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YoloinOhio
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i thought Toronto was a part of our region? wasn't that always the argument for us playing games there? either way, who cares. they love the CFL in ontario. they will be playing to half empty stadiums, much like what they have now in STL

I'm not going to wholly argue your statement about Ontario loving the CFL, but the NFL is definitely more popular in the GTA whereas Hamilton and Southwestern Ontario have more of an affinity for the CFL. As someone that grew up in the GTA, I am of the belief that it will take some time for a Toronto franchise to achieve the popularity that every US based franchise holds within its own market. Toronto fans support such a varied number of teams because they've not had their own team. I witnessed the early years of the Raptors and the support for the home team was quite often equal to that of the opposition, especially when playing the likes of the Celts, Bulls and Lakers. The Toronto franchise would struggle in merchandise sales for a number of years. The biggest issue that any Canadian franchise will always hold is the inability to tailgate.

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You bring up an interesting issue with the Pirates. Many people categorized Pittsburgh as simply being a football town and not a baseball town. But that was an unfair characterization. The Pirates had a rich baseball history.Their owner for a very long time was using the shared MLB money to buy down his debt and increase his equity instead of investing in the franchise. The fan base withered because the owner allowed the team to become non-competitive due to selfish financial reasons. That same dynamic of fiscal driven management was also happening during the last decade of the Wilson era with the Bills.

 

Once the Pirate franchise started to be operated in a serious manner the team correspondingly became a more talented team. Clearly the fan base has positively responded. The attendance has taken a tremendous jump upwards with many capacity crowds and the region has supported the team with great enthusiasm.

 

If ownership acts responsibly and demonstrates its loyalty to the customers by presenting a quality product the fans will respond in kind. The Pirates are a good example of that and the Bills under the Pegulas are another obvious example of that.

:thumbsup::thumbsup:

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Buffalo and Toronto can support 2 teams. The population is large enough.

 

If you counted Canadian population within a 2 hr or so drive radius from buffalo, Buffalo would be a top 10 market easily. AfterNYC, LA, and Chicago, Buffalo would be right in the mix with the bay area and DC/Baltimore. Both areas are fine with 2 teams.

 

If the Rams moved east you will have a realignment issue of what team goes to the west ??

 

I think Mexico City is another option (tongue firmly in cheek)

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What's wrong with the St. Louis market? Or is it over a stadium or something?

its always a stadium. the league loves the LA market, but not for the reason most think.... how many cities has the league gotten hundreds of millions from simply by having LA open as a threat?

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i thought Toronto was a part of our region? wasn't that always the argument for us playing games there? either way, who cares. they love the CFL in ontario. they will be playing to half empty stadiums, much like what they have now in STL

I think that attendance in big venues like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver would not be a problem. The NFL has many fans in Canada.

But the CFL is still a roadblock politically. That league and its brand of football are regarded by many as part of the national cultural heritage and there would certainly be an effort to protect it by not allowing a NFL team to relocate there.

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I think it would be fine. I believe i read it's more like 17%. A good number are likely from Southern Ontario like st catharines, welland, ft erie etc. Many canadians come for the atmosphere. I'm sure a toronto team would serve a different clientele.

 

There is an insane number of people in southern ontario. I think the bills could continue to draw over 10k from there. You also would expect a toronto team to create more nfl interest across the border and possibly more ticket holders here.

 

And we hear from several Canadian fans that they disliked the Toronto series greatly.

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You bring up an interesting issue with the Pirates. Many people categorized Pittsburgh as simply being a football town and not a baseball town. But that was an unfair characterization. The Pirates had a rich baseball history.Their owner for a very long time was using the shared MLB money to buy down his debt and increase his equity instead of investing in the franchise. The fan base withered because the owner allowed the team to become non-competitive due to selfish financial reasons. That same dynamic of fiscal driven management was also happening during the last decade of the Wilson era with the Bills.

 

Once the Pirate franchise started to be operated in a serious manner the team correspondingly became a more talented team. Clearly the fan base has positively responded. The attendance has taken a tremendous jump upwards with many capacity crowds and the region has supported the team with great enthusiasm.

 

If ownership acts responsibly and demonstrates its loyalty to the customers by presenting a quality product the fans will respond in kind. The Pirates are a good example of that and the Bills under the Pegulas are another obvious example of that.

