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Old 10-18-2007, 06:43 PM   #1
buckeyefan78
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Default Bills want to play a game in Toronto...

Bills seeking permission to play home game in Toronto

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills on Thursday's announced they are seeking approval to play a preseason and at least one regular-season game in Toronto as part of the franchise's attempt to expand its market base beyond western New York.

The Bills require local and state government approval to play "home games" outside of Ralph Wilson Stadium as a condition of their lease.

"The team hopes to capitalize on the increasing interest of fans in the Canadian market by playing a regular-season game in Toronto," the Bills announced in a release.

The Bills hope to play a preseason game at Toronto next summer, with plans to play a regular-season game as early as 2009. The games would be played at Rogers Center, a downtown stadium with a retractable roof that serves as home to baseball's Blue Jays and the Canadian Football League Argonauts.

The Bills require both county and state approval to play "home games" outside of Ralph Wilson Stadium as a condition of their lease, which runs through 2012. The lease requires the team to play half its preseason and all regular-season home games at the Orchard Park facility.

The team began the process by sending a letter of request to Erie County on Wednesday.

The Bills would also need approval from the NFL, considered a formality with the league already scheduling games in international markets. In two weeks, Miami and the New York Giants will play at London's Wembley Stadium in the first NFL game outside North America. In 2005, Arizona and San Francisco played in Mexico City in the first regular-season game outside the United States.

Toronto is the next logical choice as part of the Bills' expansion plans. Canada's largest metropolitan center is a 90-mile drive from Buffalo, boasts a large corporate base that can translate into additional marketing revenue, and the team also draws an average of 15,000 Canadian fans to its home games.

The Bills also consider this a chance to lure Toronto companies to purchase corporate suites at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Bills currently have three suites unsold and, next season, will unveil new prime suites as part of a plan to relocate the existing press box.

The Bills stressed the games at Toronto are part of their regionalization plans and should not be considered a first step for the franchise's relocation. The Bills noted the success they've enjoyed since moving their training camp in 2000 to Rochester, where they've taken advantage of the city's corporate base.

Bills owner Ralph Wilson, who turned 89 on Wednesday, has maintained he has no intention of selling or relocating the franchise. The team's future remains unclear because Wilson has no plans to keep the franchise in his family once he dies, leaving the door open for a new owner to move the team.

Toronto newspapers have published stories speculating whether the city can be a viable NFL market, and most often mention the Bills as a prime candidate.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3068853


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Good idea?

I'd be leary if I was a Buffalo native. Toronto is a huge market with much more capital.
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:53 PM   #2
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We gotta stop thinking alike it's scary. I really think this is the Bills testing the market in Toroto more the "regionalization" BS they are coming up with.
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:57 PM   #3
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We gotta stop thinking alike it's scary. I really think this is the Bills testing the market in Toroto more the "regionalization" BS they are coming up with.
:lol:

I don't know how well the Bills do as far as attendance goes. I know that joint was rockin' on MNF a few weeks back. I also know back in the old days (ya know...the early 90s) they had a great support system.
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:52 PM   #4
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Patriots used to always play them towards the end of the season in Orchard Park and I can tell you those fans love their football in that 3 degree weather!
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Old 10-19-2007, 03:44 AM   #5
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Now the hot speculation is that Lee Evans is going to get the Willis McGahee Treatment, so to speak, next spring.

It's just a badly-run, Mickey Mouse organization (and being based in a "small market" is no excuse - are the Packers like this?), and any attempt to expand their fan territory won't change that.

But why not a home game at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, which in fact has hosted NFL preseason games in the past? Say in December, to provide a welcome change from the cold?

Maybe they think that Buffalo equals Green Bay, and they need to find a "Milwaukee."

But for me, this is just another reason to go to an 18-game regular-season: If the Bills do play one home game in Toronto, it won't take away an existing home game from Buffalo with the 18-game schedule giving every team a ninth home game!
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Old 10-20-2007, 10:25 AM   #6
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Let Canada play their own teams in Canada and leave our footbasll alone.:thumbup:
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Old 10-20-2007, 11:05 AM   #7
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The Bills have a solid history and very supportive fanbase, I think they should remain in Buffalo. Plus, has the NFL ever had its teams outside the U.S.? Toronto is a great city, though, and I wouldn't be opposed to a few Bills games there...
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Old 10-20-2007, 12:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
But why not a home game at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, which in fact has hosted NFL preseason games in the past? Say in December, to provide a welcome change from the cold?
The only reason I can think of is that Syracuse is, by and large, a college town and a college basketball town at that. December is smack dab in the middle of college basketball season so you run the risk of nobody really caring about a Buffalo Bills game at that time of the year.
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