SBD/Issue 195/Franchises

Wilson Will Wait Before Reworking Bills Toronto Series Deal

Wilson Prefers To Wait Couple Of Years 
Before Reworking Deal For Toronto Series
Bills Owner Ralph Wilson yesterday said that he would "prefer waiting 'two or three years' to determine whether" the Bills Toronto Series is a success before he would "consider reworking the contract reached last year" with Rogers Communications, according to John Wawrow of the AP. Rogers officials have "expressed interest in adding at least one additional regular-season game a year, particularly if the NFL goes forward with a proposal to expand its regular-season schedule to 17 or 18 games." Wilson: "I'm sure they want another game. And who knows? I don't know whether they'll get another game or not. We'll have to see how it works out up there." Wawrow noted high-priced tickets "averaging just under $200 were considered a major reason why Toronto organizers experienced difficulty selling out" the Dolphins-Bills game last December. Organizers have "already attempted" to address that concern by lowering prices by 17% for this season's game against the Jets on December 3. Meanwhile, another "disappointment for the Bills was how the game lacked a 'home' atmosphere." However, the deal is "already paying off for the Bills, who are getting $78[M] -- more than double their calculated 2006 operating income -- to effectively lease their games to Toronto organizers." Wilson: "We're doing this to keep the team (in Buffalo). I could see why people think that this is just the first step of moving the team. But they don't realize how difficult it is to compete against the Cowboys and all these new stadiums" (AP, 6/28).



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