for mikem: Bills in Toronto a FAILURE!

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Toronto has not yet embraced the Bills as their home team and it has resulted in the Bills’ “home? games at Rogers Centre feeling very much like neutral site games.
Sagging tickets sales have resulted in several of the games falling short of sellouts and being heavily papered with free tickets.
if the last five years are any indication, the CFL has nothing to worry about in the next five.

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The fifth Bills-in-Toronto game is “80-90%” sold, and there will be no papering this year to fill up the Rogers Centre.

That’s according to the game’s new executive director, Greg Albrecht.

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With four games down and four to go, you’d be hard-pressed to call the Bills Toronto Series anything other than a business failure so far, one that may prove costly to this city’s long-term chances of hosting NFL football.
The streets around the stadium were lifeless in the lead-up to kickoff, the stands less than half full when the game got underway. Scalpers were offering deep discounts, up to half off face value in some cases. So much for spectacle. This had all the buzz of a lazy fly circling a pile of poop.

It all made a mockery of Phil Lind’s comments to the Fan 590 earlier that afternoon, with the Rogers vice-chairman claiming the Bills series was “working out very well … playing out almost exactly as we thought it would.?

I don’t think so, Phil. You guys overpaid for the series, overshot ticket prices by a huge margin, tried to force multi-game packs on prospective buyers and upset the few full-price customers you got by giving away thousands of freebies to make sure the 2008 series opener didn’t look as empty as this week’s affair. If that’s what you call going according to plan, I’d hate to see your idea of failure. The way I see it, all you’ve really succeeded in doing is coming up with something more distasteful than negative-option billing.

With ticket prices in the high hundreds and even thousands of dollars, the opening game in this five-year experiment was far from a sellout forcing organizers to fill the seats by handing out thousands of freebies. That didn’t impress the guys who actually dished out a mortgage payment to get into the game.

And nothing has really improved since.

The ticket pricing has had to be adjusted so fans can actually afford to go to these games. But they still can’t fill the stadium.

Rogers paid $87-million to get the Bills to Toronto and it isn’t going to come close to getting that much money back.

What was at first believed to be an easy money-maker for Rogers has become a financial nightmare.

This Bills in Toronto idea has to be considered a major failure. They haven’t even sold out the two regular season games that have been played.

Unfortunately, this guy is allergic to facts.
He'll find some way to spin it and say "Yeah but people are willing to pay 150$ for Bills tickets in Toronto!!!!11" and "When Ottawa gets back, the argos will fold"....same old talking they say ignorance is bliss.

quoted for truth!

If the Bills/Toronto Series were such a rousing success as mikem continually asserts, then why are the current average ticket prices less than 50% of the original price in 2008?

Rogers would certainly not reduce rates if sales were even adequate.
and this for a "Once-a-year Event" NFL game for Torontonians.

abject fail.

Loser = your average Toronto sports fan.

At least the homeless people will have a place to come in from the cold for a few hours.
It's an annual thing for them.

The latest articles state they will not have to paper the skydome this year, as the tickets are 80% sold, yet a simple google search will show you many Rogers-owned radio stations are giving them away in contests.

Rogers has just figured out how to give away the tickets in less obvious manors than scalpers giving them away outside the skydome on gameday.

Acording to google searches, there are many different ways you can win bills tickets right now. :roll:

I remember when this first came up that the Bills were playing Toronto meant the end of the CFL... well, here it is 5 yrs later and the CFL is stronger and healthier than ever... if anything, it just shows that Toronto sports fans are a fickle bunch...they are rabid about the Leafs, and everything else competes for the sports entertainment dollar...

Rogers had dropped ticket prices 5 times, in each and every year of the series. That says to us the series was less than successful. Mikem may continue with his "52,000 at $150" mantra in every post but we all know that isn't true. Not sure why he's such a backer of the NFL in Toronto? He doesn't live there, or even in Canada so he claims.

