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Bills ticket prices in Toronto slashed

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In a piece of good news for fans who want to see the Bills in Toronto — but a bad sign for the NFL’s efforts to grow its fan base north of the border — ticket prices for this year’s Bills home game in Toronto have been slashed.

Fans attending the Bills’ December 16 game against the Seahawks at the Rogers Centre in Toronto can get tickets for an average of 35 percent less than it cost to attend the Bills’ previous games in Toronto. Obviously, that’s great news for fans, who are growing increasingly wary of shelling out big money to attend NFL games. But it’s also obviously bad news for the NFL, the Bills, and the Rogers Centre: They’re only lowering ticket prices because the reality is that the Bills just haven’t been a hot ticket in Toronto. The Bills, who hoped to capitalize on their close proximity to Canada’s biggest city, have struggled to fill the Rogers Centre and generally been met with apathy from Toronto fans.

Tim Graham of the Buffalo News has the breakdown of ticket price reductions, including a number of tickets that used to sell for $575 and are now down to $225. Many tickets that used to go for $155 are now going for $85, and the cheapest seats have gone from $99 to $48. So seeing the Bills in Toronto will be much more affordable this year.

Unfortunately, that’s because the Bills have found out they’re not as popular in Toronto as they thought they were.

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23 Responses to “Bills ticket prices in Toronto slashed”
  1. fitzmagic1212 says: Jul 10, 2012 6:45 PM

    The bills didnt care if they were popular in Toronto the fact is that Rogers group was dumb and the old man Ralph wilson is stealing big money from them every year. now the fans in buffalo will buy those seats and go fill up torontos stadium

  2. briang123 says: Jul 10, 2012 6:51 PM

    Why would they want to see an NFL game when they can pay less and watch a 5’2″ guy return a missed FG for a 122 yard TD?

  3. baddorange says: Jul 10, 2012 7:00 PM

    Unfortunate. The fans should strike and force those greedy SOB”s to set more realistic prices for everything. CUT the demand, prices will drop. Guaranteed.

  4. granadafan says: Jul 10, 2012 7:03 PM

    Let this be a lesson to the NFL here in the States. Cut.the.prices. Every time this subject comes up, the fans are near unanimous about the exhorbitant price of admission, parking, drinks and food.

    The NFL’s response so far has been to introduce gimmicks in the stands as if listening to players will make up for having to take a loan just to take your kids to the game.

  5. liontuss says: Jul 10, 2012 7:03 PM

    As a Canadian from Windsor, Ontario (across the Detroit River) I gotta tell you that Toronto’s full of latter-day Yuppies who adore the NHL Maple Leafs and – well, that’s about it. No sports soul in that town.

    Now, as a Lion’s fan for over 50 years, don’t judge all Canadian towns by TO. Windsor has a population of only 200,000, but I’d bet that, if the Lions made tickets available to just Windsor residents for one game, that game would be a sellout. We’re proud to support our brothers in The D.

    Stafford to Megatron. Touchdown Detroit Lions!

  6. bobbay007 says: Jul 10, 2012 8:05 PM

    As a Bills fan who lives in Hamilton, Ontario (in between Toronto and Buffalo) I’ve gone to many Bills games both in Toronto and Buffalo over the years. I can say for a fact that the atmosphere in Buffalo is ten times better than that in Toronto with the tailgating, bbqing etc… A game in Toronto is a big corporate affair and I hope the Bills never leave Buffalo!!

  7. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Jul 10, 2012 8:08 PM

    MDS: “Unfortunately, that’s because the Bills have found out they’re not as popular in Toronto as they thought they were.”

    To borrow a bit from Denny Green, “We aren’t who we thought we were … (slamming podium) … and we let prospective ticketholders off the hook!”

  8. nepo784 says: Jul 10, 2012 8:14 PM

    I’m not even a Bills fan and the idea of the Bills playing ANY home games other than in Ralph Wilson Stadium pisses me off. Same goes for the London games too

  9. pftfollower says: Jul 10, 2012 9:06 PM

    Once the Bills are making trips to the playoffs, and have a consistent, competitive team, Toronto will want on the bandwagon. And if the Bills are lucky they will turn more young canadians into lifelong Bills fans.

  10. jimmylions says: Jul 10, 2012 9:14 PM

    Isn’t the other half of the equation, that the Bills are playing against the Seahawks, part of the reason for the lackluster sales?

    If it was the Bills versus a team that’s more of a marquee name, like Green Bay, Dallas, New York (Jets or Giants), or New England, I think the game would get more attention and more sales.

    This isn’t meant as disrespect to Seahawk fans, but more a question about whether the Seahawks or the city of Seattle are well known in Toronto.

    Even if they were playing against Detroit or Chicago they’d draw more fans – including fans willing to drive north for the game.

  11. trunord says: Jul 10, 2012 9:15 PM

    If the Lions made the admission free for a Windsour resident only game you guys might fill it up. Unfortunately that has as much of a chance of happening as a Windsourian learning to tie shoe laces or get a job.

    Fact is Toronto doesn’t like the Bills… or Buffalo for that matter. If Toronto had its own team it would sell out every game.

  12. buffalomafia says: Jul 10, 2012 9:18 PM

    The Bills fans should be mad that a home game is taken away from them.

    A road game should be played in Toronto not a home game!

  13. twyger says: Jul 10, 2012 9:27 PM

    briang123 says: “Why would they want to see an NFL game when they can pay less and watch a 5’2″ guy return a missed FG for a 122 yard TD?”

    It’s the Bills. We still don’t know if they want to see an NFL game in Toronto.

