CFL more fragile?

Just read this article where the writer sees more negatives than what is perceived with the CFL. Anyways, does something strike you as odd from the paragraph below from the article?:

For the record, the Bills will play the New York Jets at the Rogers Centre on Dec. 3, four days after the Grey Cup game is played there and the Rogers people learned from last year and have priced the house better. About one-fifth of the tickets for the game can be had for $99.

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Is the writer trying to say that the Grey Cup is in Toronto?

Thanks Earl
Interesting read.... the Grey Cup is in Toronto for 2009??????? LOL

You guys got it! You have to love writers who talk about something like they know it but miss an important fact or so. What a joke to write that in a major newspaper.

It's a really bad article.

It basically says that the CFL is fragile because Hamilton and Toronto had a bad on-field performance last year, and therefore the owners must be ready to give up.

I sent him an Email politely suggesting he get his facts straight before commenting

First post (yay)

What no one seems to mention is that with lowering ticket prices for the Bills games, they will have better crowds and point to that and say the Bills games are a huge success and everyone wants the NFL. But those ticket prices I don't believe will be realistic over an 8 game NFL season for the average fan (or 9 game if the NFL goes through with adding regular season games). Not considering the the current NFL salary cap. Football capacity at rogers is about 46,374 (not including 3,434 seats in Luxury Suites) per the Rogers center website. NFL stadium size is 60,000 minimum capacity, over half are above 70,000 seats. Also consider the difference in currency exchange. Unless there is some serious TV revenue and huge corporate support, and unless owner's seriously gouge fans buying tickets, I don't see how an NFL team in Toronto, without some sort of subsidy, can be viable financially.

The NFL isn't a gate-driven league. The bulk of it's revenues come from the marketing machine ( TV-broadcast rights, Sunday ticket, merchandising, licencing, etc. ). The NFL isn't looking at the gate from Toronto's stadium, they're looking at how well an NFL "Canada's Team" in Toronto would fuel it's bottom line by expanding those markets into Canada.

In a way, because the CFL is a gate-driven league, it could be considered more fragile. Especially when you go back and see how close the league was to oblivion about 10 or 15 years ago.

Those were different times zbest, in Toronto times when all the craze was baseball and Blue Jays winning World Series titles in the brand new “baseball-specific” facility as most people viewed it. Times have changed, Argos have excellent owners now and the season ticket base, while still sort of paltry for a city the size of Toronto at around 10,000 I think, is a far cry from 3,000 at one time. They do compete with baseball in Toronto in the summer, and now TFC albeit the fan bases aren’t exactly the same. But wouldn’t it be sweet for the Argos to have a season ticket base of say 25,000 - ok, that’s just a dream. But maybe some day in a new completely outdoor facility and then only maybe.

CFL is fragile? Who are these people who write these articles, and whats their motivation?
I mean I just saw a few minutes of the Blue jays on TV, and they panned the crowd, and the place looked basically empty.
Along wth having the atmosphere of a morgue.
If you ask me baseball is the fragile sport in this country, not the CFL.
And about the NFL being this hugely successful league.
If thats the case, why are there several teams in trouble, like Buffalo?

Good points berezin. A problem with the NFL is Buffalo as you say, they pack the place, 70,000 game in and game out for the most part and are "having problems" and need money from Toronto or any other city and then have to find a way to build a half million dollar or more stadium to keep viable even though they play in a pretty decent stadium. Sounds a bit like the Nordiques or Jets albeit those stadiums/arenas were older than Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Agreed with you zbest that the CFL is a gate driven league. Attendance is necessary to keep the CFL running, and current corporate sponsorships seem stable and are of tremendous importance and any change in those would definitely have a tremendous impact. But the price of the ticket and the value for the buck is what will help keep the CFL stable keep gate receipts strong.

As you point out, this is dwarfed by the NFL has multibillion dollar TV contracts and multimillion dollar merchandising revenue. I disagree with you, however on the impact the gate has on the sustainability of an NFL franchise. First, you have player salaries to pay, up to the $127 million cap this year ( up from $116.7 million last year, and not including buyouts or any additional player costs) . Teams are getting a little over $100 million each from TV revenue, which does not cover player payroll, never mind operations expenditures. Throw in a couple million from merchandising. And the NFL currently subsidizes some small market teams, and I think Toronto would probably qualify as small market - smaller stadium, negative currency exchange. The subsidy may not even exist if TO was to get an NFL franchise as big market owner's like Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder have been complaining for years about sharing their money. So gate reciepts and luxury boxy revenue will have a much greater impact. Roger's Center is 20,000 seats and many luxury boxes behind the smallest NFL stadium, and the attendance for last years game and the necessary price drop to try attract fans has shown the average fan is not interested in paying the bloated cost of an NFL ticket. I found these articles interesting.

