Rogers, Bills to Renew Toronto Series

You just knew this was coming....

Bills in talks to extend deal to play in Toronto beyond 2012

The Buffalo Bills have held talks to continue playing annual games in Toronto. Speaking from his home in suburban Detroit, Wilson said the Bills and Rogers Communications Inc. have held talks to renew the team's series north of the border, and is optimistic an extension will be reached before the current five-year deal expires after next season.

"Oh yeah, we want to renew it. We were talking to them recently, and they want to renew it," Wilson said. "I think that Buffalo can have a very successful franchise embracing Rochester, Buffalo and Toronto as we move forward."

Without going into specifics on the terms of a potential new deal, Wilson said one of Rogers' key conditions for renewing the agreement is lowering ticket prices. He said the Toronto-based communications giant acknowledged ticket prices had been too high, averaging around $180 US per seat.

The ticket prices led to series organizers having difficulty selling out games at the 54,000-seat Rogers Centre.

Reducing ticket revenue also has the potential of lowering the price tag of a new deal after Rogers paid $78 million to have the Bills play eight games, including five annual regular-season games.

The current deal expires after the Bills play a pre-season and regular-season game in Toronto next year.

A Rogers spokeswoman said the company had nothing to announce at this time. Rogers has previously expressed interest in renewing the deal, and was especially interested in adding an additional regular-season game if the NFL expanded its schedule.

The Bills' series in Toronto is regarded as crucial to the small-market franchise's future in western New York.

The deal was reached in 2008 with plenty of fanfare in making the Bills the NFL's only team to play annual games outside the United States. The Bills have benefited, gaining a boost in season-ticket sales from a growing base of fans from southern Ontario. Rogers has benefited, too, combining its NFL partnership with its numerous entities to capitalize on the league's popularity across Canada.

The NFL is on board in wanting to keep the series going. It not only plays into the league's attempt to globalize the sport, but is also considered key in keeping the small-market Bills viable in western New York.

"Right now our focus would be making what we've done here with the Bills playing the one game in Toronto successful," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said during a visit to Ralph Wilson Stadium in October. "The more we work on that and focus on that makes it even better for this market and for Toronto, because for us, it's all one region."

© The Associated Press, 2011

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This is just an attempt to save face by Rogers....In no way are they actually serious.....If Ralphy offered to sell them a game for 2 million...they just might go for it....otherwise they will not continue to take this bath....
Lets do the math...Rogers pays 9.75 million a game.... Furthermore they have paid for a crap load of advertizing for the series...They still have pay for extra police and pay for skydome staff....They have to pay to errect Giant banners of Bills players at Skydome.... It is safe to say that they spent 11 million per game(if not more)
In return they sell 15000 tickets at an average price of $200 bucks... The rest they give away.... So basicly they make 3 million and spend 11..... Losing 8 million a game

in my fantasy world, somebody blows up the dome all to pieces.

The ticket prices led to series organizers having difficulty selling out games at the 54,000-seat Rogers Centre.
Wasn't it Damien Cox who stated that Torontonians would pay any and all prices to see the Bills in Toronto? :roll:

As Goodell says, it's all one region implying there is room for one team in one region. Rogers is using these games for branding and to help get more people watching games on Sportsnet. It really isn't about making money on bums in the seats I would say. But I don't think Rogers will pay any price as they know now that there are limits to what people will pay for the NFL in Toronto and at the RC.

Once the facelift plans are finalized at The Ralph with a new long term lease, it will be interesting to see if Rogers is still interested in hosting Bills games though, not sure.

Better question, who cares?

This is the funniest thing I've read all week. Of course buffalo wants to renew. But Rogers?
Are they that dumb?? Then again they don't renew, which is admitting the bills was a failed experiment.
They do renew, they lose their shirts. It's called lose lose.

Rogers wants an NFL team in Toronto, and it makes sense. Skydome is underutilized and costing them a LOT in maintenance and an NFL team is a license to print money (I think only two NFL teams are in the Red). The problem here is the NFL knows it's making money hand over fist, so why bother expanding into Toronto to generate next to 0 extra TV revenue and deal with a city that apart from the Leafs, historically leaves the stands barren when performance isn't there?

There's also an undercurrent of US patriotism behind the NFL which would harm marketting efforts if a Canadian team ever won the Super Bowl. Remember how much the US loved it when the Jays won the world series? Also, why disrupt the NFL's de-facto farm league in the CFL? There is no legitimate tier two league in the US. The NFL also knows that players and coaches make their league what it his. Having a place to send players and coaches who are on the cusp of making but can't break into the NFL benefits not only the contacts in the business, coaches and players but also the NCAA, CFL and NFL. The NFL knows selling the CFL in the states is nearly impossible, and even if it did take off, there isn't a lot of overlap between the two seasons anyways.

