Buffalo Bills announce 5-year extension of Toronto series
It’s officially time for Buffalo Bills fans to warm up to the idea of football in Toronto. The Bills, in partnership with Rogers Media, announced Tuesday that the two parties have signed a five year extension to their deal that will see the Bills play regularly at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario each season through 2017.
“The Bills partnership with Rogers Media is key to our franchise’s regionalization plan and we are excited to continue it for years to come,” said Russ Brandon, Buffalo Bills’ President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our regionalization efforts have strengthened the franchise’s foothold in Western New York by supporting our efforts to further develop our fan base in Toronto and Southern Ontario. The Bills-Rogers Media partnership continues to give us tremendous exposure in the market and its success will only accelerate with a few wins on the field.”
The idea of building support in a market as large as Toronto, which already has teams from other American pro sports leagues (NHL, MLB, NBA), could be a huge boon for the Bills. However, the team hasn’t been very successful in their games up north, posting a 1-4 record. That includes a blowout loss this past season to the Seattle Seahawks in which many in attendance at the game were wearing jerseys from other teams or rooting for the Seahawks.
As reported by John Kryk of QMI Agency and confirmed by the Bills, ticket prices will remain much cheaper than they were in the first four years of Toronto games, with 60% of tickets costing under $100. That will hopefully help attendance rise, as this past year’s crowd of 40,770 was the lowest attendance of the first five games of the Toronto series.
The deal calls for the Bills to play one regular season game at the Rogers Centre each season starting again in 2013, in addition to a preseason game in 2015.
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