I grew up a Pirates fan (I'm not one any longer, although I pull them for them if the Yanks are out of it), and the fan base was ALWAYS soft. I'll never forget the Rocky Bleier TV ad in September of 79 urging Pittsburghers to attend Pirates games because the Steelers were not the only game in town. The racial component was much reported on too back in the day -- the Pirates always had a lot of black and Latino stars, and observers speculated that this was a cause of the low attendance in the 70s despite the fact that they were almost always very good. They finished 10th out 12 NL teams in attendance in 1979 despite being fantastic. They finished 11th out of 12 in 1978 and last in 1982 despite having a winning record.

 

PS - some of the attendance figures from that era are jaw dropping. The A's -- last in attendance overall in MLB in 1979 -- drew 306,000 fans. That is unbelievable. It's less than 4,000 fans per game!!!!

Edited by dave mcbride
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I have yet to read anywhere a good explanation for how the NFL's special non-profit/anti-trust exempt status granted by the federal government would be affected by moving a franchise out of the country.

 

Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn't, but it seems to me the behemoth that is the NFL would have already found a way to put a franchise in Canada. They're the only league without one.

 

The nfl is non profit...the teams pay taxes on their profits since they own the league.

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The nfl is non profit...the teams pay taxes on their profits since they own the league.

 

I understand that. My point is, it's a unique and special status granted by the federal government. If an owner wants to move a franchise out of the country, I don't think it would take very long for the public and elected officials to start making a well-founded stink about it.

 

And, quite simply, if a franchise in Toronto, or Vancouver, or Mexico City, or London, or on the Moon would be as desirable and profitable as many make it out to be, then why hasn't it happened yet? Why is the NFL the only league that hasn't gone international?

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I grew up a Pirates fan (I'm not one any longer, although I pull them for them if the Yanks are out of it), and the fan base was ALWAYS soft. I'll never forget the Rocky Bleier TV ad in September of 79 urging Pittsburghers to attend Pirates games because the Steelers were not the only game in town. The racial component was much reported on too back in the day -- the Pirates always had a lot of black and Latino stars, and observers speculated that this was a cause of the low attendance in the 70s despite the fact that they were almost always very good. They finished 10th out 12 NL teams in attendance in 1979 despite being fantastic. They finished 11th out of 12 in 1978 and last in 1982 despite having a winning record.

 

PS - some of the attendance figures from that era are jaw dropping. The A's -- last in attendance overall in MLB in 1979 -- drew 306,000 fans. That is unbelievable. It's less than 4,000 fans per game!!!!

Before my Pirates rant, I would love to see Toronto get an NFL team. The Bills are no threat to leave and the rivalry would be outstanding. It would be terrific. I really don't care what their atmosphere would be like, because we still have the Ralph, but it would be a close away game that Bills fans could take over. I hope they get a team.

 

The post above is kind of an odd post. The Pirates baseball history is rich, and it's two most revered players are Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell. One black, and one latino. Both are in the most revered athletes of all time in the city with Lemieux, Clemente, Pops and Art Rooney.

 

The Dave Parker era drug scandal almost killed the Pirates, and then after a small bit of success in the 90's, Kevin McClatchy ran the team about 25 times more frugal than even Ralph ran the Bills in his last ten years. And to boot, McClatchy wasn't old. He was a young owner pocketing revenue sharing money to keep his newspapers afloat. The Pirates threatened to leave town, Pittsburgh didn't care, didn't attend the "doomsday" last possible baseball game in Pittsburgh history, and the team lost it's bluff that they gave to the fans. The team never left, despite like 9,000 fans at three rivers for the "last" ever game in Pittsburgh. The city built PNC, Nutting bought out McClatchy and started investing in the team, and the Pirates are fine and dandy now. It's amazing what running the team the correct way will do for your bottom line. Even when the Pirates were good in the 90's, they had a couple of non-playoff sellouts at Three Rivers, basically because the team wasn't endearing. The Pirates were pretty much admitting that they weren't going to pay their star players (which turned out true) to keep them, and this was basically it. Who would support that? From that point on, many MLB teams weren't selling out playoff games. The Major League baseball fan market has always been a bit soft, league wide.

