Niagara Gazette

Bills

September 23, 2012

Fair-weather fans must stick out the season

COMMENTARY

(Continued)

ORCHARD PARK —

Judgement Day is coming for this pro football market. If multiple blacked out games and a continued inability to excite the Toronto fanbase persist, it becomes increasingly difficult to argue Western New York is still a viable home for this franchise.

The Bills' business model is based largely on the belief that more than 70,000 fans will file into the stadium on any given Sunday. That’s why ticket prices are lower here than anywhere else in the league and the billionaires who run the NFL forgive the market’s relative lack of corporate sponsorship dollars and big-spending suite-buyers.

Let’s be honest with ourselves — this isn’t quite as big of a football hotbed as we’d like to believe. Go to any high school game on a Friday night or UB on a Saturday if you disagree. 

Our three favorite past times, in no particular order, are eating, drinking and communally cheering on the Bills and Sabres.

September and October games at the Ralph provide the perfect venue to indulge in all three activities at once.

But when the winter weather we often claim to be so unaffected by hits, the eating and drinking aspect of going to a Bills game becomes far less appealing, and thousands of us decide to stay home and watch on television.

Or stay home and complain about the game being blacked out.

Bills officials have taken measures to curb rowdy behavior in the stands and team-owned lots. But they must be careful not to alienate this large bloc of the fan base, or the calls to "Make Mom Proud" will bounce off empty rows of seats in the stadium's upper bowl.

On the other hand, those fans need to do their part by showing up for every game, not just a select few.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Bills
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page