The NFL is never coming to Toronto.

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.

Great read. I definitely agree that while there are a lot of NFL fans in the Toronto area, they are not real fans and only cheer for top teams ala the Saints or Patriots. Walk around T.O. and see how many Oakland Raiders or St Louis Rams jerseys you see. Probably none.

Also, the big US networks like CBS, ABC, ESPN, NBC etc dont want a Toronto team reducing ratings since no one in the US gives a --- about Toronto, as much as we like to pretend they do. Why do you think the Blue Jays are never on Sunday Night Baseball?

The pathetic support exhibited in the B.I.T. series has shown that Toronto doesnt deserve a team when places like Mexico City or London, places where the NFL isnt the most popular sport/league, had sellout crowds of 100,000 and 80,000 respectively. When Toronto cant sell out a 50,000 seater, that is not good.

So, NFL fans in Toronto, in order to watch live NFL games, hop in the car and drive to Buffalo or Detroit. I'll stick to CFLfootball in my backyard, the greatest football in the world. :rockin:

Excellent post.

Part of the NFL's initial interest in foreign markets is from a marketing perspective as part of the test-bed for any sort of expansion. It's the same for the NBA mind you.

Also you can throw Mexico off any consideration for a good long while given recent developments with drug cartels and with the border trouble there even though Mexico City is a ways away from all that geographically though not politically.

The NFL will work on optimising the situation for sake of its 32 teams within our borders before any sort of expansion whether foreign or otherwise.

Right now as one example, a lucrative void remains in Southern California for one team to occupy as Jacksonville remains as one example of a team in financial trouble due also to regular poor attendance.

Great posts so far.
I could continue with paragraphs as to why the NFL is not coming to Toronto and as to why even if it did happen, it wouldn't affect the CFL.

The NFL has never been interested in Toronto and has never planned a game there. They did it in Mexico City as well as London UK. But never in Canada. The Bills in Toronto has nothing to do with the NFL and everything to do between Rogers and Ralph Wilson. It's also no secret the NFL will be back in Los Angeles and the NFL would like two teams there.

The NFL has nothing to gain by coming to Canada. Yes there's NFL fans, but all of them have teams and wont buy into the Toronto = Canada's team non sense. People in Vancouver commonly cheer for Seattle teams. Winnipeg cheer for Minneapolis, Southwestern Ontario cheers for the Lions (or used to lol), etc.

Most importantly there's no stadium and Skydome is a non-starter. There;s a reason why they're building billion dollar stadiums in New Jersey and Texas. Nobody in there right mind wil spend a billion dollars for a stadium in Toronto, let alone the Expansion fee. Amd we all know the taxpayers wont be fooled again...

The NFL is never coming to Toronto

because I simply wont allow it, so there :wink:

After the Bills in Toronto series is over in 2012, I doubt there will ever be another NFL game played in Canada, let alone a franchise in Canada.

Rogers will lose at least $50 million on the 8 game BIT series. The 2 of the 3 American Bowls played in Canada were also money losers. Ticket sales for the first American Bowl in Toronto featuring the Browns (one of the traditional most popular teams in Ontario) saw ticket sales “stall at 17,000”. Despite tickets available in the $10 range, the organizers had to paper the crowd to make the attendance respectable. The next American Bowl in Vancouver, featuring the local Seahawks vs the 49’ers had 30,000 empty seats at BC Place (although the promoter David Braley claimed they had 40,000 in attendance.) The last American Bowl in Toronto featuring B. Favre and the Packers (drawing thousands of cheesehead fans from Wisconsin) saw ticket sales stall at about 30,000, again they had to paper the crowd and claimed 56,000 in attendance (in a 52,000 seat stadium). It was plainly visible to anyone the stadium was not full. The promoter, Paul Godfrey, later admitted he included stadium & concession staff and hotel patrons in his inflated attendance figures.

The only reason to host those American Bowls was to show how popular the NFL was in Canada and to prove that Toronto is a viable NFl expansion city. With the lukewarm fan interest and colossal financial losses of the NFL series there is little need to try and pretend any longer, that an NFL franchise would ever work in Canada.


You are all WRONG!!!!!!!!
THE NFL IS COMING TO SASKATOON IN 2012. New stadium to replace Griffiths and Rider Pride will now be in two leagues.
What a natural rivalry with the Broncos!! Midwest rules. :rockin: :rockin: :rockin: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :wink:

Shouldnt this be in the Other Football section?

