Pegula wouldn’t oppose an NFL franchise in Toronto


When Terry and Kim Pegula bought the Bills and expressed a clear intent to keep the team in Buffalo, the door presumably was slammed on the placement of an NFL franchise in Toronto.  It’s not, as far as Terry Pegula is concerned.

Via John Kryk of the Toronto Sun, Pegula said he wouldn’t be opposed to the placement of a team in Toronto, the Canadian metropolis that failed miserably in its attempt to become a secondary market for the Bills.

“I believe I was asked that question when I was approved as an owner, and it was an affirmative answer to the league.  I said I would support it if Toronto had a franchise,” Pegula said.  “There are a lot of people there.”

There also are a lot of people between Buffalo and Toronto.  As Kryk notes, more than three million people live between Buffalo and Toronto, with another 8.5 million in the greater Toronto area.

Currently, little or no momentum exists for the relocation of a team to Toronto.  But that could change; with three teams trying to get to L.A. and one of them destined to not make it, other options will potentially be explored.  And as other teams inevitably will need new stadiums in their current locations, a new stadium in Toronto could become a possibility.

56 responses to “Pegula wouldn’t oppose an NFL franchise in Toronto

  1. Who cares what the Pegula’s think? Once hockey season begins, no one in Toronto is going to care about an NFL team being there.

  2. When Goodell working hard to freakup the game we need another two teams like an extra nostril… The talent pool is already spread so thin at any given time only 7 0r 8 teams have competent qbs….. and a lot of the other areas LB’s CB’s etc are suspect… bad players, bad practices and bad games……

  3. Nor should he be. people in Toronto don’t care about the Bills. The Bills fan base would be unaffected as would their market. The Toronto experiment is proof that the Bills don’t need Toronto or vice versa

  4. I don’t understand the hate for having a Canadian team. It works fine for baseball, basketball, and hockey.

    I’d rather have a Canadian team instead of a London one.

  5. As a former Toronto resident, I can assure you there is a huge NFL fanbase there, and most inhabitants would relish the chance to rootfor yet another perpetually disappointing sports franchise.

  6. you bet your butt i would not like a team in toronto. id rather they spend some money on our infrastructure.

  7. The way the Leafs have been playing the last few seasons I don’t think a Toronto NFL team would get ignored. Last night’s game at the Air Canada Center was the team’s lowest attendance ever in that building, fans are getting tired of the Leafs play.

  8. All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.

    A rectangle is defined as:

    “A 4-sided flat shape with straight sides where all interior angles are right angles (90°).

    Also opposite sides are parallel and of equal length.”

    A football field is not in the shape of a square, but it is in the shape of a rectangle.

    Mr. Pegula did NOT say the Bills will move to Toronto, but he said that “I would support it if Toronto had a franchise.” There are 31 other teams in the NFL. Some or all NFL teams are possible candidates to move, now or sometime in the future. Not all want to move anywhere, but some do.

    Mr. Pegula did NOT say that franchise in Toronto would be the Bills. Anyone who believes he stated that did NOT pay attention to the words he used.

  9. Let’s not forget. Toronto is the 4th most populous in North America. A big reason why the Bills failed was because the games that went to Toronto were garbage. I remember attending the first game in Toronto. Bills vs. the previous 1-15 Dolphins. And backup QBs were playing because of injuries. Was a horrible game to watch. And the games never got any better. Toronto got the worst games of the schedule. Bring a Pats/Bills game to Toronto and you would have had a packed Rogers Centre. Toronto could easily support an NFL team.


  11. They can charge 3 times the highest existing ticket in the league here and get it.

    500.00 a pop for exhibition games between two lousy teams went a little far though and yes, the amount of Bills fans in Toronto is very small and with good reason.

  12. Toronto is an amazing sports city and could easily support an NFL team. The problem is that the Bills still don’t feel like a real home team to Torontonians when they play there, and understandably so.
    I think it’s a class act for the Pegula’s to leave the door open like that, I think an exciting rivalry could develop between the Buffalo and Toronto should the NFL expand there.

