2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Bills tickets in Toronto now more affordable

By JOHN WAWROW - AP Sports Writer
    2012-12-04 03:29

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - With an agreement nearly in place to have the Buffalo Bills continue playing an annual home game in Toronto beyond this season, Rogers Communications executives are confident this north-of-the-border experiment can succeed.

Just not at any ticket price.

After having difficulty selling out the first six games - including two during the preseason - organizers have drastically reduced ticket prices.

The average price for a ticket for Buffalo's ``home'' game against the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 16 in Toronto will be $99. That's down from about $160 in 2008, when the series began.

``I really think the thing that impacted this thing negatively in the past is price-point on tickets,'' Greg Albrecht, the series' newly appointed executive director, said Monday. ``In all of our marketing, that's what we hammered home was ticket-pricing has been reduced, not because the product on the field is any worse or better, it's because we were not aligned with the rest of the NFL teams.''

Albrecht said the Toronto series average ticket is still about $17 above the NFL average, which he believes is acceptable because the game is a once-a-year event. It's still a marked drop from the first year, when prices ranged from $99-$275. This year, they range from $48-$225.

The reduction comes at a time when the series is set to expire. The game against the Seahawks is the finale of the five-year deal reached between the Bills and Rogers, the Toronto-based communications company giant.

Albrecht said negotiations to renew the series are nearly complete.

``I think we still have to dot a few I's and cross a few T's. I think it's more administrative at this point,'' he said. ``But we're obviously confident that we'd like to move this thing forward.''

The Bills are in favor of extending the series, because it provides them a foothold in Canada's largest city and financial capital. With Toronto only about a two-hour drive from Buffalo, the Bills have also been able to lure Toronto-area fans to attend games at Orchard Park.

The team estimates that 15 percent of its season-ticket base is from southern Ontario.

The formal announcement of a series extension is not expected until early next year. One holdup is the Bills are in negotiations with state and county officials to renew their lease at Ralph Wilson Stadium, which expires in July.

Progress has been made in lease negotiations since stalling in late summer. But talks are temporarily on hold because New York officials have spent the past month directing much of their attention on the lasting effects of Superstorm Sandy.

Rogers agreed to pay the Bills $78 million to play eight games (including three preseason) at the downtown domed 54,000-seat Rogers Centre. It's unknown whether the entire amount was paid after a scheduling conflict in August led to Rogers having the Bills take back a preseason game that was set to be played in Toronto.

An extension of the series is expected to be similar to the previous deal, with Buffalo playing one annual regular-season game in Toronto, though it's unclear how many - if any preseason games - will be included this time.

Despite enduring numerous growing pains, Rogers remains committed to making the series work.

``I think it would be silly for us to say, `We're not going to entertain moving this thing forward,' after quite honestly some of the pain that we've faced in the past years of learning,'' Albrecht said. ``We have our learning now, and I think this game will prove we're on the right path.''

Albrecht, who took over the series in August, has stopped the previous practice of giving away tickets in order to draw larger crowds. He's also worked on turning the game into more of an entertainment event.

He's already scored a coup by signing South Korean rap sensation PSY to perform during half time. PSY's ``Gangnam Style'' has become YouTube's most-viewed video, generating more than 840 million views.

``I think just being topical and being fun: That's what this whole thing is all about,'' Albrecht said. ``We're opening it to not just die-hard football fans, but opening it up to people who might be on the fence right now, or folks who want to spend an afternoon wanting to have a good time.''

Albrecht has a broad background in overseeing sports and entertainment projects, including the 2010 Vancouver Games and two Canadian Football League Grey Cup championships.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Josh GordonAug 27 01:03p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will not be allowed to file for reinstatement during his one-year suspension, according to a source. His representatives will look [ More ]

Josh GordonAug 27 12:53p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will be suspended for the 2014 season after his appeal of the suspension was denied, according to a source.

Matt SchaubAug 26 04:33p

Oakland Raiders QB Matt Schaub (elbow) missed his third straight day of practice with elbow soreness Tuesday, Aug. 26, but head coach Dennis Allen doesn't think Schaub's injury is [ More ]

Josh GordonAug 26 01:23p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon's hearing for a drunken-driving charge has been rescheduled for November. He was originally scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, Aug. 26. He was arrested [ More ]

Matt SchaubAug 25 07:33p

Oakland Raiders QB Matt Schaub (elbow) is expected to start in Week 1 against the New York Jets, according to head coach Dennis Allen. Allen is not worried about [ More ]

Richie IncognitoAug 25 04:53p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have thoroughly looked into free-agent OG Richie Incognito's (Dolphins) background before inviting him for a visit, according to sources. The team has considered meeting with [ More ]

Wes WelkerAug 25 04:13p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) could play in the team's regular season opener Sunday, September 7, if he does not have any concussion symptoms by Monday, September 1. [ More ]

