Mark Masters of the Nationalpost reports earlier this month, Toronto city councillor and the brother of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford suggested the Saints may be a prime target for franchise relocation. The Saints immediately refuted the claim and Ford apologized. He said he was simply repeating a rumour he heard.
A reporter asked him Monday if being so candid about wanting an NFL team may actually hurt Toronto’s chances. The NFL has historically looked unkindly on politicians who speak out about the health of their franchises.
“I guess what you recommend is I don’t say anything when there is a $2-billion investment coming to the city with thousands and thousands of jobs to be created,” Ford shot back. “I shouldn’t say a word? A Fortune 500 company comes to this city [and I] should I keep my mouth shut? No, I’m not going to.”
Ford once again raised the idea the Jacksonville Jaguars may be relocated. He lumped the Jaguars in with the Saints when he talked about relocation options earlier this month.
Jacksonville finished 30th out of 32 teams in NFL attendance with 49,651 tickets sold per game in 2009. Sales rose to 63,032 per game last season, which was 24th in the league.
“We’re pretty confident,” Doug Ford said. “How can the NFL keep ignoring one of the largest markets in North America? You can’t.”