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The Buffalo Bills wont be coming north this season. Jaelen Strong Womens Jersey . The NFL club and Rogers Communications announced Wednesday theyve put the beleaguered Bills Toronto Series -- which features Buffalo playing exhibition and regular-season games at Rogers Centre -- on hold for at least a year. That means the team will play eight home games at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., for the first time since 2007. "The plan is to postpone it for one year, regroup and determine whats the next best step," said Keith Pelley, the president of Rogers Communications media division. "Its not nullified right now, we have an agreement in place. "Anything is possible but thats not the plan. The plan is to take a step back and say, OK, the Series is having some challenges, the NFL is still big in Toronto, its still important to the Bills so whats the best way to move forward?" The decision comes a little more than a year after the Bills and Rogers agreed to renew the series for five years, though 2017 after the original five-year deal expired. A series-low gathering of 38,969 watched the Atlanta Falcons nip Buffalo 34-31 in overtime Dec. 1 at Rogers Centre, which can seat 54,000 spectators for football. The loss dropped the Bills regular-season record in Toronto to a dismal 1-5 -- and 0-4 in December -- since the start of the series in 08. Buffalo also sports the NFLs longest active post-season drought at 14 straight seasons. Bills president Russ Brandon said the atmosphere at Rogers Centre versus Atlanta figured in the clubs decision to take a step back. "I think thats a fair comment," Brandon told reporters in Orchard Park. "Obviously were trying to build a fan base north of the border and this year I would say it was a neutral crowd. "Some of that had to do with how we played over the last six years, (that) has really not been conducive to building a lot of fans that were NFL fans, but were trying to make them Bills fans. Were going to continue to try to do that through a variety of initiatives that we will be working with Rogers over the next year in a very robust sponsorship and partnership that we will have that will cater to fans above the border." Following the loss to Atlanta, Brandon publicly questioned whether his club loses its competitive edge playing in Toronto. Buffalo has often battled neutral crowds at its home away from home. Bills games at Rogers Centre routinely attract a mix of NFL fans who proudly don their team colours and cheer as loudly -- or sometimes louder -- for Buffalos opponent than the home team. In fact, several Falcons players were surprised at the support they received at Rogers Centre. "It didnt feel like we were in Canada," said Atlanta safety William Moore. "I even saw a No. 25 jersey (Moores number) out there." Whats more, playing in a domed facility robs the Bills of their biggest home advantage: The cold, windy conditions that are the norm in December at Ralph Wilson Stadium. "Were going to go through a detailed full analysis," Brandon said. "Were going to look at every aspect that if we do come back we have a more robust fan experience and try to create more of a home field advantage for us. "Right now that was not the situation. That was one of the reasons we want to get in to a lot of detail with our partners up there and see if that is viable moving forward." Brandons statement "if we do come back," prompted a followup question regarding whether the Bills mightve played their final game in Toronto. "What I said is that were going through a full evaluation process and well work with our partners," Brandon responded. The Bills Toronto Series was unveiled as an attempt to showcase Toronto as a viable NFL city. Rogers Communications Inc. paid US$78 million to stage eight games -- five regular season, three exhibition -- expecting southern Ontario fans to flock to Rogers Centre. But high-priced tickets -- initially averaging over $180 each, compared to roughly US$51 at Orchard Park --and struggling Bills teams combined to make it a tough sell. Tickets were reduced to roughly an average price of $99 to make the game more affordable but even that didnt result in a sellout. "Its always very difficult to change public opinion midway through a project," Pelley said. "Theres no hiding the fact the series did not get off to a rosy start. "It tough midway through to change that perception, hence the reason why we thought it would be a best to take a year off then re-launch it once weve thought that through." Series organizers have also struggled to find the right formula to re-create the NFL experience here. A huge attraction for many American football fans is arriving at the stadium hours before kickoff, setting up the barbecue to cook a variety of foods while throwing a football around in the parking lot or breaking down the upcoming game with friends over a cold beer. However, provincial laws make that impossible in Toronto. The creation of the series also fuelled speculation Toronto would be the landing spot for the Bills upon the death of Ralph Wilson Jr., the clubs 95-year-old owner. However, Brandon routinely stated the NFL club was merely broadening its regional base to include Canadas largest city and generate additional revenue. Brandon said the Bills must take ownership for their role in the series struggles. "I think its been a roller-coaster from the standpoint of just the losses," he said. "Thats on us. "Some of the initiatives Rogers has worked through on their end have improved, but obviously this past year was disappointing with that neutral crowd that we had there, to say the least. I think there have been positives. As I mentioned earlier, the biggest positive has been the influx of fans back here at Ralph Wilson Stadium." Now the question remains whether the Bills can sell out eight home games in 2014. "Obviously last year we had to really work for our sellouts, understandably so," Brandon said. "Thats something that were willing to take on, that challenge. "We have very passionate fans and tremendous fans, but we have to really work to sell tickets here as weve discussed in the past. Were not satisfied until every seat in this building is sold. Thats always the No. 1 initiative and really the foundation of how we run our business." J.J. Watt Texans Jersey . That led me to go back and look at the years Halladay and Hamels were drafted. Oddly enough, they were both chosen 17th overall in the June draft; Halladay in 1995 and Hamels in 2002. The player drafted immediately ahead of Halladay was pitcher Joe Fontenot by the San Francisco Giants. He was later one of three prospects traded to the Marlins for closer Robb Nen, who went on to save 206 games over the next five years before calling it a career with 314 total saves. Kevin Johnson Texans Jersey . Speaking with TSNs Michael Farber, the commissioner said that while franchise relocation and expansion is not currently being considered, the sour ending of baseball in Montreal would not keep the city from being awarded a franchise in the future.NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators forward Mike Fisher has a ruptured Achilles tendon that likely will cause him to miss at least the start of the upcoming season. In a statement released by the team Monday, Predators general manager David Poile said Fisher underwent surgery Thursday after rupturing the tendon during a training session. "We expect Mike to make a full recovery in four to six months, and look forward to his return to the ice," Poile said. The Predators open the season Oct. 9 against Ottawa. Fisher, 34, served as Nashvilles alternate captain last season and had 20 goals and 29 assists in 75 games. He has 226 goals and 255 assists in 887 career regular-season games. Fisher tweeted, "Setbacks are opportunities for growth," on Monday and included a picture of his bandaged lower leg in a walking boot. The injury seriously hinders Nashvilles plans to boost its offence under new coach Peter Laviolette. After missing the playoffs for a second straight season, Poilee fired coach Barry Trotz and replaced him with Laviolette, emphasizing the need to add more scoring punch to a franchise that traditionally has prided itself on defence. Garrett Graham Jersey. The Predators have spent much of the off-season attempting to boost that offence. They acquired forward James Neal from the Pittsburgh Penguins and signed free-agent centre Olli Jokinen to a one-year, $2.5 million contract. But the Predators would suffer a major blow if they have to spend much of the season without Fisher, one of the teams top offensive threats since coming to Nashville in a 2011 trade with the Ottawa Senators. Mondays news continues the Predators recent run of bad luck with injuries to key players. Star goaltender Pekka Rinne played just 24 games last season because of an E. coli infection in his surgically repaired left hip. Rinnes injury may have cost the Predators a playoff berth, as they finished the season three points out of eighth place in the Western Conference. cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys cheap jerseys cheap nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys ' ' '
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|Date registered||Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:00 pm|