Bills in Toronto: Is it a Good Fit?

I found myself watching the most recent Bills game on Sunday. This game was one of Buffalo’s rare games that are played at the Rogers Center in Toronto. This game was headlined by two lackluster teams; the Buffalo Bills and the Atlanta Falcons. Whenever I watch these games that are played in neutral stadiums I wonder how good of a fit these games actually are.

First of all, the Buffalo Bills lose out on a home game during a crucial time of the season which would determine if they were still in the hunt for the playoffs or if they were on the outside looking in. To make this more clear to how disadvantaged the Bills were in this game compared to if it was a normal home game, lets put it into perspective. This game was December 1st, usually snowing and cold out at Ralph Wilson stadium; they played an indoor game. Now lets look at the Atlanta Falcons home field, the Georgia Dome; very similar to the Rogers Center. From this, it seems that Atlanta would have the upper hand in this bout. As well, the fans are not nearly as in favor of the Bills at this neutral stadium compared to the rowdy stadium-filled seats of Bills fans at Ralph Wilson. This continues to demonstrate the ambiguous home-game that the Bills had. Was it even a home game? I would like to say it was not!

So, who benefited from this game? Well it clearly was not the Buffalo Bills. I would go as far to say that whatever team playing the Bills in Toronto have a slight advantage as they get to play them on neutral grounds rather than at Ralph Wilson Stadium. But ultimately, it is Toronto who benefits from these games. They get to make a push for an NFL team, or potentially make the case for a team to get moved to Toronto. We get big time football and we don’t even have a team! It’s amazing for Toronto, but how does Buffalo let this happen? Were they forced into this settlement or did they just let it happen? They Bills don’t benefit from this game, and from personal experience it upsets there fans back home. It’s like their fans are seeing their team slipping through their fingers slowly moving to a new home. To me, it just doesn’t make sense how the Buffalo Bills allow for this game to happen, and continue to happen. They should be making a statement to keep fighting for their team, their fans, and keep that home field advantage for another game!

Hartley Mendelsohn

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2 Responses to Bills in Toronto: Is it a Good Fit?

  1. brendanmccardle says:

    These games the Bills play in Toronto makes me wonder how the NFL views their results. In terms of potential for a team relocating to Toronto, does the NFL see the poor attendance at these games as an indication that an NFL franchise in Toronto would not survive? Could the city of Toronto support an NFL franchise on a full time basis? The attendance at Bills in Toronto games would indicate no.
    In regards to your statements on the Bills ultimately playing a “home” game in a neutral (and sometimes even “away”) environment, I would argue any permanent team in Toronto would face the same struggle. As the NFL has done such a good job of establishing its brand in this region, most Canadians who take an interest in football already have a team that they strongly identify with. I wouldn’t be surprised to see fans of a Toronto NFL team being highly outnumbered by nearly any of the other NFL team’s fan base at a Toronto home game.

  2. qs10im says:

    I think that moving the Buffalo Bills to Toronto would be bad idea. This is because not only would tailgating be a potential issue in Canada but it also would take away from the Toronto Argonauts fan market. Tailgating is such a huge part of NFL football and that is what makes it such a great experience, however since we are unable to drink in public it would cause some issues. With regards to taking away from the Argos fan market, this would occur because the NFL is better football. I get there are diehard CFL fans, however there is also many fans who only go to CFL games because NFL games are not available that accessibly to them.

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