Right this should be in the "Other Leagues" section:

[url=] ... rgers.html[/url]

In addition to Jacksonville, the City of San Diego is having larger financial troubles with the Chargers. Note $17M in losses per year subsidised as well as $52M still owed from stadium renovation in 1997.

Rather than ante up in San Diego, perhaps the Chargers are the best candidate for a move to a larger and more lucrative market in LA? And two teams in LA is not going to happen this decade mind you either though it won't stop some from trying.

Note however above and beyond any such status in California for the Chargers is the massive looming bailout request by the State of California to our federal government that much like our Social Insecurity or Medicrap no politician outside of California wants to touch.

The Chargers' situation and that of any money-losing sports franchises in California would be factored into such a larger discussion, as the cities in turn would be lining up to the state should such a bailout even be secured (which is not going to happen I tell you except perhaps in word only).

Again the NFL ultimately has these issues with which to deal domestically before attempting to undertake any foreign expansion plan to London UK with no way for Toronto and for anywhere in Mexico. Paul, anything to make the NFL seem like the bees knees eh? What a joke :lol:

THe NFL is the only true all american league left and the CFL is the only true all canadian league left. Keep both the way they are

Personally I hope the NFL stays in the US and CFL stays Canadian. But disagree with a lot of posts on this thread.

West Virginia I disagree with your two 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.

Sure the NFL in the most popular sport in most cities, but not all and it does play second fiddle in a few markets, Boston, New York and St. Louis. I could even throw in Chicago. The Red Sox, Yankees are Cardinals are all more popular that the Pats, Giants, and Rams. I also would add Atlanta since I know a couple of sport fans down their that say the Falcons play second fiddle to Bulldogs and even GT football. Up until last few seasons the Saints were know near as popular the LSU so yeah the NFL can be second fiddle. (maybe in SF giants over 49ers too?)

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. I don’t buy it, plus it isn’t legions of fans that get franchises it’s corporate sponsorship that does. Last time I checked our six biggest banks head offices are in Toronto, plus many other corporate head offices.

Second I don’t agree with pre-season game attendance (especially over priced tickets) as a measurement on whether or not a market can support an NFL team. The Bills series was marketed very poorly, and the Bills goal in the series is to regionalize the Buffalo Bills to included Southern Ontario. Similar to what Carolina, Minnesota and Green Bay do in their markets.

Obviously, LA is the next choice for an NFL franchise. However, if a billionaire wanted to build a stadium in the Toronto area I think an NFL team could come a knocking, they probably won’t expand for a while but it could be a relocation.

Money talks, I hate to say it but it does it’s just business.


I am sorry I didn't clarify my statement. Without a doubt the NFL exists in markets where they are not the number one sport (you pointed out several examples), but those franchises have been there for decades and I am sure local support depends on the ebb and tide of how successful each franchise is performing at any given time. I should have stated that the NFL is not rushing to expand to any market where they would be a second fiddle team straight from the beginning. If an owner wants to move a team to a market where the team would be second best (the LA Rams to St. Louis for example) well that is the owner's choice. If the owner of the Bills wants to move them to Toronto and play second fiddle to the Leafs, then that is his choice. However, the NFL will most likely not expand to a North American market where they will not be king. All NFL expansion since 1976 (Seattle, Tampa Bay, Charlotte, Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland) have been to markets where the NFL is king.

There is no doubt that Toronto has the corporate headquarters to support an NFL team. That is why they are even remotely in the expansion conversation. However, big banks and finance companies don't put 72,000 fans in a stadium every other Sunday. They will buy the corporate suites and the luxury club seats, but you need die hard fans to pay expensive NFL prices for the other 65,000 seats.

Preseason games and regular season games in the potential market are how you test market your product to see if there is the demand required for potential expansion. That is why the CFL is holding a game in Montcon. The NFL games in the Carolinas sold out quickly (even though Raleigh is 3 hours from Charlotte) and showed that there was a huge demand for an NFL team in the Carolinas. Regardless of how poorly the Bills in Toronto was marketed, it did show that although the NFL had some support in Toronto, it did not have 72,000 a game (at expensive NFL prices) support. Toronto does not have 50,000 fans saying "I want an NFL team so bad I will help pay for your stadium" support. That is a very big difference. The NFL in Toronto would be lucky to draw 50,000 a game after the novelty wears off and that is not up to NFL standards.

