Bills close in on extension of Toronto series


The Bills may not have a long-term deal to play in Buffalo, but they soon may have a multi-year arrangement to keep playing games in Toronto.

“We’ll be having an announcement on that,” Rogers Communications vice chairman Phil Lind said Friday, via the Associated Press.  “It’ll be soon.”

Bills CEO Russ Brandon agreed.  “We hope to announce a new deal in the near future,” he said.

Per the AP, the deal is expected to cover five years, the same length of the expiring arrangement.  Despite recent speculation in the Buffalo media that the package could expand the number of regular-season games from five in five years to eight in five years, the AP suggests that the same one-per-year formula will be employed.  Preseason games also could be included.

Brandon recently has said that the Bills will be playing only one regular-season game per year in Toronto.

The price paid by Rogers Communications is expected to be less than the $78 million forked over in the first deal to export Bills games to Canada.

Though some may assume that a five-year deal to play in Canada means that the Bills definitely won’t move for at least five years, the agreement likely will have language requiring the Bills to continue the arrangement only if they are headquartered in Buffalo.  The powers-that-be face the far bigger challenge of working out a long-term lease that makes it difficult if not impossible to move the team after the passing of founder and owner Ralph Wilson.  With the notion that his family will sell the team a foregone conclusion, the fact that a team worth perhaps $800 million in Buffalo would be worth perhaps more than $2 billion in Los Angeles will make it hard to stay put just for the sake of staying put.

That’s why perhaps the best solution would be for Wilson to sell the team now to someone who is truly committed to remaining in Buffalo.  Unless and until that happens, folks in Western New York have every reason to be nervous about the future — especially with a Band-Aid lease that requires the team to be there for only one more season.

23 responses to “Bills close in on extension of Toronto series

  1. If the NFL really wants to get International, never mind London, it’s too far.

    Put a team in Toronto, mission accomplished.

  2. Isn’t it a bigger deal that they aren’t closer to signing a long term agreement with NY? Supposedly they are looking at only a one year deal so they have more time to get a long term deal done. Is more time required so that Wilson might pass away and then the Nill’s will truly be a ‘free agent’?
    Remember, the Bill’s are NY’s only team (I still don’t understand why the Jets and Giants aren’t called the new Jersey jets/Giants since thats where they play), hopefuly the state steps up like they did for the Yankee’s with stadium money.

  3. Maybe the should sell the Bills to the City of Buffalo and make it sort of like the arrangement the Packers have.

  4. Again delaying the inevitable. This sub par franchise with nonchalant fans will certainly be moving to LA. LA has a better quality of life, a better city, better food, better weather, and better people. If you could place a value on human life, the us here in LA would in fact be worth more money than those in Buffalo. Buffalo has failed and that is why the Bills will be boxed up and shipped to LA.
    We get it here, we have money and we are better by every measure. Can’t wait to buy my box seats.

  5. When we get the bills here in LA, I will not even have to watch them from my box seats, I can watch them on the flatscreens that we will have everywhere. This will be nice because I can flip back and forth between the game and Project Runway. And if its not Buffalo, it will be Minnesota, Jacksonville, San Diego, Oakland, or any other of those failed terrible, low grade, welfare, leaching teams. LA is hands down the best place on earth.

  6. reconl63, I wouldn’t call Buffalo Bills fans nonchalant, they are infact fanatical, some of the best in the NFL. Nonchalant more suits fans in LA, isn’t this why the Rams & Raiders moved out?

    If Buffalo had an owner who knew what he was doing and actually cared, the state of the Bills would be quite different. You add in Toronto (about 1.5 hour away) and now you have the 4th largest market in North America.

    Jim Kelly & investors I am hearing has a plan in place to bring Buffalo, Toronto & surrounding area together. This team belongs in the area.

  7. It’s strange to observe the machinations of NFL owner greed during tough economic times. The leases and terms of the deals expand into areas including impending age/death and the “Holy Grail” LA market. Probably the last gold mine left. Cities on the brink of bankruptcy, teachers walking out on kids, and Firemen being laid off, and still there’s a way for the owners to make a buck. Move the Bills to Canada? Why not. Los Angeles? Sure. Probably the only two plays for wannabe owners to make.

  8. reconl63,

    I don’t even know where to begin with your 2 comments. Your sense of entitlement is a bit unsettling and you are one of the many reasons why LA sucks and doesn’t deserve a proud franchise like the Buffalo Bills. You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. We are all humans and being in a particular location or eating certain foods does not make one better than another. And neither does having more money. Or should I say living beyond your means. You are the one who DOES NOT get it! The reason for the Bills playing in Toronto is to tap into one of the biggest markets in North America and give the NFL leverage when they negotiate the next set of television contracts. If I remember correctly, LA had trouble selling out Raiders games and played half of their regular season games in Oakland for a while before they permanently moved there. Stick with what you know, Project Runway and the Lingerie Football League, and do us all a favor.

  9. No worries, the Buffalo Bills are here to stay.
    Also, for being a small market team, the Bills sure do have a huge fanbase. I can’t believe how many Bills Backers there are across the Nation.

  10. GB Packers are a perfect example.

    Population of Green Bay is only 105,809 (Buffalo is over double at 261,025) but winning and good Management over the last few decades has generated a huge fan base across the USA and the world.

    NFL is the ultimate marketing machine and with a little winning formula, you can have a team virtually anywhere. Buffalo just needs to revive their winning tradition to change people’s perception.

    Just win and people will come!

  11. neilanblomi says: Sep 22, 2012 10:10 AM

    CLEARLY recon is joking around. Are you people that simple?


    I am absolutely serious. I haven’t said anything that isnt true

  12. How do you figure LA people are better than in Buffalo? Buffalo is the city of Good Neighbors. In LA, people wont talk to a stranger unless it’s to drag them in a cult or buy drugs. South Central LA has had more murders since the Iraq/Afghan war than soldiers killed. Better food? What? Tofu and watercress? Better weather? Our homes never burn down from dryness and heat, and rarely slide down the side of hills, and that’s not even taking into account the impending 9.0 earthquake that is a decade overdue according to scientists. Weirdo’s, freaks and vagabonds clutter LA, choking smog, freeway commutes of 2+ hours, foreign invades, the Mansons, holleywood degenerates….yeah, La’s got it all, not to mention the Chargers, Raiders and Rams couldn’t make it there and abandoned the swill suckhole called smell A. Oh, and the government is bankrupt, and will not get better for decades, if ever. I met a girl who asked me to kiss her where it stinks….so I took her to LA.

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