Despite having one of the best home-field advantages in football at Ralph Wilson stadium, the Buffalo Bills will continue to give up one game a year for the foreseeable future.
The team got approval from the NFL to continue their series north of the boarder for five more years. Much like the team holds training camp at St. John Fisher College, outside Rochester, NY to help grow fans in that region, they are continuing to try and push and improve their Canadian fan base.
The original five year deal ends after this season, when the team plays the Seattle Seahawks at the Rodgers Centre on December 16th.
“The International Committee’s decision to approve the continuation of our games in Toronto is a crucial step in our ongoing efforts to regionalize our franchise,” said Bills Chief Executive Officer Russ Brandon in a statement. “As we have stated on many occasions, the regionalization process remains vital to keeping our franchise strong in Western New York. We are continuing our discussions with Rogers Communications on a new deal and remain optimistic that we can come to an agreement in the near future.”
The team has had reasonably respectable attendance in games north of the boarder, despite having less available tickets than normal when playing in Buffalo.
Capacity at Rogers Centre for football is between 52,000 and 53,000. The announced attendance at the last four regular-season games was, starting with the 2008 game was: 52,134, 51,547, 50,746 and 51,579.
The scores of the Bills regular season games in Toronto are:
2008- 16-3 loss to the Miami Dolphins
2009- 19-13 loss to the New York Jets
2010- 22-19 loss to the Chicago Bears
2011- 23-0 win against the Washington Redskins
Looking at the series history, the results give me the same reaction that the series in general does, I don’t like it. To me, Toronto and Buffalo are close enough that if fans want to go see the team they still can, plus Toronto has their own CFL team. I don’t see having one game in Toronto once a year really being that big of a help to the fan base.
On top of being useless (in my opinion) for the Toronto fan base, it takes away from a great home field advantage that the team normally has at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Let me know what you think, do you like it, or do you wish they would get rid of it?
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