Bills blackout in Toronto and Buffalo

Today's Toronto Star answered a question I asked last April.

If Sunday's game doesn't sell out at the Roger's Centre, it will be blacked out in BOTH Toronto and Buffalo.

"According to Ticketmaster's website, non-VIP seats to Sunday's game ranged in price from $105 to $350 (Canadian). With such steep prices, many Bills fans have decided to remain in Buffalo Sunday afternoon and, as of yesterday, organizers in Toronto were still hustling to avoid the TV blackout the NFL imposes on games that don't sell out.

But they are confident that the remaining 1,000 or so tickets will be sold by today's 4 p.m. deadline. "We're extremely close (to a sellout) and fully, fully expect the game to be on television on Sunday," said Rogers Communications' Adrian Montgomery.

If the game is not sold out in time, it will be blacked out in the Buffalo and Toronto areas. The NFL's blackout policy states that a home game cannot be televised locally if it is not sold out within 72 hours before its scheduled start time."

Here is the answer last April-

I'm sure the NFL is now talking non stop about bringing a team to Toronto full time. Because a city like Toronto is exactly what they're looking for, one that provides nothing to the networks 2. Doesn't have a proper stadium and 3. can't even sell out a 55000 seat stadium in time to avoid a blackout even though about 85% of the fans in the stadium will be coming up from Buffalo.

I like the NFL and while I wouldn't say I sit down and watch 6 hours of it on a Sunday, I do tune in for a couple hours usually. Now what does it say when I'm sure if you hang around in front of the Rogers Centre 1/2 hour before game time where the scalpers will be trying to get rid of tickets for at least just half price, maybe cheaper, and I don't want to make the trip from Hamilton? Ok, guess I'm not that big of an NFL fan afterall but I do really like watching it.

Ain't gonna be no blackout.

The Toronto Star article went on further to say

Another possibility is that Rogers and/or the Bills will purchase the remaining tickets to avoid the embarrassment of a blackout.

And that would be one huge embarrasement to the organizers if this game was blacked out.

It's already that! What with their constant bombardment of advertising as a GREAT CANADIAN Game! :thdn:

Right, they are advertising be a part of Canadian sports history. Hmmm, so historical that the National Post is saying that Larry Tannenbaum of MLSE who was photographed with Ted Rogers and Ralph Wilson back in the summer or spring when these games were announced is now doing "backflips" as the article says to distance himself from this "spectacle", or again as the article says, from him being associated with the organization of it. Yikes, think I'll pass thank you on this "historical" game.

Here is that National Poast article, Earl.

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I also learned that this 'Bills in Toronto' thing
didn't have robust support in the Rogers Empire

and in the agreement to have 8 games here

there was no first right of refusal clause for the time
when the Buffalo Bills do get eventually have to be sold.


I am Cheering for Jim Kelly again, keep the Bills in Buffalo.

My guess is that you see Ralph Wilson sell the Bills before Dec 31st.

Reason why...history shows that to own an NFL team, you must be in the family of the current owner, and nobody in the Wilson family wants to take control of the Bills once Wilson dies (or Wilson doesn't want to sell it to anyone in his family).

If Wilson sells the Bills before Dec 31st for say 1 Billion dollars he will be taxed approx. $150 million (currently 15% Capital Gains tax). It has been stated that once Barack Obama becomes President the Capital Gains tax will rise to 30%. (actually anywhere from 28% - 33%, using 30% as a round figure). Even though Obama isn't officially president until Jan 20th 2009, the Capital Gains taxes will be in effect for any sale dating back from Jan 1st. 2009. Therefore if Wilson sells the Bills after Jan. 1st 2009, he will pay an additional $150 million in Capital Gains tax.

He would be stupid not to sell them before Jan 1st, 2009 especially since nobody in his family is getting ownership of the team. Question is, is there anyone willing to spend $1 billion on a team to keep in Buffalo...probably not.

Thanks ron for the article link. Excellent info Football, interesting. Somehow I think Rogers/MLSE won’t pony up $1 bill for the Bills but if they do, hey, go for it guys. If I was them, I personally, I’d put another NHL team in Toronto, much more guaranteed to make their money back quicker I think and a lot cheaper, granted not the TV money the NFL can bring. But, NHL or NFL in Toronto in the long run? I’d put my money on the NHL even though personally I like football, 3 or 4 downs, better than hockey for watching.