Also, any businessman or group of businessmen in Toronto with $2 billion burning a hole in their pocket ($1 billion for the team and another $1 billion for a stadium, training facility and capital funding) would be better off spending $1.5 billion buying MLSE. The ROI would be much greater plus you get to play King of the Hill instead of second fiddle.

Thanks for clarifying I agree I can't see expansion in the NFL as long as revenue sharing is in place. But do see the greedy owners of that league wanting to get out of the Jacksonvilles, St. Louis' and Buffalo's to tap into bigger markets. Even historical teams like the KC chiefs aren't safe. GB is the only small market team I can see staying in place.

I agree in pre-season testing mid size markets but Toronto is the fifth biggest city in NA, in the right stadium with their own team I don't see any issues selling out 65,000 - 70,000 stadiums. The problem with Toronto is that it will support what if feels is the biggest and best. I would like this region to support what it has. But most people here don't care for tradition and smaller leagues. Toronto by some is called a mecca for Hockey, but the Marlies (AHL) Majors, and battalion (OHL) struggle at the gate. The Argos have a lot of hardcore fans, but have trouble drawing newer fans. If CFL football was half as popular in S. ON. as NHL hockey I could see this market support two additional teams.

Jerry Richardson is one of the greatest owners in any sport, if a Toronto owner with half as much brains as him came in place the NFL would be hear in a heart beat. Richardson built that stadium without government money, which was amazing. and also chose Charlotte as its location and was able to make the team regional which worked very well.

Bottom line is although I don't agree or want an NFL team in Toronto, I think it will happen. I also think both NFL and CFL could survive in the same city. It'll take a lot work on the Argos part, but I don't think the ARGO's will die with the BIG Flashy NFL in town. it better not since the Argos are the oldest professional football team in the world.

I am NOT anti-NFL. I AM anti-NFL in Canada. It sounds like a lot of people feel the same way.
I eventually would love to take in a Lions game in Detroit. However, I have no interest in spending any money on the Bills, in either Buffalo or Toronto. I would enjoy taking advantage of the free tickets being handed out by Rogers staff, so I can laugh at the clowns who spend big bucks on watching 1 good team playing, while the Bills also show up.
BTW.....there was at least 1 other American Bowl game......Bills and Cowboys in one of the dullest events in SkyDome (RC) history. I was there, and it pretty much turned me away from ever buying tickets for this garbage again.
Phil Lind......stop trying to convince the masses the BIT series is're not really fooling many people.
GO BILLS.......and take Lind with you.

For sure, I love the NFL and even wear my Vikings Tshirt around at times although mostly it's my TiCats shirt and hat. I wish the NFL to remain successful, in the US, since it does help keep football in the minds of everyone. But as much as there are a lot of fans of the NFL here in Canada including myself, there just aren't a lot of fans who are willing to pony up the cash Rogers thought they would and especially in a baseball oriented facility like the Skydome, er Rogers Centre.

If Toronto or any other city builds a NFL specific stadium which will cost easily at least $600,000,000 and also has an owner willing to pony up near a billion bucks for a team, then the NFL will be interested. But I doubt that will happen.

Of course, here in Hamilton when I want to go to an NFL game, I'll go to Buffalo where there are fans that grew up in an American football system and know it. In Toronto and area, they just don't have the NFL culture because people haven't been raised in it and it doesn't work for me despite how many NFL fans, including myself, are around here.

In Canada, I want to see who wins our Grey Cup and keep going to TigerCats games to be part of our Canadian football culture, it's pretty simple. I'll never go to an NFL game in Toronto in my life, couldn't care less about it there but am a fan of the NFL.

I bet Phil Lind was bored to death at the NFL games in Toronto for the same reason I would be. And he loves the NFL a lot more than me I would think.

Something else a lot of people forget is that the NFL has a policy against corporate ownership, aka Rogers.

That's not you in the Vikings jersey in the picture here

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is it?

LOL I wonder if that guy got in a fight too? Would folks in Ontario think it generally odd to wear an NFL jersey around? If not, which ones are common up there?

Here in Philly the fans are uninformed douchebags usually at best, or with the antics you hear about regularly in the news at worst, such that you do NOT wear the jersey of another town around in public lest you really want the undesireable attention.

And it's true also mind you that as at Veterans' Stadium, during the games at the new Lincoln Financial Field they have an actual mini-court room with a judge on call for swift proceedings. :lol:

Only in Philadelphia in this dump of a town. :roll: Now I can't leave until July, but at least I get to see the World Cup and the start of the CFL without as much interruption from moving.