After a week where nothing’s been positive, there’s finally some good news for Buffalo sports fans on Wednesday morning. The Buffalo Bills formally announced that the organization’s “Toronto Series’ has been postponed for 2014, meaning for the first time in seven years the Bills will play all eight of their home games at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park.
Rejoice, Bills fanatics.
“We will use this time to collectively evaluate opportunities to enhance future games.” Bills president Russ Brandon tweeted.
While the Bills insist that for at least the time being the series is merely on hiatus, a report by Tim Graham of the Buffalo News is far more telling. In his article Graham cites a source telling him that Brandon’s said the series in Toronto will continue “over his dead body.”
The deal had been a huge success for Buffalo, at least financially as Toronto paid Ralph Wilson $78 million for five regular season and three preseason games at the Rogers Centre. However, that money came with an unmistakable price on the field as the games, at best felt like a neutral contest for Buffalo, which is no small reason the team has went just 1-5 in Toronto with last year’s overtime loss to Atlanta perhaps the final straw. The game was attended by fewer than 40,000 fans.
In a team-released statement Brandon expressed a desire to continue a partnership with friends north of the border.
“We are committed to continuing our partnership and have secured a robust sponsorship agreement for the 2014 season that will bring Canadian NFL fans visibility and access to the Bills. The sponsorship includes ticketing, merchandising, media exposure, and a newly created Canada House, near Ralph Wilson Stadium, that will serve as the official pre-game Canadian tailgate zone for all Bills home games.”
The Bills eventually will have to decide on their future games scheduled to be played in Toronto, which still includes four regular season and one preseason contests.