So this week the Buffalo Bills play their first of 8 games over the next few years at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. There will be a regular season game each year for the next 5 year and a pre-season game every other year for a total of 8 games over 5 years.
Now I will say that I am a bigger fan of the CFL than the NFL and am an Argonauts fan far before am I am a Buffalo Bills fan.
That said, I do think that the Bills coming up here is a good thing. They’re clearly testing out the market to see if the city can bare an NFL franchise.
Here’s the kicker. The average ticket price for the pre-season game this week i Toronto is $400. That’s right! FOUR HUNDRED! That’s not even the best seat in the house. That is the average price. Sure there are some cheaper – but there some more expensive.
Now, there are articles in Buffalo newspapers and people talking on American radio saying that Toronto is not in to the NFl because this thing is not sold out. We must not be good football fans or we would jump at anything with the NFL logo on it. Are you kidding? Let’s look at this a little more objectively instead of through homer glasses.
As I said, I am not a huge NFL fan – but I certainly considered going to check out a game just for the spectacle. But at these prices? We’re not stupid up here. The problem with this pre-season game not selling out is not that we’re not football fans who don’t get the game – it’s that we ARE football fans who DO understand EXACTLY what this is.
This is a PRE-SEASON game! It means nothing in the standings, half the actual starters won’t even play and the ones who do will likely see a quarter at the most. And I’m going to shell out $400 for one seat? $800 if I’d like to take a date or my kid or something with me? Piss off!
This was a money grab from day one. Some corperations have bought in and some people with too much money on their hands – but the average football fan is not stupid.
I was talking to my buddy about this who goes to Buffalo every year to watch a Bills game. Let me tell you his story.
He lives in Oakville. About 20 minutes west of Toronto and about a 90 minute drive from Buffalo. His options for this season are simple. Buy a $400 ticket to see the Bills at Rogers Centre in Toronto and still have to worry about buying beers, gas, parking and whatever else he might run in to – or he can do what he did last year. Let me tell you what that is.
Ever year he pays $150 to go see a Bills game in Buffalo. For that he gets, his ticket to the game, a ticket on to a Greyhound bus full of guys leaving from Toronto who also all want to go, a bunch of beers, food at a talegate party and the luxary to not have to worry about driving there or back if he chooses to partake in the more rowdy side of tailgating. All for $250 cheapr than just the ticket in Toronto to see the same team.
Ya… that’s a real headscrather. What to do, what to do!
Look, the NFL will work in Toronto if they decide to move a team up here. Southern Ontario has something like 9 million people living in it. It would work. But don’t fuck people. Charge out the ass for your first few rows of people in suits like you do at everything else in the city and then let the real fans in to enjoy it. As it stands now, it looks pretty good on the organizers that their attempt at a money grab has not sold out the building and they are now reduced to the embarassment of giving away tickets just so the building looks full.
For the record. the top seats at Leaf games or only $250 a shot… and there isn’t one person in Ontario that would tell you a pre-season Buffalo Bills game should be able to charge more than the Leafs – even if you hate them. Supply and demmand. There appears to be demmand for the Leafs…. apparently not the same demmand for the Bills at that price.
$800 for a night out. I can get Argo SEASON TICKETS for that! Piss off.