  14. patriotsfanintoronto says: Jul 10, 2012 9:31 PM

    Really, REALLY……. Do you really think that the ticket prices are being dropped because they fan base is not here….WRONG!!!!!!!!!!! How much are tickets at Ralph Wilson, $55-$95, O.K., those are affordable prices, I have been to see the Patriots play in Ralph Wilson. It was a great time, great people, and we ended up killing the Bills that day, which was a great way to top off the day. On top of all of that you get all the great tailgating that happens in all of the lots, and now they are even talking about opening up the stadium an hour earlier so that you can sit in the stadium and have a couple pints before the game starts. NOW, Let’s compare to the Rogers Center. Cheap seats start at $48, O.K. thats good, but I am sure that there will be ticketmaster charge, tax, plus whatever other charge they decide to tack onto that, so it will probably be around $70, and they top out at $225, with fees that is more then likely going to be up towards the $300 range. Seriously, why would a Torontonian want to pay all the extra money to watch a game up here when we can just go to Buffalo, there is no alcohol at the “tailgate” party which is not even close to being a real tailgate party. Don’t tell me about hotel and gas etc… cause you can get all of that stuff and 3 or 4 decent seats for less then 2 seats at the Rogers center.

  15. checkdownchatter says: Jul 10, 2012 9:57 PM

    It isn’t that the Bills aren’t popular in Toronto/the experiment in itself is a failure/fans in Toronto are apathetic, its that the price point was missed entirely – hence the reduction in the price.

    Legitimate Bills/NFL fans in Toronto who want to watch a game will make the 1.5 hour drive to Ralph Wilson Stadium to watch a) a game of their choosing vs. a team of their choosing, not one dictated to them by the schedule and b) that is much more reasonably priced.

  16. weenforever says: Jul 10, 2012 10:14 PM

    Lets see, a team that hasn’t made the playoffs or been relevent in like 15 years comes to your town once a season to play a game in an ugly, concrete, cavern for an obscene amount of money… hmmm, why isn’t this working??
    Toronto is crawling with NFL freaks, like anywhere else in North America, give them their own team and it will be supported fanatically. Its different, when its your home team, your city. This experiment has failed.

  17. pspring63 says: Jul 10, 2012 10:29 PM

    Toronto is the LA of Canada. As the guy posted earlier, “no soul.” But more germane is the fact that the CFL (aka, “the real league”) already has a strong presence, following, history, etc. Figure this out yourself. The NFL wants to go to Canada, Europe and all parts untapped outside the good ol’ USA for a very parochial sport. Ain’t gonna happen breaux. Focus on the homeland, make your teams locally stronger and realize the growth within.

  18. zoogleea says: Jul 10, 2012 10:36 PM

    Hey guys, it’s Toronto. They haven’t supported any sports team for years. No dedicated fan base and no clue.

  19. guruvious says: Jul 11, 2012 7:41 AM

    Going to the game is supposed to be an experience. In Buffalo they got it right…in Toronto, they’re clueless. I’m from Toronto and I’ll drive down to see them at the Ralph.

    It also didn’t help that Rogers fleeced the fan by making them take the preseason tix to see the regular season game as well.
    Maybe when the Argos get out of the dome they’ll get more fans too.

  20. keepyerstickontheice says: Jul 11, 2012 8:43 AM

    The ticket prices were set by the Canadian promoters, and everyone agreed at the time of the deal five years ago that they were too high (insert Canadian weed joke here).

    I think that it is a good news for the NFL’s efforts north of the border because now more people can and will go to the games. My prediction is that the Seahawks game will come close to selling out.

    Besides, don’t be fooled by the large numbers, it’s not real money. It’s all, like, different colors and stuff, and two dollars there is like the size of a quarter here.

  21. jfd117 says: Jul 11, 2012 8:56 AM

    I live across the street from the Rogers Centre. You can find more jerseys being worn by fans of other NFL teams, than those of the Bills. Toronto is not a “Bills” town because of their proximity, so why would anyone want to spend $200+ on what feels like an exhibition game, that has typically included below average teams??

    Slashing prices to bring them in line with the rest of the leagues average ticket cost was the right thing to do.

    By the way, the Bills Series in Toronto has generated a larger fan base for them, as more people from Southern Ontario are attending Bills home games.

    Move the Bills to Toronto, and you will then get real support…

  22. seanpbeck says: Jul 11, 2012 1:30 PM

    The original price point of the tickets was ridiculously high: like double what their real home stadium has charged over the past 10 years. When are these morons going to understand that, despite the game’s growing popularity through media outlets, they’re cannibalizing their in-stadium revenue.

    We are now experiencing the breaking-point of the luxury/suite/club-seat trend that has matured over the last 15 years with all of the new stadiums. It’s a joke. 50 yard seat in the middle tier at Cleveland Stadium (no club lounge) $35 in 1994, $65 in 1995 (New stadium, exact same seats but with club lounge) $200 in 1999, $310 in 2011. Now they think they can go into a new market and charge double what they’re already charging b/c it’s a novelty? Are they charging these prices for the pre-season game in Toronto? What are they changing in London?

  23. diana says: Jul 12, 2012 3:22 AM

    Bills fans in greater toronto area/southern ontario like going to Buffalo to watch these games, a large reason is the tailgating and the whole experience. Most fans dont want to watch these games at the dome, where there is no tailgating parties and were absolutely gouged with ticket prices from the beginning and is strictly a cash grab. the only bad and playoff-less people will overpay to see here is the leafs. This was big fail, why are they renewing it anyways?

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