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November 28, 2007

NFL Team in Toronto

This past weekend the talk of the possibility of an NFL team in Toronto took off. The speculation was prompted by new CFL commissioner Mark Cohon discussing the likelihood and the implications of an NFL franchise in Toronto in his first state of the league address.

The question everybody is asking now is what would the NFL do to the CFL in Toronto and the league as a whole?

Throughout the weekend there was an outcry on Toronto talk radio and in the Toronto papers over the possible demise of the CFL. The article in the Globe and Mail cites several statistics which are meant to reassure its readers of the CFL’s long term health. These statistics might reassure CFL fans on the surface but upon further investigation of the stats I am not so sure.

The first problem with the information is the timing of the poll; subjects were surveyed right before the Grey Cup, the climax of the CFL season, and right as CFL fans were feeling most defensive with all the recent NFL talk. Therefore these numbers are likely inflated across the board.

Secondly there are a few concerning trends in the stats which the article ignores. The CFL is clearly least popular in Ontario where the popularity numbers are lowest in all of the categories. The CFL is also least popular amongst younger age demographics, the CFL’s future fans.

To me, as a member of the younger generation, I have grown up as an NFL fan watching the NFL. If an NFL franchise were to come to Toronto my tenuous devotion to the Argos would likely disappear. I can honestly say that at least amongst my age demographic in southern Ontario this is the norm. As a result I do not see much hope for the CFL in its flagship market, a market that I do not think the league can live without.

Posted by dbrait at November 28, 2007 04:33 PM