Move over, Argos. The NFL might be giving Toronto’s football team a run for their money. The NFL is exploring the possibility of an expansion into new markets, and apparently, they’ve narrowed their options down to four cities.
Denver Broncos analyst and reporter Benjamin Allbright appeared on ESPN’s BK & Ferrario podcast earlier this month. He explained that the NFL is planning to increase its regular-season schedule to 18 games and that having 36 teams would give the league a more “rounded number” to work with when it comes to scheduling.
“The four sites that had been thrown up there as potential expansion sites, to begin with, would be London, Toronto, San Antonio, and then possibly St. Louis,” Allbright said.
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“That was tabled, that was put out there, they’re in the exploratory phase on that stuff so it’s not something that’s coming soon,” he added. The NFL still has to determine whether the decision would be financially viable and worth moving forward on.
Bleacher Report explained why Toronto would make the most sense as an expansion site for the NFL. The city has a franchise in three other major leagues — the NBA, NHL, and MLB.
The owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, believes that the future of the NFL’s expansion plans should include international destinations, starting with London. But, the outlet says having London as the sole European franchise seems extremely unlikely, and the next runner-up should be in Canada or Mexico.
If the NFL were to come to Toronto, it wouldn’t be the only new pro team to compete in front of fans in the city. A new $500 million esports venue is in the works right by the waterfront, which would host the Toronto Ultra of the Call of Duty League and Toronto Defiant of the Overwatch League at its 7,000 seat arena.
This could be the start of a new era of pro sports in the 6ix.