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Update: Keeping An Eye On Toronto's Ambitions

MLSE Tanenbaum Leiweke

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#1 ICanSleepWhenI'mDead

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 10:50 PM

1.  Don't shoot the messenger.

2.  Larry Tanenbaum and MLSE may be working on a solution to the "Argos problem" with respect to any potential future NFL bid:

http://www.tsn.ca/cfl/story/?id=442375

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The Toronto Argonauts could be sold within a matter of weeks, either to Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment or its chairman, Larry Tanenbaum, according to multiple sources.

                                 * * * * * *

From the perspective of Tanenbaum or MLSE, owning the Argos could be a chip towards the goal of securing a National Football League team, based on the NFL wanting assurance that moving a team to Toronto would not kill the Argos or the CFL.

3.  MLSE is planning to spend $120 million to expand the existing Toronto soccer stadium to give the CFL Argos a home when their lease at Rogers Center expires in 2017:

http://www.thestar.c...e_nfl_team.html

Quote

Later, he said giving football fans a chance to watch games in the new stadium would help not only the CFL, but an eventual push for an NFL team.

                                  * * * * * *

“So we’re going to start with that. There’s no way the NFL comes here without the CFL being unbelievably successful first.”

4.  Don't shoot the messenger.

#2 mrags

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 11:13 PM

The deal is done. It's going to be announced this spring.

Edited by mrags, 29 January 2014 - 11:14 PM.


#3 FireChan

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 12:41 AM

"Russ Brandon has renegotiated the Toronto deal.  The Buffalo Bills will now play 4 home games a year in Toronto"

#4 Buffalo Barbarian

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 04:26 AM

Hey, lets just add the CFL to the NFL and everybody wins. It will be like hockey and baseball who have American and Canadian teams.

#5 BringBackFergy

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 04:49 AM

View PostBuffalo Barbarian, on 30 January 2014 - 04:26 AM, said:

Hey, lets just add the CFL to the NFL and everybody wins. It will be like hockey and baseball who have American and Canadian teams.
There is absolutely no way a true Canadian would stand for "No Beer after third quarter"...not happening.

#6 todd

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 05:46 AM

It is pretty clear that Toronto can't support an NFL team. Bills games at Rogers are a joke. With such crappy fan support, why would this be expanded?

#7 BigdaddyinOrlando

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 05:59 AM

View PostFireChan, on 30 January 2014 - 12:41 AM, said:

"Russ Brandon has renegotiated the Toronto deal.  The Buffalo Bills will now play 4 home games a year in Toronto"
  Actually I think this should read, he renegotiated and the Bills will play one preseason game and one regular season game in Buffalo!

#8 papazoid

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 06:01 AM

View PostFireChan, on 30 January 2014 - 12:41 AM, said:

"Russ Brandon has renegotiated the Toronto deal.  The Buffalo Bills will now play 4 home games a year in Toronto"

that can NOT happen under the terms of the lease agreement the bills just signed with Erie County.

#9 May Day 10

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 08:35 AM

sounds like they are really committed to helping the Bills regionalize

#10 over 20 years of fanhood

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 12:58 PM

View Posttodd, on 30 January 2014 - 05:46 AM, said:

It is pretty clear that Toronto can't support an NFL team. Bills games at Rogers are a joke. With such crappy fan support, why would this be expanded?

I tend to agree a move to TO would kill the franchise.  Niagara Falls just makes sense.  Keep the fan base, help regionalization a bit, help boost that area which could in turn become a potential bidder for a Super Bowl.

#11 Rubes

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 01:11 PM

View Posttodd, on 30 January 2014 - 05:46 AM, said:

It is pretty clear that Toronto can't support an NFL team. Bills games at Rogers are a joke. With such crappy fan support, why would this be expanded?

How can you be so sure? They seem to support their own (CFL) team, what makes you think they wouldn't also support their own NFL team, as opposed to "someone else's" team?

#12 BillnutinHouston

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 01:14 PM

View PostFireChan, on 30 January 2014 - 12:41 AM, said:

"The Buffalo Bills will now play 4 home games a year in Toronto"
It would not surprise me if this or something like it plays out under a new owner, as a condition of the sale.  But Russ will have had nothing to do with it.

#13 May Day 10

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 01:17 PM

View PostRubes, on 30 January 2014 - 01:11 PM, said:

How can you be so sure? They seem to support their own (CFL) team, what makes you think they wouldn't also support their own NFL team, as opposed to "someone else's" team?

The Argonauts are notorious for historically getting no fan support (which is why the willingness for MLSE to purchase them should be VERY alarming to us).

But with that said, I do not think that, nor the Bills in Toronto series is an indication on how the Toronto _________ will be supported.  I would expect a decent amount of support.

Edited by May Day 10, 30 January 2014 - 01:22 PM.


#14 May Day 10

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 01:33 PM

View PostBillnutinHouston, on 30 January 2014 - 01:14 PM, said:

It would not surprise me if this or something like it plays out under a new owner, as a condition of the sale.  But Russ will have had nothing to do with it.

So a new owner would "keep" the team in Buffalo with the condition of assuming Rogers pays upwards of $300 million every 5 years for 4 home games a season?  

