Canadian media question NFL’s future in Toronto
blog by S.J. Velasquez • December 04, 2012 @ 9:58am
Canadians aren’t as jacked about a potential NFL team as many Bills fans of Buffalo had feared they’d be, according to Canada’s news outlets.
The push to make the Bills the unofficial home team of Toronto has been met with resistance. Canada’s National Post pointed out that an “anonymous man in a Bills jersey” was seen near the Rogers Centre handing out tickets, worth a reported $255, before the Buffalo-Pittsburgh preseason game of 2008, just a few months after the initial buzz of NFL in Canada swept through the country.
Not much has changed in terms of enthusiasm since the 2008 start of the Bills-in-Toronto series, but a reduction in ticket price could stir some of the lost excitement.
The average ticket price for the upcoming Bills-vs.-Seahawks game in Toronto is much lower than previous games hosted by Toronto. Down from $160, tickets for the Dec. 16 game run an average of $99.
“I really think the thing that impacted this thing negatively in the past is price-point on tickets,” Greg Albrecht, executive director of the Bills-in-Toronto series, said in a Globe and Mail interview. “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.”
The Seahawks game is the last in the Toronto series, but Albrecht said that the plan is the renew a contract to ensure the Bills return to Toronto for years to come. The announcement of a contract extension would occur until early next year, though, the Globe and Mail reports.
Albrecht, whose current challenge is to fill Rogers Centre for the Seahawks game later this month, and his Rogers Communications colleagues have a few tricks up their sleeves. Aside from reduced ticket prices, the Buffalo game against Seattle will feature “Gangnam Style” Korean pop icon PSY at halftime.