Sunday, December 14, 2008

NFL in Toronto


It was a week ago that the Bills played a regular season game against the Dolphins at the Rogers Centre (it will always be the Skydome to me) in Toronto. The Bills ended up on the losing end of the game but what I want to talk about is the future of the NFL in Toronto.

The debate of having a NFL team north of the border, especially Toronto, is one that will continue forever until one, there is a team, and two, the NFL comes out and bluntly states, "We will not be expanding into Canada." With the second comment, people will still talk about Toronto and the NFL even if there is, according to the NFL, no chance of a team.

Going back to the game, the attendance was far from full capacity. The Dome has a capacity of around 55,000 people. If you look at the above picture you can see the empty seats throughout the Level 500. I didn't bother looking for a ticket or even seeing how much they were going for but according to newspapers and media outlets (The Star, Globe and Mail, TSN.ca. and even ESPN.com) they were going for a hefty premium. Comparing the prices to the CFL is comparing apple and oranges but it still shows there is a ceiling to prices for Torontonians.

I believe the NFL should be in Toronto in the near future.

1 - People in Canada watch NFL almost just as religiously as they do down south. When I was in university I would take Sunday to watch games all day and make some crazy dinner with my buddies. Have I ever done this with a CFL game? Hell no. The CFL does not interest me what so ever. It is a league that stands, in my eyes, as the minor leagues. By the way, I do watch minor league hockey, the OHL, but only live and never on TV.

2 - Is Toronto not a world class city? It is the biggest city in Canada and it can certainly support a NFL team. Think about the spin-off business a NFL team would generate in the city. People traveling from all parts of Ontario, Quebec, and western New York state coming to stay in hotels and eat at the local restaurants and bars. Plus, think about the revenue that could be generated from NFL merchandise. Okay, that was going a little too far since most of the merchandise revenue goes straight to the owners. Anyways, you get my point. Businesses would be jumping for joy with fans streaming out after a home game in search of food/drinks.

3 - This won't hurt the CFL. Fans of the CFL are fans of the CFL and that won't change because a new team is in town. The NFL is a different game which appeals to a different audience. I don't really know anyone who enjoys the CFL more than the NFL but that is a whole other story. People who come up with the complaint that the CFL would die because of the NFL are just scared of change.

The time has come for an owner to go to the NFL and make them a proposal because Toronto needs an NFL team. The city needs another professional sports franchise and would benefit greatly with a NFL team.

Bring the NFL to Toronto!


Photo Courtesy of Yahoo! Sports.

1 comment:

Mberenis said...

Great blog! Check out mine sometime ;-)

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