I have said for years that all those doom and gloom people predicting the demise of the CFL once Toronto gets an NFL franchise have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. I my opinion, I don’t feel that the NFL will ever have a franchise in Toronto. There are two main reasons: 1: The NFL doesn’t play second fiddle to anyone and in Toronto any NFL franchise will always be second best to the Maple Leafs. 2: There may be fans of the NFL in Toronto, but Toronto does not have legions of passionate NFL fans, dying for a franchise, that the NFL craves.
For a comparison, look at what Rogers has done and the results they achieved as compared to Richardson Sports when they were trying to get a franchise for the Carolina’s.
At "Carolinas Kickoff 89," staged by Richardson Sports, a sellout crowd of 52,855 in Raleigh's Carter-Finley Stadium demonstrates the region's support of NFL football in the Carolinas as the New York Jets play the Philadelphia Eagles in an exhibition game.
Richardson Sports selects a site in uptown Charlotte as the future site of a privately financed NFL stadium, which will seat more than 70,000 people.
At Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, NC, a sellout crowd of 52,036 watches the Washington Redskins play the Atlanta Falcons in "Carolinas Kickoff II," a preseason game billed as the "Backyard Battle."
At “Carolinas Kickoff III?, 69,117 fans cram Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC,. The crowd represents the largest neutral-site attendance at an NFL exhibition game in ten years
Jerry and Mark Richardson present a stadium-financing plan to NFL officials. The Richardsons disclose that no public money would be used to finance the stadium. The financing plan will involve the sale of Permanent Seat Licenses (PSLs).
On July 1, the sale of luxury suites, club seats and PSLs officially begins. Richardson Sports receives 15,000 pieces of mail from first-day orders collected from June 28-July 1. By the end of the day, all 8,314 club seats sell out and all 104 luxury suites are reserved and ultimately leased. (An additional 33 suites are later added to the stadium.) First day PSL orders total 41,632.
At the league meeting in Chicago, NFL owners unanimously select the Carolinas as the 29th NFL franchise and the first expansion team since 1976.
The NFL fans in Carolinas had a passion for the NFL. Toronto fans have barely a passing interest as has been shown by the "Bills in Toronto" series. Can you see the NFL fans of Toronto actually buying PSL's to pay for their own stadium?
Remember, the NFL does not need Toronto and it certainly is not looking to put in place another franchise that has luke warm, mediocre fan support. The NFL wants cities with wild passionate, crazy NFL fans and that is not Toronto. I would bet that the NFL has a team in London or Mexico City long before it ever has one in Toronto.
I guess a better question would be- will the CFL have a team in London, ON before the NFL has a team in London, UK? Now that is a topic for debate. Long live the CFL.