"I think goal lights are very important. They signify the hard work the team has done to put the puck in the net. It's unfortunate that only the people in the arena ever get to enjoy that. It's been almost 10 years since the Leafs have made the playoffs, so why not share that excitement of the goal light going off with the whole city?"
-- Toronto Maple Leafs fan Scott Booth
Toronto Maple Leafs fan Scott Booth was at a wedding the night his team defeated the Ottawa Senators to clinch its first Stanley Cup Playoff berth since 2004. When he heard the news, it gave him the opportunity to try to execute an idea he thought of weeks earlier.
"I overheard someone say, 'They won, they're in.' So I thought, 'OK, now I know what to do,'" Booth told NHL.com. "I woke up early the next morning and went to Change.org and wrote the petition."
The online petition, which can be found at www.change.org/LeafsGoalLight, called for Toronto's iconic CN Tower to be converted into a giant goal light, which would glow red every time the Maple Leafs score during the playoffs.
Within 24 hours of Booth posting the petition, it had more than 3,500 signatures. By Wednesday evening, it had more than 16,000. That's short of Booth's goal of 50,000, but quite a total for four days.
Despite the growing popularity of Booth's idea, the Tower's administration isn't quite ready to adopt the concept, regardless how many signatures the petition gets.
"The CN Tower will be showing their support for the home team by lighting Toronto Maple Leafs blue each night the Toronto Maple Leafs play a playoff game," CN Tower public relations manager Irene Knight said in an emailed statement. "Throughout the year, the CN Tower lighting program recognizes dozens of citywide events, charitable events and causes, seasons and special holidays. We do receive various creative requests for special lighting at the CN Tower. Each opportunity is carefully considered to ensure a consistent and equitable approach to all the important causes and occasions."
Booth's goal-light proposal has garnered plenty of attention around Toronto. Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri mentioned the proposal in a tweet April 23, calling it "genius."
"I think goal lights are very important. They signify the hard work the team has done to put the puck in the net. It's unfortunate that only the people in the arena ever get to enjoy that," Booth said. "It's been almost 10 years since the Leafs have made the playoffs, so why not share that excitement of the goal light going off with the whole city?"
The petition has given Booth a generous head start as he enters the job market. A week after completing his final college exam, he made a point to mention in the petition he had graduated from Toronto's George Brown College with a marketing degree.
"I knew this was a big idea and I never thought it would get as much attention as it already has. I slipped in that line about being a new grad and I'm very happy I did. A lot of people have asked me about that," Booth said. "So far the support and the interest from fans has been huge. The only negative things I've been hearing is from [Canadiens] fans, which I think is a testament to how good the idea is."