The NFL Identifies Toronto As A Leverage City If An Owner Needs A New Or Renovated Stadium

It is not so loonie.  

Every North American sports league needs a city or two that wants the product whether it is Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association or Major League Soccer. All of the leagues are monopolies and control the number of franchises in an artificial way. However, in each league there are some franchise owners that might be looking elsewhere to gain leverage in local stadium and/or arena negotiations. Major League Baseball has Montreal clearly in its sights if the Tampa Bay Rays ownership cannot work out a deal with someone in the market for a new stadium. MLB may also have other markets available that could qualify for a team. The National Basketball Association has Seattle and maybe Louisville, Kentucky in the bullpen. The NHL has an owner who might want the product in Houston. The National Football League does not have any city willing to pay the league’s price for a team. San Antonio wants a team but the NFL doesn’t want San Antonio. The league is not returning to Oakland, San Diego or St. Louis. There was no viable North American city although the league has attempted to build up London, England. But now a city has emerged. Toronto.

In reality, Toronto has been on the league’s radar for decades. The NFL has played pre-season and scheduled some Buffalo Bills home games in the Ontario city. Toronto has MLB’s Blue Jays, the defending NBA champion Raptors, the NHL’s Maple Leafs and an MLS team. There have been suggestions that the NHL place a second team in Toronto. The downside is the Canadian dollar which has been hanging around 75-76 and 77 cents US for years. Toronto needs an NFL stadium. But Toronto could be useful in providing negotiation leverage for some NFL owner in the stadium game.

Tampa Bay Lightning
(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)