Rogers responded by making more than 14,000 – up from about 4,700 in the first year – available at under $100 at the 54,000-seat stadium this year.
That still didn’t make Sunday’s game a sellout.
Bills players have noted that playing games in Toronto doesn’t match the raucous atmosphere at Ralph Wilson Stadium. It doesn’t help that the Rogers Center is a cavernous, domed facility where fans are far more removed from the field than at Orchard Park, N.Y.
Lind acknowledged the troubles in noting the series hasn’t lived up to the high expectations company founder, the late Ted Rogers, expressed in announcing the deal in February 2008. That’s when Rogers, who died the following December, envisioned full houses and fans lining up for blocks to buy tickets.
“I think that, when we first announced it, Mr. Rogers was perhaps a bit over-enthusiastic,” Lind said. “That’s the way he was in everything.”
Overall, Lind said, “we’re very happy with the series,” and noted it has met the objective of establishing Toronto as a potential NFL market.
Attending NFL meetings, Lind said owners are interested in the Toronto market as a potential host for a permanent franchise.
“If you polled the owners of the teams, you would find increasingly, a realization that Toronto is one of the next moves,” Lind said. “Increasing, they’re all saying, ‘Why not?'”
Lind said Rogers would be committed to playing a key role in luring a franchise, while understanding that NFL rules don’t allow corporations to own franchises.
“Rogers would certainly play a role, whether that’s putting the pieces together or actually doing it itself with the Rogers family,” Lind said. “I’m uncertain at this moment, but there’s no question that the people in the Rogers organization would be intimately involved in assembling a package.”