ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Buffalo Bills have announced that they are postponing the Toronto series for one year. All eight Buffalo Bills home games in 2014 will be played at Ralph Wilson Stadium, in Orchard Park. Fans reacting on social media are praising the move.
WATCH | Watch the included video to see Russ Brandon’s press conference
The Buffalo Bills CEO Russ Brandon says this is all about winning. The Bills have not played well in Toronto, they are one and five in the series that began six years ago.
Brandon says they’re not making excuses. Rather, every aspect that has to do with winning will be evaluated and the Toronto game was one of the those areas being looked at.
Brandon says regionalization is a key lever in their business plan, and Toronto will continue to be part of that. He says the Buffalo Bills marketplace is 18 percent Southern Ontario and 16 percent Rochester.
Brandon said, “We would be remiss if we didn’t actively try to regionalize this franchise. We’re in a challenged market. We all know that, that is on its way back, with the leadership of what people here are doing in Buffalo, it’s never been more exciting times in this community, but regionalization is a key lever for us moving forward and the Toronto and southern Ontario marketplace will continue to be that.”
Brandon says the decision to move the Bills game out of Toronto is not permanent. He says the team is going to go through a full analysis, and will work with partners to decide.
Buffalo Bills season ticket holders should receive information on the 2014 home schedule in the coming days.
In a statement to the media, the Buffalo Bills and Rogers Media stress their dedication to Canadian fans:
“The Buffalo Bills and Rogers are committed to delivering a first-class NFL experience to Canadians. As such, we have postponed for one year the scheduled 2014 regular season game at Rogers Centre in Toronto, and that game will return to Ralph Wilson Stadium. We will use this time to collectively evaluate opportunities and build on the foundation to enhance future games.
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 NFL remains very popular in Canada and we are dedicated to enriching the experience for the fans.”