Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Bills Delete Toronto Deal

By Steve

Back to eight games at the Ralph every year? Damn that seems to have happened quickly especially considering Russ Brandon and co. extended the games in Toronto by five years just last season.

First the short term, the Bills get credibility back, they won't have to defend themselves against criticism about being money first, being called the Toronto Bills etc. Furthermore, it helps the team on the field. They no longer have 7 home gamesn 8 away games and a neutral field game.

The players won't have to answer questions about the whole thing, fans won't have to watch a shitty game in a shitty arena and the tax payers get 8 regular season games in a stadium they own and pay for.

Longer term what does this mean? First of all Russ only announced a one year reprieve ( although I couldn't picture a scenario in which they go back to Toronto unless it is once every few years). Second, it means the Bills now have more games to try to sell out in a market that has refused to buy tickets (specifically in cold months) albeit that has a lot to do with losing.

Third, the money. How much money are the Bills giving up by pulling the plug on the whole deal? Tough to determine. The original deal was much more luctrative than the current deal ( of which the deets weren't announced) but lets just assume the Bills are leaving money on the table. This leads me to the big picture.

Russ Brandon exponentially gained credibility and respect from me after pulling this boss move. He lives up to his word, tells the old money white hairs to STFU and gives the fans, GM and coach what they wanted.

PFT speculates this could hurt the long term viability of the franchise in Buffalo. I disagree. The team isn't automatically sold to the highest bidder, a new owner could reopen or start a new series there any way and either way would look at all operations of the org upon purchase any way. To me it is useless speculation to look beyond the next 6 years of the ironclad lease.

Lets just look at the next few seasons: all eight games are back in OP, my guess is Jeff Littmann will be out sooner than later and we have the face of the franchise living up to his word. Sounds good to me.

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