OK - it is 5:30 PM, and Ticketmaster will still sell me endzone tickets in Section 218 for only $350 each.

What do you think? Does the mandatory black-out rule take effect?

How do Buffalo fans feel about no TV coverage of a must win game?

In the CFL, it was the team’s President’s call to black-out TV coverage of two games last season. It certainly was not mandatory. Mandatory black-outs are tying management’s hands without cause.

The link to the orignal April 2008 thread is CLICK HERE

Oskee wee wee!

as reported chch sports at 6:50pm the game is sold out and will not be blacked out. wouldnt be surprised if rogers bought the remaining tickets to get the game on tv

This sellout nonsense is all bogus.
I have a friend whose brother works in the ticket office and the story is how tons(thousands) of tickets have been given away to various staff and management of Rogers stores throughout the GTA.
Many have also been discounted to next to nothing inclusive of Budweiser and various watering holes.
So this creative "sellout" is bogus and is from the Paul Godfrey school of counting imagenary BJ fans when he was running the show. For every one sold, two were not.
This so called "can't miss game" as we all know has been heavily advertised in all media, print, radio etc.
It's a dog with fleas.
On top of which it will lose more millions then the pathetic Xibition game, now that the dollars is down what to around 78 cents.
Good on them all.

Thanks for the update 1Tccat.

I tried ticketmaster from again, and they still are selling those $350 ducats.

Does the NFL 'mandatory' blackout have teeth, or can the leaseholder of the game call the shot?

If the sellout thing is nonsense, then do they think fans will buy $350 tickets in hopes of lifting a No Fun League blackout? That is truly nonsense..


CHCH Said the Sold Enough Tickets to lift the black out now
Rogers is should Disappointed in Turnout was not higher for tickets ..
they had to discount them to sell Them

But… it isn’t a question of ‘selling enough’ seats to lift an NFL blackout.

You have to sell out (THAT MEANS EVERY SEAT SOLD) 72 hours before kick-off or the game must be blacked out locally by NFL rules.

The NFL are really proud that for the last few seasons there were no opening day blackouts, because all the opening day games were sold out.

There are still lots of tickets at the 50 yard line (do we have to spell it as center field, not centre field?) up there in that nosebleed 500 level you like Tom…There are still those $350 tickets in the endzone corners of the 200 level… It isn’t sold out.

This game is not sold out on Ticketmaster, and yet the blackoutis lifted, How come?

Does the leaseholder of the eight games get an exemption from the NFL blackout rules?

Oskee Wee Wee

I just checked Wikipedia.

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"Congress passed legislation requiring the NFL to impose the 72-hour deadline. The league will sometimes extend this deadline to 48 hours if there are only a few thousand tickets left unsold."

SO.... In the USA it is the law that an NFL game that is not sold out has to be blacked out!

"In 2005, for the first time in its history, the NFL lifted the blackout policies for a team: the New Orleans Saints. Due to damage by Hurricane Katrina, the Saints split their home games."

Now do you think the blackout is lifted because of course Canada is not subject to that law passed by the US Congress, or do you think the NFL has put it down to the 48 hour window?

I really don't understand why everyone is posting about this topic. Have you not resolved yourselves to boycott this game and any subsequent games. This is utter non-sense. I love the Buffalo - not in Canada. I would never entertain the idea of the NFL in Canada because it is not the CFL. Either you support the CFL 100% or you don't. If you watch the game, discuss the game, watch highlights of the game you are supporting directly or indirectly the NFL in Canada. I'm a football fan. I love the Bills in Buffalo, not in my backyard....not if it will effect the CFL. I don't think many on this site are in favor of an all out boycott on the NFL in Canada...that is dangerous.

I don't want to see a Sell out ..
I Rather is Argo sell out then Buffalo in Toronto.
to me not selling out mean Less Money Rogers Inc's pockets.

Why boycott?

Rogers etc overpaid, with money that will go toward helping the Bills stay in Buffalo and keeping the NFL out of toronto on permanent basis. And in the meantime the NFL-in-toronto backers are realizing that people won't pay anything for these games and looking like abject failures.

Sit back, turn on the game, and enjoy the schadenfreude.

And then 5 minutes later when you get tired of how terrible the game is, switch over to the Cowboys and Steelers. 8)