The New Stadium at York University: A sports facility in the heart of the GTA

TORONTO, October 18, 2004 – York University announced today that an agreement has been reached for the construction of a new 25,000-seat stadium on the York University Keele campus. The stadium will be the new home of the Toronto Argonauts and a world-class venue for Canadian soccer, and will host the FIFA Men’s Under-20 World Youth Championship in the summer of 2007.
The new stadium, which will become part of the regional athletic centre being created on York’s campus, will play a significant role in the Canadian Soccer Association’s (CSA) hosting of the 2007 FIFA World Youth Championship, which will be played in six Canadian cities. The Championship has a budget of approximately $30 million, almost half of which will be spent in Toronto.

“This $70 million project is an example of successful co-operation between governments, York University, amateur and professional sports,” said the Hon. Joe Volpe, federal Minister Responsible for the Greater Toronto Area, (GTA), who confirmed that the federal government will be contributing $27 million toward the cost of the new stadium.

TORONTO, October 18, 2004 – York University announced today that an agreement has been reached for the construction of a new 25,000-seat stadium on the York University Keele campus. The stadium will be the new home of the Toronto Argonauts and a world-class venue for Canadian soccer, and will host the FIFA Men’s Under-20 World Youth Championship in the summer of 2007.
The new stadium, which will become part of the regional athletic centre being created on York’s campus, will play a significant role in the Canadian Soccer Association’s (CSA) hosting of the 2007 FIFA World Youth Championship, which will be played in six Canadian cities. The Championship has a budget of approximately $30 million, almost half of which will be spent in Toronto.

“This $70 million project is an example of successful co-operation between governments, York University, amateur and professional sports,” said the Hon. Joe Volpe, federal Minister Responsible for the Greater Toronto Area, (GTA), who confirmed that the federal government will be contributing $27 million toward the cost of the new stadium.
Ontario Minister of Tourism and Recreation Jim Bradley stated, “The McGuinty government is pleased to be a part of a project that will greatly improve recreational opportunities for the local community, the university, and athletes across Ontario.”
York University will provide the land for the new stadium as well as $15 million, private capital led by Howard Sokolowski and David Cynamon will contribute another $20 million, and the Ontario government will provide $8 million. In addition, the Argos will be responsible for any operating shortfall on an annual basis that might arise on the operation of the stadium.
“York is proud to be home to this superb sports stadium, further enhancing our position as a premier sports and recreation destination in the GTA,” said York University President and Vice-Chancellor, Lorna Marsden. “York students, including a wide variety of York teams, will be the beneficiaries of this new facility, which will be used for sporting events and training throughout the year,” she added.
Kevan Pipe, Chief Operating Officer of the CSA, stated, “It will give Toronto a much-needed stadium of the quality required to host international soccer matches and it will be a great home for Canadian and international soccer events in the future.”
“On behalf of the Canadian Soccer Association, we thank everyone involved as well as our international governing body, FIFA, and its President, Joseph Blatter and Vice President Jack Warner, both for providing initial financial support to get this project underway as well as awarding the hosting rights of the FIFA World Youth Championship 2007 to Canada. We are most sincerely appreciative of their ongoing support,” said Pipe.
York University’s 60,000-member community, young soccer players, local community organizations, and sport, entertainment and athletic groups will all benefit from the new stadium, which will be easily accessible by both public transit and by car, because of the proximity of highways 400, 401 and 407.
“This will truly be a resource for the whole community” added Minister
Volpe who said that York University is very keen to work with local schools, youth and community groups in the surrounding areas to ensure that they can benefit from these wonderful new facilities.
The new stadium, which will become a home for Canadian soccer, home field for the Argos in 2006, and host the FIFA World Youth Championship, will remain the property of York University.
“The Toronto Argonauts are looking forward to playing in this intimate and fan-friendly stadium, which will bring our fans as close to the action and the players as physically possible. This new design brings a game day experience unlike any other,” says Toronto Argonauts co-owner David Cynamon.
Added Argo co-owner Howard Sokolowski, “We are thrilled to come to a location that is truly excited to have us. The stadium will be easily accessible by public transit and features ample parking, allowing for pre- and post-game celebrations and picnics, further enhancing the Argo game day experience. For the first time in history, the Argos finally can control our own destiny and schedule. The place to be on Saturdays and Sundays in the summer and fall will surely be this new stadium at York University.”
The Toronto Argonauts are North America’s oldest professional football club, having celebrated their 130th anniversary in 2003. The Argos have 14 Grey Cup championships to their credit. Full roster details are available at www.argonauts.ca. For individual game tickets, please call 416-872-5000.

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