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Writer's, like the one who wrote the article posted above, and others seem to think an NFL team in TO is a slam dunk and the owner's in Toronto and Hamilton may or are considering pulling up stakes and getting out of the CFL. However I think an NFL team in Toronto, and I could very well be wrong, would be on fragile ground trying to compete financially with US based NFL teams.

Toronto will need to get the Bills asap I think as their team, having a few games over 5 years when it's not their team, might end up being almost more negative than positive. As said, already ticket prices are falling.

What will be interesting is what will happen when the Buffalo Bills nonagenarian Owner Ralph Wilson dies, which will be sooner rather than later... an NFL franchise is way too valuable elsewhere for Ralph's kids to keep it in Buffalo. There are many compelling reasons for the NFL to want this team, or "A" team; in Los Angeles. But... there are compelling reasons to want a team in Toronto also. I would say these 2 cities are the prime candidates to get the next 2 relocated NFL teams. And anyone that thinks the Saints are going to stay in Katrina ravaged New Orleans needs to reconsider. NOLA (New Orleans, La.) is the 2nd smallest city in the NFL now right after Pittsburgh (new stadium) and ahead of Green Bay (community ownership). NOLA has neither... and there is no way Louisiana can justify public money for a new stadium. The Saints have an out clause that allows them to leave with a nominal payment after the 2010 season.

The NFL will regard the Toronto market as basically being all of Canada...and 30,000,000 + people or so, is nothing to sneeze at. Merchandising, Canadian TV... and... having a team in Toronto is the thin edge of the wedge... the door opener, that will make it easier to go to Vancouver one day should they so desire. (Badly needed close natural rival for Seattle.) Or maybe even Montreal. The NFL wants to grow. For them... too much is never enough. For those that doubt this, watch and see what happens. The old anti WFL laws that Canada almost enacted in 1974 may have to be dusted off one day. Either that or perhaps Ottawa &/or Moncton or Halifax get (already existing) teams faster than people think.

Jim Kelly has come out publically and stated that him and a few other local bussiness men can string the cash together to keep the Bills in western New York. As for an NFL team in Toronto? I don't think you will be able to build an NFL style stadium in Toronto for a long time without P***ing the rest of the country off, since Hamilton, Regina, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Halifax and Saskatoon are all hurting for stadiums. As for a natural rival for Seattle? I think Portland would fly better than Vancouver, and Montreal would never host an NFL team, the Habs can't even have an American team play there without having the national anthem booed, let alone having the #1 American past time, no chance it would fly. I still do not feel threatened by these NFL Canada threats, I would say it is a good 30 years away at best.

I definitely think the NFL would place a franchise into Toronto in a heartbeat if they could. I agree with you that Vancouver is a remote prospect and probably would be very far in the future, if it ever even happened at all. I agree that Portland would be good for scheduling purposes as a partner/rival for Seattle, except they have no stadium even close to being as good as Toronto's Skydome. Portland was in the derby to get both the Expos and the Marlins or Rays and wouldnt build a Stadium for MLB. I know the posters on this board are by and large indifferent at the very least, if not actually hostile; to the NFL. Probably not without reason, insofar as it's intentions toward Canada are concerned.

The NFL has an aggressive policy in place to grow its game, and new markets for it. They dont want to add any more teams, because they dont want to split TV and merchandising money into any more pieces than they already do. But obtaining more TV and merchandising? They would gladly put an existing club in Canada, in my view; to make TV and merchandising inroads into a population of 30 million plus. As I stated above, I know the regular posters here on this board by and large have an antipathy toward American Football in general, and the NFL in particular. But, my question would be, (and I dont know the answer, perhaps some people here could share opinions) how do the mass of Canadian sports fans at large view the situation?

I dont think the CFL has to fear a threat from the NFL. Would they like to play games or even place a team in Toronto? Yes, I think they would. But I also think they would bend over backwards to ensure the survival of the CFL. (Or, in a cynical but realistic vein, to just be perceived as doing so. I could see that also. These are very wealthy businessmen, egotistical as all get out, used to getting what they want. They play the game for money, and they play for keeps.)

