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Bills owner buys up tickets to avoid first blackout of year

Marcell Dareus, Ralph Wilson Jr. AP

The Bills avoided the league’s first blackout of the season, after dipping into their own wallets for the second time.

The Bills announced the move this morning, saying that owner Ralph Wilson Jr. “guaranteed a sellout.”

That means he “bought his own inventory at 34 cents on the dollar” so the game would be shown on local television.

“Mr. Wilson has again generously guaranteed the purchase of the remaining tickets for this weekend’s game,” Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon said in a statement.  “As part of our Salute to Service initiative, Mr. Wilson has donated the proceeds of all remaining tickets sold to Wounded Warrior Project.”

It’s the second time this year Wilson bought up the remaining tickets, something Brandon suggested earlier this week that he might not do. Of course, if he’d have said so, there might have been less incentive for fans to buy tickets at full price between then and now.

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30 Responses to “Bills owner buys up tickets to avoid first blackout of year”
  1. joetoronto says: Nov 15, 2013 7:54 AM

    The writing is on the wall and not just for not just for the Bills either.

    It’s a matter of time before all small market teams with either be moved to larger cities, or contracted.

    That’s the future.

  2. jjb0811 says: Nov 15, 2013 7:54 AM

    Its ridiculous that multibillionaires can buy tickets at 34 cents to the dollar, but fans have to pay outrageous prices. Here’s a novel idea to sellout games, LOWER TICKET PRICES!

  3. unclebluck says: Nov 15, 2013 8:09 AM

    Interesting how Ralph will guarantee sellouts this year but he wont pay good proven players to keep them in Buffalo……

  4. jacksonjames4 says: Nov 15, 2013 8:13 AM

    Thanks a lot Mr. Wilson

  5. greymares says: Nov 15, 2013 8:26 AM

    looks like a great candidate to move to L.A. not to mention these are the worst fans in the NFL. and don’t deserve a team. In fact let them be the London franchise.

  6. wny49er says: Nov 15, 2013 8:27 AM

    How about buying a QB that can throw deeper than a six yard out?

  7. pksullivanmha says: Nov 15, 2013 8:44 AM

    Thanks Ralph. @footgallady52🏈

  8. flyerguy73 says: Nov 15, 2013 8:45 AM

    Crap! I don’t want to watch them idiots play again.

  9. jeffreyshulenburg says: Nov 15, 2013 8:59 AM

    Ralph Wilson Stadium short 3000 fans is still more than the next 10 NFL stadiums sold out 100%. This includes Chicago, Indy and Arizona. Id say a “small market team” is doing pretty well to outsell the big cities with successful teams. Just sayin

  10. billsalldayaday says: Nov 15, 2013 9:04 AM

    Bravo Ralph. Well done.

  11. firerogergoodellnow says: Nov 15, 2013 9:04 AM

    He should make the players buy up the tickets. There’s 53 of them on the roster, the league minimum salary is $500,000, many of them have foundations or they could give them to police, military, etc. It’d be a tax write off.

  12. EJ says: Nov 15, 2013 9:23 AM

    Ralph Wilson is a big part of the reason the NFL is what it is today. He is hands down the greatest owner this league has ever had.

  13. ijon76 says: Nov 15, 2013 9:27 AM

    As he should…

  14. primenumber19 says: Nov 15, 2013 9:38 AM

    Save the bills, it’s different in buffalo than other places. if the bills move the local economy, which is already awful, will shatter.

  15. bleedgreen says: Nov 15, 2013 9:41 AM

    Why not try and sell those tickets to fans @ 40 cents on the dollar? I bet you’d get a lot more people willing to buy and you’d ACTUALLY sell out.

  16. laxcoach37 says: Nov 15, 2013 9:44 AM

    Chuckle, chuckle says this Dolphins Fan. Since when is Buffalo a Florida city?

    Seriously, jjb811 is dead-on. Lower ticket prices and I bet more would go to watch the “inferior products” on game day.

  17. calibear831 says: Nov 15, 2013 9:48 AM

    My Raiders will b the 1st to have a game blacked out. My money is on the game vs the titans next week.