The Bills series points out the obvious. The NFL should stay in America and the CFL should stay in Canada. The support for the NFL in Canada may be a mile wide but it's only 1 inch deep.

Let's not forget the papering of the crowds in the previous American Bowls in Toronto. The first game had ticket sales stall at 17,000. The next game, despite drawing thousands of Green Bay cheesehead fans saw ticket sales stall at 25,000, with the organizers papering the crowd to save face.

Then there was Rogers "NCAA International Bowl" in Toronto...another dismal failure. Perhaps Roger should try promoting Canadian sports for a change. The over 900,000 fans who watched the Vanier Cup last week were more than double of any NFL or U.S. college game this season. :thup:

The weird thing is in all of this is that the Bills game in Toronto is actually able to attract the many American Bills fans in Buffalo and all of upstate New York, obviously as it is their team there, so one would think that even if no one from Toronto or the GTA bought one ticket, the games would have been sold out or close to with Americans pronto. But that obviously isn't and hasn't been the case.

I don't pay attention to all this or the NFL, for that matter, but recently there's a TV ad promoting an upcoming Bills game at the Skydump. One line in the ad caught my notice and made me laugh. It's "Come on Toronto, this is your team". Audacity or ignorance ? Take your pick!

Is that really true?

Attendance has gone down a little and aren't ratings softer than a couple of years ago? On the other hand, new/renovated stadiums, the return of Ottawa to the league and 6/8 teams are profitable.

OK, I talked myself into it. The league is healthier/stronger than ever but there's still room for improvement.

Hey Dan, yes, that strikes me as a little odd as I see from what people are wearing NFL wise here in Hamilton and Toronto when I go there, probably more other teams NFL stuff than the Bills. Probably Packers and Steelers are the most stuff I see people wearing.

In an article in today's Toronto Star, Rogers admitted their practice was to "give away tickets in order to draw larger crowds" for the Bills.

Greg Albrecht, the series’ newly appointed executive director, said Monday. “In all of our marketing, that’s what we hammered home was ticket-pricing has been reduced, not because the product on the field is any worse or better, it’s because we were not aligned with the rest of the NFL teams.? [i](oh, so that's why the series was a failure, non-alignment!) [/i] “I think it would be silly for us to say, ‘We’re not going to entertain moving this thing forward,’ after quite honestly some of the pain that we’ve faced in the past years of learning,? Albrecht said. “We have our learning now..." [i](they should learn to drop "this thing" into the garbage can).[/i]

But talks are temporarily on hold because New York officials have spent the past month directing much of their attention on the lasting effects of Superstorm Sandy.

Albrecht, who took over the series in August, has stopped the previous practice of giving away tickets in order to draw larger crowds. (yeah sure, so now you're telling the truth?)

Like how Rogers admitted they had been grossly inflating the announced attendance at Blue Jays games for many years...but they promised that practice was going to stop. :wink:

Or what NFL's Roger Goddell said when the Bills series was first announced, "that the NFL would never do anything to harm the success of the scheduling a Bills game during the CFL season, for instance". Then only a year later Rogers said they wanted to schedule Bills games during the CFL season "because Goddell's promise was only in effect for 12 months". What a bunch of conniving liars Rogers are! :thdn:

Now Rogers is threatening to kick the Argos out of Skydome, deny them the opportunity to play at BMO and trying to poison the Argos chances at getting public money for a new stadium by insinuating Mr. Braley is on the take, by making false and ridiculous comments about public funding for the 100th Grey Cup celebrations. Shame on you Rogers, I don't think Ted would have appreciated you sullying his name.

What can CFL fans and Canadians across the country do? The only thing Rogers understands is their billion dollars in revenues every month. Cancel your Rogers wireless service. Cancel your Rogers cablevision and satellite services. Choose alternatives, like Telus, which are proudly Canadian and sponsor Canadian sports and events, not some Yankee boot-lickers like Rogers. :roll:

Rogers is a piece of work and yes, it's a shame that the company is allowing Ted's name to be slagged, they want to cut up Mr. Braley, well, goes both ways. The company is a total piece of work. As I said before, if it was Howard Sokolowski, Bob McCown's friend still owning the team, different tune.

