What? Like you would have gone.
I'm not sure what sort of atmosphere one could have expected down there anyway. What with that wind coming off the lake. I did go for a walk down by the building that really should have been called the ConDome (what? as if that wasn't the No. 1 vote getter in the name the stadium vote way back when) just before the preseason event and the atmosphere was, well, like a late summer day in Toronto. That is to say that there were as many people sipping Tall Skinny Carmel Lattes with a half sweetener on Front Street as there were NFL fanatics.
No one will be stupid enough to be sipping anything on Front Street today. Maybe that's a good thing as it will give the Budweiser people a good excuse as to why no one showed up to their official tailgate (nothing says tailgate like spending $10.75 to drink beer out of a plastic cup). Hopefully they gave the Bud Girls a parka to wear.
It will also make it a little more difficult for those looking to dump their seats. It's a buyers market, really. You don't want my $50. Fine. Freeze. I'm going over to that nice, heated pub to watch this middling game of debatable importance. Of course the Buffalo people are probably really peed off now that the Miami game is being played indoors.
As for me? I'm doing what any reasonable person would do. Sitting on the couch with a Corona in hand, a legally questionable $20 wager placed to make things more interesting. Go Dolphins. Double my coin, well ya.
EDIT: It doesn't look like I missed much atmosphere.
Based on the crowd reaction, the game could've been played in Timbuktu rather than Toronto, because this was as foreign a "home" crowd as the Bills have ever played in front of. The setting was decidedly not blue-collar Buffalo, with Blue Jays and CFL Argonauts banners hanging from the rafters and nearly as many orange and aqua Dan Marino, Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams jerseys among the 52,000 fans.But, at lesat the crowd got a great game, right? Right??
The attraction of the National Football League's descent on Toronto was that, after having to sit through all those pesky NHL and NBA and Major League Baseball contests over the years, Canada's biggest city would finally get a taste of the big leagues. All those other games are fine, but the NFL - that's the big time, kids. Now let's see those wallets.Then, of course, there was all the money being made and the excitement of a packed park down at the house that Fred McGriff built. Oh, wait...
What Toronto actually got, in the first regular-season NFL game on Canadian soil - or artificial turf, anyway - was something less. What it got was a pretty uninteresting NFL game, between two NFL teams that aren't exactly the Dallas Cowboys. For an average ticket price of $183, with a high end of $575, Toronto got to sit through an NFL game that was played at, and was about as exciting as, room temperature.
...the press box estimate was that the place was about 7,000 people shy of full. Attendance, meanwhile, was announced at 52,134, a shade below the stadium's NFL capacity of 54,000. Given that the game was proclaimed a sellout last on Thursday of last week, that's quite the accounting error ... If you wanted another example of how this didn't seem to be the gold mine that the late Ted Rogers proclaimed it would be, there was the row of nine vacant luxury boxes at the south end of the Rogers Centre.
Oh well. There is always the International Bowl to look forward to...
Edit 2:They still aren't very happy in Buffalo.