Niagara Gazette


May 24, 2013

Mroziak: Those 'weird' sports? They're worth a try, Buffalo.

Niagara Gazette — While flipping channels last night in the newsroom, scanning between NHL playoff games and baseball, I stumbled across an unusual yet impressive event on ESPN. Two of England's more formidable pro soccer clubs, Chelsea and Manchester City, playing to an exciting 4-3 result in front of a sold-out crowd.

In Busch Stadium, St. Louis.

What should be the home of the Cardinals was instead covered entirely in grass and playing host to the world's most popular sport. Sure, it was just a single exhibition game. But judging by the sell-out crowd, it was a one-off novelty that area fans seemed to appreciate.

It's something the Buffalo Bills should seriously consider before I support a new downtown stadium.

This isn't about soccer. This is about justifying a brand new facility in an economically hard-luck market. The way to do it is open your house to more events, and not just lock up the house after your eight home games every NFL season... whoops, that's seven home games when you remember one gets played in Toronto.

To their credit, the Greater Buffalo Sports and Entertainment Complex, a grassroots effort that is seeking a new home for the Buffalo Bills, supports the idea of a multi-use facility.  My advice to them: don't rule out those odd, otherworld sports. 

They apparently accepted a break from the Cardinals' schedule in St. Louis. And why not? If the Cardinals were off or on the road, at least they had something else to do. Even the Yankees are getting into the business of other sports, this week announcing a new partnership with Manchester City to launch an expansion franchise in Major League Soccer.

Before you take more of my tax dollars — and then charge me even more just to be let inside the house I already helped pay for — give me more reasons to support it. 

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