Senator wants to bar NFL team from moving to Toronto
Published Friday, June 13, 2008 10:00PM EDT
A Canadian senator believes that the possibility of an NFL team in Toronto could spell the end of the CFL and has introduced a bill to bar the American football league from Canada.
"If you bring a team from the United States into Toronto, it will mean the demise of the CFL, because it will be the loss of our biggest market," Sen. Larry Campbell said from Vancouver on Mike Duffy Live.
He introduced the bill earlier this week that would prevent the NFL would either relocating or creating a franchise in Canada.
The move is a direct response to the decision to have the Buffalo Bills play eight games in Toronto's Rogers Centre over the next five years.
It is widely-believed that the NFL is looking at moving Buffalo to Toronto permanently and the eight games is a test of the Canadian waters.
But the Liberal senator, who says he watches three or four NFL games a week during the season, says that an NFL franchise isn't worth the risk to the CFL.
"The CFL provides millions of dollars and thousand of jobs for Canadians. ... at the end of the day why would we take the chance of losing that . . . for an NFL team," he said.
"I'm not trying to get people out of houses and to a CFL game," he added. "But I think (the CFL) is part of Canadian culture."
Toronto's response to the Bills surprised even the most positive outlooks. Organizers have said that more than 180,000 ticket requests have been registered for the three or eight-game ticket packages. There will be five regular season games and three exhibition contests played from 2008 until 2012.
Tickets cost between $55 and $295 per game. Bills and Toronto Argonauts season ticket holders had the first crack at tickets and the rest are being sold via a ticket lottery.
Those in support of Campbell's bill can write him at the Senate. No postage will be charged.