  13. I live in Toronto and I’m a big fan of both the NFL & CFL. This talk of a franchise in Toronto has now been going on for 4 decades. People in Toronto will “cling” to this story for the next few days and it will make the Tv and radio news. Then, like every other time, nothing will come of it. It would be entertaining to listen to the new stadium talk however, because the idea of PSL’s flying in this market would be ZERO!

  14. I live here in Toronto. I always wear my Pats gear around town…im constantly being asked why im still wearing it, its baseball season now…there just isnt the year round passion for the pigskin like there is in the states…people here would show up to a few games but like most Toronto teams theyll probably suck and no one will go.. Besides, everyone here already has a team why would they go for some crappy expansion team?

    Go Pats

  15. They failed miserably because Toronto is the most lame sports town in North America. They only care about their overpriced crappy hockey team that loses year after year. When they attended Bills games in Toronto half of the crowd came dressed in business suits. I’m surprised they knew the difference from a hockey puck and a football.

  16. A team in Toronto would be what the Raptors are in basketball to Canada — a country’s team (#WeTheNorth)

    The Bills failed in Toronto because they are the Bills — the tickets were over-priced and the product was terrible and there was no connection to the City. Put a team in Toronto — which has a big NFL fanbase — and it would succeed. Why go to London and the associated travel and terrorist risks when you can come to Canada?

  17. I’m surprised that this is still a thing now that the Bills are committed to stay in Buffalo. The only way a Toronto team made logical sense was if it was the Bills. That region doesn’t need two teams.

  18. @moneymike23

    Some cities just shouldn’t have sports franchises. Atlanta is a massive market with 2 failed hockey teams. Toronto are big supporters of the CFL, sure. What happened when the Bills went to Toronto? Toronto gradually lost essentially all support for the games…It was pitiful that they couldn’t even fill half of the 55,000 seat stadium.

    We all can speculate all we want. The people with the money to actually do this have clearly indicated that there is no interest. I think there is too much risk for an NFL franchise flopping.

    Being from Buffalo, I would love a successful Toronto franchise. I think there could be a great rivalry which would sprout even more fans.

  19. After the LA musical chairs are over, and one of the three is left standing (I predict Oakland), Toronto becomes the most attractive target for relocation/expansion:

    – Easy hop from most NFL cities. (vs trans-Atlantic journey to the UK)

    – Great demographics and wealth …. more multi-millionaires (>$30 million) than any US city outside of NYC.

    – Ready to house an NFL team in the Skydome until a bigger, more luxurious NFL higher-standard stadium is built.

    – Largest metropolis north of the Rio Grande without a team.

    – Canada-wide interest in a Canadian team … a CBC contract could provide more TV billions to the league

  20. As long as the CFL is in Toronto you aren’t going to see the NFL here. They will be a team in Tijuana before it happens in Canada.

  21. If a team in Toronto worked financially there would not be anything wrong with it.
    But the recent history suggests otherwise.
    The series the Bills had there was a disaster.
    Outrageous ticket prices. Poor attendance. Very little interest from Canadian fans.

    There is just no evidence currently that there is a MARKET for an NFL team in Toronto.

    Not to mention the competition it would create with the CFL during the time that the seasons overlap.

  22. The problem I see with the NFL in Toronto – could a lot of these NFL players even get a passport (with all their legal troubles) to travel to games in Canada…? LoL

  23. I suspect if it came to a vote and not a question by a reporter for the Sun, Pegula would oppose a team in Toronto. Thousands of Canadians come to buffalo for games every week. The Toronto series is considered a failure because it did not bring cooperate money to buffalo but the amount of Canadians coming to bills games has grown tremendously over the last 10 years. When the new stadium is built downtown and about 20-40 min closer to Toronto, bills games will be more appealing for fans from Toronto. That being said, if Toronto does get a team, it sure will make for an interesting rivalry…

  24. daohio23 says:
    Mar 24, 2015 8:40 PM
    Canada don’t they have there own crappy league up there aye!


