The Buffalo Bills are “very close” to agreeing on a five-year extension with the Rogers Centre to continue team’s Canadian series, according to John Kryk of theToronto Sun, who cites a source close to the matter.
Kyrk’s source tell him that the new deal will be “significantly” less lucrative for the Bills. Due to that, ticket prices are expected to be “significantly” lower.
From 2013 to 2017, the Bills will reportedly play one of their eight regular-season home games in Toronto’s downtown stadium. Only one-preseason game is expected to be a part of the series.
We, as Bills fans, who enjoy cheap ticket prices and absolutely revel in our famed tailgating scene that’s nonexistent north of the border.
Yet the series with the Rogers Centre has been wildly profitable for the Bills over the last five years.
According to Kryk, regardless of the amount of tickets sold or how much Rogers charges for the tickets, the team’s haul from each of the seven games has been $11.14 million, or double the amount they make on games in Orchard Park, New York at Ralph Wilson Jr. Stadium.
Having seven home games instead of eight downright stinks.
However, it’s become a necessary evil for Buffalo as it tries to stay afloat in one of the smallest markets in the NFL.
They must regionalize their brand, and if they can make considerably more profit doing so, then it’s something the Bills must do.
Bills decision makers would be foolish if they didn’t attempt to tap into a metropolis with a population of five million people that’s only an hour drive from Buffalo.
Unfortunately, there are a few other ways the team can make money that wouldn’t mean the loss of a true home game.
How about selling the naming rights for the stadium? It’s something Ralph Wilson Jr. refuses to do. Why is that? Is his ego that big that he has to see his name on the front of the stadium? Heck, I wouldn’t care if it was called (insert bank name) Stadium. We all loved it as Rich Stadium, anyway.
Ever seen this shirt?
Playing one game in Toronto is a much quicker way to boost regionalization of the club, but a new stadium in a more centralized part of Western New York could draw more fans from surrounding cities like Rochester and Syracuse and wouldn’t be that much of further drive for fans from Southern Ontario.
Somewhere between Depew and Batavia would be perfect. Actually, we all know a (domed) stadium in downtown Buffalo near the waterfront would be exquisite.
Then again, I’m not a city planner.
Sadly, the potential of a new stadium for the Bills is, at the very least, many years down the road and there are no immediate plans to move the team from Orchard Park to a different Western New York location.
We can be slightly upset knowing this series will continue, I know I am. But I’d rather watch one “home” game in Toronto every year, than witness an apocalyptic move to Los Angeles.
Who knows how much this series really benefits the Bills. If it does indeed help maintain the Bills’ viability in Western New York, that’s all I care about.