An attempt to be humorous and logical about the Buffalo Sports Scene.

Friday, February 8, 2008

A couple days later

Old rich white guys
(Mark Blinch)

So we're a couple days removed from the big press conference in Toronto about the Bills playing games at the Rogers Centre, and the press is all about "oh no this is the end". Very typical for the media to assume worst case scenario, even though Ralph Wilson has played this card before. And the Government officials are scrambling to show they are doing something, but they have no control over anything. But really moving the team requires a lot of work and effort. Plus you have to deal with the CFL. And people assume that when Ralph dies this Toronto group will buy it. Well what about other groups, with wealthier investors and move it to LA, Las Vegas, wherever. The exchange rate may scare some owners in case it dips again. 5 years down the road, the Canadian Dollar may be weak again, thus putting a group from Canada at a distinct disadvantage.

We're talking 5 years from now, which is a long time away. The Rogers Centre is far from a suitable NFL venue. So what we need is a new stadium put in the works, to cement the franchise to the Buffalo region. Some may say thats a waste of tax money, and its better served for other purposes, say tax breaks for people to start businesses, or ways to attract people back to the region. But I would say having an NFL Franchise has a certain cache to it. The NHL won't do it, minor league baseball certainly won't and NLL? Please. A city having a NFL franchise, especially Buffalo means something to the region. Losing it, will make it even more minor league, then it already is. But of course the man who holds all the cards is Ralph Wilson. He determines the fate of the Bills. He dies and lets the estate sell it, its going to the highest bidder. That doesn't mean Rogers, Tannenbaum and the rest of the Toronto Boys.

But this has got me thinking about things. Why this move?

They are one of the least popular franchises in the league.

Their market size is very small, Pittsburgh and Cleveland dominate to the south, Giants, Jets Patriots cut you off at the Hudson. Toronto is the only place to go. Some may not have any allegiance to a team yet and now theres a team playing in your town. The one time a year is like a special event. If it can create 500, 000 more Bills fans, thats 500,000 more people that might make the trek to WNY to see a game. They come down in mass for Leafs games. Why not a Bills game? The tickets are much cheaper.

The Bills are far from the national radar, this might put them back on the national sports scene. Though this move has gotten about zero on the national radar, so I'm guessing no one will care theres a game in Toronto.

The Bills opportunity to make money is very limited. The market isn't very rich, the market size is very small to draw upon. The Cowboys are the most popular team and are in a rich market. Of course they can charge what they want, the demand dictates it. So why not go up the QEW and make a special arrangement. And pull in some of that money, its a smart business move and if you have to move a game there, then so be it.

But what if in 5 years nothing changes, no new ownership, no new stadium in the works, are the Bills good as gone? Who knows. But that brings up a unique question will you still root for them?

Same team, just a different place. Its the old question, do you root for the City or do you root for the team name? Personally I think I would still be a Bills fan.

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Buffalo, NY, United States
A Stay at home dad, who has more hot takes then your average stay at home dad.