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Bills won’t play in Toronto this preseason

Fred Jackson, LaRon Landry AP

The Buffalo Bills have announced that they will not play in Toronto this preseason, claiming that a scheduling conflict has called off the planned August game north of the border. The Bills will still play a game in Toronto in the regular season, as they have for each of the last five years.

The Bills’ claim that there’s a scheduling conflict is surprising considering that the preseason schedule hasn’t been set yet, and considering that a preseason game in 2012 was part of the original deal with the Rogers Centre that the Bills made five years ago. It’s probably safe to say that if the last two Bills preseason games had done big business, the team and the stadium would have figured out a way around the scheduling conflict.

But preseason games in Toronto have not done well: The Bills drew just 39,583 fans for their preseason game against the Colts in 2010. That was down from an announced crowd of 48,433 for their preseason game against the Steelers in 2008.

So the Bills will have both of their preseason games at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, and seven of their eight regular-season games there. The one regular-season game at the Rogers Centre will be the last game under the current five-year, $78 million deal between the Bills and Rogers Communications. Both sides have expressed interest in a new deal that will see the Bills continue to play regularly in Toronto. But probably only for the regular season.

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35 Responses to “Bills won’t play in Toronto this preseason”
  1. steelerhypocrite says: Feb 21, 2012 2:39 PM

    Way to go Buffalo, even the whole country of Canada doesn’t want your rotten team.

  2. bobothegreatest says: Feb 21, 2012 2:41 PM

    That number is not much higher than the size of the crowd at Rich.

    To heck with them I say.

    Ralph W.

  3. cali49er707 says: Feb 21, 2012 2:44 PM

    if was a bills fan, i would be so pissed off about my team having one less home game a year. thats total BS on ownership & i would figure that fan base deserves better

  4. buffalomafia says: Feb 21, 2012 2:46 PM

    Why would Cheap ass Ralph Wilson take away a home game from buffalo fans?

    Why don’t he put a away game in Toronto?

  5. citizenstrange says: Feb 21, 2012 2:47 PM

    This is all well and good but is there any news on restructuring the Hall of Fame voting process?

  6. tjacks7 says: Feb 21, 2012 2:50 PM

    Holy smokes, 48,433 people went to a Bills preseason game in 2008?

  7. buffalomafia says: Feb 21, 2012 2:50 PM

    Cheap ass Ralph Wilson is making $9 million going to Toronto! He doesn’t care for Buffalo fans! He will sign another has been bum to draw the fans for another mediocre season while his pockets get fatter!

    He should have an away game in Toronto not a home game!

  8. ttommytom says: Feb 21, 2012 2:53 PM

    The 10 or 11 days of summer are over when pre-season starts in Buffalo. No traveling north for nicer weather?

  9. buffalomafia says: Feb 21, 2012 2:53 PM

    Cheap ass Ralph Wilson!

  10. keepitsimplestoopid says: Feb 21, 2012 2:59 PM

    While it would be very odd, I suppose it’s plausible that all the possible preseason game dates have been reserved for something else.

    It’s not like the preseason lasts very long, so the sample of available dates is going to be small from the get-go.

    I imagine it would be the kind of thing that is easy to check by looking on the Rogers Center website, but I’m too lazy.

  11. mt99808 says: Feb 21, 2012 3:00 PM

    if was a bills fan, i would be so pissed off about my team having one less home game a year. thats total BS on ownership & i would figure that fan base deserves better

    _______________

    The alternative is to move the team to Toronto permanently. Without the southern ontario fan base the Bills wouldn’t even exist so be careful what you wish for. The logistics/traffic situation leaving the Ralph back to Canada is an absolute nightmare. You need to leave half way through the third quarter to make it to border in under 2 hours.

    As a side note to this Paul Beeston (team President, Blue Jays) has recently made comments that the team is considering installing real grass in the Rogers Centre. One of the hold ups to this is other tenants use of the stadium (Argos, Bills, Concerts, etc). Coincidentally the Argos lease and Bills contract both expire this season.