 

The fan base for the Pirates seems to be pretty much on target for market size. It's been mid-range almost constantly, because they are a small market. In the decade of the 70's, the Pirates outdrew the Angels, Rangers, Braves, Giants, Indians, White Sox, Brewers, Padres, Expos, Royals, Mariners, Orioles, Twins, and A's. MLB attendance back then, was awful overall. Only two teams averaged over 20,000 fans in the 70's. The Dodgers at 24,000 and the Reds at 20,500. About 8 teams averaged between 13k and 15K. Most were between 10-12K. 9 teams averaged under 10k per game for the decade. The Pirates were right at 12,000.

 

Baseball is now fine in Pittsburgh. When the Pirates are good, they frequently play at Capacity at just under 40,000. And I'm sure the next time they are bad again, attendance will drop some and they will only see good crowds on weekends. Such is life in small market baseball. But, make no mistake, the franchise is stable. Not the best, but not the worst. Not by a long shot.

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Before my Pirates rant, I would love to see Toronto get an NFL team. The Bills are no threat to leave and the rivalry would be outstanding. It would be terrific. I really don't care what their atmosphere would be like, because we still have the Ralph, but it would be a close away game that Bills fans could take over. I hope they get a team.

 

The post above is kind of an odd post. The Pirates baseball history is rich, and it's two most revered players are Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell. One black, and one latino. Both are in the most revered athletes of all time in the city with Lemieux, Clemente, Pops and Art Rooney.

 

The Dave Parker era drug scandal almost killed the Pirates, and then after a small bit of success in the 90's, Kevin McClatchy ran the team about 25 times more frugal than even Ralph ran the Bills in his last ten years. And to boot, McClatchy wasn't old. He was a young owner pocketing revenue sharing money to keep his newspapers afloat. The Pirates threatened to leave town, Pittsburgh didn't care, didn't attend the "doomsday" last possible baseball game in Pittsburgh history, and the team lost it's bluff that they gave to the fans. The team never left, despite like 9,000 fans at three rivers for the "last" ever game in Pittsburgh. The city built PNC, Nutting bought out McClatchy and started investing in the team, and the Pirates are fine and dandy now. It's amazing what running the team the correct way will do for your bottom line. Even when the Pirates were good in the 90's, they had a couple of non-playoff sellouts at Three Rivers, basically because the team wasn't endearing. The Pirates were pretty much admitting that they weren't going to pay their star players (which turned out true) to keep them, and this was basically it. Who would support that? From that point on, many MLB teams weren't selling out playoff games. The Major League baseball fan market has always been a bit soft, league wide.

 

The fan base for the Pirates seems to be pretty much on target for market size. It's been mid-range almost constantly, because they are a small market. In the decade of the 70's, the Pirates outdrew the Angels, Rangers, Braves, Giants, Indians, White Sox, Brewers, Padres, Expos, Royals, Mariners, Orioles, Twins, and A's. MLB attendance back then, was awful overall. Only two teams averaged over 20,000 fans in the 70's. The Dodgers at 24,000 and the Reds at 20,500. About 8 teams averaged between 13k and 15K. Most were between 10-12K. 9 teams averaged under 10k per game for the decade. The Pirates were right at 12,000.

 

Baseball is now fine in Pittsburgh. When the Pirates are good, they frequently play at Capacity at just under 40,000. And I'm sure the next time they are bad again, attendance will drop some and they will only see good crowds on weekends. Such is life in small market baseball. But, make no mistake, the franchise is stable. Not the best, but not the worst. Not by a long shot.

I completely agree. I was talking about the 70s. The Pirates was the only team I ever abandoned, and that was because of the way the franchise was run. I'm really glad they've turned it around, but for me there's no going back.

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I completely agree. I was talking about the 70s. The Pirates was the only team I ever abandoned, and that was because of the way the franchise was run. I'm really glad they've turned it around, but for me there's no going back.

I hear ya. A lot of people were put off by the previous couple of regimes. The Pirates fan base has been through a lot. It's nice to see them have their day, and the best ballpark in the league. I was at the last playoff game in the 90's against Atlanta. It was fun. I was also at the Wild Card game in 2013 against the Reds. That was a lovefest. The two weren't even similar. The 2013 game was perhaps the best sporting event I've ever attended live. 20 years of frustration all came out in one night. I will never forget the entire day.

