Buffalo Bills end deal to play some home games in Toronto
The Buffalo Bills have ended the remaining years of their deal to play one National Football League home game a season at nearby Toronto, the team announced Wednesday.
Toronto: The Buffalo Bills have ended the remaining years of their deal to play one National Football League home game a season at nearby Toronto, the team announced Wednesday.
The move comes three months after natural gas billionaire Terry Pegula struck a deal to purchase the Bills for a reported $1.2 billion (928 million euros) from the estate of Ralph Wilson, the club`s founding owner who died in March at age 95.
The Bills had an agreement with Rogers Media through 2017 and had moved one home game a season from their open-air stadium to the retractable-domed Toronto home of Major League Baseball`s Toronto Blue Jays for six years from 2008 through 2013.
But the sides announced last March the deal would be suspended for 2014, setting the stage for the termination of the deal.
"We greatly appreciate the support we`ve received over the past seven years from all of the tremendous people at Rogers Communications," said Bills president Russ Brandon. "We will continue to work hard to solidify our footprint in Southern Ontario. Our fan base in this region remains extremely important to our organization and their support has been well documented."
The Bills began playing games in Toronto six years ago with a pre-season matchup against Pittsburgh and a regular-season contest against Miami. Last year, the Bills faced Atlanta and drew only 38,969 fans for a Falcons` 34-31 overtime triumph.
A domed venue would have come in handy for the Bills last month when a severe snowstorm that killed 14 people forced the team to move a home game to Detroit.
The Bills` home stadium suffered minor damage from the blizzard but was able to be repaired in time for the team to return for the remainder of the season.