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SBD/October 28, 2011/Franchises
Bills Expecting A Full House For Sunday's Game Against Redskins In Toronto
Published October 28, 2011
NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The AP noted the deal to play in Toronto "already has paid off for the Bills." They get "about $9.75 million per game in Toronto, more than twice [what] they generate at Ralph Wilson Stadium" in Buffalo. The Bills also "have reported a large bump in season-ticket sales from fans across the border, who now represent about 15 percent of the team's base." The downside has "proven to be a general lack of interest the Bills have received in Toronto." Overpriced tickets -- "a majority of them more than $200 -- have made it difficult to draw fans to the 54,000-seat facility." And many who have shown up "either are NFL fans, who root for other teams, or are there to see the opposing team." Bills S George Wilson said, "The fan support in Toronto is a night-and-day difference from what we have in Buffalo. For the most part, it's a show. You see just as many jerseys for the opposing teams as you do the Bills. They cheer for any big play regardless of whichever team makes it" (AP, 10/26). In Toronto, Cathal Kelly writes it is "not clear if Wilson thinks all we do is watch hockey." Kelly: "If he does, he’s right. That is all we do any more. But this isn’t Pyongyang. The particulars of foreign cultures -- the rules of football, for instance -- have filtered through on pirate radio" (TORONTO STAR, 10/28). Also in Toronto, Doug Smith wrote, "No way people in Toronto can match the enthusiasm of a Bills crowd, won’t happen in a billion years." Smith continued, "They’re not the same kind of audience, not fuelled by the same passion, they haven’t been camped out in parking lots for hours getting ready. Anyone who thinks otherwise is delusional" (THESTAR.com, 10/27).