Toronto Argonauts: Remembering David Braley’s legacy

David Braley, owner of the Grey Cup champion B.C. Lions, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.(Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
David Braley, owner of the Grey Cup champion B.C. Lions, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.(Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /

As the CFL mourns the death of former Toronto Argonauts owner David Braley, we remember his contributions to the team and how they won’t be forgotten.

When you look back at David Braley’s time as a CFL owner, many will express their appreciation for what he did with the teams he owned, including the Toronto Argonauts, but some will also remember some of the issues that came with it.

Back in 2010 when the Argos were purchased by Braley and it was a critical point for the team. Everyone knows the team’s struggles to get fans in the stands and the financial burden that carries, and the CFL got a much-needed bailout by Braley.

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Some would say that without Braley at the helm, it would have been tough to see the Argos survive which would have been devastating for the league. Instead, Toronto was able to stay afloat until Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment stepped in to purchase the team.

You can be sure Argonauts fans will remain grateful for what Braley did for the franchise. At the same time, it wasn’t a smooth tenure either despite winning the Grey Cup in 2012.

When you consider the constant issues of playing at Rogers Centre which included games being played in other cities because of other events (some not at fault to ownership) and a lacklustre environment with the dome not drawing a big enough crowd. This ownership group wasn’t willing to invest money to make money.

As Sportsnet’s Stephen Brunt explained via 3DownNation, Braley made sure the teams could operate but it wasn’t a perfect situation either.

"“It’s absolutely true that if he had not put his own money into Hamilton, Toronto and B.C. at various times — some of them two at once — there wasn’t anybody else out there willing to do it,” Brunt explained. “All or some of those teams would have gone under and the league probably would have gone under. That part is true.”“It’s worth considering whether those teams were better after his stewardship than they were before. Some of them were on death’s doorstep, absolutely, but he ran teams into the ground too. That’s because he didn’t spend any money on marketing and he didn’t spend any money on modern machineries of ticket-selling. He didn’t care about that stuff.”"

At the end of the day, Argos fans will remain grateful that their team is still around. Also, it would have been tough to expect the team to make the trade for Ricky Ray without ownership approval and who knows where the team would have been at that point.

So it’s easy to appreciate Braley’s passion for the CFL and many people who work for the league will say that he kept them from having worse issues than they currently have.

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What do you remember from Braley’s time as an owner? Are you grateful for what he did for the team? Let us know in the comments below.