TORONTO, O.N. (WIVB) - Rogers Communications sent shock waves to Buffalo Bills fans after reports that the communication giant wants more Bills games to be played in Toronto. It caused a denial late Friday night from Rogers' top management.
Just as the Buffalo Bills are headed to Toronto this Sunday for their match-up with the Chicago Bears, there are reports Rogers Communications wants at least two regular season home games played in Rogers stadium. The NFL Players Association says the team has an economic impact of $140 million to western New York.
"We know there is a greater economic impact to the city of Buffalo. That there's an economic connection to the Bills and the city. It's a traditional team in the NFL and we'd like to see it stay in Buffalo," said George Atallah, Assistant Executive Director of External Affairs for the NFL Players Association.
Some of the players say it doesn't really feel like a home game when they play in Toronto.
Bills center Geoff Hangertner said, "Yes and no. I mean, the crowd and the atmosphere feels kinda like a home game, we still travel, we go there, so in some ways it does, but in some ways it feels like a road game."
Bills head coach Chan Gailey said, "We're trying to make that another home situation. It doesn't feel like that yet, but that's our job."
Rogers Communications is paying the Bills $78 million for the five-year deal. But the Players Association says the Bills can make money here and still be loyal to their local fans.
"I think there's a way for the Bills to be competitive and profitable in Buffalo. We know what that team means to the city," said Atallah.
Local fans don't like the idea either.
One fan said, "I think there's a lot of camaraderie between sports and the arts that's Buffalo. I'd like to see them stay."
"Why would you want the Bills to go to Toronto? That's terrible, that's horrible," stated another Bills fan.
There are still two more years left on the five-year deal between the Bills and Rogers Communications.
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