005.[2] The eventual site was moved to the location of demolished Exhibition Stadium and then-existing Sports Hall of Fame building.

On May 11, 2006, Major League Soccer announced that Toronto FC would join the league as its thirteenth (and first Canada-based) team in 2007. The league considers soccer-specific stadiums to be a critical part of its strategy; MLS commissioner Don Garber has been adamant that expansion teams must have plans for a soccer-specific stadium in place to be granted a franchise. These facilities are thought to improve overall crowd atmosphere (because they are smaller than stadiums built primarily for NFL football or CFL football), and may allow teams to control most revenues generated by their facilities.

On August 31, 2006, the Toronto Star reported that BMO Financial Group purchased the naming rights to the stadium, known then as the National Soccer Stadium.[3] BMO is the stock ticker symbol of the Bank of Montreal, whose operational headquarters are in Toronto, despite its Montreal name. The symbol is often pronounced "BEE-moe", as are references to the bank itself. On September 20, 2006, stadium webcam viewers watched as a banner was raised on the West Grandstand renaming the stadium "BMO Field". The name was later announced on the team's official website. It was referred to under the National Soccer Stadium name in official references to the FIFA U-20 World Cup, as non-FIFA-supporting sponsors are not permitted references.

The grand opening celebration took place on May 12, 2007.[4] MLS's commissioner has declared that the 2008 All-Star Game would take place at BMO Field, as well an MLS Cup by the year 2012.

The only music concert thus far at BMO Field was performed by classic rock group Genesis on September 7, 2007.

The 2008 MLS All Star game was held at BMO Field on July 24, 2008 versus West Ham United F.C. of the English Premier League.

Since spring 2009, the Toronto Nationals of Major League Lacrosse began playing their home games at BMO Field.

On July 18, 2009, BMO Field had its first alcohol suspension, due to an incident that occurred on May 21, 2008 regarding alcohol consumption by a minor.[5]

In November 2009 it became public that the owners of the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League were in discussions with the City of Toronto over the possibility of moving from the Rogers Centre to BMO Field, potentially as early as the 2010 CFL season.[6] The CFL agreed to study the feasibility of the Argos playing at BMO Field, which was built too short to fit a full length CFL field.[7] According the MLSE chief operating officer Tom Anselmi, without significant renovations BMO Field could only fit a 100-yard field with 15-yard endzones or a 110-yard field with 10-yard endzones, which is 20-yards short of the standard 110-yard field and 20-yard endzones.[8] On December 16, 2009, the Argonauts officially abandoned the idea following receipt of the CFL study, which stated that "Canadian football could not be played there in its current state."[9]

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Historic goals

The first goal at BMO Field was scored by Eddie Johnson for Kansas City Wizards in a 1-0 Major League Soccer win over home side Toronto FC in the stadium opener on April 28, 2007. The first ever Toronto FC goal at the stadium was Danny Dichio's first-half strike against Chicago Fire on May 12, 2007 (also his club's first ever MLS goal).

The first goal at BMO Field scored by a Canadian came at the official opening on May 11, 2007, in an U-20 friendly between Canada and Argentina. David Edgar scored a penalty in a 2-1 defeat for Canada, just four minutes after Alejandro Gomez had scored the first ever international goal at the stadium.

Costa Rica's Victor Núñez scored the first ever senior international goal in a 1-1 friendly draw with hosts Canada on September 12, 2007, just minutes before Dwayne De Rosario scored Canada's first senior goal at the stadium.

The first Toronto FC goal scored by a Canadian at BMO Field was in a June 25, 2007 friendly against Aston Villa of the English Premier League. Andrea Lombardo scored an equalizer at BMO Field's south end to make it 2-2 before Villa ran out 4-2 winners. The first MLS goal at BMO Field scored by a Canadian came when Miguel Cañizalez scored for Toronto FC in the second minute of their 2-1 defeat to Columbus Crew on September 22, 2007, snapping an 824-minute MLS goalless streak.

On May 19, 2007, Bolivian forward Jaime Moreno scored his 108th MLS goal on a penalty kick for D.C. United in their 2-1 win over Toronto FC at BMO Field, tying him for the all-time league lead with Jason Kreis. Moreno has since taken sole ownership of the record.

On May 22, 2009 Merrick Thomson, of the Toronto Nationals, scored the first MLL goal at BMO Field in a 15-11 win for the Nationals in their home opener.

