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NFL game played in Mexico, Should 1 be in Canada?


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Now that a NFL game was played in Mexico, should they have a game in Canada?

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A regular season is coming and probably a team in Toronto shortly after. Rogers (owners of the Blue Jays and Skydome, now called the Rogers' Centre) and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment are teaming up to buy and relocate a NFL team in the next few years.

Sep. 29, 2005. 01:00 AM

Jays + Leafs = NFL in T.O.?

Lobbying no longer Godfrey-only affair

DAVE PERKINS

It will pain Paul Godfrey to miss the final game of the Blue Jays' season, this coming Sunday, but only gently. He has bigger things on his plate ? like scouting for an NFL franchise. As usual.

Godfrey and his personal lawyer, Dale Lastman, will be in Mexico City, taking in the San Francisco-Arizona game, the first NFL regular-season match played outside the United States. They are flying there on the private jet of Larry Tanenbaum, the CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

Flying home, a source said, they will add a passenger to the travelling party, namely Phil Lind, the No. 2 man at Rogers who also plans to be at the game.

On the surface, the group ? but mainly Godfrey ? wishes to assure a regular-season game in Toronto, which is pretty much a given for 2006 or 2007. Dates and details have yet to be ironed out, but expect they will be. NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue indicated as much last February.

But the purpose of this trip certainly does not end there. The presence of Tanenbaum tells you that. Lind's, too. The fact they are flying in Tanenbaum's private jet is not a big deal. The swells go everywhere on private jets these days and these three are always close, anyway.

The real purpose of this journey by the three ? the president of the Blue Jays, the CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and Lastman, a plugged-in board member at MLSE ? is to quietly continue the longshot process of securing an NFL team for Toronto. They're not going down there for the refried beans.

Phone calls on the subject went unreturned, but it doesn't take much to figure out this play. An NFL team long has been a dream of Godfrey's. He's been at it for about a quarter-century and he's as adamant as ever. Ted Rogers, who is now beginning to turn the financial corner with the Blue Jays, since purchasing the team several years ago and the SkyDome less than one year ago, has shown no interest in laying out the several hundred millions required to purchase an NFL franchise. But he owns the building and might be interested in a position or a partnership.

Sources indicate Tanenbaum now is interested both in pursuing an NFL franchise and in joining economic forces with the Rogers/Blue Jays empire on such a purchase. While Tanenbaum doesn't have that kind of money, the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan certainly does and Tanenbaum seems to have the ear of the Teachers.

Would Teachers be interested in an NFL team? Why not?

Franchise prices in the NFL are high, but values never do anything except go up. Plus, NFL teams make scads of money. Teachers, sitting on assets of something like $55 billion, toys with relatively minor properties like the Leafs and Raptors as much for entertaiment value as for profit. Why wouldn't they go a size larger with the NFL?

The SkyDome is not technically large enough for the NFL. But Rogers' purchase of the joint did two things the NFL requires: It brought under control all luxury box revenues, which the NFL insists on. It also eliminated that shabby old AstroTurf field, the one that prevented even another NFL exhibition game from being played here.

A reasonable expansion could bring the stadium up to the 60,000-seat level the NFL requires and given the way Rogers has spent money fixing up the SkyDome so far, it might be within reach ? until the cry is raised for a nice, new, publicly financed stadium.

A Canadian dollar rising against the U.S. greenback also paints a less grim picture for potential Canadian buyers of an NFL team.

With expansion franchises at $600 million, note the difference between a 60-cent Canadian dollar and today's 85-cent buck.

Do the math and somebody is forking out a couple of hundred million less.

There are NFL teams available, even without considering the New Orleans Saints' owner was looking to relocate before Hurricane Katrina ripped the city apart. Not to pick a victim's bones here, but in what promises to be a weak economic market for a long time, are the Saints worth more in New Orleans or elsewhere?

Obtaining a team is all in the future and the chances have never been great. The present is about three amigos flying off to Mexico to continue a process that continues by landing one game.

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentSe...d=1127944212584

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Oct. 2, 2005. 10:08 PM

T.O. candidate for NFL game: Tagliabue

MEXICO CITY (AP) ? NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue reiterated his hopes to take regular-season games to Canada, Japan, China and several destinations in Western Europe in upcoming seasons, with Toronto and London likely the top candidates to get a game as early as next season.

Even before the first snap, Tagliabue declared the NFL's first regular-season game outside the United States a rousing success ? and a prelude to the sport's future.

