Wednesday 10th February 2016,

Toronto Wants An NFL Team

Buffalo Bills Toronto

January 23, 2011 – Capt. Gridiron

Toronto wants a piece of the NFL action. The fourth-largest market in North America has hosted a Buffalo Bills game for the last three years and now wants the gig full time. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he wants to lure an NFL franchise to Toronto and with the NFL’s recent success in Europe and Canada it could very well happen soon.

My guess is that a team will be placed in L.A. by expansion or move before Toronto but on a larger time line the expansion of the NFL in inevitable and foreign territories are prime locations.

Another bump in the road is a suitable stadium. Currently the retractable Rogers Centre is where the Bills and the CFL’s Argonauts play ball. The capacity for the CFL games are 31,074 but expandable to 54,000 for larger events like the CFL Championship or an NFL game.

In 2010, 3 NFL teams averaged less than 54,000 fans. St. Louis, Oakland and Tampa Bay all missed that mark despite the Bucs having a winning season and just missing the playoffs.

The NFL games held in Toronto have seen a slight decline in attendance.  Ticket prices and a poor team to watch, Buffalo, have not helped the situation but does shed a good light on how Toronto would support a team that is a winner or a loser.

Rogers Centre Toronto Argonauts Attendance (2002-07)

2002 – 20,539
2003 – 15,083
2004 – 25,813
2005 – 30,196
2006 – 29,677
2007 – 30,931

Rogers Centre American football Attendance (2008-10)

2008 – 48,434 (Preseason game)
2008 – 52,134
2009 – 51,567
2008 – 39,583 (Preseason game)
2010 – 50,746



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  • TheReviewer

    So what would they be called? The Toronto Maple Leafs? Oh wait, that’s hockey…

  • JO Dean

    OK, this makes a lot of sesne when you think about it.

  • Lakawak

    Who says that expansion is inevitable? If there is one thing that pro sports leagues have realized it is that the expansion of the 80s and 90s was NOT a good thing.

  • Doug c

    Yeah…the 68 people to go to the few regular season bills games there will be happy. The guy behind this is a half wit.

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  • AC

    I would love to see a Toronto NFL team but Los Angeles probably would get one first.

  • Montrose

    How about the Toronto Vikings, hear they are looking for a new stadium…

  • Mike

    Buffalo seems to have no issue selling out their stadium for the same exact team. You forgot the biggest issue with an NFL franchise in Toronto; tailgate parties are illegal!

    I’d much rather take the drive to go see the Bills in Buffalo than see the game here in Toronto.

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  • CFLman

    The NFL in Toronto a fiasco

    So far there are 2 preseason games, and 3 regular season NFL games in Toronto. None of these games where full houses (less than 54,000). Worse, very few paid they tickets at full price. Tens of thousands where reduced tickets. Tens of thousands more, where free tickets. And still, not one full house in 5 games! Toronto region is where there are the most NFL fans in Canada.

    Why Canadians didn’t come to see Peyton Manning and the Colts or Ricky Williams? Perhaps Canadians are better placed to compare the show offered by the two football leagues. The CFL is so much faster and exciting. The NFL resembles more baseball and the CFL more with hockey. You know, Canadians love hockey.

    Evan with the Rogers telecommunications strong marketing and the Medias propaganda, you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

    Some football fans need to step back from their usual perspective and judge by what they see.

  • CFLman

    1- For an NFL team to survive in a market like Toronto it needs to be the #1 sport and it probably won’t happen.

    2- Football fans are divided between the Canadian league and the powerful foreign country league the NFL. Many football fans will not forgive the NFL for killing the Canadian league.

    3- What proof is there that Toronto will attract a larger crowd? The city can’t get 54,000 NFL fans into the Skydome. To survive it will need to get 65,000 – 70,000 fans on a regular basic. Rogers gave away something like 60,000 tickets so far and still do not have a single NFL full house yet. If fans don’t even bother to go when it’s free, on what basis do some say that the NFL will do well in Toronto? In the end, who’s going to pay for the NFL catastrophe? Rogers customers and Toronto’s citizens. Many say it may not have enough TV revenues anyway.

    4- The 78 million dollar deal to bring the Bills to Toronto is a big flop. This would be nothing compared to the enormous losses if an NFL team would come to Toronto.

    5- After all that money spent, what guarantee is there that Toronto would have a good team? As well, what guarantee would fans have that they will see a high percentage of exciting NFL games? This is in the NFL a very rare thing anyway.

    6- Frankly I do not understand why, but some prefer the NFL. That’s their choice and we have to respect this. Nobody is depriving them of watching NFL games on TV. The CFL can’t compete against a 9 billions League. Why risk depriving the rest of the country who love the Canadian football? 42% of Canadians citizens watched the Grey Cup entirely or partly in 2010. On TSN, the CFL became the #1 sport last year. Still some want to impose the NFL in Toronto (in Canada); can we consider this attitude a little egotistical? Is that having class?

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  • Murray Allan

    I just wish TO would start to support the Argos. However, not entirely the TO fans fault. ther Argos need to be more dynamic. They have to dominate the league. They have to find a charismatic Canadian quarterback.