How would RWS be maintained, by whom, and for 4 games a year?

And why wouldnt Rogers just buy the team and move them if that were the case?  Why spend that much money on a team that isnt their own, and put on that many games for unwilling people (which I am assuming loses money at least under the last deal's terms)?

#15 papazoid

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 01:43 PM

View PostBillnutinHouston, on 30 January 2014 - 01:14 PM, said:

It would not surprise me if this or something like it plays out under a new owner, as a condition of the sale.  But Russ will have had nothing to do with it.

the lease with the county is crystal clear......without the county's approval, a maximum of ONE (1) home game per year may be played in Toronto. all other home game will be played at the Ralph. in addition to that Toronto game, ONE (1) home game during the entirety of the ten year period may be played internationally (other than Toronto).

#16 BillnutinHouston

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 01:56 PM

View PostMay Day 10, on 30 January 2014 - 01:33 PM, said:

So a new owner would "keep" the team in Buffalo with the condition of assuming Rogers pays upwards of $300 million every 5 years for 4 home games a season?  

How would RWS be maintained, by whom, and for 4 games a year?

And why wouldnt Rogers just buy the team and move them if that were the case?  Why spend that much money on a team that isnt their own, and put on that many games for unwilling people (which I am assuming loses money at least under the last deal's terms)?
Yea, I'm chairing an ownership group and we're working on all those details now.

Why is it so hard to think that a new owner will come in with a completely new paradigm that looks to maintain the history of the franchise while fully mining the revenue that could be had from the Toronto market?

#17 JR in Pittsburgh

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 01:56 PM

View PostRubes, on 30 January 2014 - 01:11 PM, said:

How can you be so sure? They seem to support their own (CFL) team, what makes you think they wouldn't also support their own NFL team, as opposed to "someone else's" team?

I don't think they can have their own NFL team with us still being here-- I doubt the NFL would let that happen. It would have to be either they take the Bills, or the Bills leave Buffalo (or just cease to exist).

Plus, from what I have heard, they are die-hards about CFL up there. Toronto would always have to deal with the "CFL problem."

#18 BillnutinHouston

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 01:57 PM

View Postpapazoid, on 30 January 2014 - 01:43 PM, said:

the lease with the county is crystal clear......without the county's approval, a maximum of ONE (1) home game per year may be played in Toronto. all other home game will be played at the Ralph. in addition to that Toronto game, ONE (1) home game during the entirety of the ten year period may be played internationally (other than Toronto).
Who said a 4 game-per-town split needs to be attempted during the life of the CURRENT lease?

On the other hand, I see no reason why a new owner couldn't look to renegotiate the lease as a condition of the sale.  I'm thinking that the prospective ownership groups are not simply competing in a highest-bidder auction, but are also about pitching to the NFL various "concepts" about what their franchise will be about.  Some groups may say they want to move the team to LA, some may pitch a full-out Buffalo team, and others may pitch a hybrid.  A hybrid history/tradition/max revenue blend might be appealing to all of the NFL owners (who have to approve of all sales), especially if those proposals come with high valuations of the team.  And if such a high bid "hybrid" group secures the NFL's approval, wouldn't that lessen Erie County and NYS' hand a bit?

Edited by BillnutinHouston, 30 January 2014 - 02:06 PM.


#19 JR in Pittsburgh

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 02:00 PM

View PostMay Day 10, on 30 January 2014 - 01:33 PM, said:

So a new owner would "keep" the team in Buffalo with the condition of assuming Rogers pays upwards of $300 million every 5 years for 4 home games a season?  

How would RWS be maintained, by whom, and for 4 games a year?

And why wouldnt Rogers just buy the team and move them if that were the case?  Why spend that much money on a team that isnt their own, and put on that many games for unwilling people (which I am assuming loses money at least under the last deal's terms)?

I think Rogers would be smart if he bought the team, and just kept them in Buffalo. He could cross-market between Toronto and Buffalo too, and generate a lot of revenue, without having to play any games up there.

eg, as part of CFL Argo season tickets, you could get a free ticket to a Bills game in Buffalo, and vice versa. Start getting CFL fans interested in NFL, and NFL fans interested in CFL and Toronto's other amenities.

#20 section122

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 02:09 PM

I'm going to stick with my theory laid out in the other thread.  This series won't end just yet.  They will make it an earlier season game so the weather advantage is not given away.

As for the Bills needing this series I also stand by my assertion that it is complete hogwash.  They don't need to sell off a game to remain economically viable.  Sure there could be a push to bring more attention or fans from the Toronto markets but that doesn't mean selling off a game.  Their could be bus trips, more advertising, discounted tickets, appearances by players, etc...  Selling off a game is a cash grab.  It can be sold as a "help to regionalize the team" and some people buy it.

As it stands under their current owner the team is in absolutely no financial trouble.  I have yet to see a convincing study that says this series has been a success other than lining the teams pockets.  Sure Brandon said there has been an uptick in Ontario season tickets but what proof does he have that the series is the cause and not just the increased popularity of the NFL in general.

I won't get into "they would have won if it was in Buffalo" but I will say that the fans routinely cheered louder for Atlanta than Buffalo.  That does not convince me that the BiT is a success.