Tagliabue believes the San Francisco 49ers' meeting with the Arizona Cardinals in Mexico City on Sunday night will be the first venture in an annual extravaganza, with at least one festive regular-season game on foreign soil every season.

The commissioner's ability to convince each NFL club to take turns giving up a home game for the cause seems to be the main obstacle to his ambitious plan to boost American football's international popularity. But Tagliabue is confident the owners will see the long-term benefits of such a plan, which could be discussed at league meetings this month.

"The key is to let them know well in advance that they're going to be giving up a home game," Tagliabue said. "The other key is to make (giving up a game) a universal obligation to be a member of the NFL.''

Though the league has traveled outside the United States to play exhibition games for decades, Sunday night's game in front of an excited crowd at Azteca Stadium was the first regular-season contest on foreign soil in the NFL's 86-year history.

"The emotion that I feel most is pride," Tagliabue said. "My sense is that's the way the fans here in Mexico feel. It's a moment for great pride, because a lot has been accomplished in two decades (in Mexico).''

Tagliabue reiterated his hopes to take regular-season games to Canada, Japan, China and several destinations in Western Europe in upcoming seasons, with Toronto and London likely the top candidates to get a game as early as next season.

The main difficulty is persuading all of the league's owners to give up the revenue and exposure from one of their eight home games, even if it's only once every 16 years.

To ensure one international game every year, Tagliabue said every team could commit to play outside the U.S. once every 16 years ? or every eight years, if the NFL got its preferred schedule of two foreign games every season.

Tagliabue sees the foreign regular-season contests as a vital part of the NFL's efforts to expand the reach of the United States' most popular sport. Owners might not be quite as eager to relinquish one of just eight home games every year, but Tagliabue believes such a commitment can be "institutionalized.''

Tagliabue appeared at a news conference before the game with 49ers owner John York, Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill and former Cincinnati lineman Anthony Munoz, the only Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinee of Mexican descent.

Bidwill immediately gained favor with the local fans by holding aloft a jersey from the Mexican under-17 national soccer team, which was playing in the World Cup championship against Brazil in Lima, Peru while the 49ers and Cardinals went through pregame warmups.

While soccer is still the national sport, Tagliabue knows ``futbol americano" is growing in Mexico. While visiting with youth teams and community leaders during the weekend, Tagliabue saw a marked difference from the NFL's reception in 1994, when he traveled to Mexico for an exhibition game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Oilers.

"The game was still something of a novelty," Tagliabue said. ``There were still some quizzical looks as we entered the stadium. Today, what I see is a much deeper understanding of the game, a much greater appreciation for the game.''

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentSe...d=1128289810875

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I think the NFL should give it a shot...I think Mexico City should be first on the list to get a team of any other city/country though. They pretty much sell out any sporting event held there...even the NASCAR Busch Series race this past season. Give Toronto and London a regular season game and see how it goes. It can't hurt...as long as they don't go and name the teams something stupid like REAL Mexico City or Chivas Mexico :laugh:

Edited by DreAming in DigITal
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What's not cool about the CFL?

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The CFL rules are arguably better than NFL.

Wider and longer field makes for more passing and less running. 3 downs (instead of 4) more or less eliminates the two yard run up the middle that slows down the pace of the game. The no-yards rule encourages exciting punt returns.

http://www.canada.com/sports/football/cfl/rulebook.html

The problem is that the players suck.

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/\ I agree that the rules in the CFL to make the game a faster pace and sometimes more exciting...but I can't imagine watching football without the teams that "grind it out" on the ground playing against the ones who "air it out". I think I still like the NFL rules a little better because of that...plus with a smaller field the big hits occur more often.

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The CFL rules are arguably better than NFL.

Wider and longer field makes for more passing and less running.  3 downs (instead of 4) more or less eliminates the two yard run up the middle that slows down the pace of the game.  The no-yards rule encourages exciting punt returns.

http://www.canada.com/sports/football/cfl/rulebook.html

The problem is that the players suck.

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Yup, it does kinda suck :p

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The CFL rules are arguably better than NFL.

Wider and longer field makes for more passing and less running. 3 downs (instead of 4) more or less eliminates the two yard run up the middle that slows down the pace of the game. The no-yards rule encourages exciting punt returns.

http://www.canada.com/sports/football/cfl/rulebook.html

The problem is that the players suck.

the rules suck to, FB getting big blocks on LBs RB running over DBs, big hits :drool:

that is what makes footbal,l football its not about running away form contact but getting contact. whats better then a big hit, or the perfect stiff arm :drool:

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