Behind the MLS Ambition Rankings: Toronto FC
How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?
TFC’s has made huge investment in youth development and the TFC Academy, not including Kia Training Ground Facilities. Our youth initiatives include a TFC II (a USL team), TFC3 (our senior academy team), TFC Juniors (our grassroots youth program), and partnerships with the Ontario Soccer Association and Regional ID Centres in Windsor and London, Ontario.
How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?
We have three professional teams. TFC have signed 13 homegrown players. TFC II have signed 13 homegrown players. TFC3 have signed four homegrown players. A total of nine homegrown players have played in MLS matches for TFC.
How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2016?
We have 21,000 for 2017. We had 18,700 in 2016.
Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?
The Kia Training Ground, $25 million. The facility is world-class and features a dining hall where the team eats two meals a day (players and staff throughout the organization are also fed), a first-team player lounge, state of the art weight room and pool area, and locker facilities for all academy teams.
Did your team build its own stadium? If yes, how much money did the team spend on the stadium?
No, MLSE does not technically own BMO Field, but we are the operators of the facility. The initial build in 2007 was $67 million (government and MLSE funded) and MLSE spent $145 million on a renovation in 2015-16.
Do you have a USL affiliate? How big is your budget this year for your USL team?
Budget numbers are confidential. We field a team TFC II in the USL that plays out of the Ontario Soccer Centre, and this year will play two games as part of doubleheaders at BMO Field. Team is fully-staffed with coaches, trainers and support staff.
How much money have you spent in the three previous years on Designated Players (transfer fees and salary)? How much are you spending on Designated Players this year?
Information is confidential.
How much TAM have you spent since its inception in the middle of 2015 (including this year)?
Information is confidential.
How would you describe your investment in and use of data analytics? How many full-time analytics employees do you have?
We believe we are on the forefront in analytics in MLS. We have two full-time data analytics employees, along with a full-time video coach whose work enhances our analysis of data.
Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?
BMO; Sponsorship dollars are confidential
Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season? How big is your budget for presenting local TV broadcasts? Do your broadcasters travel on the road for local TV broadcasts?
All of our games are televised on TSN as part of MLS’s Canadian package.
How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?
59 for TFC, plus 40-50 with parent company Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.
What other sorts of details should we know about your club that are a good barometer of the club’s ambition? This one’s open-ended and all up to you!
The long game here is to have the best development system in the league and be internationally recognized as a leader in player development in North America. To that end we are doing more every year to see how our academy is measuring up to an international standard. Right now, we have 17 full-time staff members dedicated to our academy. We hired Laurent Guyot from the French Football Federation to be our Academy director. Guyot has experience coaching in the French first division and FFF youth national teams.
This year, we will send a U-20 TFC3 team to the prestigious Viareggio Tournament in Italy, as well as the Dallas Cup Super Group. We are quickly becoming the core feeder program of the Canadian national teams. The goal is to double the number of Academy players on our first team by 2022 (from 2014 level), which will lay the foundation for long-term roster stability and consistent success.