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Toronto’s Doug Ford continues clumsy quest for NFL team

TorontoStadiumGetty Getty Images

Toronto politicians Rob and Doug Ford, who have proven to be as adept at the nuances of the NFL as Bob and Doug McKenzie, made waves recently after Doug suggested that the Jaguars or Saints could move to Toronto.  Eventually, Doug Ford had to publicly acknowledge that, when it comes to the potential relocation of the Saints from New Orleans, he’s clueless.

Doug Ford is proving to be equally clueless when it comes to the other Toronto target.

According to the Globe & Mail, Ford made some comments on Monday that reveal a fundamental misunderstanding of the Jaguars’ attendance dynamics.  “How can the NFL keep ignoring the fourth-largest market in North America?  They can’t, five-six million people.  There are small little markets in the NFL, like Jacksonville, that are struggling, that can barely crack 20,000 a game.”

Truth be told, the Jags averaged more than 63,000 per game in 2010.  Though the franchise hardly has found a long-term answer to the year-in, year-out challenge to sell tickets, the suggestion that the Jaguars “can barely crack 20,000 a game” is every bit as wrong as the notion that the Saints could leave New Orleans.

Still, Doug Ford remains undeterred.  “Their No. 1 choice is L.A.,” Doug Ford said of the NFL.  “You take a guess who their No. 2 choice is.”

It may currently be Toronto, but that could be jeopardized as long as Doug Ford keeps spewing No. 2 when it comes to the viability of NFL franchises in their current homes.

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26 Responses to “Toronto’s Doug Ford continues clumsy quest for NFL team”
  1. blitzinc43 says: May 31, 2011 9:09 AM

    Im from Toronto. If we get a team im still going to be an eagles fans.. how could I change teams?

  2. clear2me says: May 31, 2011 9:14 AM

    Maybe he’s converted the number using the metric system? Moronic politician blabbing without thinking!

  3. ribsribs says: May 31, 2011 9:16 AM

    CFL didn’t work in the US so let’s not try the NFL in Canada.

  4. marvsleezy says: May 31, 2011 9:17 AM

    Since Jax is selling so many tickets maybe they can uncover all those seats in the upper deck now??

  5. thelonious says: May 31, 2011 9:24 AM

    I make the following comment with the hope that the very nice people of Toronto don’t take this as a blanket comment on them or their city.

    These two twerps are taking my team (or even trying to take my team) when they can remove the season tickets from my cold dead fingers.

    Morons.

  6. habsfanatic says: May 31, 2011 9:24 AM

    It’s more like the Toronto Argonauts’ attendance can barely crack 20,000 a game… this is not a football town, it’s a hockey town. They’re a large market but fans only consistently support the hockey team (attendance for the Raps and Blue Jays is average at best). Go to LA NFL, Toronto’s not ready for you.

  7. megabeast37215 says: May 31, 2011 9:31 AM

    What blitzinc43 says (in the top post) is something Jacksonville has experienced quite a bit. A lot of the fans in Jacksonville were Dolphins and Steelers fans, they weren’t going to dump their loyalties to jump on the new upstarts bandwagon (nor should they be expected to). Its taken years, but finally the children that were around when the Jags were born are graduating college and becoming ticket buyers. These are the home grown fans that will soon make up the meat of the Jags fan base, then all the relocation rumors are going to finally be over with. LA wants the Raiders, and when the new fancy stadium finally gets done (or even started) Al Davis is going to give the people what they want.

  8. wenwon says: May 31, 2011 9:59 AM

    torontonian here. the nfl will never make it in toronto. toronoto is a hockey town, they care little about anything else.

    we can barely get 20,000 people to see the blue jays and basketball only draws a big crowd when an elite team comes to town. finally, most torontonians simply don’t understand football.

    if they can’t sell out the occasional buffalo game in a small stadium, what makes them think that they can sell out eight regular season nfl games?

  9. anarchopurplism says: May 31, 2011 10:04 AM

    Who needs facts when conjecture would do?

    That’s right in De Smith’s wheelhouse!

  10. realitypolice says: May 31, 2011 10:56 AM

    Boy, these guys really need to shut up.

    I’m not even that opposed to a team in Toronto- but these two yapping sure as hell ain’t going to help them get one.

  11. breeshasabush says: May 31, 2011 11:17 AM

    While you’re at it hows about claiming that the Saints are currently working on a deal to send Drew Brees to the Falcons…. thats just as believable as The Saints going anywhere, especially to Canada.

