The Buffalo Bills announced on Wednesday morning that the team's Toronto Series has been postponed. Team president Russ Brandon released the following statement via Twitter:
We have postponed for one year the scheduled 2014 regular season game at Rogers Centre in Toronto, and that game will return to RWS.— Russ Brandon (@RussBrandon) March 5, 2014
We will use this time to collectively evaluate opportunities to enhance future games.— Russ Brandon (@RussBrandon) March 5, 2014
We are committed to continuing our partnership w/ Rogers & have secured a robust sponsorship agreement for the 2014 season.— Russ Brandon (@RussBrandon) March 5, 2014
That sponsorship that Brandon refers to will include the creation of a Canada House, located near Ralph Wilson Stadium, that will "serve as the official pre-game Canadian tailgate zone" for games in Orchard Park. Ticket and merchandise deals are also mentioned, as well as media exposure.
Brandon made an appearance on the team's flagship radio station, WGR 550, on Wednesday morning to address the announcement as well. Calling the 2013 season a "setback" for the series and "more of a neutral site game" than in previous seasons, Brandon repeated several talking points from his initial announcement that the series would be reviewed back in December.
"We're going to go into a full evaluation for everything regarding the initiative," Brandon told WGR's Jeremy White. "After a lengthy review, we'll see where it takes us from there."
Asked whether or not the postponement could be the first step towards a cancellation of the series, Brandon said that the postponement will be used as an opportunity to more carefully scrutinize the series.
"I think it's the first step in really going into a complete evaluation," Brandon told Chris Parker. "We've gone through sort of a high-level evaluation, but we're going to really stress it and evaluate every aspect of it."
While the series is currently only on hiatus, it's a significant step for the organization after finalizing a five-year extension to the series just last year. Brandon's diplomacy was unsurprising, but let's not forget that Tim Graham of The Buffalo News has a source telling him that Brandon would allow the series to continue "over his dead body." Then again, there's also this to consider:
Source says @billsintoronto series merely ppd for 1 year. Remaining 4 reg-season games and 1 preseason game at #RogersCentre still to come— John Kryk (@JohnKryk) March 5, 2014
The announcement comes at the same time of year that season ticket renewals are typically collected. It's expected that the team will begin mailing renewal notices out to season ticket holders in the very near future.