2013 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

Aldon SmithApr 17 09:32p

The San Francisco 49ers do not plan on releasing LB Aldon Smith this offseason. Smith is expected to be suspended at the beginning of the season, but the length [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 17 08:52p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson (knee) said he expects to receive medical clearance to resume football activities in the near future. He underwent knee surgery in January but [ More ]

Sebastian VollmerApr 17 08:42p

New England Patriots OG Logan Mankins said OT Sebastian Vollmer (leg) has looked good this offseason while he recovers from the broken leg he suffered during the 2013 season.

Chris SneeApr 17 07:32p

New York Giants OG Chris Snee (hip, elbow) is expected to participate when offseason workouts begin next week even though he is not 100 percent.

Rolando McClainApr 17 06:02p

The Baltimore Ravens reinstated LB Rolando McClain from the reserve/retired list Thursday, April 17.

Russell AllenApr 17 05:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars released LB Russell Allen, WR Jabin Sambrano and DEs Will Pericak and D'Aundre Reed Thursday, April 17.

Chad JohnsonApr 17 02:22p

Free-agent WR Chad Johnson (Patriots) signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League Thursday, April 17.

Brian CushingApr 17 01:32p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) was medically cleared Thursday, April 17.

LaMichael JamesApr 17 10:04a

According to a league source, the San Francisco 49ers have been shopping RB LaMichael James. He finds himself behind RBs Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and perhaps Marcus Lattimore on [ More ]

Mike BrownApr 16 11:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Mike Brown signed his exclusive-rights free agent deal Wednesday, April 16.

Eli ManningApr 16 11:33p

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said in a radio interview this week that it is 'ludicrous' to say QB Eli Manning is declining. 'There's been no [ More ]

Sidney RiceApr 16 08:03p

The Seattle Seahawks are re-signing WR Sidney Rice to an undisclosed one-year deal Wednesday, April 16, according to sources.

Dwayne BoweApr 16 07:03p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 16, after being arrested last November for marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of littering and defective [ More ]

Arian FosterApr 16 04:53p

The Houston Texans may consider selecting a running back during the middle rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft that could become RB Arian Foster's backup in the future.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 04:43p

The New York Jets signed RB Chris Johnson to a two-year deal worth $8 million, with another $1 million in incentives available.

Terrelle PryorApr 16 04:33p

The Oakland Raiders hope to trade QB Terrelle Pryor before the start of the offseason program Monday, April 21.

Clay MatthewsApr 16 04:13p

Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews (thumb) said he likely will be limited during offseason workouts because of his surgically repaired thumb.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 03:53p

The New York Jets will use RBs Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory as a tandem this upcoming season and have them split carries. RB Bilal Powell will be the team's No. 3 running back.

Dan SkutaApr 16 03:33p

San Francisco 49ers LB Dan Skuta (foot) is not expected to need surgery on the foot injury that bothered him during the 2013 season. Skuta met with a foot [ More ]

Gus BradleyApr 16 02:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley watched Georgia QB Aaron Murray participate in his pro day Wednesday, April 16.

Reggie BushApr 16 02:13p

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said RBs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell likely will receive similar workloads this upcoming season than they did during the 2013 season. Bush [ More ]

Cheta OzougwuApr 16 01:53p

The Chicago Bears have waived DE Cheta Ozougwu.

Mike JamesApr 16 12:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James (ankle) said he is happy with the progress he has made in his recovery from an ankle injury and that he has been [ More ]

Carson PalmerApr 16 12:43p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said he would understand if the team selects a quarterback during the 2014 NFL Draft, because he knows the team has to think about [ More ]

Josh FreemanApr 16 12:23p

The New York Giants have agreed to terms with free-agent QB Josh Freeman (Vikings). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:13p

Updating previous reports, retired LB Rolando McClain failed his conditioning tests during his workout with the Baltimore Ravens. The test consisted of six timed 150-yard runs.

Golden TateApr 16 10:53a

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate said he thinks he can be a 'more explosive Lance Moore,' referring to the former New Orleans Saints receiver. Moore caught 65 passes for [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 16 10:01a

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn is expected to compete with QB Scott Tolzien for the backup quarterback job, but head coach Mike McCarthy anticipates keeping three QBs on [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:03a

Retired LB Rolando McClain (Ravens) worked out for the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, April 15, as he attempts a comeback. The workout wasn't a smooth one in terms of conditioning, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 16 12:03a

The New York Jets are sticking to their budget/value system. While they want free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), they will not 'overpay' for him. The depressed running back market [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 16 12:03a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith hasn't only lost the benefit of the doubt with the team, but he probably won't play with the team in 2014, according to [ More ]

Malcom FloydApr 15 11:53p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (neck) continues his rehab from a neck injury, but his status is still uncertain. When the team begins voluntary workouts April 22, Floyd [ More ]

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