On Wednesday, Bills CEO Russ Brandon cast doubt on the continuation of the team’s Toronto experiment. But if Brandon and the Bills want to pull the plug on their annual home-away-from-home game, it may not be quite so easy.
John Kryk of the Toronto Sun explains that, if the Bills want out, the powers-that-be in Toronto will have to agree. Otherwise, as Kryk reports, “it’s ironclad.”
It’s hard for Brandon or the Bills to complain about the arrangement. In January 2013, Brandon and the Bills chose to renew it for five years — not long after only 40,000 showed up to watch the Seahawks slam the Bills, 50-17.
That makes it much harder for Brandon to act surprised about this year’s crowd, or result. Giving up a December home game in the Buffalo elements for a dome game in Toronto necessarily sacrifices a large chunk of the home-field advantage, and players already were grumbling about the situation even before the team decided to renew the series for five more years.
“Brandon said there was never any thought the agreement wouldn’t be renewed,” Bob Mitchell of the Toronto Star wrote earlier this year, when the Bills made a fresh five-year commitment to Canada.
At a time when folks in Buffalo already are nervous about the future of the franchise in Buffalo, a decision by the Bills to renege on a fairly recent contract could serve to make folks in Buffalo even more nervous.