Wednesday June 20th, 2001.

Scarborough Mirror: Soccer team eyes move to Mississauga
by DJT

Soccer team eyes move to Mississauga

By SAM LASKARIS Special to The Mirror

Scarborough is losing its championship soccer franchise.

The Toronto Olympians, who have played out of Scarborough's Birchmount Stadium, are keen to relocate to Mississauga, starting with the 2002 season.

The Olympians have been the class of the Canadian Professional Soccer League (CPSL) during the past three years.

They've won the CPSL's regular season title three straight years and they've also captured three consecutive league Cup crowns.

The Olympians also won the CPSL playoff championship in 1999. In 1998 and 2000, they were defeated in the league final.

Yet the franchise has struggled considerably at the gate. Thus, the desire to move.

"It's basically 99.9 per cent done now," said David Gee, who wears several hats for the Olympians.

Gee not only is the Olympians' coach, but has also added general manager duties on his job. And last month he became the club's sole owner after purchasing the franchise from Coffee Time Donuts.

Gee, who lives in Mississauga, is eager to move his club there. In fact, he would have preferred to have his team playing there this season.

"But it was too late when I got involved (by buying the team)," he said. "The schedule had already been done and the fields had already been booked."

The Olympians, who sport a 3-1 record, played their home opener at Birchmount Stadium this past Sunday, beating the North York Astros 2-1.

Gee said he's not concerned about the impact the news of the club's move will have at remaining home contests this season.

"I don't think we've had any attendance so we can't hurt it," he said. "My wife was working the gate on Sunday and we had a paid attendance of 28."

The 12-team CPSL already has another franchise in Mississauga. Toronto Croatia, which previously played its home matches in Etobicoke, moved to the city during the off-season.

Toronto Croatia and CPSL officials have given Gee the green light to also move his franchise.

For the first couple of seasons, Gee said he is hoping to stage his club's games at the soccer field behind Erin Mills Arena.

Currently, there's some bleachers which would accommodate about 100 fans. Gee plans to bring in additional stands to bring the seating capacity to about 1,000.

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