  18. waldoampere says: Nov 15, 2013 9:55 AM

    greymares says: Nov 15, 2013 8:26 AM

    looks like a great candidate to move to L.A. not to mention these are the worst fans in the NFL. and don’t deserve a team. In fact let them be the London franchise.
    _____________

    I’m not even close to being a Bills fan but are you kidding me? They haven’t been in the playoffs in more than a decade, they have a huge stadium that comes close to selling out every game, and a third of their schedule is played in brutal weather. I’d say they have pretty great fans.

  19. MyTeamsAllStink says: Nov 15, 2013 10:08 AM

    the residents of Western New York would rather see real Bison running around a field than the Buffalo Bills get run off of their field

  20. misfit6991 says: Nov 15, 2013 10:14 AM

    Ralph bought his own tickets and made a good deal. Donate at least $25 and get 2 tickets. All donations go to the wounded warrior project

  21. shackdelrio says: Nov 15, 2013 10:19 AM

    Assuming the Bills miss the playoffs again this year (a pretty good assumption), they will tie the 1983-1996 Buccaneers and the 1991-2004 Bengals for the longest playoff droughts in the wild card era.

    I feel bad for Buffalo fans. The stadium and the team are among the worst in the league. Give them something to cheer about.

  22. toolfan74 says: Nov 15, 2013 11:39 AM

    I find it amazing that everyone wants to pick on Jacksonville for not selling tickets, which by the way, hasn’t been an issue, yet the Jags have had much better turnout than the Bills, Bucs, Raiders, Chargers, Dolphins, and others.

  23. rationalthinker82 says: Nov 15, 2013 12:07 PM

    greymares says:
    Nov 15, 2013 8:26 AM
    looks like a great candidate to move to L.A. not to mention these are the worst fans in the NFL. and don’t deserve a team. In fact let them be the London franchise.

    ……………………..
    I grew up outside of Buffalo not a Bills fan and had to move here for work. After arriving here I never knew how good and passionate these fans are. There are numerous factors as to why this game struggled to sell out.

    Any outsider who says that the fans in Buffalo dont deserve a team is nothing but ignorant. They are amongst the most deserving of the two teams they do have. An economically depressed city supporting a team who hasnt made the playoffs this millenium, in the 31st smallest market in the NFL with the 10th largest stadium. And yet every August every Bills fan is pumped up and filled with hope for the next year.

    Dont tell me they arent good fans- they’re a whole lot better than the fans where I come from originally.

  24. mackcarrington says: Nov 15, 2013 1:20 PM

    Bills fans who have never attended a game in other NFL cities don’t have a clue how good they have it. Buffalo fans don’t pay “outrageous” ticket prices. Wilson has always done the ungrateful Bills fans a favor by keeping their ticket prices among the leagues lowest. Then they sit back and wait for Wilson to buy up his own tickets so they can sit home and watch the games. If they were real fans they would be buying the tickets themselves. And don’t give me the lame excuse about not having been in the playoffs since whenever. Buffalo fans like to think they are “special”, but they don’t prove it when they get the chance. They whine about the economy, the weather. the losing record. Just go to the games! Period!!!

  25. jeffreyshulenburg says: Nov 15, 2013 2:21 PM

    I find it amazing that everyone wants to pick on Jacksonville for not selling tickets, which by the way, hasn’t been an issue, yet the Jags have had much better turnout than the Bills, Bucs, Raiders, Chargers, Dolphins, and others.

