TORONTO -- An overwhelming majority of Canadians don't want an NFL team in Canada, especially if it means the demise of the CFL, a survey suggests.

Forty per cent of 1,007 on-line participants said they didn't want an NFL team in Canada at all while another 41 per cent added they'd welcome an NFL franchise in this country only if it co-existed with the CFL. The survey, released Sunday, was conducted in mid-November by Reginald Bibby, a professor of sociology at the University of Lethbridge, and pollster Angus Reid Global.

"They'd have to co-exist, that's the simple bottom line," Bibby said in a telephone interview. "Compared to 1995, if anything, that viewpoint seems to have solidified.

"People are feeling stronger about it."

According to the survey, since '95 Canadians have become more insistent that they'd only want the NFL here if the CFL continued to exist (41 per cent versus 32 per cent). Also, more care about the issue now than 18 years ago (50 per cent compared to 33 per cent).

And in Bibby's mind, Vancouver is a good example of where that shift seems to have happened.

"I sat there one night watching a game in about 1997 and there were 12,800 people there," he said. "You go out there now and you feel like the whole thing has come alive.

"It just wouldn't surprise me that now in B.C., for example, they're feeling a lot stronger about the fact that they want to see the CFL survive and don't want to see it disappear at all."

Atlantic Canada is the only region of the country without a CFL team. However, the survey says only three per cent would welcome an NFL franchise north of the border if it meant the death of the CFL.

The margin of error in the survey is plus or minus three per cent.

Only 19 per cent of participants would be happy to see the NFL come to Canada even if it meant the demise of the CFL.

"We don't have many things that are Canadian when you think about it," Bibby said. "The CFL, for better or worse, seems to be one of them."

On Sunday, the Buffalo Bills host the Atlanta Falcons at Rogers Centre a week after the Saskatchewan Roughriders defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 45-23 in the Grey Cup at Mosaic Stadium.

Toronto has long been mentioned as a potential landing spot for an NFL club, but the survey says only 15 per cent of Torontonians would want a franchise here at the expense of the CFL. Eighteen per cent would be happy to see the NFL in Canada only if the CFL continued to operate with only seven per cent not wanting the NFL on Canadian soil at all.

A larger percentage than in the rest of Canada, some 60 per cent, say they don't care much either way.

The survey states 21 per cent of Canadians are following the NFL compared to 26 per cent for the CFL. Fourteen per cent of each fan base follows both leagues.

However, the results show a large number of Canadians have a protective view of the CFL and relatively few want the NFL to come north, especially if its arrival means the demise of the CFL.

"People aren't troubled about the NFL coming but there's a big asterisk that they have to be assured the CFL is going to continue to live," Bibby said. "To come in and just be triumphant about the fact that 'We're going to bring the NFL to Canada, three cheers you should all be excited,' isn't going to go over with Canadians.

"In fact, that could result in a significant backlash. I just think people would have to come in and really be respectful of the importance of the CFL to Canada as a whole and make sure that they take steps to ensure the viability of the CFL."

There's also been persistent talk of the NFL eventually expanding into London. If that happened, Bibby said league officials would be advised to similarly respect the importance of soccer to the British sports culture.

"The NFL would have to show the same grace if it moved to a place like London . . . and figure out a way to co-exist (with British soccer)," he said.

Finally we have some concrete proof from Canada's most respected polling agency that Canadians prefer to the CFL to NFL and don't want the NFL to come to Canada, especially at the expense of the CFL.

  • 81% of Canadians don't want a NFL team in Canada unless it could co-exist with the CFL.

  • 40% of Canadians don't want the NFL in Canada under any circumstances.

  • Nationally, 26% of Canadians follow the CFL while 21% follow the NFL. 14% follow both leagues.

  • In Toronto, 63% don't want a NFL team unless it could co-exist with the CFL.

  • Rogers/MLSE please take note: Only 15% of Torontonians want a NFL team at the expense of the CFL.

Here is a link to another story about the Angus Reid football poll:

[url=] ... e15677450/[/url] :thup:

All in all the NFL wants and needs the CFL to succeed.
Unlike the other big four sports NHL, NBA, MLB the game is played around the world and the world is now where they have a pool of players and a wealth of other pro leagues where other US players can play.
For Gridiron Football only the NFL and CFL exist.
At a cost to the NFL NFL Europe was around for years and while it gave some fringe and players who slip through the cracks a chance to get onto the field it did very little to grow the game for the people of Europe to actually form league and players to play from grass roots on up.
The CFL offers now 9 and hopefully 10 more pro team where players can play but also it gives another country that will produce gridiron football players. Canada is now open area for NCAA recruiting, which is the NFL's main feeder of talent.
I could go on all day but in the end the NFL wants to see a successful CFL and will not do anything intentionally to kill of the CFL

You are right and even the NFL Commish. himself has said that ,
" TORONTO is considered BUFFALO BILL territory " &
" we have no plans to expand into Canada now or in the near future "

I would like to clear up a myth still believed by some people.

