Bills in T.O. ticket prices cut

Ticket prices to see the Buffalo Bills play in Toronto in December are being slashed. (Craig...

Ticket prices to see the Buffalo Bills play in Toronto in December are being slashed. (Craig Robertson/QMI Agency/Files)

JOHN KRYK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:14 AM ET

As expected, Rogers Media on Wednesday slashed ticket prices by an average of 35% for this year's Buffalo Bills game at the Rogers Centre.

The Bills play the Seattle Seahawks there on Dec. 16.

Ticket prices range from $48 to $225 and are now on sale.

Those who have already purchased tickets to this game -- the fifth and final game in the original Bills in Toronto Series -- can either receive a refund for the price difference, or upgrade to better seats.

QMI Agency reported exclusively in May that the series will be extended for another five years, and that tickets will be "significantly" cheaper, according to a source.

From 2013-17, the Bills will continue to play one of their eight annual regular-season home games at Toronto's downtown domed stadium. Probably only one pre-season game will be part of the new deal, the source said.

That news has yet to be announced either by the Bills or Rogers Media.

Both Rogers Media president Keith Pelley and Bills CEO Russ Brandon have said for months that both sides are optimistic an extension will soon be reached.

Nearly 60% of tickets for this year's Seahawks game now cost less than $100, and 88% are less than $150.

Rogers had received immense criticism for the high prices of tickets to previous Bills-in-Toronto games. Indeed, tickets for the first game in 2008 averaged $183, compared to $51 for Bills home games that year at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Rogers slashed ticket prices by 17% in year two, including 11,000 tickets for under $100. But the communications/media giant still had to paper the place.

Buffalo has won only one of the four regular-season Toronto-series games so far -- a 23-0 pounding of the Washington Redskins last October.

Three pre-season games were originally contracted. Buffalo beat Pittsburgh 24-21 in 2008 and Indianapolis 34-21 in 2010. But this past February the third preseason game, slated for August, was moved back to Buffalo because the Rogers Centre had a "scheduling conflict."

Dale Hooper, senior vice-president of sales and marketing for Rogers Media, said in a statement on Wednesday: "The reduced price-point for the Buffalo Bills game in Toronto is fantastic value for a premium sporting event. These ticket prices are now more in line with the average NFL ticket price and are the right price-point in this market.

"After four seasons of the Bills in Toronto, we were able to establish some significant key learnings. We have adjusted our ticket prices every year, and have made good on a new price package for this season -- one that's right for today's environment."

Mary Owen, the Bills' executive vice president of strategic planning, said: "This is a significant step in the right direction to help us re-engage with our fans who attend our games at Rogers Centre. Last year's shutout victory over the Washington Redskins featured our best game-day atmosphere to date at Rogers Centre.

"Our goal is to build on last year's momentum and provide an exciting Buffalo Bills game-day experience at Rogers Centre on Dec. 16. The new fan-friendly pricing structure gives us a better opportunity to have our most passionate fans from the region support the Bills in Toronto."

Section by section ticket prices for the Buffalo-Seattle game at the Rogers Centre are as follows (excluding service charges):

* 500 Level Value, $48 (down 4% from 2011)

* 500 Level Upper, $85 (down 11%)

* 500 Level Sidelines, $95 (down 24%)

* 200 Level North, $85 (down 32%)

* 200 Level South Club, $95 (down 42%)

* 200 Level Corners, $95 (down 51%)

* 200 Level Sidelines, $125 (down 44%)

* 200 Level VIP, $225 (down 30%)

* Field Level North, $85 (down 45%)

* Field Level South, $95 (down 49%)

* Field Level Corners, $115 (down 49%)

* Field Level Sidelines, $145 (down 47%)

* Field Level VIP, $225 (down 30%).

Tickets can be bought at BillsinToronto.com, at the Gate 9 box office at the Rogers Centre, or through Ticketmaster at 1-855-985-5000.

john.kryk@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/JohnKryk

blogs.canoe.ca/krykslants/


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