    _________________________________

    The difference being, that when Buffalo doesnt sell out, they still have 70,000 in attendance(capacity is around 74,000) Jacksonville gets crap because they get league permission to tarp off 15,000 seats, THEN take advantage of the new 85% capacity rules for blackout and still dont sell out with 53,000 in the stands. And Jacksonville isnt doing it in 0 degree wind chills, blinding rain/snow and 30 MPH winds. THAT is why Jacksonville gets picked on

  26. rationalthinker82 says: Nov 15, 2013 3:29 PM

    mackcarrington says:
    Nov 15, 2013 1:20 PM
    Bills fans who have never attended a game in other NFL cities don’t have a clue how good they have it. Buffalo fans don’t pay “outrageous” ticket prices. Wilson has always done the ungrateful Bills fans a favor by keeping their ticket prices among the leagues lowest. Then they sit back and wait for Wilson to buy up his own tickets so they can sit home and watch the games. If they were real fans they would be buying the tickets themselves. And don’t give me the lame excuse about not having been in the playoffs since whenever. Buffalo fans like to think they are “special”, but they don’t prove it when they get the chance. They whine about the economy, the weather. the losing record. Just go to the games! Period!!!
    ………………
    Its all relative man. Lowest ticket prices? Sure. But my job in where I last lived, New York, paid $75K a year. The equivalent when I moved to Buffalo? $50K, and I have more money to spare living here making 1/3 of what i was making before. So, tickets are lower, but only by comparison. Youre nothing but ingnorant if you truly believe the depressed economy acombined with small market around here has nothing to do with ticket sales and that its all about Bills fans not “showing up” when theyre counted on.

    If you want them to move to LA so bad, why dont you move, and maybe theyll follw.

  27. mackcarrington says: Nov 15, 2013 5:37 PM

    You’re calling ME ignorant?? I just got finished saying that Wilson has done more than his share
    by keeping the ticket prices lower. Of course it’s relative!! But Bills fans still complain about the cost of tickets! I also just said Wilson has been doing the fans a favor by keeping the prices lower! And here comes your lame excuse. “We have a small market and a depressed economy.”
    I say, “So what!!!” You have a NFL football team! You just stated that you have money to spare. Why are you arguing with me? Why aren’t you spending your extra income on football tickets? You’re making my argument for me! You just want Wilson to buy tickets every week so you can sit at home and complain about the “depressed economy”. Do you think Buffalo is the only city with economic problems? You at least have the internet, so why don’t you catch up with the rest of the world. You do know about Detroit, don’t you?
    And by the way genius, I already live in LA, and I don’t necessarily want the Bills to move here. LA has money problems too. That’s why the city isn’t going to use taxpayer money on a new stadium. If a stadium gets built here, it’s going to be by a private entity who is going to relieve Buffalo of the “burden” of having to support the Bills.

  28. Ferdinand says: Nov 15, 2013 8:37 PM

    It was nice that he donated the proceeds but how about also donating the tickets to the local VA, DFW, PVA, American Legion and other organizations so some vets can go to a game once in their lifetimes since most people can’t afford to go to any games?

  29. rationalthinker82 says: Nov 16, 2013 5:01 PM

    Haha dude you are WAY too worked up about this. My point with the income comparison is to illustrte that people in general here, not me specifically, have a harder time affording a $280 trip to the stadium than in other places. My point is regarding fixed costs which for all intents and purposes attending sporting events are fixed costs. Differences are minor. Therefore, in a city where income is 33% lower on average, fixed costs affect residents of said city that much more. Basic economics.

    LA also has 5 million people in the city alone Buffalo has 250k. Population also plays a factor. And don’t give me the Toranto Syacuse crap and say those are in the bills market. By that logic Philadelphia is in Nys market.

    You’re a troll, accept yourself for what you are and move on dude.

  30. mackcarrington says: Nov 16, 2013 7:53 PM

    @ratiionalthinher82:
    Your “argument” is disjointed and doesn’t make much sense. I don’t really know what you are arguing or what you are trying to say. I made the point that Wilson has kept ticket prices lower BECAUSE Buffalo has a lower cost of living. Population doesn’t have anything to do with it in my opinion. Green Bay doesn’t have any problems selling their stadium out. And they have the same weather. And I don’t know what you mean by “troll”. I attended Bills games starting in 1965. I was at the last game at the old “Rockpile” and was at the first game at “Rich Stadium”. I paid my Bills dues. If any one is an uninformed ignorant fool of a troll it is you. All I’m saying is quit whining and go to the games!!!!

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