Bon Jovi to bring NFL football to Toronto?

There has been a lot of speculation recently that Jon Bon Jovi has been looking into buying the Buffalo Bills National Football team. Bon Jovi has recently been connected to Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment in his attempts to further his attempts to buy the team. Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, under NFL rules and regulations, is unable to purchase the team themselves as the rule states that only an individual and not a corporation can own a team. This is where the connection to Jon Bon Jovi comes in as MLSE can still play a role in building a new facility to house the team without owning the team outright and still be involved in the team. Its unlikely however that the team will be sold by its current owner any time soon.

Forgetting about the fact that the team may not even be sold, I believe that moving a team into Toronto will not be as successful as they believe it will be. There will be direct competition to the CFL’s Toronto Argonaughts who have established a very large fan base in the Toronto area, and many people feel that the introduction of an NFL team into Canada will only hurt the CFL. The Bills have had games here in Toronto for the past few years, and year after year the attendance levels of the games have steadily declined. With that being said what do those statistics say for the success a permanent team would have in the city?

Do you think Toronto can support an NFL team?

Should a new stadium be built to accommodate them?

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2 Responses to Bon Jovi to bring NFL football to Toronto?

  1. jd10sh says:

    When introduced to this course, this was one of the first situations that came to mind. Obviously I wasn’t predicting the great John Bon Jovi owning an NFL stationed in Toronto, but rather the stadium situation that would follow the team. A few things:

    1. The Rogers Centre is viable size wise, but a lot more goes into a stadium and the experience than just number of seats. It is still a beautiful place, but is not suited for a ‘state of the art’ NFL team associated with MLSE. There is also no space around the stadium to hold gameday events associated with the NFL experience.

    2. Tailgating, no matter how it is spun, is illegal in the Great White North.

    Tailgating leads me to the general concepts in this course. Will an ownership group led by the 2 largest phone companies in our country (assuming they tag along with this project) as well as one of the most famous musicians in the world be able to influence government and policy to amend or bend laws associated with tailgating. I think that is the defining factor in a team coming, and a new stadium being built.

  2. mb11oo says:

    We’ve been hearing from various people about the eminent arrival of the NFL to Toronto since that late 1970’s and this latest incarnation just may be the worst one yet. As has already been mentioned, the NFL has rules that prevent corporations from owning their franchises. The league also requires that one single person own at least 30% of any team all on his own. The Jon Bon Jovi suggestion is laughable since although he is well of, he wofuld have to sell everything he owns in order to meet the minimum standards. The NFL does make good money but the return on that large of a capital investment would be far too small to justify the expense. Only a billionaire (that’s billionaire with a “B”) could have the resources needed to gain financing from a bank. To gain perspective, when the Houston Texans came into the NFL, there owner cut the NFL a cheque for $700 million dollars. It didn’t mean much to him because at the time he had an estimated net worth of $6 billion. There are precious few men in Canada with those resources and Jon Bon Jovi OR Larry Tanenbaum are not among them. Ted Rogers was such a man and was a very credible candidate who was behind the Bills series in Toronto, but he is no longer with us and his wealth has been dispersed among his family, thus taking them out of the running as well.

    Now on to the matter of the stadium. A proper NFL stadium would cost in the neighbourhood of $800 million to $1 billion and their is no way that the company could justify such an expenditure to shareholders. After all, as we covered in class, stadiums of that size are not profitable. Besides, Rogers has resisted building a proper ballpark for the Blue Jays which would cost less than a football stadium and would be used on a far more frequent basis. And for government funding forget about that. No amount of lobbying will bear any fruit.

    From a political side, in 1974 bill C-22 was almost passed to thwart the NFL from invading Canadian borders and I’m sure their would be a considerable push to revive it should the threat become serious. Until then, we can only look forward to the Toronto press continuing on its mission to destroy anything Canadian by sucking up to the USA at every possibility.

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