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.
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.[url=http://www.toromagazine.com/sports/egos-and-icons/4f2174c7-1220-40f4-f98a-32b3554f5d5b/NFL-in-Toronto-No-Fun-League/]http://www.toromagazine.com/sports/egos ... un-League/[/url]
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.http://www.intelligencer.ca/2010/08/23/bills-flop
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.