I cant speak for Jim Kelly and his local investors. All I know is the price for the Bills in Buffalo and the price for the Bills in Toronto, in Los Angeles, even in San Antonio, is probably a lot higher. If I am Ralph Wilson's family, I want LA-Tor-SA money for that team, not Buffalo money when I go to sell.

Re: The NFL in Montreal, again, I dont know enough about the city or its people to know how they would receive an NFL club. If Chris101 says they would be hostile towards such a prospect and that it wouldnt fly, well... he may know more than I do about the people there. I included Montreal because of its size and the fact that a team could play at Olympic Stadium. It all goes back to the question, how do Canadians at large, not just the relatively small group of hard core CFL fans here, perceive the NFL? Do they like it? Dislike it? Enjoy it? Hate it? What is the true general picture on that?

Btw... I am a fan of the CFL. I wish it was televised south of the border on a regular cable channel at least so I could see it. I want the league to survive, thrive and grow... and prosper. So please dont categorize me as a hostile troll on your board. I just wanted to provoke and stimulate some real discussion with this post. And one more thing... I really tend to think Los Angeles interests will outbid any other group for the Bills after Ralph Wilson passes on. Entertainment industry money is never in short supply, recession (Depression even...) or no recession. There are wealthy people here (LA) that want a team badly.

Let the bills have T.O move the ARGS TO l..A IMHO

The NFL has an aggressive policy in place to grow its game, and new markets for it. They dont want to add any more teams, because they dont want to split TV and merchandising money into any more pieces than they already do. But obtaining more TV and merchandising? They would gladly put an existing club in Canada, in my view; to make TV and merchandising inroads into a population of 30 million plus. As I stated above, I know the regular posters here on this board by and large have an antipathy toward American Football in general, and the NFL in particular. But, my question would be, (and I dont know the answer, perhaps some people here could share opinions) how do the mass of Canadian sports fans at large view the situation?

Look, the people in Canada that are NFL fans have all the merchandise possible. We also have four or five Canadian tv networks broadcasting games, so I don’t know how much more an inroad you can make!

NFL would love Buffalo to move to Toronto, much more money and chance of a spanking new stadium down the road than Buffalo. LA over Toronto of course though for any existing NFL to move.

The point is that those fans DON'T have merchandise from a team of their OWN. which will sell a lot more merchandise than some Vikings stuff here, some Seahawks stuff there, some Lions, Bills, Packers, etc. When the Montreal Expos expansion franchise was granted by MLB in 1969 for play in the NL, they immediately were more or less adopted as "Canada's Team" and their games were telecast across the country. I think a team in Toronto would also increase viewership by a lot... It would give the fans a focus, an "in", to being an actual part of the Super Bowl competition each season.

I dont think the Bills will necessarily be the team that goes (or tries to go) to Toronto. I think LA interests will put enough money on the table as to sway the Wilson heirs, unless they just decide to be civic minded towards Buffalo themselves and accept a lower offer from local interests. (Jim Kelly and company?) I dont know if Ralph Wilson's family has any reason to worry or care about Buffalo. I know he was from Detroit and his trucking business was there. And that he originally wanted his AFL team to play in Miami, where he had a vacation home. and only "settled" for Buffalo when a Miami site wasnt possible in 1960. (Stadium and segregation issues back then.)

The Saints want to move. NOLA isnt even the largest city in Louisiana anymore post Katrina. (It's Baton Rouge). The Saints werent happy with the Superdome even before the Katrina disaster. As soon as the negative PR of leaving wont be an issue, which may be in 2010, as the Saints have an escape clause in their lease for after that season, they are probably gone. as for where... well.. who knows? San Antonio? Toronto? Memphis? Orlando? There ARE other possibilities besides Toronto... anything can happen.

The point is, the NFL wants to grow its game and markets for it. Anywhere and everywhere that it can. I hope CFL reaches a point where at the very least they can hold the markets they have now, Toronto included, and expand to at least a few more like Moncton/Halifax, Quebec City, get the Ottawa team rolling & at least one more club somewhere to make 12 teams. I'd also like to see good US television that easily accessible to a wide spectrum of US tv viewers and one team in a US border city. CFL should reach out at least a little more to the US. They can only benefit by doing so in a well planned, controlled manner. (That doesnt mean they have to plant 5 teams all at once in the Deep South. As I recall, that was tried with, shall we say; "limited" success? :smiley: )