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Senator Campbell is bang on: NFL bad for Canada
Threat to CFL is genuine as Bills test waters in Toronto

David Pratt, For Canwest News Service
Published: Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Don't listen to me. Listen to him. ...In the next few weeks, Senator Larry Campbell will draft a bill to protect Canada from the NFL.

The threat is real and, yes, this is a fight worth fighting.

On Dec. 7, the Buffalo Bills will play the Miami Dolphins in Toronto. It's the first of eight regular-season and exhibition games Ted Rogers will spend $78 million on over the next five years to help fund a much bigger scheme to relocate the Bills to that city by 2013.

The result will be the death of the CFL. One hundred years of Canadian history flushed down the toilet.

"It's time that we just say 'enough,' " Campbell insists, "It doesn't make any sense politically, financially or culturally."

For the past six months, Bob Ackles, president of the B.C Lions, has been ringing the exact same alarm bells: "It would kill the Grey Cup and the CFL."

Ackles has already addressed the issue with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and has been assured of his support. It's easy to understand why.

It cuts right to the heart of national unity and will once again demand Western Canadians to ask the most important question of their time: "Why are we in this marriage?"

"I'd like to see politicians stand up and vote on this," says Campbell about his proposed bill. "I'd like to see somebody from Saskatchewan vote against it."

In the end it all comes down to money.

The Bills have the lowest average ticket price in the NFL and rank in the bottom 25 per cent of all league games in revenue generated; Toronto is the fifth-largest market in North America, with fans willing to pay $250 a ticket.

So if Rogers is willing to spend $1 billion of his own money to buy an NFL team, who's going to stop him? The NFL.

Toronto does not have a stadium that even comes close to meeting league standards.

Rogers Centre can hold a mere 53,000 fans for football, well below the minimum requirement of 65,000 and light years from the new stadiums being built in L.A. and Dallas, which will hold between 75,000 and 100,000.

Any attempt to upgrade Rogers Centre would not only be outrageously expensive, but would also leave the Toronto Blue Jays in the parking lot for at least two years.

The only answer is a new stadium, but neither the City of Toronto nor the Province of Ontario is willing to commit any money to such a project.

It leaves Rogers and his partner Larry Tanenbaum with two options: a) write a personal cheque for another $1 billion; or b) knock on the door of the federal government.

Plan B would have taxpayers from all over Canada watching their money spent to kill their own football teams.

"I want a debate on this thing," says Campbell, "I want communities to write their MPs."

Once again, we are reminded that nobody in Toronto really gives a damn who suffers, just as long as they get what they want.

That's not my opinion. It's Senator Larry Campbell's. gawd damn way I'd be pleased seeing tax dollars spent on a new stadium in toronto....

David Pratt had the same article in todays Province Newspaper.

No way in hell will one cent of taxpayer money go towards building Toronto ANOTHER Taj Mahal sports stadium. For an American football team especially.

Especially when not one of our CFL or NHL teams have gotten one penny of public money for their stadiums.

Any media persons who mention public money going helping to further line TEd Rogers pockets should have thier press pass taken away. Because they are complete morons.

This man should be the PM of Canada. It's about time someone has the balls to stand up and protect our league. Just another little bump in the road for Ted Rogers and his boyfriend Paul Godfrey.

I support Senator Campbell 100%! Finally someone is willing to stand up for Canada and the CFL. :thup:

100% behind this and I suggested on my own previously about hoping this can occur.
And while we are at it, why not threaten to boycott any companies affiliated with this NFL crap, like Rogers, MLSE etc.

Simple do not buy their products. I drove over my rogers phone a few months ago. And I feel great!~!

Hey Red what do you think the feeling for such legislation would be in Cowtown? Presumably 100% support?

Complete and utter nonsense. Who is this guy to say what forms of entertainment should and should not be allowed? If people are willing to pay their own money to go to a Bills game in Toronto, then more power to them.

(Frankly, I can't see why anyone would shell out $250 for a Bills game, but that's beside the point.)

As for using public money to build a stadium, hell no. Not when public wading pools and ice rinks are being closed due to lack of funding.

But with all due respect, Senator, pi$$ off and mind your own bloody business.

The qualifier in all this when the current owner of the Bills passes on. The Bills will stay in Buffalo until such time. It may be tomorrow , it could be 5 yrs from now, could be 10 yrs from now. I think he is 91 now, but I havent heard reports that his health is failing, or that he is at death's door.

Chicken Little Ackles 'the sky is falling! the NFL is coming!' routine is getting a little old, quite frankly. Even if the NFL does come to Toronto full time, IMO, there are enough CFL fans to keep a CFL team in Toronto viable. The other thing to consider here is that who knows if the heirs to the Bills' owner will look for a buyer that will keep the team in Buffalo, or have a change of heart and inheret the team. Too many variables to say that the CFL is doomed just yet. Lets not get too excited before saying that this league's demise is for certain.

If Canadians have difficulty in getting federal money for stadiums, the NFL is unlikely to have more success. Besides, American cities have priority in NFL expansion over Toronto. Actually, Edmonton or Calgary has stronger markets than Toronto, but the NFL isn't pursuing either city. Don't be fooled by Larry Campbell as portrayed in TV show about his life. In reality, he was mostly a mediocre mayor in Vancouver with more style than substance. Campbell as prime minister would be a mistake?

I definitely will support this and agree No NFL in Canada. Hopefully this will pass as the CFL is a cultural icon and our last Bastion of Canadian Sports.

...I do believe matters concerning this country ARE his business...and i hope Campbell is successful in putting enough road-blocks in the nfls' way, so as to keep their a$$'s to hell out of do you like those apples... :wink:

I might support him if he crossed the floor. Also, shouldn't this, semi-football related, topic be in the off-topic section of the forum?



Thank God
You aint the Mod.

Seconded...this is right where it should be.

I guess the guidelines of the forum can be excused when it pleases certain parties.


this is a cfl related topic. What dont you get about that?

Its your comprehension skills that seem to need to be excused.

Why do people keep repeating this myth? EVERY CFL stadium in Canada was built with taxpayers money!

Yes a few stadiums have had the odd dollar of outside money for upgrades in recent years, but all of them were built with taxpayers dollars and even within the past year, taxpayers have spent money on upgrades!

Now do I want to see another stadium built in TO? Nope, but please stop lying about the government role in building stadiums. Heck even Asper Peg proposal includes significant government support!