  12. silverandblack052099 says: Feb 21, 2012 3:02 PM

    Can we please just pull the plug on the NFL outside of the U.S. already!

  13. nyyjetsknicks says: Feb 21, 2012 3:05 PM

    buffalomafia says:
    Feb 21, 2012 2:50 PM

    He should have an away game in Toronto not a home game!

     ______________________

    This might be the dumbest thing I have ever read.

  14. bullcharger says: Feb 21, 2012 3:06 PM

    cali49er707 says:Feb 21, 2012 2:44 PM

    if was a bills fan, i would be so pissed off about my team having one less home game a year. thats total BS on ownership & i would figure that fan base deserves better

    ——————–

    I am from Toronto, and even I would prefer to have the games stay in Buffalo. The venue is much more fun. It’s a cool idea to have games in Toronto, but in practice the dome is a horrible place to watch a football game and the turf is terrible.

    That said, the Bills fans can be mad all they want, but they have to go to games and they have to pay more money for the tickets or the Toronto experiment will continue. To go watch a game in New England It costs me in the several hundreds of dollars minimum to get decent seats. In Buffalo I can get tickets on game day for $40. They can’t make any money in Buffalo because the demand sucks. The regulart season games in Toronto are lucrative and that is the main reason for them.

  15. riverhorsey says: Feb 21, 2012 3:12 PM

    Ben, has Todd called yet ???

  16. thepathtothedraft says: Feb 21, 2012 3:19 PM

    Charging $100 per ticket for the cheap seats and $250 for decent seats is what killed the NFL experience in Toronto. Maybe if Rogers and Ralph werent so greedy they could have cultivated a larger fan base in Toronto.

  17. db105 says: Feb 21, 2012 3:28 PM

    Must be tough for the Bills to sell overpriced tickets to a preseason game in Toronto. They can guarantee selling preseason tickets at home by forcing season ticket holders to buy them.

  18. snarf1888 says: Feb 21, 2012 3:33 PM

    im a bills fan but even ill admit, they are sh!t

  19. ike1973 says: Feb 21, 2012 3:36 PM

    Can we just call this ‘bills in Toronto’ experiment a failure and move on. It might have worked in the early 90’s when the bills had a decent team, but how can you realistically expect people to pay more to go to the game in Toronto than they would in Orchard Park to watch a losing team?

  20. corvusrex96 says: Feb 21, 2012 3:36 PM

    Move the pre season game to Syracuse NY .

    Expands the fan base and the attendance problem is solved.

  21. 808raiderinparadise says: Feb 21, 2012 3:42 PM

    The Toronto Raptors vs the New England Patriots

  22. rdawg911 says: Feb 21, 2012 3:43 PM

    Get Toronto and LA teams….get rid of Jacksonville and Oakland. Not complex.

  23. ampats says: Feb 21, 2012 3:58 PM

    nyyjetsknicks,

    this might be the only time you and I are in complete agreement !

    Should we make the Jets or the Pats games home teams vs Buffalo ?

  24. EJ says: Feb 21, 2012 4:04 PM

    The Bills’ claim that there’s a scheduling conflict is surprising considering that the preseason schedule hasn’t been set yet.

    Ever think that the Rogers Centre is already fully booked with other events during preseason? They do schedule other events there. The NFL sets the preseason games on saturday’s and sunday’s. Maybe if it was allowed on other days of the week, Buffalo would still be playing their preseason game there. Just a thought.

  25. snarf1888 says: Feb 21, 2012 4:08 PM

    bills fans are blaming last seasons epic collapse on injuries and lack of depth, but thats just wishful thinking. the truth is much worse, the head coach is all smoke and mirrors, the gm cant even be bothered to handle trades or haggle with free agents or other gms and the owner doesnt give two s#!Ts if his team makes the playoffs or even has a winning season, his only goal is to spend as little as possible so that when he passes his family will become insanely rich. i dont care if it sounds harsh but the only way the bills ever win a bowl game is under different ownership, which will most certainly be in another city

  26. leftcoastnative says: Feb 21, 2012 4:21 PM

    Let’s be honest….every decision made in the NFL today is driven by money. It’s about the opportunity to make more money or the decision to cut losses and save money.