    The term is eh….not aye

  25. If you have a DUI, you cannot enter Canada. (the only country in the world that has this law) – …….

  26. I would rather see a team in Canada than London. Going overseas is too much of a logistical nightmare.

  27. The lack of crowd and support for the Bills was easy to predict.

    The scheduled games were boring – bad matchups and more importantly, the SKYDOME is a horrible stadium to watch a football game – especially a NFL game as the field of play is smaller than CFL and the seats are waaaaay back from the actual game. It’s a baseball stadium after all. They have to block 15 rows of sideline seats nearest the field because those fans would be staring at the backs of players on the sidelines – the game is really far away.

    It is a horrible game-day experience (no tailgating allowed either ) all-around.

  28. Toronto has an NBA team, NHL team, MLB team and MLS team. At some point they may get an NFL team.

    The problem with the Bills series is that most of the people in Toronto are fans of Miami, Dallas, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, New England etc. All the dynasty teams. They aren’t Bills fans. They also only know the game peripherally. They watch on Sundays, but they don’t follow it with the same level of emotion as the NHL.

    Therefore when the Toronto fans went to the Bills games they showed up in Steelers and Fins jerseys for a Seahawks – Bills game. They also cheered loudly when the Bills were on offense and at times that made no sense and were quiet when the Bills were on defense. It was not a home game for the Bills at all.

    This would change dramatically if Toronto got their own team. Over time the fans of all the dynasty teams would switch over to being fans of the Toronto team and the fan base would be huge. Also, it wouldn’t take long to learn the game in a more detailed way. That is already happening as the NFL has been getting more popular.

    That’s what happened for the Raptors. LA, Boston and Chicago fans all became Raptor fans within 5 years or so.

    As a very long time Patriots fan in Toronto, I am not sure I am for it. I think it might ruin the NFL for me for 5 years. However, I think it makes more sense than London.

  29. I love the Bills as much as anyone but I am pleading that my fellow Bills fans stop so ignorantly throwing out the failed Toronto experience as evidence Toronto wouldn’t support an NFL team.

    The Toronto series failed because 1) THe skydome is not conducive to football 2) The Bills were a bad team when they played there, often against other bad teams, often late in the year when the Bills were already out of contention & 3) Toronto is not a Bills city. It’s 2 hours away and has rival hockey teams- Torontonians feel no need to support a Buffalo football team, just as Buffalonians feel no need to support Torontonian NBA & MLB teams. They are different regions, different cultures, with lots of people in between.

    The Toronto series is insight as to why a franchise could move to Toronto and not hurt the Bills, nor would the Toronto team be hurt by the Bills. It is NOT an insight as to why Toronto doesn’t deserve a team.

    That said- there’s no one talking about expansion, let alone relocation to Toronto. It aint happening, not soon anyhow.

  30. I can hear all of the players already fighting to relocate outside of the country…. or maybe not.

  31. lukedunphysscienceproject says:
    Mar 25, 2015 7:59 AM

    I’m surprised that this is still a thing now that the Bills are committed to stay in Buffalo. The only way a Toronto team made logical sense was if it was the Bills. That region doesn’t need two teams.


    Toronto and Buffalo aren’t a region. If you don’t count Mexico City, Toronto is the third largest city by population in North America after NYC and LA. It’s also the 7th biggest greater metropolitan area in North America and that is all based on 2011 numbers.

    Toronto has nothing to do with Buffalo.

  32. minerslung says:
    Mar 24, 2015 9:38 PM
    Just add two new teams. One in toronto, one in portland. Let the raiders/chargers/rams do what they want.

    I’ve been saying the same. And no I am not from Oregon.

    Oregon is the fastest growing state in the country, I read some study that something like 24% of people who moved from their state in 2014 moved to Oregon.

    The NFL will constantly expand, it’s what they do. If they were smart they would put a team in Portland, San Antonio, prob Toronto, and possible somewhere in the south like Alabama where people are football crazy.

  33. I just love how many Toronto/Canadian fans love the Patriots…….nothing like jumping on the bandwagon. It’s easy to love a winner, but it’s not easy saying you like them 30 years ago when they stunk. Where were you then? I’m guessing you didn’t like them.

  34. So let me get this straight Joe the city of Toronto won’t support a team that is losing. Can we say fair weather fans. Good luck never getting a team to move to Toronto. Every team has bad seasons and if you think other wise maybe you should leave American football to Americans. LOLOLOL!!! Right Joe!?!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.