Bon Jovi, the Bills and MLSE

Bon Jovi, the Bills and MLSEJust last month I was ranting about the banner MLSE was raising in the ACC for Bon Jovi. It's all starting to make a little more sense.

Current Buffalo Bills owner, Ralph Wilson, is 95-years old. As soon as he kicks the bucket, Jon Bon Jovi may lead a group of investors who will buy the franchise and move it to Toronto. MLSE "would likely build and operate an NFL-caliber stadium in Toronto, possibly near Downsview Park or Woodbine Racetrack."

But what of the Argos? That same National Post article suggests MLSE may buy the Argonauts and move the team from the Rogers Centre to the smaller BMO Field. One hand washes the other, as Dr. Nick Riviera would say.

Ok fine, bring the Bills to Toronto and build a new NFL stadium in Toronto, just don't put one penny of our money toward the operation. I'm pretty sure MLSE's pockets are deep enough to handle this one on their own.

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Come on Mike, the province has lots of money. After all, they're funding the Pan Games at a tune of 2.5 billion. What's another billion to these people who love to spend taxpayers' money?

At least the stadium will be here for more than a few weeks like the P/A games.

November 25, 2013 @ 11:33 AM


I don't want the Pan Am games but Argie is deliberately obtuse again.

What does stay? Increased infrastructure. A train from downtown to the airport. A large amount of housing.

But I won't argue that some of it is a waste.

As for the could be good for the city but MLSE should also be able to afford it.

November 25, 2013 @ 1:52 PM


"What does stay? Increased infrastructure. A train from downtown to the airport. A large amount of housing."

Those projects can be built without the added waste of a 2 week event that no one cares about. Am I still "obtuse"?

BTW, is the word "obtuse" the softer way of calling someone a troll?

November 25, 2013 @ 2:06 PM


They'll still need to find a viable partner. MSLE can't own an NFL team - NFL regulations stipulate the team must be owned by an individual, with at least a 30% stake in it. At close to $1 Billion, Jon Bon Jovi doesn't have the means either. He might be rich, but he's not that rich.

From my perspective, the Bills in Toronto experiment has been a failure, and I'm surprised it hasn't tarnished Toronto as a candidate for the NFL. I still remember the press conference where Ted Rogers and Ralph Wilson cackled like robber barons when asked if there would be any tickets made available for under $100. I think the response at that time was, "Yes. One." to much laughter. Fast forward a few years, and after having to give away a ridiculous amount of freebies to fill the joint, suddenly the promos for these games trumpet the fact that over 50% of the seats are available for under $100. Even at reduced prices, last years Bills vs. Seahawks game drew 40,000, 14,000 short of a sell out. Doesn't scream immediate success to me.

November 25, 2013 @ 2:52 PM


No doubt this experiment hasn't been a rousing success however if the Bills or any other franchise become Toronto's team, they will be successful. Once the city name of "Buffalo" is removed from the team there are enough NFL fans to make it a cash cow.

The one stipulation though will be the TV money. Will the Toronto team receive an equal share of the incredible money pie the networks dole out? If that's the case, they won't even need to sell a single ticket (OK maybe I'm exaggerating, but the TV money is so huge).

There will also be many corporate partners willing to spend mega bucks on VIP seats/corporate boxes if there is a team here on a fulltime basis.

What I'm trying to say is that the one game a year BS Rogers have been doing with the Bills is no indication as to how successful a franchise could be here.

November 25, 2013 @ 3:20 PM


@Argie -

I dunno Argie. I think just the fact that the team will be located in our nanny-state environment will handicap it. Part of the NFL game day experience is the tailgating. A sizeable chunk of most NFL attendees partake in the tailgating beforehand - that's what keeps the sense of community alive, and draws people back week after week. I have no doubt that if tailgating was banned at NFL games, you'd see attendance drop big time. Right off the bat, tail-gating is a "no go" here.

Secondly, whoever is interested in a franchise here is going to also be interested in recouping their initial outlay. I just read a good point - to get the Bills here before 2020, they'd have to pay a $400 million dollar fee to break their lease. So you're looking at $2 billion right off the top - $1 billion for the team alone, plus the $400-million fee, plus the costs of a new stadium. I think ticket prices would be astronomical - but you might be right, they'll will make a huge chunk of change from TV, etc.

November 25, 2013 @ 3:50 PM


@ Argie

You just proved you were absolutely being obtuse. Your original statement made it seem nothing was being built as a result of the games. But you knew there were things being built as a result. You chose to ignore for the sake of the stupid argument. That's purposely obtuse.

November 25, 2013 @ 4:16 PM

Mississauga Phil


1)annoyingly insensitive or slow to understand.

2) (of an angle) more than 90° and less than 180°.

So Argie, he was either calling you insensitive, or a triangle....not sure which.

November 25, 2013 @ 4:29 PM


Good thing he didn't call you acute, eh Argie?

November 25, 2013 @ 7:43 PM


I remember when Carlsons' kid called Les Nessman obtuse... Damn I am dating myself

November 25, 2013 @ 10:51 PM


Hey Guys great post! Just wanted to say that I believe that this rumour must be true. Ralph wilson doesn't have much time left, thats for certain, we know that and he certainly does as well. I think it would make sense for the owner to come in and own the CFL and NFL franchise. I am a Proponent of this idea ONLY if the argos stay in Toronto and dont screw up the CFL! Even if it means moving them to a smaller BMO field for example - although they should expand it still.

November 28, 2013 @ 5:46 PM


This is never going to happen, for a multitude of reasons.

Los Angeles and/or London will get an NFL team before Toronto ever does.

December 1, 2013 @ 9:29 AM

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