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Author Topic: Steelers going north of the boarder, eh  (Read 405 times)
Captain Chaos
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« on: Apr 04, 2008 at 07:32 »

Steelers confirmed to play the Bills in Toronto
Sean Fitz-Gerald, National Post  
Published: Thursday, April 03, 2008

Pittsburgh will be the visitor on Aug. 14

They still do not know how much tickets will cost, but fans hoping to watch the Buffalo Bills play in Toronto finally know the opposition for this summer's pre-season game at Rogers Centre, with the Pittsburgh Steelers confirmed to visit in August.

Organizers claim to have been receiving more than 3,500 ticket requests a day since last week, with demand now outstripping the stadium's capacity. The exhibition will be the first in an eight-game series featuring the Bills in Toronto, followed by a regular season game this fall, the National Football League's first in Canada.

Buffalo will host Pittsburgh on Aug. 14, just 24 hours before the Toronto Argonauts host the Montreal Alouettes. The Argos were not consulted before the NFL completed its pre-season schedule, but claim not to be concerned about having to share the spotlight.

"I would suggest that we're looking forward to carrying on business as usual," Argos chief executive Michael Clemons said Thursday. "I think it will have the net result of bringing some attention to football in this area."

The Bills will play one regular season game at Rogers Centre over each of the next five seasons, adding a pre-season game into the mix every other year. Fans have been asked to register for tickets online (www.billsintoronto.co m), with registration set to close on April 24.

Organizers will then hold a ticket lottery, with priority given to sponsors, along with season ticket holders for both the Bills and Argos. Adrian Montgomery, general manager of the Bills' series in Toronto, said more than 53,000 ticket requests have been made.

"We couldn't be more excited," he said. "I think we're really, really, really fortunate to have such a strong rivalry between Buffalo and Pittsburgh as the opening act of our eight-game series."

Ticket prices will be announced after the ticket lottery. Bills fans have been warned the prices could range from US$75 to US$300 per game, which could only add to the anxiety of potentially losing their team to Toronto on a full-time basis.

Rogers Communications chief executive Ted Rogers has been one of the driving forces behind luring the Bills to Toronto, along with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment chairman Larry Tanenbaum.

"As we move forward, people understand that this is a part of our regionalization plan," Bills chief operating officer Russ Brandon said Thursday. "In building our brand above the border - in a tremendous a market as Toronto is in Southern Ontario - it's very similar to the regionalization strategy that we put forth a decade ago into the Rochester [N.Y.] area with our training camp."

Clemons might contribute to that plan and buy a ticket. He and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin are both graduates of the College of William & Mary, a small but storied university based in Williamsburg, VA.

"There's not a lot of William & Mary guys around," Clemons said with a laugh. "We all kind of know about each other a little bit, and I actually may have to go to the game now, because he's there."

 
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