The NFL is just using Toronto

The NFL is an economic giant. It is in the business of generating as much revenue as possible and it does so very successfully. Most NFL revenue comes from the huge TV contracts that the League has with American networks. US sponsers pay through the nose to buy time on NFL telecasts. Ticket sales at games generate a much smaller proportion of NFL revenue, probably less than the League makes from selling NFL merchandise. The NFL will only expand into markets that can INCREASE its overall revenue. With this background in mind, let’s look at the Toronto situation.
A Toronto NFL team will not increase the value of NFL TV contracts. Canadian-based teams, such as the Jays and the Raptors, draw poorly on American TV. Americans are not addicted to watching Canadian-based major league teams. A Toronto-based NFL team would lower US TV ratings, even compared to the Buffalo Bills. Why would the NFL want to lower its own ratings and cause its sponsers to pay less for air time? Would Americans flock to buy merchandise with the logo of a Toronto NFL team on it? I don’t think so. The NFL is already selling very large quantities of merchandise all over Canada. Does Toronto have an NFL-sized stadium. Of course not!
What then is the NFL really up to? It seems to me that the NFL is using Toronto as leverage the way that the NHL uses Hamilton. If an NHL franchise wants a new arena at public expense, it just threatens to move the team to Hamilton. Local citizens and politicians in the US city get in such a flap that money is provided to give the American NHL team whatever it wants. Buffalo is already in a flap about losing the Bills. Wait and see if a new domed stadium is not offered to the Bills, at no expense to the football team.
Of course, to make this whole scheme work, you need a very ambitious would-be ownership group in Toronto that is prepared to accept any crumbs that the NFL throws its way. Is there such a Toronto group that is almost wetting its collective pants to get an NFL franchise? A group that is willing to let itself be used over and over again. Of course, the Rogers-tannenbaum group.
Lastly, the NFL needs the CFL for legal reasons. The NFL draft is on very weak constitutional ground in the US. The NFL’s argument is that a player can always play in Canada if he does not want to play for the team that drafted him. All it would take would be for a sought-after well-healed draft pick to successfully challenge the NFL draft in court and chaos would result. If the CFL died, the NFL couldn’t argue that American players have alternative employment. There goes the draft, with very negative consequences for the NFL.

What about the arena league or semi-pro leagues?

I don't think that many Congressmen would swallow the line that the Arena League of US semi-pro provide a real alternative to the NFL. The salaries are very low. Arena Footbal isn't really the same game. If I were an NFL lawyer, I certainly wouldn't want to use the Arena League alternative as my main argument before a Congressional hearing. Congress has bought the CFL argument before.

The CFL is real football and does pay realistic salaries.

arena league salaries are right in line with cfl

according to combines.com the arena league is hardly semi pro. Its salaries have risen sharply the last few seasons especially now with nfl europe going under. I am sure it depends on the player and what the agent can do for you but a player definately has an alternative with the arena league.

http://www.combines.com/home.asp

Would the Arena League be seen by Congress as being a real alternative tothe NFL? A very good argument could be made that the games are so different that they aren't the same game at all.

Golisano inquires about buying Bills
Billionaire, Sabres owner wants club to stay in Buffalo

[url=http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/football/nfl/02/09/bills.golisano.ap/index.html]http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/f ... index.html[/url]

Onknight: Hmm. Two buyers ready to go? Goodbye Toronto.

Aside from that....I just don't think the NFL is interested in having a team in Toronto for a long time, no matter what rationale is used.
This has been a move by Buffalo to shore up its fan base to increase the value of the team. I would think the NFL is quite content to sit back and watch things unfold with the Bills. But they have bigger issues to deal with first than expanding to Toronto...such as L-A and Columbus.

I don't see Columbus
When there are already 2 Teams in Ohio already
I see Mexico city and Los Angles Maybe Birmingham as Top NFL Expansion Cities

Holy, Hog Town cant exist without The Leafs and The Leaky Boatmen. :roll:

Onknight wrote:"I don't see Columbus
When there are already 2 Teams in Ohio already
I see Mexico city and Los Angles Maybe Birmingham as Top NFL Expansion Cities."

Onknight: I used Columbus as an example because it was mentioned either the Globe or the National Post( or maybe the Sun?) recently in a column....and also because it is so much smaller than Toronto yet still is under consideration.
I would agree with your thoughts about L-A and Birmingham but I am not so sure about Mexico City. The NFL owners are a pretty conservative bunch and I would be surprised if they would want to gamble on an out of country team yet...Mexico City or Toronto.

Reason I think Mexico city is the Stadium Size.
The Estadio Azteca Its seating capacity of 114,465 makes it the fourth largest stadium in the world.

Can you Image a Stadium that full it would be crazy

Just want to say if anyone sees me around town wearing my TiCats toque or coat and a pair of Argo pants, please don't hurl any insults towards me, just showing some solidarity at this time for both/CFL. Grew up an Argo fan and bought these Argo pants many, many years back (yes, these still fit me believe it or not!) but now that I live in Hamilton, the Cats are my team. Just to set the record straight!

You're excused Earl.

Just as I hope that I am excused for the fact that, despite having been born and raised in Hamilton and having lived/worked many years in Stoney Creek, I now live and work in the city of the blue team.

It will never happen. You are aware of the political situation in Mexico aren't you? And it would be very dangerous for the players, at least any player who likes his marijuana.

The NFL will just throw them a bone every 10 years, just enough to keep half the population of L.A interested in the NFL.

The NFL just likes to tease cities like Toronto and Mexico when they have no realistic shot at EVER getting a team.

The NFL uses every team!Come on!LOL :wink:

Well, the first Super Bowl in the new Dallas stadium will be 100,000+, Tom...LOL :wink:

Personally, I don't have a problem with the proposed Bills games in Toronto on nationalistic grounds at all. As one commentator pointed out on NFL Network, the Packers played out of Milwaukee and Green Bay for years, having home dates in both cities. Having Toronto host a couple of games per year in a scenario akin to that strengthens the Bills' regional base in Southern Ontario.

There does have to be a wider CFL-NFL agreement in conjunction with any limited incursion into the Toronto market, I do believe. As has been pointed out, there is a logic for the NFL to want to have a strong CFL re antitrust issues in the US.

Getting a Buffalo-area owner like Golisano once Ralph Wilson goes to the Big Wide Right in the sky is one way to ensure that the franchise remains in Western New York, albeit in a small market. Jim Kelly has mentioned his interest in having a stake in the Bills along with a well-heeled backer to do just that.

Oski Wee Wee,

Does anyone remember when Bugs Bunny sawed away Florida from the rest of the U.S.?
Maybe we can do that to Toronto and give it a push so it can drift away into lake Ontario!.. :lol:

I don’t think it’s ever going to happen. I think the people who want it to happen are the loudest talkers and some of the rest of us don’t talk loudly enough about it. I think there’s a great opportunity for us to have a relationship with them longer term. Why wouldn’t you want to have a relationship with that league? But I don’t think you’re going to see a team up here, certainly not in the next couple decades. I think there’s enough billionaires and there’s enough markets in the states that people aren’t going to let those teams leave their communities. They still have to get into Los Angeles. The chances of Canada being able to steal a team ahead of other markets in the states or out of markets I think is very unrealistic.

When will people realize.. LA has ZERO interest in a team, football is a working man's sport, the prima donna's in LA hardly know what a football looks like let alone want to sit through a game