On August 7, 2009 Gabe Gala, of Toronto FC, scored the second ever goal by a Canadian against the Spanish Giants Real Madrid in an exhibition match at BMO Field which Real Madrid won 5-1. Julian De Guzman scored the first when he scored the winner playing in La Liga against Real Madrid.

Management, ownership and funding

Toronto FC is owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. (MLSE), owners of the National Hockey League's Toronto Maple Leafs and the National Basketball Association's Toronto Raptors. In addition, MLSE contributed towards the cost of the building of the stadium. With the total costs in the realm of $62 million ($72 million including land), contributions came from multiple sources. MLSE contributed $8 million towards the construction of the stadium and $10 million towards securing the naming rights of the stadium, which they later resold to the Bank of Montreal for $27 Million over 10 years.[10][11] The Canadian Federal Government contributed $27 million, with Ontario's government adding an additional $8 million. Toronto paid $9.8 million, and has the ownership of the stadium. (All figures are in Canadian dollars.)

Stadium specifics

BMO Field used FieldTurf rather than a natural grass pitch which had attracted some criticism.[12] However, Toronto City Council has voted to approve installation of a natural grass surface following the 2009 season.[13][14] Grass was installed for the 2010 MLS season. Previously, a temporary grass turf was laid in August 2009 for an international friendly against Real Madrid which was later donated to a local public school stadium.[15]


The seats are entirely red with the exception of a design on each of the main stands. On the east side, the design is a large maple leaf while on the lower west stand the design spells out "TORONTO", and has a portion of the Toronto FC logo. The south stand has "BMO" spelled out.

Field of play dimensions are 75 yards wide x 115 yards long or 68 m wide x 105 m long.

Attendance

The largest attendance at the stadium for an MLS game was on June 24, 2009 when Toronto FC hosted the New York Red Bulls in front of 20,902 fans[16]. The largest attendance overall was 22,089 on August 7, 2009 when Toronto FC hosted Real Madrid C.F. in a friendly match, a match that Madrid won 5-1.

References

  1. ^ http://www.fifa.com/en/media/index/0,1369,102457,00.html
  2. ^ http://www.yorku.ca/mediar/archive/Release.asp?Release=879
  3. ^ http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1156974612483&call_pageid=968350072197&col=969048863851
  4. ^ http://toronto.fc.mlsnet.com/news/team_news.jsp?ymd=20061204&content_id=79841&vkey=news_t280&fext=.jsp&team=t280
  5. ^ "Argentine star Tevez moving his act across town to Manchester City". Toronto Star. 2009-07-14. http://www.thestar.com/article/665622. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  6. ^ "Argos to leave Rogers Centre?". 2009-11-26. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/football/argos-to-leave-rogers-centre/article1379458/. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  7. ^ "CFL to study new venue for Argos". http://www.cbc.ca/sports/football/story/2009/11/28/sp-argos-bmo.html. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  8. ^ "Argos Not Banking On BMO Just Yet". http://www.nationalpost.com/sports/story.html?id=2284202. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  9. ^ "Statement Regarding CFL Feasibility Study on BMO Field". http://www.argonauts.ca/article/statement-regarding-cfl-feasibility-study-on-bmo-field. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  10. ^ "BMO Field to be Home for Toronto FC and Canada’s National Soccer Teams". http://www2.bmo.com/news/article/0,1083,contentCode-5889_divId-4_langId-1_navCode-116,00.html. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  11. ^ "Real Salt Lake negotiating deal for stadium name rights". http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695264964,00.html. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  12. ^ "Don't use artificial grass in Toronto FC stadium: players". globeandmail.com. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/Page/document/v4/sub/MarketingPage?user_URL=http://www.theglobeandmail.com%2Fservlet%2Fstory%2FRTGAM.20060927.soccer-turf28%2FBNStory%2FSports%2Fhome&ord=1161707942696&brand=theglobeandmail&force_login=true. Retrieved 2007-02-12. ref> [1]
  13. ^ "Beckham hopes to play against DC". BBC News. August 10, 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/6937950.stm. Retrieved 2007-08-09. 
  14. ^ "Saputo Stadium to Host Canada's World Cup Qualifier". tsn.ca. http://www.tsn.ca/soccer/story/?id=235495&lid=headline&lpos=secStory_soccer. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  15. ^ [2]
  16. ^ http://web.mlsnet.com/schedule/scoreboard/season.jsp?team=t280

External links

Preceded by
first stadium
Home of
Toronto FC

2007 – present
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by
first stadium
Home of
Toronto Nationals

2009 – 2010
Succeeded by
Lamport Stadium

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