Last year, the Bills started an 8-game series of games in which they held some of their home games not at home in Ralph Wilson Stadium, but in the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario. The reasoning for the Bills In Toronto Series is to lure some big money corporations to buy up luxury boxes in Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Bills don't generally have a problem selling out games, even in the midst of a now 10-season playoff absence. Western NYers are well-known for their love of their sports teams. The Bills went 6 years leading the league in attendance during their Super Bowl run. The Buffalo Sabres have high attendance at all of their games and the Buffalo Bandits are annually among the leaders in attendance in the NLL. The only problem is the lack of big money corporations to buy luxury boxes and other premium seating. That's the hope of the Bills in Toronto series...to help draw the big money corporations down to Orchard Park, so that the Bills can afford to compete with the large market teams of the NFL when it comes to signing bonuses and expenditures not covered by the league's salary cap.
The whole idea is to give those big money people a taste of what the Bills have to offer and in all honesty, the Rogers Centre is ill-suited for that. People are paying premium prices for poor seating where the sightlines aren't suited for the NFL. In Ralph Wilson Stadium, there are great sightlines all over the stadium. There's also the lack of tailgating, something that Buffalo is known for. Buffalo, Green Bay, and Kansas City are always the top 3 NFL cities in regards to their tailgating. True tailgating has nothing to do with excessive alcohol consumption but everything to do with the feeling of community in the parking lots around the stadium as fans grill up their dinners and share with fellow tailgaters. Toronto doesn't allow tailgating, which detracts from the gameday experience. The Rogers Centre setup even affects the cheerleaders as well and not in a positive way. As anyone who's watched NFL cheerleaders a lot knows, there are 8 spots around the sidelines that each squad of cheerleaders perform during the game. Besides being stationed at each 10-yard line during the game, each squad also spends some time dancing in the end zone areas and the organizers at the Rogers Centre made one mistake when it comes to seating that prevented the Jills from dancing in the scoreboard endzone area by placing bleachers only a few yards away from the endzone. That deprived the fans in that endzone of seeing the Jills up close and they couldn't even look up behind them on the scoreboard and see them there because of the fact that it's placed above but in front of the endzone seating. In this blogger's opinion, a better way to sell these luxury boxes is a lot easier than moving games and upsetting the loyal fan base. Simply set aside a few luxury boxes that aren't selling for the purpose of giving these large corporations a taste of a real gameday experience. The luxury boxes are contracted for a period of a few years as it is. If there are some that aren't selling for a few years, sell them for individual games. Maybe those corporate types would be more inclined to buy luxury boxes if they saw what a real gameday experience was about...because they certainly aren't seeing it in the Rogers Centre atmosphere. Hopefully though, this Toronto series can help draw Canadian corporations to Buffalo. If nothing else, the wealthy people in Toronto buying up these tickets are hearing what a great experience a real Bills home game is from the fans who either already make the drive down to the Ralph on a regular basis or the diehards that make the trip up to Toronto.
Now that I'm done with that part, the game itself was nothing that Bills fans want to remember, and the poor sightlines at the Rogers Centre may have almost been a blessing for the Bills fans that made the trek to Toronto to see their team play in a neutral site alongside Jets fans as well as fans of the NFL in general. Before the game however, fans got a chance to meet one of the Bills all-time greats when HOF RB Thurman Thomas put in an appearance at the Budweiser Tailgate Party and, as well as signing autographs and posing for pictures, gave one lucky fan a ticket to the game....to sit with Thurman himself.
There was someone else at that Budweiser tailgate party that fans were happy to see as well, though. Keisha, Alyssa, Kristen, and Lindsay of the Buffalo Jills Ambassador Squad spent a few hours mingling with the fans as well as posing for pictures and signing autographs. They even sold a number of their smoking hot Swimsuit Calendar as well which features 41 beautiful ladies in some very sexy swimwear. To add to that, Omarlla, Eileen, Christina, Valerie, Jessica, and Lynn put in an appearance for photos and autographs and put on a performance on stage, showing off not only their beauty, but their dance moves for the hundreds of fans in attendance. When gametime came, the lovely Amanda delivered the game ball before joining with Alyssa to accompany Billy Buffalo on promotional visits around the stadium. Meanwhile, Omarlla, Eileen, and Christina led their squads around the stadium and put on a pair of big performances in the non-scoreboard endzone, where they had room to perform.
Coming up next for the Jills, some of the squad will be at Snowpark Niagara in Niagara Falls, NY Saturday from 10-1 in an event to benefit the Breast Cancer Association.
Don't forget to tune into 103.3 The Edge Wednesday morning from 7:30-8:30 to talk to Bull and one of the Jills for an hour-long interview.
The Bills are back on the road in Kansas City on Dec 13th as they try to improve on their 4-8 record and the best place to watch the game is the Aud Sports Bar in Depew. Wing and drink specials, a halftime buffet, and the largest prize table in Western NY are only a part of the draw as the event features a pair of the beautiful Buffalo Jills in attendance.