The League

David Hill
National Blogger

David Hill

A writer for the sports blog All Football 24-7

NHL beats NFL


Over time, the NFL cannot succeed in Canada. The fan base is not the same as it is in America. Professional Hockey does well in one country and poorly in another. Toronto is about as close as you can get trying to replicate the U.S. Fan base.

When I was in Toronto last year, every chance I had, I asked local residents their take on the NFL and would they like an NFL team in Canada. Each conversation somehow swayed back to talking NHL Hockey. When a few heard I was from the Philadelphia area, all they wanted to talk was the Philadelphia Flyers no matter how many times I went back to talking NFL Football.

In addition to these reasons is the expense. I have been told by Canadians it is actually cheaper for them to visit Buffalo and buy tickets for a Bills game there then to buy tickets in Toronto. Finances and economies can change so therefore that is not a major reason, but it is something to take into account with the fact that Canadians aren't as die hard football fans as Americans are.

By David Hill  |  December 2, 2009; 11:38 AM ET  | Category:  Buffalo Bills Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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While it's true that hockey and the NHL is their obsession, I think you short-change their love of football.

I went to college in Toronto for a year. I will tell you, they were every bit as passionate about the NFL as any American. They even preferred it over the CFL, which surprised me.

Not only did they watch the games, they were very knowledgeable about the teams, players, history, and stats. One of my housemates wore his Drew Bledsoe jersey more than he did any hockey jersey. They were as die-hard as any of my American friends. My brother went to college in Hamilton for 3 years and said the same thing.

I can't speak for the rest of Canada, but I have zero doubt in my mind that the NFL would thrive in Toronto.

Posted by: paperboy76 | December 2, 2009 2:37 PM

i'm here in buffalo ny and i can tell you that all of the people I know all agree that the nfl is no where near as popular as the nhl in canada. and i don't think there is enough team loyalty to support the bills in canada. canada is filled with team fans not a specific team. it may be different if there was a canadien franchise that was a part of the nfl

Posted by: nall92 | December 3, 2009 9:56 AM

Rogers Centre tickets range from 100-250 CA. The same tickets in Buffalo start at $40.

Buffalo is a working class city - does anyone think that they'll drive an extra 90 minutes and pay 2x as much to see the same team?

Plus, if the Rogers Centre is approved by the NFL as a venue, you lose the Bills' most potent late season advantage - Buffalo weather.

Posted by: reiflame1 | December 3, 2009 12:50 PM

I visit Canada regularly. I am amazed at the sophistication of football knowledge bnorth of the border. The sports talk shows there provide better analysis of games then around here or on WFAN. I wonder if it is a product of being able to easily bet on NFL games.

Posted by: gbooksdc | December 3, 2009 2:52 PM

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