  12. edukator4 says: May 31, 2011 11:19 AM

    @wenwon.

    i’m not arguing your idea that toronto wouldnt support a team. i just want to point out that toronto couldnt sell out for the bills game because the bills’ product is horrible football, coupled with the fact that ticket prices were at least double what regular game tickets are to premier venues like new york and new england.

    and people, lets not compare the NFL to the blue jays and the raptors. the NFL will sell here.
    do we rip kc and pittsburgh because they cant sell out for baseball but can for the NFL?

  13. edukator4 says: May 31, 2011 11:20 AM

    and finally, lets not compare the NFL to the argos either, as most of you wont watch minor league hockey, so how can you expect us to watch minor league football?

  14. jsarge99 says: May 31, 2011 11:42 AM

    Don’t call people from Toronto canadians, they are just people from Toronto.

  15. rabidbillsfan says: May 31, 2011 12:19 PM

    @edukator

    I don’t agree with your comments at all. It has nothing to do with the product on the field. So your saying a brand new expansion team would put a better product on the field? Most teams that are associated with relocation rumors are losing teams, so your saying people would hurry up and buy tickets to see a losing team move in? When the Bills were in Toronto, more than half the stadium was filled with other team colors than the two teams colors actually playing. Also, how are you going to attract FA? Having to fill out residency paperwork, and having background checks just to enter the country doesn’t seem like it would be high on a players list. Also, Canada has some of the stupidest fans, the infamous “waffle thrower”, and the Green Men should be all the reason for the NFL to stick within the U.S.

  16. blitzinc43 says: May 31, 2011 12:24 PM

    Season ticket holders of the leafs have to buy the season tickets for the raptors..

    therefore raptors are sold out every night.

    Toronto is a big diverse market where people have bars or clubs just dedicated to a sport, and sometime just even a team. If this city produces a winner (other than the Argos or the Lacrosse team Toronto Rock) then its going to sell. Including the Blue Jays.

    Im not being biased, I personally wouldnt change NFL team, But in any other sport where the city has a team (Soccer, Hockey, Basketball, Baseball), then they got my support.

    I would go to the Toronto NFL games 100% if there playing at a different time then philly because who wouldnt want to watch some football, especially if player that I like that do not get as much coverage as say a Manning or Brady, but I will be given the oppurtinuity to be able to see players like a Bradford, or a Calvin Johnson in person, an oppurtinuity that would otherwise not be here.

    If the eagles are playing in toronto, i would sell my house for front row tickets.

  17. Deb says: May 31, 2011 12:36 PM

    I respect the people from Toronto posting that they’re NFL fans and plan to stay with their teams. Goodell the Megalomaniac doesn’t seem to care that the NFL is a U.S. product, which the vast majority of fans want to remain based in the United States. And he has repeatedly ignored the failure of American football teams based in other countries to catch on while U.S.-based teams teams are wildly popular worldwide. But if people keep sending the message, maybe someone will get it eventually.

  18. joetoronto says: May 31, 2011 12:43 PM

    jsarge99 says: May 31, 2011 11:42 AM

    Don’t call people from Toronto canadians, they are just people from Toronto.
    **************************************************
    Yet another comment from the peanut gallery in Palookaville.

    When it comes to Canada, Toronto is where it’s at, loser.

  19. cane300 says: May 31, 2011 12:44 PM

    So the other 8 NFL teams that average less attendance than Jacksonville have already moved? Funny, I don’t remember hearing about the L.A. Vikings and the the London Raiders.

  20. tnazvol says: May 31, 2011 1:03 PM

    “Politician Clueless! Film at Eleven….”

    Man, I can’t wait til this lockout is over….

  21. edukator4 says: May 31, 2011 1:37 PM

    Rabidbillsfan

    i’m not saying an expansion team would put a better product on the field at all. but for $250 for a 500 level seat (upper deck) i would like to watch something better than run up the middle twice followed by checkdown pass, then a punt. which has been the bills playbook for the first 2 installments of the bills in toronto series.

    you are correct about attracting FA’s. no doubt about that. but you cant just abandon hope on a speculation.

    and stupid fans come in all shapes and countries. waffles are worse than batteries? green suits are worse than elvis suits or barrels?

  22. habsman says: May 31, 2011 2:37 PM

    As a proud Canadian, let me take this opportunity to tell joetoronto to kiss my arse.