 

Sitting in PNC in 2013, I kept thinking that when the Bills finally break this god awful drought, it's going to be like that night in PNC times 10 (simply because the NFL is wayyyy more popular than MLB). That Pirate game makes me want success for the Bills that much more.

 

It's coming........and let me tell you all.......when it does.......it's a friggin glorious feeling. Years and years of frustration all come out of everyone at the same time. Goosebumps two years later. Amazing feeling how happy everyone is for those 4 hours.

 

It's coming. One day......it's coming.

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I hear ya. A lot of people were put off by the previous couple of regimes. The Pirates fan base has been through a lot. It's nice to see them have their day, and the best ballpark in the league. I was at the last playoff game in the 90's against Atlanta. It was fun. I was also at the Wild Card game in 2013 against the Reds. That was a lovefest. The two weren't even similar. The 2013 game was perhaps the best sporting event I've ever attended live. 20 years of frustration all came out in one night. I will never forget the entire day.

 

Sitting in PNC in 2013, I kept thinking that when the Bills finally break this god awful drought, it's going to be like that night in PNC times 10 (simply because the NFL is wayyyy more popular than MLB). That Pirate game makes me want success for the Bills that much more.

 

It's coming........and let me tell you all.......when it does.......it's a friggin glorious feeling. Years and years of frustration all come out of everyone at the same time. Goosebumps two years later. Amazing feeling how happy everyone is for those 4 hours.

 

It's coming. One day......it's coming.

I felt bad for them last night. They were in the same boat as the Yankees: facing a likely Cy Young winner in a one-game playoff. Both the Pirates and Yankees hitters looked completely overmatched - like they didn't have a chance. I'm not a fan of the new system. 4 of the 6 WC one-and-dones in the past 3 years have ended in shutouts.

Edited by dave mcbride
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I felt bad for them last night. They were in the same boat as the Yankees: facing a likely Cy Young winner in a one-game playoff. Both the Pirates and Yankees hitters looked completely overmatched - like they didn't have a chance. I'm not a fan of the new system. 4 of the 6 WC one-and-dones in the past 3 years have ended in shutouts.

I hear ya. The only thing is that Hurdle also sat 55 HRs, 155 RBIs, and 80 walks when he didn't start Alvarez or Ramirez. Absolutely mind boggling. The Pirates started a lineup with a leadoff hitter that can't hit good pitching, their leading stolen base guy hitting fourth, and a guy that possibly isn't even a major league caliber player hitting 8th. Really Hurdle? He's a moron. The Pirates basically gave the hottest pitcher in baseball four straight outs from #7 in the order through the leadoff spot. First time he's played that minor league lineup all year. The day was over as soon as Hurdle wrote that inexcusable lineup.

 

I guess the plus side of the wild card is that it's game 7 intensity right off the bat. The downside is that it's a one game playoff to decide a playoff winner in a league that uses 162 series based games all year to decide who makes the playoffs. More idiocy.

Edited by Lv-Bills
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Before my Pirates rant, I would love to see Toronto get an NFL team. The Bills are no threat to leave and the rivalry would be outstanding. It would be terrific. I really don't care what their atmosphere would be like, because we still have the Ralph, but it would be a close away game that Bills fans could take over. I hope they get a team.

 

The post above is kind of an odd post. The Pirates baseball history is rich, and it's two most revered players are Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell. One black, and one latino. Both are in the most revered athletes of all time in the city with Lemieux, Clemente, Pops and Art Rooney.

 

The Dave Parker era drug scandal almost killed the Pirates, and then after a small bit of success in the 90's, Kevin McClatchy ran the team about 25 times more frugal than even Ralph ran the Bills in his last ten years. And to boot, McClatchy wasn't old. He was a young owner pocketing revenue sharing money to keep his newspapers afloat. The Pirates threatened to leave town, Pittsburgh didn't care, didn't attend the "doomsday" last possible baseball game in Pittsburgh history, and the team lost it's bluff that they gave to the fans. The team never left, despite like 9,000 fans at three rivers for the "last" ever game in Pittsburgh. The city built PNC, Nutting bought out McClatchy and started investing in the team, and the Pirates are fine and dandy now. It's amazing what running the team the correct way will do for your bottom line. Even when the Pirates were good in the 90's, they had a couple of non-playoff sellouts at Three Rivers, basically because the team wasn't endearing. The Pirates were pretty much admitting that they weren't going to pay their star players (which turned out true) to keep them, and this was basically it. Who would support that? From that point on, many MLB teams weren't selling out playoff games. The Major League baseball fan market has always been a bit soft, league wide.

