New Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford, wants to dramatically increase the tourism to his city and he sees a NFL franchise as the best way to go about doing just that. Sure the Buffalo Bills play one game a year in his city but he envisions a Toronto NFL franchise as the center piece to bringing in a ton of tourists. Toronto is a big place, with some 2.5 million residents, but I wonder how successful a NFL team could be in this city. Sure teh Rogers Centre is a fine facility but it could not house a NFL team full time. On top of that Canadian football fans like their version of the game far better than the American one.
Ford readily admits the Toronto taxpayers would not publicly fund construction of a suitable NFL stadium. So this may be a non starter, but there are some rumors that the Ottawa Teacher’s Pension plan may be looking to sell the Toronto Blue Jays and that may just be the people who would invest in bringing a NFL team to town. The pension plan only wants to make money for its members and a NFL team is virtually a license to print money.
The Rogers Centre was built for baseball and I know the Bills play there as do the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, but as a baseball stadium its seating is not designed for football and likely could not sustain a NFL franchise for very long. The trick to all of this would be new stadium construction and them to get the Bills or another team looking for a new stadium to relocate there.
Right now it sounds like a stretch, but it just might be a very good plan.