The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are reluctant to endorse the Buffalo Bills' plan to play eight games in Toronto, contrary to reports.
The NFL confirmed last Friday that it approved Buffalo's request to play eight games at Toronto's Rogers Centre over the next five years.
The Buffalo Bills' home field is Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y.
(Mike Groll/ Associated Press)
Published reports said the Bills and the CFL's two southern Ontario teams, the Toronto Argonauts and Tiger-Cats, would hold a joint media conference to provide details of a priority ticket purchase plan involving the season-ticket holders of the three teams.
But Hamilton isn't on board, as first believed.
"Bringing NFL games to stadiums in Canada without a comprehensive agreement between the CFL and the NFL will lead to unintended consequences — not all of them good," Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young said in a statement released Monday.
"The CFL is Canada's premier professional sports league, as the NFL is the premier sports league in the U.S. We are looking forward to a mutually beneficial agreement resulting from discussions between the CFL and NFL."
The CFL and NFL haven't had a comprehensive agreement for some time, but CFL commissioner Mark Cohon noted last week that a new deal is in the works.
"In many ways, we are hoping to empower Mark even more — that any arrangement with the NFL on a formal basis has to come from our CFL office," Tiger-Cats president Scott Mitchell told The Fan 590, a Toronto all-sports radio station.
"I think that Mark has been working tremendously hard on this. I think it is a very difficult issue."
The Bills have been seeking to expand into the southern Ontario market, which has a fan base of more than five million people compared to 1.25 million in western New York.
An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 Canadians attend each Bills home game at Ralph Wilson Stadium, which has a seating capacity of 73,967.With files from the Canadian Press