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PAT BOWLEN PUSHES NOTION OF TORONTO AS A POTENTIAL NFL CITY
Published December 2, 1994
Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, a Canadian citizen, "reiterated" to the CANADIAN PRESS yesterday what he had said more than a year ago -- that Toronto "could very well, before the turn of the century, have a relocation" of an existing NFL team. It is very likely that exhibition games in '95 and '96 will be played at the SkyDome as part of the American Bowl series (Ken McKee, TORONTO STAR, 12/2). Bowlen also noted that Vancouver and Montreal are also possible sites for NFL franchises "seeking more viable markets and modern facilities" (CP/VANCOUVER SUN, 12/2). BILLS GAMES IN TORONTO? Sources confirmed that NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue recently asked Bills Owner Ralph Wilson to consider moving one or more league games to the SkyDome at some unspecified date. But the prospect of Bills games in Toronto appears "unlikely," even after the Bills' current stadium lease expires in August 1998. Scott Brown, spokesperson for Erie County Executive Dennis Gorski, said that the county intends to include the "performance clause" requiring the Bills play all league and playoff games in Rich Stadium in any new lease. Brown also noted that a $23M update of Rich Stadium has already begun. Fourteen new luxury boxes are being added. Part of the funding is a state loan ($8M), and the county would like that to be converted into a grant from the public coffers. Some $1.5M has already been granted (Ken McKee, TORONTO STAR, 12/2). According to CNBC's Sue Herera, Wilson said he would not oppose NFL expansion into Toronto (CNBC, 12/1).