The Buffalo Bills are nearing the end of their inaugural Toronto Series, which expires after the game against the Seattle Seahawks this December. But one local writer believes that there will not only be an extension of the series, but that there will be even more games as part of the package this time around.
Mark Gaughan of The Buffalo News believes instead of five regular season games over five years like the current deal, the new deal will send up to eight games to Canada. Gaughan cites a myriad of reasons behind his hypothesis, not the least of which is the team's inability to sell season tickets.
"The Bills want to strengthen their footprint there," wrote Gaughan Sunday morning. "Toronto doesn't want any exhibition games. The way to pump up the deal for the next five years is to give Rogers more regular season games."
"Eight regular-season games over five years? A 2-1-2-1-2 scenario? Don't be surprised if it ends up something like that, give or take a game," Gaughan concluded.
The Bills made $78 million on the current deal, which sent three pre-season and five regular season games to the Rogers Centre. The series has been plagued by low attendance and interest, but more games could spark an increase in both.
Gaughan does point out that the series has been effective at drawing fans from Southern Ontario to Ralph Wilson Stadium, and also includes that the market has passed Rochester as the second most important for the team.
"The Bills, of course, see Southern Ontario as only growing in importance to the viability of their franchise," writes Gaughan. "Southern Ontario has crept past Rochester in the Bills' regionalization effort, accounting for a bit more than 15 percent of the fans at games in Orchard Park."
It's not exactly great news for Bills fans, but it's another piece in the puzzle keeping the team in Western New York long-term.