Stadium could make York the sport university of Canada

The prospect of a new stadium for the Toronto Argonauts at York University set off plenty of media discussion about what it would mean for the city. Two weeks after the University of Toronto shocked the Argos by pulling out of a deal for an $80 million stadium in the centre of the city, Toronto’s Canadian Football League team was poised to hook up with York for a 25,000-seat facility in the northwestern suburbs, said the Toronto Star Oct. 15 in a story picked up by Canadian Press and printed in major newspapers across Canada. In addition to giving the Argos a far cosier home than the SkyDome by 2006, the stadium will serve as a home for Canadian soccer. It will be used for the world under-21 soccer championship in 2007, which was awarded to Canada last month.

According to the Star, one source close to the negotiations said, “People are moving north, and it’s going to be an unbelievable sports complex. There’s already the track centre, the tennis centre, the ice rinks and they’re working on an aquatic centre. York will be the sports university for Canada.”

Some critics have said a downtown Toronto site would be better, but one official played down that idea: “I talked to a guy from Markham and he said there’s no way he’d go all the way down to Varsity [at the University of Toronto] for a game but he’d buy season tickets at York.”

Not everybody was so enthusiastic. Star sports columnist Dave Perkins wrote that the federal government was willing to toss in millions of dollars “and as long as it’s at York, the feds can hide behind the university and not make it look as if it’s handing our tax dollars to pro sports teams again. Which, of course, is exactly what it’s doing and, once again, shame on them.”

Speculation about a stadium at York was rife last week. On Oct. 14, Toronto-area radio and television stations — including CFRB-AM, CBC Radio, CFTR-AM, CJEZ-FM, CJCL-AM, CP24-TV and Rogers’s SportsNet in Toronto, and CHAY-FM in Barrie —  were suggesting York could be the Argos’ choice.

Teens endorse digital downloading: poll

Fully 70 per cent of Canadian youth aged 12 to 21 think it is morally acceptable to download music, video and software from the Internet for free, according to a new poll, reported the National Post Oct. 15. The survey also found the threat of legal action would stop only half of respondents, despite attempts from the recording industry to prosecute downloaders. Markus Giesler, a marketing professor at York’s Schulich School of Business and a former music producer, said downloading is likely just as prevalent among adults as teens. He said people who participate in file sharing do not believe they are at risk because they know there are so many people doing the same thing. “There is a growing sense of strength in numbers. The greater the number of people who engage in the practice, the less likely they are to feel at risk of being sued or prosecuted,” said Giesler.

Jazz grad begins musical adventure

Nanaimo’s best kept secret, jazz guitarist extraordinaire and York grad Myron Makepeace is on a year sabbatical from his teaching position at Malaspina University-College and is off on a journey. He’s heading to Ghana in Africa and then to Brazil, reported the Nanaimo News Bulletin Oct. 14. He will be monitoring and recording both urban and tribal music, examining the line that leads to black American music, which of course includes the blues, jazz, R&B, rap and to a large degree all of pop music. Makepeace earned bachelor and master of fine arts degrees in music from York University in 1985 and 1988 respectively and is a learned jazz musicologist.

On air

  • Jennifer Jenson, professor of pedagogy and technology in York’s Faculty of Education, was interviewed about her group’s development of educational video games that are as much fun to play as commercial video games such as X-Box and GameCube, on CBC Radio’s “Voyage North” in Thunder Bay Oct. 14.