Godfrey a man with a plan

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:40 AM ET

Paul Godfrey insists his Toronto NFL dream, if it becomes reality, will not kill the Argos.

A day after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell left the door open for international expansion, the Blue Jays president said yesterday he could help make Toronto a successful two-football-league town.

"I have a plan if an NFL team comes to Toronto that would help the Argonauts," Godfrey said. "I'm not prepared to reveal details of that. I'm a strong supporter of a strong Canadian Football League. The city is big enough and if the leagues don't completely overlap on top of each other, they both could co-exist in the city."

Despite Goodell's statement that international expansion is a possibility, Godfrey's potential ownership group of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. chairman Larry Tanenbaum and media mogul Ted Rogers still have a number of hurdles to clear to make it happen. The CFL is one and so is the stadium issue. The Rogers Centre, Godfrey's preferred venue, could be expanded to seat 60,000 fans, which still would be smallish for the NFL. If that's the case, Godfrey said a new stadium could be built without taxpayers' money.

"Let me state right off the top that building a new facility, politicians shouldn't get their knickers in a knot because we're not going to ask for any money," he said. "You can build new stadiums with personal seat license money."

While the new news involves potential international expansion, Godfrey still will be looking at buying an existing team and moving it here. If the NFL expands to Los Angeles for a 33rd team, however, Godfrey believes another expansion team would be around the corner.

"It seemed the ideal route to go was through re-location," he said. "Now we've got the double opportunity to go one or the other.

Godfrey confirmed Toronto will not bid for the NFL's one international regular-season game in 2007, as the NFL doesn't want to interfere with the city's Grey Cup.

"But there's lots of activity between 2008 and 2011 and we'll be knocking on the door each and every year," he said.


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