Chase BlackburnAug 25 01:33p

Carolina Panthers OG Trai Turner (groin) and DEs Greg Hardy (shoulder) and Charles Johnson (hamstring) sat out of practice Sunday, Aug. 24. SS Roman Harper (toe), who missed the [ More ]

Dennis DixonAug 25 10:52a

The Buffalo Bills released RB Ronnie Wingo, OT Joe Unga, WR Chris Summers, C Macky MacPherson, DT Damien Jacobs, PK Dustin Hopkins, QB Dennis Dixon, WR Tori Gurley, DB [ More ]

Otis HudsonAug 25 10:32a

The Kansas City Chiefs released WR Deon Anthony, DL Jairus Campbell, DT Jermelle Cudjo, OG Otis Hudson, WR Jerrell Jackson, CB Brandon Jones, CB Vernon Kearney, S Jerron McMillian, [ More ]

Stevan RidleyAug 25 10:03a

New England Patriots RB Stevan Ridley may not make the team out of the preseason.

Matt CasselAug 25 09:53a

Minnesota Vikings QB Matt Cassel was named the team's starting quarterback over QB Teddy Bridgewater.

Matt SchaubAug 25 09:53a

Oakland Raiders QB Matt Schaub (elbow) had an MRI reveal no major structural damage in his right elbow.

Bishop SankeyAug 25 09:03a

Tennessee Titans RB Bishop Sankey, who has had fumbling issues due to poor footwork before the hand-off, was better in that regard in the third preseason game over the [ More ]

David SimsAug 25 08:42a

The Indianapolis Colts released CB Johnny Adams, CB Qua Cox, OG Andre Cureton, OG Marcus Hall, CB Kameron Jackson, WR Nu'Keese Richardson, LB Jonathon Sharpe, S David Sims, WR [ More ]

Torell TroupAug 25 08:32a

The Oakland Raiders released DT Torell Troup, TE Kyle Auffray, OT Emmett Cleary, LB Justin Cole, WR Mike Davis, WR Rahsaan Vaughn and CB Jansen Watson.

Alex TanneyAug 25 12:43a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waived LS Jeremy Cain, WR Eric Page, QB Alex Tanney, FB Ian Thompson, WR Tommy Streeter, WR Skye Dawson, OT Jace Daniels, OG Jason Foster, [ More ]

LeSean McCoyAug 24 11:53p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (thumb, toe) said he will be fine for Week 1 after suffering a thumb injury in the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 21. McCoy [ More ]

Chase BlackburnAug 24 11:42p

Carolina Panthers LB Chase Blackburn (back) and SS Roman Harper (toe) returned to practice Sunday, Aug. 24.

Tarell BrownAug 24 11:22p

Oakland Raiders DL Justin Ellis (concussion) returned to practice Sunday, Aug. 24, after missing a couple of weeks with a concussion, and CB Tarell Brown (concussion) practiced after leaving [ More ]

Wes WelkerAug 24 11:22p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) has a good chance to play in Week 1, according to Mike Klis of The Denver Post. Welker suffered a concussion in the [ More ]

Charles MitchellAug 24 10:32p

The Denver Broncos waived RB Brennan Clay, RB Jerodis Williams, WR Greg Hardin, WR Greg Wilson, QB Bryn Renner, LB Jerrell Harris, CB Charles Mitchell and DL Will Pericak [ More ]

Tahir WhiteheadAug 24 10:30p

Detroit Lions LB Tahir Whitehead had 10 tackles and three sacks during his team's exhibition game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. 'He was really playing at a level of one [ More ]

Zac StacyAug 24 10:28p

St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford (knee) is out for the season after an MRI revealed a torn left anterior cruciate ligament. Zac Stacy will be relied upon even [ More ]

Richard RodgersAug 24 10:19p

Green Bay Packers TE Richard Rodgers may be the starting tight end for Week 1 of the regular season. An injury to TE Brandon Bostick, combined with strong play [ More ]

Josh BoyceAug 24 10:06p

New England Patriots WR Josh Boyce did not play an offensive snap until there was 1:26 remaining in the third quarter of the preseason game Friday, Aug. 22, against [ More ]

Johnny ManzielAug 24 09:47p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel could play with QB Brian Hoyer in a two-quarterback system later in the season, according to head coach Mike Pettine. Pettine said a package [ More ]

Winston JusticeAug 24 09:42p

The Denver Broncos released OT Winston Justice and LB Jamar Chaney Sunday, Aug. 24.

D.J. HaydenAug 24 09:12p

Oakland Raiders CB D.J. Hayden (foot) had a good day of work with team trainers, Sunday, Aug. 24, and could return to practice this week, according to head coach Dennis Allen.

Terrell ThomasAug 24 09:02p

The Seattle Seahawks released CB Terrell Thomas Sunday, Aug. 24, a league source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Tyrell JohnsonAug 24 08:22p

The Atlanta Falcons released SS Tyrell Johnson Sunday, Aug. 24.

Jordan SennAug 24 07:22p

The Chicago Bears released LB Jordan Senn.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group