The majority of the people of Toronto and Hamilton DO NOT want a NFL team [see survey]
It is only ROGERS and some in the Toronto area sports media that do. Yes there some NFL fans like there are in every CFL city but most of them watch the NFL on T.V. for free. Paying for NFL games live is another story.
There are some Canadian SEA HAWK and BILLS season tickets holders but they are also a minority.
Next year Ontario will have 3 CFL teams. :thup:
The Toronto / Hamilton area sports media and ROGERS make up a very small % of the people that live there.
HOWEVER , they do have a lot of power and cash. :thdn:

Exactly, every pro sp[orts team has an area in which they have to promote. Hence the reason why Hamilton was never given a chance for an NHL team do to the Sabres and Leafs. CFL problems in southern ontario and specifically Municipality of Toronto have to do with the four other pro sports that call that city home and are owned and promted by the same connection of groups that do not include the Argos.
Again the reason why the best thing for the Argos is to move to a different area of the GTA away from those other franchises.
Hamilton being its own municipality helps a lot and now the Argos will also have their own Region and Municipality that have well over 1 million people, different govt, and different businesses that call the region and Municipality home and where they pay taxes to and would be willing to entertain clients in Luxury corporate suites as the Argos and there 7.5K average a game TV ratings will be the only game in town

^ You mean Mississauga as the other location right?

Where is the rumoured site location for a new stadium? Mississauga is pretty built out near the highways.

It is deeper than that. This poll proves that it would be bad business for the NFL to put a team in Toronto. It would lose more fans in Canada than they would gain in Toronto. Add all the upset fans in Western New York and it would be a political,financial,social disaster for the NFL.

I have said this before.
How sane is it for ROGERS to actually pay BILLS owner Ralph Wilson many , many multi-millions to promote the NFL in Canada just for the American market? At least when you cross border shop you think that you are getting a deal saving money. Which isn’t always the case.
You don’t pay cross border stores to shop there.


What was the attendance for the Bills game in Toronto today???


Wow - 38,969 that's 5,000 more than the Argos/Ticats EF?? and they paid on average over $100 a ticket?? which is the equivalent of over 70,000 in Buffalo?? (revenue from 70,000 in Buffalo at $50)
Can you imagine what they would get for two decent teams to play in Toronto - maybe the Pats?

What's wrong with Torontonians? close to 40k paid well over $100 a ticket to watch two of the worst team in the NFL and none were the home team? I think it does show the huge interest in Toronto for an NFL team.
Too bad that 38,000 plus Torontonians won't come out and pay $50 to watch their CFL team.

Heh, yeah that’s one way to look at it.

Well if they all did give Ralph and Rogers all that money mike, assuming you're correct - suckers. 8)

Ah at least they got a decent game for a game that few Canadians outside of the GTA could care less about. I would feel bad for them paying for an NFL game in the RC of all places. :wink:

Actually if you go to the bills website and go to buy tickets you can see that the only $50 tickets are up in the top level. The lower bowl tickets are over a $100 and mid level tickets are over $70.00. I was a at a bills game a few weeks back and the tickets we paid were over $100 for lower bowl tickets. So Mikem 38,000 in Toronto is not the same as 70,000 in Buffalo

Here you go again making up lies. The only 50 dollar tickets in Buffalo are in the pits. Your a special kind of shill.

One of those games was scheduled six months in advance, the other had three weeks to sell tickets.

We are arguing with a liar who does not spend a penny on the CFL. He should be long gone but our moderators don't have the power to make him go away.

In my books that eastern division final game was a way bigger disappointment compared to the nfl game in toronto attendance wise. Just shows how bad the guys running the Argos have taken the perception of the Argos and cfl to an all time low. When 20,000 people come from hamilton to the game and the Argos get 15,000 is a disappointment from an Argos stand point. Considering two hall of fame quarterbacks were playing against each other for a right to play in the grey cup,two teams fan base playing within 45 mins of each other, first time since 86 they play each other in edf..etc what more could you want for a dream match up like that. Compared to the two crap teams that played yesterday,with the bills not playing a playoff game in 10 or so years, none of the two teams playing at home etc. the idiots who work for Rogers are almost as stupid and incompetent as the guys who work for the Argos, with pricing the game at almost 200 avg ticket when this whole bills in toronto thing came out 6 years ago. Wouldn't surprise me to see Rogers go hire Braley/rudge next year to promote this game in toronto next year. Come to think of it I would love to see that happen Braley/rudge would put the nail in the coffin to the nfl ever coming to toronto!

Considering they’ve been giving away tickets for free every year so far, i’m surprised nobodys talked about how much was PAID attendance at the NFL game.

How many tickets were given away this year? Probably just enough by Rogers so they can say they outsold the Eastern Final?

I mean there were 35,000 at that game.

Even if they did have 38,000 paid attendance which i highly doubt as they’ve given away free tickets every year, thats only 3,000 more for something that some people think is way more popular than the CFL, the NFL. And again, thats only one game per year. They’re going to have everyone thats a fan going for that one single game. The Argos have had several 30,000+ games of paying fans just this year, and they had 52,000 at the Grey Cup selling more than any of the NFL series and making way more money in that one day than any of the NFL games did in their one day per year.

Again, wouldn’t be surprised if its right in line with their 25,000+ paid attendance much like other seasons.

Argos had several 30,000+ games of paying fans this year???????????
I went to every Argo home game this year and I can tell you there were a lot of free tickets given away to all there home games. Beginning of the year all you had to do was fill a survey to an email and they gave two free tickets to any of there three home games in the summer. And what about that game after labour day on the visiting side where they gave tickets to people for frosh week when they showed up with yellow and purple shirts to the game and 90% of them left at half time, and only to have about 7,000 people at the game!