  23. NoHomeTeam says: May 31, 2011 2:50 PM

    megabeast37215 says: “What blitzinc43 says (in the top post) is something Jacksonville has experienced quite a bit. A lot of the fans in Jacksonville were Dolphins and Steelers fans, they weren’t going to dump their loyalties to jump on the new upstarts bandwagon (nor should they be expected to). Its taken years, but finally the children that were around when the Jags were born are graduating college and becoming ticket buyers. These are the home grown fans that will soon make up the meat of the Jags fan base, then all the relocation rumors are going to finally be over with. LA wants the Raiders, and when the new fancy stadium finally gets done (or even started) Al Davis is going to give the people what they want”

    There’s an old phrase in sales, but I find it applies in other situations as well: “Stop closing.”

    You crafted a great post; solidly-reasoned, well-informed, and rational enough to be taken seriously even by people who don’t agree with you.

    And then you went and dropped that line about Los Angeles and the Raiders, and all your credibility went out the window. We as fans don’t want the Raiders back, and the people attempting to build that “new fancy stadium” certainly don’t want to deal the Raiders. Al Davis and his dysfunctional franchise are about as welcome in Southern California as the idea of increased property taxes.

  24. megabeast37215 says: May 31, 2011 4:49 PM

    @nohometeam

    LOL. Ok bud, point taken. I’ve been keeping up with the LA stuff for awhile (since they want to jack our team) and I always felt that the greater percentage of LA inhabitants seemed to be fans of the silver and black. I’ll ask you then… if you could pilfer a team for your city, which one would you choose? Jags, Raiders, Chargers, Vikings, Bills, etc.

  25. NoHomeTeam says: May 31, 2011 7:23 PM

    megabeast37215 says: “LOL. Ok bud, point taken. I’ve been keeping up with the LA stuff for awhile (since they want to jack our team) and I always felt that the greater percentage of LA inhabitants seemed to be fans of the silver and black. I’ll ask you then… if you could pilfer a team for your city, which one would you choose? Jags, Raiders, Chargers, Vikings, Bills, etc.”

    Thanks, Mega —

    I’ll grant that there are quite a few people here that embrace the image that silver & black has come to represent, but they’re not necessarily football fans, or even Raider fans per se.

    If there was another way to go about this, I would really rather not pilfer any other city’s team. As a fan that’s been on the wrong end of a franchise relocation, I understand the feelings involved. That said — the chances of the NFL expanding within the next decade or so are vanishingly small, so if we’re going to get a team, it’s going to have to be at the expense of some other fan base.

    So, so the sake of argument, here goes:
    1) I think you probably already know my sentiments regarding the Raiders.

    2) The Chargers would seem to be the obvious choice to people who don’t live here, and I understand why people would have that impression. The thing is, California is a) a really big state, and b) very much balkanized. It’s particularly notable between Northern California and Southern California, but there are significant cultural divides between Southern California and San Diego as well. On the whole, we would find it much easier to embrace a team from out-of-state than one from another California city. Personally, I like the Chargers right where they are. When I want to see a Chargers game (if they’re playing a team I want to see), I drive down and make a nice weekend of it.

    3) Vikings: I can’t rationalize my way out of this one. I grew up in the upper Midwest as a Vikings fan and I would be heartbroken to see them move.

    4) I’m generally ambivalent about the Bills. I don’t watch a lot of AFC East football to begin with, and I have no particular ties to northern New York, so . . . sure, why not? They would, of course, have to leave behind everything about that team’s current identity — the name, the uniforms, the records — but that’s true for any team that would come here.

    5) The Jaguars: I’ve posted before that the Jaguars would be my preference. It’s not personal, I promise — I have nothing against Jaguar fans whatsoever, and I don’t want to take away your team out of spite. I thought it was a questionable decision to award expansion teams to Carolina and Jacksonville when cities like Baltimore and St. Louis — where the NFL had previous success — remained open. I suppose that old feeling, along with the fact that the other teams in the discussion have much longer histories in their present locations, leads me to single out the Jaguars.

    Now, there is one team that has, as of yet, not been mentioned seriously as a possible relocation candidate. This team would be my clear first choice for a Los Angeles team. The team is beginning to have some stadium issues, it’s struggling to sell out games, and there is a new ownership group in place.

    That team is The Rams.

  26. nationalmediacansuckit says: Jun 1, 2011 9:53 AM

    “There are small little markets in the NFL, like Jacksonville, that are struggling, that can barely crack 20,000 a game.”

    Wow, who keeps putting a microphone in front of this guy. Not only is he WAAAAAAAY off base with the facts of Jax, but he is about as ignorant as they come with these comments and other he has made. Doug Ford, research a little and get the facts before you open your piehole. But you’re a politician so facts aren’t needed to attempt to make your point.

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