1) 1-2 home games in Tor@$200/ticket; No affect
The stated plan is for the Bills --- one of the NFL's smallest markets with one of the lowest ticket prices --- to suppliment their income by having 1 or possibly 2 home games in Toronto where they can sell out a 50K stadium at $200 a seat and sell a bunch of Bills crap to an additional market of 6-7M. In theory as much as the CFL gripes, that is not a league killer. NFL junkies in Toronto are probably in large part, not Argo fans and probably not primarily fans of the Canadian Football varient the CFL plays.
2) Move to Tor forcing Argo's relocation; no other affect
This is the move from the Bills' crowd's view. The idea is that CFL football is already an afterthought in Toronto, so it really doesn't matter if the Argos move to a Toronto Suburb, Quebec, London, Moncton, Halifax or anywhere else. The people in Canada who watch the CFL are still going to watch the CFL, meaning advertisers will still want to reach that audience.
3) Move to Toronto force the Argo's to relocate to Buffalo?
This is an interesting idea. If the Bills move to Toronto one of the best sites for the Argos...is Buffalo. Recall that the CFL was a big hit in Baltimore because the people in the region had a mad on against the NFL. The exact same thing would occur in Buffalo. That opens a whole new can of worms as it could potentially create a perceived NEED for CFL southward expansion...Buffalo, then maybe Syracuse, then Rochester, ...then NY?
Buffalo is in many ways a plug of southward CFL expansion into NY. The CFL doesn't want to injure the Bills in any way. If the Bills move to Toronto, that bottleneck is gone.
Consider what Syracuse would think about a CFL team if Buffalo was drawing 50K a game to see the Buffalo Argos. That would change a city's thinking. Would Syracuse modify the Carrier dome so it could also host a CFL team? Maybe. Maybe the City would build a 30K CFL stadium. Would Rochester be willing to modify civic headache PAETEC Park into a 25K stadium that can host CFL games AND Soccer? It seems very possible. Would some NYC millionaire want to own the NFL canadian football team in NYC and make things happen to get a 30K+ CF stadium built there?
4) Move to Toronto force the Argo's to relocate & kill Leaguewide corporate support by taking the Toronto market out of the CFL offerings.
This is what CFL fans seem to think is a "best case" scenario if the Bills move to toronto. They see it that the league will essentially lose the biggest market in Canada and that corporations will flock to advertise on NFL broadcasts rather than CFL broadcasts making the league a little more "mostly dead".
5) Move to Toronto forcing the Argo's out of business
The assumption is that the Argos will move, but what if the owner insists on fighting for Toronto? Could the Bills lose in a huge anti-American backlash---maybe ending up in LA in a few years or something? Could the CFL try to push the issue? It seems like if the Argos stay, they die, but business has a way of contradicting popular opinion. Maybe having a mostly bad NFL team in town will make toronto into a better football town and in effect pump up the Argo's attendance. (I certainly think there is a lot to the arguement that Toronto is under-served by the CFL and that is why they are seen as an afterthought in that metro area.) Maybe Toronto can support both.
But the conventional wisdom is that they die if they stay and fight the Bills for the market. The CFL has had a number of teams make decisions that lead to their demise. I certainly don't credit the CFL owners with good business logic. They are emotional and short term result thinkers.
Could the CFL survive with 7 teams? Maybe. Ottawa is on the verge of returning...
6) Move to Toronto Killing Argo's and CFL on Canadian TV
This is the first part of the worst case scenario for the CFL fan against a Bills move to Toronto. The idea is that with market of 6-7M of Canada's 33M total going whole hog for the Bills, that the TV networks would follow the money and broadcast the NFL games totally in place of the CFL games --- not just as an option.
The idea of the CFL weathering a 20-50% or more cut in their TV revenue is brutal. TV is a much smaller portion of a CFL team's income, but most of the league is barely profitable as is. The CFL would likely survive, but might lose as many as 2-3 of the existing teams who would not be able to survive the adjustment. The CFL would have to expand to survive. They would totally have to rework their business model and would likely emerge as an even less "pro" and more "semi-pro" league.
7) Move to Toronto Killing CFL
What if the Bills somehow manage to sink Hamilton AND Toronto. Or the CFL owners may not find Canadian owners to make up for the overstretched teams. There are a lot of Americans who say they will take a chance on CFL team, but Canadian Millionaires don't seem nearly as eager. If the league drops to say 4 teams it could lose it's TV money entirely and just collapse.
Last edited by finiteman on Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.