why don't NFL and CFL merge?

So the US’s and Canada’s hockey teams play each other. So do the baseball teams. Why not football?

Yes, I know the fields are a little different and there are a few differences in the rules, and the CFL teams have really silly names (the “Blue Bombers?”) that would incur ridicule and scorn from the NFL players, but that can’t be the whole story, can it?

The CFL has been, as I understand, on a decline for many years. And the NFL always wants to expand (new markets, more $$$). So why not combine them into one league? Seems like it’d be in the best interests of everybody. The NFL gets a larger market area, and the CFL gets more TV coverage and the NFL’s huge marketing engine.

peas on earth

Would you believe our stupid government won’t allow it? It was attempted a few years ago, but the Minister of Culture shot it down. Said it was a uniquely Canadian game (yeah, right) and part of our heritage.

I rarely watch the CFL. Same goes for most of my buddies. Compared to the NFL, the CFL is bush league.

Still a Cowboys fan,

Why me?

Well, there are a million reasons, and it amounts to the fact that it serves no real benefit to the NFL, the real big boy here. One, the CFL teams would create little competition, and dilute the talent pool. Controlled expansion is necessary. Players will refuse to play in Canada (Its now happening in the NBA) because of the tax laws, among other non-US drawbacks. The teams would either need to pay the players all a larger amount so that their take home pay is equal to that of the US’s players, or the players would lose money to taxes. I suppose there is some reason around this, but I don’t know of one that wouldn’t be contested by one of the countries IRS’. The most glaring reason is that the NFL gets a huge pay off everytime a team is moved of expanded. This “franchise fee” is on the order of $300 million. If a team is created they need to pay the league officials (owners and commisioner) this fee. If a team is moved they must pay a relocation fee, similar in value because they are taking up a potential expansion spot, and the NFL needs to get their cash somehow. No suppose the CFL merged. None of these established teams would pony up that kind of cash for the privledge of being and NFL team (I guess they might?!?). If they didn’t, this basically would mean the league couldn’t expand for a very long time adding 8 teams at once. Finally lots of the fundamentalist would oppose such radical change. The schedule would need to be made longer (very hard in a sport like football) or the traditional rivalries would die out. The supposed TV rights and exposure are non factors. The markets aren’t big enough to lure the NFL in. There aren’t teams in LA or Houston for christ sake.

Not to mention the fact that they are two different sports.

Omniscient: There aren’t teams in LA or Houston for christ sake.

Not for long. Houston’s getting a franchise again. Pulling a Cincinnati on us.

I think there should be a 5-year moratorium on cities that lose a team. (“I must’ve left it in my other pocket.”:)) If an area like Los Angeles can’t hold a team, there must be something wrong.

I think that the owners would not want to simply add teams for free when they can get an ownership group to put together a $700 million package that goes straight to the other owners. Is there even that much money in Canada?

I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

Don’t forget about scheduling problems. The CFL season starts much earlier than the NFL schedule. The last week of the regular season for the NFL this season is January 2-3.

Unless you’re playing in a dome, conditions in the outdoor Canadian stadiums would make Lambeau Field look like a tropical paradise.

It’s all pretty much been said, but yes, it’s money. Or lack of money. The TV market in Canada is too small. It’s not nearly big enough to generate the ad revenue the NFL wants. The league has certain requirements on stadiums that I doubt exist in Canada. And they really are two different sports.

Now I read that the NHL is asking the Canadian government to subsidize the Canadian teams, or risk losing them to the United States.


AWB wrote:

Hell, Los Angeles couldn’t even hold two teams.

Too bad the USFL got squeezed out.

Los Angeles COULD hold a team- the “problem” is, the taxpayers of L.A. may like sports, but not enough to cough up hundreds of millions of dollars to build a fancy new stadium for potential owners. And I say, good for them!

It strikes me as INSANE that city GOVERNMENTS gladly shell out 300-500 million dollars to build fancy new stadiums for the richest men in America! Memo to big city mayors: Hey your honor, if you have 500 million bucks lying around… ever think about hiring more cops? Fixing your potholes? Giving your teachers a raise? Or maybe (scary thought here) lowering your taxes???

The odd thing is, in most cases, FANS don’t have any problems with the “old” stadiums! OWNERS are the ones who reject relatively new (20-30 years old) ballparks because they don’t have enough luxury boxes. In other words, they tell the ordinary working man “Cough up 500 million dollars to build me a stadium filled with luxury suites, where yuppies and CEOs can have chardonnay and brie without having to rub elbows with scum like YOU.” And taxpayers routinely say, “Sure!”

Strange thing is… MOST sportts franchises aren’t worth anywhere NEAR as much as it would cost to build a stadium. It would have been a LOT cheaper for the city of Houston to BUY the Oilers from Bud Adams and keep them in the Astrodome than it would to build a new stadium! It would have been a LOT cheaper for the city of Pittsburgh to buy the Pirates and keep them at Three RIver Stadium than to build the Pirates a new stadium! Right now, the Twins are demanding a new stadium (though the MEtrodome is less than 20 years old). Why couldn’t the city of Minneapolis just buy the team, and leave them right where they are?

I mean, let’s have capitalism or let’s have socialism. No more of this half-assed mix!

Astorian: Hear hear. I love watching Hockey, but it’s insane that tax dollars should be used to support it.

CFL football has a better format than the NFL. One less down forces the teams to play more a more wide-open, passing style. It’s more fun to watch than a bunch of guys just grinding it out to gain 3 yards at a time.

I’m not in full agreement with you, dhanson. I used to have season tickets for the Argos before the Dome, and sometimes the most excitement we got was booing the Ti-Cats, keeping warm with our mickeys, ( stupid place to have a stadium, right on the lake. We froze our friggen asses off!), and watch a whole game of run-throw-kick.

And yeah, sometimes a game would sure make your heart hurry.

If you’re hot, that’s good.
If you’re cool, that’s good.

I don’t get it.

Astorian: You’re right on the mark.

Here in Cleveland we have a “public-private partnership” concerning our sports stadiums. We, the public taxpayers, get the stadium expenses while the owners, (Gunds, Jacobs, Lerner) get all the revenues the stadiums generate. That’s the same deal Bugs Bunny used to give Yosemite Sam. “One for you and one for me. Two for you and one, two for me…”

Astorian: the problem though is that the governments don’t just have millions of bucks laying around. What happens is that for any expense, such as hiring more cops or firefighters, the governments have to issue bond measures for the public to purchase bonds and thus support the new expense.

Sadly, folks don’t seem all that interested in buying bonds to support hiring cops but they love to do so to build stadiums and keep sports teams in town.

Another thing is that more cops don’t increase city revenues from taxes; more tourists coming to watch sports teams and purchase team memorabilia do increase revenue.

I think the ‘increased revenue’ angle is largely a red herring.

Here in Edmonton we’ve been doing this dance for a long time, because the Oilers have been planning to leave since 1990. And the city gains a large chunk of its fame and self-image from the Oilers, who pretty much owned the NHL in the 80’s (five Stanley cups in nine years). The owners of the club know this, and have been holding the city ransom regularly for a long time. We finally got a handful of local businessmen to buy the team, and the terms aren’t too odious in terms of taxpayer dollars. So we got off lucky.