Sorry. Don't see the cfl as being the NFL's farm league.
In Canada the cfl dwarfs the NFL in popularity.
How does that quLify the cfl as a tier two league?
Problem many up here have is they think whatever is big down there is big up here.
But it don't work that way.

No kidding, old man Wilson fleeced old man Rogers once and now his corporation has not learned any better and wants to continue losing $10M+ per game.

Agree though that Rogers is caught between a rock and hard place on what to do and how to communicate on this.

Good on ol’ Ralphie though to see what he can extract from the big corporation and as well, this puts more pressure on the politicians in NY State to pony up big bucks for the Bills stadium facelift, Ralph can say if you don’t do it, look how much Rogers wants the Bills when I’m gone.

It’s a win-win for Ralph Wilson and his family who has said they want to sell the team. Make it more attractive using Rogers money.

Of course the Bills want to re-new this series. They make nearly 10 million dollars in revenue per game. This isn't news. What's funny is that the Bills have managed to fleece the clueless and ignorant corporation on this fiasco. The media in Toronto can keep drinking the kool-aid, but this was nothing more than a scam.

As P.T. Barnum once said " There's is one (sucker) born every minute!!!!!" :roll: :lol: :lol:

To be fair, this fiasco isn't on the current head of Rogers, forget his name. Again, to be fair to him.

I said the de-facto farm league and popularity doesn’t even factor into the equation. If players are being exchanged between leagues and the high end talented players in one league are consistently trying out for the other league, and conversely the lower end players of one league are consistently showing up in the other league, while not making in an official farm league, does make it a form of farm league. What qualifies it is that nearly every import player in the CFL either went complete undrafted by either the NFL or CFL (who only typically drafts from the NCAA when the player has a lot of talent but isn’t likely to break into the NFL due to size), played in the NFL for a season and got released or had an NFL career exclusively on the practice roster.

It’s not like this doesn’t occur in other sports you know. MLS is a de-facto farm league as anyone who is talented enough and is able to play on a European team, typically does and people who can’t cut it in Europe typically end up in MLS. There’s no shame in it, the people still come out and cheer you and are entertained and it’s still a place that you play the game you love to play for a respectable wage and who knows, maybe you improve but stay around because you have roots now in the new place or maybe you improve and go back over.

I’m not saying that the CFL isn’t entertaining and doesn’t have good players or good football. I’m saying the NFL would much rather let the CFL do it’s own thing, be a place to send players or brew talent then come up here and make little to no extra money on a Toronto or frankly any Canadian expansion team. They’ve already practically maxed out the Canadian TV revenue as is, given the last super bowl attracted only one million less then game 7 of last year’s Stanley Cup.

I agree.Hammer with one caveat which is a stadium. The NFL really wants football specific stadiums for all it's teams, gone are the days when they're happy tagging along in a baseball stadium. If Prince Rupert, for example :wink: built a gorgeous football specific stadium and say the owner of a team like the Chargers who is trying to get a real football stadium built in San Diego but can't and he wants to move the team to Prince Rupert in the new stadium, the NFL will ok this asap. It's tough to get football stadiums built with so few games the sport plays. Even SF with the success they've had over the years, still play inwhat is essentially a baseball-first stadium.

If Toronto finds a way to build a real nice football only NFL stadium, that changes things. But not going to happen IMHO without an Olympics there to get some big fed money.

I agree only with this part of the commentary.

The NFL's farm league is called the NCAA in which most top players never really played for free.

Like their sponsoring institutions, they enjoy also a substantially tax-subsidised existence otherwise called an education.

Now that whole sham is falling apart as is the BCS BS and ESPN at last.

Great commentary by Earl and by Hammer.

On stadia in which NFL football and MLB baseball are played, note that only the stadia in recent years that have been used any more for both sports are in Oakland and in Miami.

Oakland stands to be playing also in Santa Clara in a few years, but this is not official yet.

Apparently, Miami is playing in new stadium starting next year with its sorry team in a sorry sports town and will be renamed the Miami Marlins.

Ironically, Miami is also one place here in Florida where I hope all the people visiting Florida whom I do not like go to visit if not going to hell. :slight_smile:

Apparently, Miami is playing in new stadium starting next year with its sorry team in a sorry sports town and will be renamed the Miami Marlins.
makes sense as Sun Life Stadium was originally constructed as a football stadium, not baseball.

"The more we work on that and focus on that makes it even better for this market and for Toronto, because for us, it's all one region."

Typical American mindset. Whether it's the nfl commish or the average drunk in a bar down here. Most idiots here truly think that Canada is simply a suburb of the U.S.