It would be interesting to know what Roger Goodell thinks of the company apart from the fact they have a lot of money.

80 to 90 Per Cent sold already? Isn't that good?
When was the last time the Argos were 80 to 90 Per Cent sold out 2 weeks before the game???

If it's 90% sold out now, that translates into 45,000 tickets sold with 2 weeks left . The average ticket is $150 times 45,000, so that means close to $7 MILLION dollars so far and probably $9 Million by game time. That is more revenue from tickets sales than the 70,000 in Buffalo.
The Bills aren't even Toronto's team and they are well out of a playoff spot.
The comments you posted above are from 2010 !!!! what relevance has that to today?? If it's a failure why did the Bills just renew the contract for another 5 years??

How is that a failure? Am I missing something? I don't understand what you are trying to prove by pulling out old news and then somehow saying that 90% sold out is a failure?

Funny thing is when you read the story in the Sun, they are positive about 90% sold and "sales moving briskly"
You must be one of these the glass is 10% empty kind of guys. Would you then say the Argos are consistenly 20% FULL in the Rogers

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Interesting that Goddell hasn't set foot in Toronto since they announced the series. He will come no closer than Buffalo and issue his press releases about the Toronto game from there. Goddell was front and centre for the NFL games in Mexico City and London, saying they were potential expansion sites. Not so in Toronto, which he has completely disassociated himself from...except for Rogers fat wallet, over-flowing from the suckers who grossly overpay for their wireless and cable services in Ontario.

And Mikem, when Rogers says there 80-90% sold (which is it?) does that mean they've actually received money for those tickets or were they "tickets distributed"...which is more the Rogers practice (and they could only find 40,000 takers so far?) or are they really telling the truth this time? :oops:

mikem wrote: The average ticket is $150
wrong again mike. the average Toronto/Bills ticket price WAS $150 four years ago.

Not today.

For the record, the top ticket price is around $150 not the average.
The price structure for the next game is available at ticketmaster.

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The majority of the stadium tickets are around $100 give or take. I'd estimate a third of the seats are in the lowest price range. Rogers has been increasingly successful with the Bills series but they are putting a lot of effort into something that they posed would be an effortless and shining example of their readiness to join the NFL fold. It is a failure in that the city's response hasn't blown anyone away at NFL HQ. The NFL has stated their lack of interest in a TO franchise. The series has established Toronto as a region owned by the Buffalo Bills. It has not put them higher up on the queue for a team or made them money. They have had to paper the house for a team whose home fanbase is very close by. To me, that would be defined as failure! Their goal was to make money and pave the way for a team of their own. FAILURE! They may yet turn it around but until they fill the house with paying customers and make money they have failed. If Mikem can show me a recent article that states Rogers made any significant money then I will change my tune.

Using the Argos relative failings as an argument for success is idiotic. The Argos are a failure in Toronto.
There, I said it. Toronto does not have any passion for the Argos. It died 30 years ago. This doesn't prove the Bills in Toronto was a success. Yes, the Argos would love to have the crowds that the Bills have drawn. However, it is easier to bill a "special event" against something that is always there and frankly has underwhelmed.

Oh, not that it is relevant to mikem but they have reduced the capacity for the game by about 8000 seats. Previous games have had attendances of 53K. From mikem's SUN article the capacity is now 45K.

"When configured for an NFL game, the dome seats approximately 45,300. An 80-90% sell-through equates to ticket sales of 36,240 to 40,770."

If you use 53K as capacity then they are actually 75% sold. It is a classic trick to make things look a bit better optically.

The Grey Cup had 53,208 ( which required accommodating a bigger field.

Also, the very article Mikem quoted lays out that the vast majority of tickets are well under $100 let alone $150.