Monday, March 23, 2009

Rogers lets one slip...

It wouldn't be the first time Rogers promised something and could not deliver, but Tim Graham, who covers the AFC East for the worldwide leader, has found a bit of a smoking gun via an e-mail sent to fans who attended the "podunk" Bills in Toronto game:
Rogers has been listening to its Bills Fans and may be able to negotiate a new deal which will bring an additional Bills regular-season game to Toronto in each of 2010, 2011, and 2012! This now means that a quarter of the Bills home games could be played in Toronto. This would allow us to issue a new 3-Game Ticket Package for the 2010 games in Toronto.
(Update: The Buffalo News believes it's going down: "The Bills are making a great profit by playing their current eight-game series in Toronto, at an average of $9.75 million a game. Would the Bills like another guaranteed payday that far exceeds what they get in Orchard Park? Yes."

You can already hear the cries of "over my dead body," coming from Western New York, not to mention a few Bills fans on the other side of the border who fell in love with the team in Buffalo. Pro Football Talk is playing Solomon, saying, "Converting the team into a regional attraction might be the only way to save it. Thus, four games in Toronto is much better than eight games in Los Angeles."

Who knows how much fire there is here, although a gut reaction is that moving the Bills piecemeal would just prolong the agony. The team is entering its 50th season under the constant question of how much longer it will be able to stay in Buffalo, which is basically transitioning into a sleepy government town (the largest employer, according to its Wiki, is the State of New York). Toronto's going to keep growing. Perhaps our own Greg Hughes was right a couple years ago when he said this is inevitable. The NFL once had a team in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, too.

Plans afoot to move more Bills games to Toronto? (Tim Graham,
Toronto eyeing more Bills games? (Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk)

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