Franchises move across the United States regularly in the NFL. Only this year saw the LA Rams reach the Super Bowl, just a few years after moving from St Louis.
There’s been a potential move to London in store for a franchise as well as Las Vegas, who are expected to kick off in 2020. But what about Canada? Could the NFL welcome a franchise north of the border?
There has been talk down the years of a move to Canada and now more than ever it could be a worthwhile move.
There’s huge interest in the National Football League in Canada, with bookmakers seeing huge numbers when it comes to betting on the regular season and in particular post.
The likes of Pinnacle Sports are welcoming more Canadians than ever before, and it isn’t just within betting where the NFL in Canada is thriving.
It’s been six years since the NFL last hosted a regular season game in Canada, when the Falcons took on the Bills in Toronto. The Bills had a six year run playing a game per season at the Rogers Centre, a venue muted for more games in the future as part of the International Series.
Toronto would be the prime location for a franchise in the NFL with the city already having teams within the NBA, MLB and, of course, NHL.
In the city, and country as a whole, viewership of the NFL has increased in recent years, with NFL TV seeing an increase of 19% in the country. Every Sunday figure hit almost the million mark. So the appetite is certainly there.
The appetite for the Canadian Football League has waned a little in recent years, and with two leagues going in two different directions it seems only logical.
However, there is of course a different perspective for many Canadians. An NFL team in one of the country’s major cities would only add to a downturn in attendance figures within the CFL and could ultimately kill off a league that is in fact older than the NFL.
Keeping that tradition is vital for many and a sacrifice would certainly be made if the NFL expanded into Canada.
For others, seeing world-class football in Toronto would be a huge boost for the city and local economy and is the perfect city to see an expansion of the league.
Three countries are currently tipped should the NFL make the league bigger. The UK already have a significant number of games every season, while Mexico would be another prize choice for the league’s commissioners. Logically, Toronto seems the best option.
There’s currently no plans for the NFL to expand into Canada, but if it’s going to happen, in the next five years it will almost certainly be.
The city is primed and ready to go. But should plans be announced, it will be incredibly interesting to see the reaction.