    Gross revenues for the league this past season finally eclipsed the $10 BILLION mark.

    It’s all about the money, and if anybody doubts that, sorry for them.

  27. EJ says: Feb 21, 2012 4:22 PM

    steelerhypocrite says:
    Feb 21, 2012 2:39 PM
    Way to go Buffalo, even the whole country of Canada doesn’t want your rotten team.

    Buffalo is still playing a regular season game in Toronto, so your post makes no sense. Besides, I don’t see Pittsburgh receiving any Million dollar offers from another country to play one game, have you? Take your hypocrisy elsewhere.

  28. buffalomafia says: Feb 21, 2012 4:29 PM

    I agree with snarf888! The Bills draft undersized & underweighted players!

    They pay millions to a QB who has 3 good games & poops to bed the rest if the season!

    The last time Buffalo was good was when we had a GM named Bill Polian!

  29. izlye says: Feb 21, 2012 4:41 PM

    As a season ticket holder for the Bills…this sucks. The one good thing about the Toronto series is that every other year there is a preseason game in Toronto, which in term lowers the season ticket price.

  30. usmc28 says: Feb 21, 2012 4:55 PM

    I live in WNY and i have been going to Bills games for the last 18yrs. Those who say if was not for the fans of southern Ont, The Bills would not survive is BS!! This area has supported the Bills and will continue to Ralph can rasie the prices 20% and the fans will ctill go to the games as long as they put a good product on the field which hasn’t been for a while, But i think they are on the upswing. This whole Toronto scam was only a money grab by the Bills Ralph raped Mr Rogers for $78 million.

  31. pavelfitzgerald says: Feb 21, 2012 6:25 PM

    Toronto doesn’t support their CFL team with some of the lowest prices in the league there’s no way they’re going to support an NFL team at the prices they’ve set. The tickets are overpriced, the Bills are mediocre at best & Toronto is a poor football market. I know its the NFL (which is obviously far superior to the CFL) but when you barely draw 20 000 to a CFL gamw in a 50 000 + stadium your in trouble.
    FYI – I am Canadian.

  32. jimbobb355 says: Feb 21, 2012 6:39 PM

    Bill Polian IS looking for work…what a way to make a statement, Ralph!!

    Bring back the guy who was the last decent front office guy they’ve had (just make sure he leaves Jimmy “Tweets” Irsay west of Ohio).

  33. joetoronto says: Feb 22, 2012 6:03 AM

    pavelfitzgerald says: Feb 21, 2012 6:25 PM

    Toronto doesn’t support their CFL team with some of the lowest prices in the league there’s no way they’re going to support an NFL team at the prices they’ve set. The tickets are overpriced, the Bills are mediocre at best & Toronto is a poor football market. I know its the NFL (which is obviously far superior to the CFL) but when you barely draw 20 000 to a CFL gamw in a 50 000 + stadium your in trouble.
    FYI – I am Canadian.
    ************************************************
    Oh, you’re Canadian, so you know what’s going on in Toronto, lol.

    Where exactly are you, in Palookaville Saskatchewan?

  34. jpmelon says: Feb 22, 2012 11:18 AM

    That’s bull…..the only reason that some of the Bills fans support the toronto deal is because they take a preseason game away for 3 of the 5 year deal (cheaper season tickets).

    It’s BS that Rogers can’t uphold their end of the deal. Nobody wants to go to the pre-season games. Those preseason games were part of the price for the 5 regular season games.

  35. handmadejunkie says: Feb 22, 2012 2:53 PM

    steelerhypocrite says: Feb 21, 2012 2:39 PM

    Way to go Buffalo, even the whole country of Canada doesn’t want your rotten team.

    **********************************************

    That’s a pretty f’d up thing to say.

    It’s too bad nasty people get a voice.

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