 

The fan base for the Pirates seems to be pretty much on target for market size. It's been mid-range almost constantly, because they are a small market. In the decade of the 70's, the Pirates outdrew the Angels, Rangers, Braves, Giants, Indians, White Sox, Brewers, Padres, Expos, Royals, Mariners, Orioles, Twins, and A's. MLB attendance back then, was awful overall. Only two teams averaged over 20,000 fans in the 70's. The Dodgers at 24,000 and the Reds at 20,500. About 8 teams averaged between 13k and 15K. Most were between 10-12K. 9 teams averaged under 10k per game for the decade. The Pirates were right at 12,000.

 

Baseball is now fine in Pittsburgh. When the Pirates are good, they frequently play at Capacity at just under 40,000. And I'm sure the next time they are bad again, attendance will drop some and they will only see good crowds on weekends. Such is life in small market baseball. But, make no mistake, the franchise is stable. Not the best, but not the worst. Not by a long shot.

Excellent response and analysis!

 

As you pointed out with your comments regarding the Pirates.whatever challenges Pittsburgh has to endure are the same challenges that similar sized markets have to face. Understanding your market and adapting to it is required to survive. The worst approach to take for these smaller markets is to siphon off the revenue for immediate owner enrichment at the expense of investing in the organization in order to remain competitive.

 

Without a doubt small market teams lack the resources to pursue star talent in the free agent market and lack the financial wherewithal to keep all their star players when their contracts are up. The best approach to handle their limitations is to invest in the scouting system and the farm system so there is a constant pipeline of good young cheaper players to fill rosters when the inevitable player movement occurs.

 

The organization with the worst facilities and one of the worst fan support because of the wretched facilities is the Oakland A's. They can't pay to keep their star players when their contracts are up so their business/franchise model is to scout well and trade players for good prospects. In most years (not all) they field a competitive team.

 

Most often in the sports business success is more predicated on being entreprising and creative than on unwisely spending the most amount of money.

 

The nfl is non profit...the teams pay taxes on their profits since they own the league.

That status was recently changed. It was a symbolic gesture with little consequence.

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/04/why-the-nfl-decided-to-start-paying-taxes/391742/

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i thought Toronto was a part of our region? wasn't that always the argument for us playing games there?

That's the first thing that came to my mind as well.

 

I doubt the Bills will give up that claim willing or easily.

 

Throw in the fact the Canadian govt will not help with subsidies as another poster pointed out, the possibility of Toronto getting a franchise is a major long shot for the foreseeable future.

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It is incredible how great things worked out for us Bills fans 1 year ago. Bills fans are the most unlucky fans lately in terms of win-loss and how we lose (wide right, etc.). But the Pegula family taking over was the greatest miracle we could have given to us. I feel that someone would have stepped up- Golisano, perhaps. But, we got the best case scenario possible. And then to have Ralph's estate announce that 500 million of the sale price will be put back into WNY? Wow.

 

I'd welcome a team in Toronto to give us a great rival up there. It would be best for an NFC team as the Toronto Bills fans could still root for us as their AFC team. I hope the Rams go back to LA, though. Ideally, the Chargers stay put and the Raiders make the move. I feel that the Jags will one day be in London as Khan seems to claim that territory as his.


That's the first thing that came to my mind as well.

 

I doubt the Bills will give up that claim willing or easily.

 

Throw in the fact the Canadian govt will not help with subsidies as another poster pointed out, the possibility of Toronto getting a franchise is a major long shot for the foreseeable future.

 

I think they could move a team there, but Pegula would probably get a significant paycheck. I would not be surprised if it was in the 500 million range.

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Throw in the fact the Canadian govt will not help with subsidies as another poster pointed out, the possibility of Toronto getting a franchise is a major long shot for the foreseeable future.

 

Yeah, if he's frustrated by St. Louis not buying him a new stadium Toronto's not going to be any more ideal. I imagine Rogers Centre is a worse venue than the stadium they have too.

Edited by Pondslider
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