Should Buffalo Bills Move Training Camp to Canada?
Rochester, and St. John Fisher, has been a good home for Buffalo Bills Training Camp, but is it time to make more fans North of the border?
Bills in Toronto Series
People in Western New York often have a visceral reaction to the words “Bills” and “Canada” in the same sentence. It’s understandable. Up until Terry and Kim Pegula bought the team in 2014 there was a very real fear the Bills would be moved to Toronto. Especially when they started playing regular-season games at Toronto's Sky Dome from 2008 to 2013. It failed to work though. The Bills in Toronto series was a fan and attendance disaster that was officially ended by the Pegulas soon after their purchase.
As Bills fans, we were always told by so many that it would be a good thing if they moved to Toronto. Yes, we lose the team, but they wouldn’t be too far away. Toronto is a much bigger, more modern, and wealthy city they told us. The Bills, at the time the series was going on, sold it as marketing to Canadian fans to come to more games. We all know that was just a ploy, though. A bargaining chip if you will.
Needless to say, because of that experience, the Bills doing anything in Canada has a sour taste in the mouths of everyone in Western New Yorker. Rightfully so.
It’s time to get over that, though.
Fear Of Losing The Bills is Over
The team isn’t going anywhere. We know that for a fact. A new stadium is going up in Orchard Park that will house the Bills for decades to come (like it or not). With that, too, comes a hefty price, and not just the taxpayer burden for building it. Personal seat licenses, and likely increased ticket costs, are going to make things a little difficult to afford.
It remains vital for the team to market itself beyond just Western New York. Note I wrote for the team, not for the fans. We don't care. We should because having more members of the Bills Mafia in the world is a good thing. Their time holding training camp at St. John Fischer College in Rochester has done exactly that. It’s helped build a younger generation of football fans who are now Buffalo Bills fans. Make no mistake about it: the Rochester contingent of the Bills Mafia is large and loyal, and training camp absolutely was successful at growing it.
That’s why it’s time to leave.
Time To Move On From St. John Fisher College
It’s nothing against Rochester. It’s about further expanding the fan-base and expanding to areas that can help the Bills even more so financially. Our friends in Fort Erie, Niaraga Falls, and St. Catharines ALSO make up the NIAGARA region. Then there are the people in Hamilton, Burlington, Mississauga, Brampton, Guelph, Kitchener, and yes TORONTO. All of these places are the same or less distance away from Buffalo as is Rochester but with A LOT more people.
Let’s break it down. Here are 3 reasons why the Buffalo Bills Should Move Their Training Camp to Canada:
3 Reasons The Buffalo Bills Should Move Training Camp to Canada
Gallery Credit: Google Maps, Getty Images
Where to Hold Bills Camp in Canada
All that being said, where? Where are the possible places to hold Bills training camp IF it were to ever move to Canada? First of all, you have to take out any palace the CFL plays because their season is going on full force during that time. So, for the sake of ease, I looked for colleges that have football facilities because they will also have dorms and such to house them. I also tried to keep the travel time similar to that of Rochester. I admit a couple of things:
- Obviously, the border plays a role here. Maybe it takes a few minutes to get across. Maybe not. We’re going to go based on the straight time that is traveled according to google maps.
- There is only one spot that works perfectly, but that doesn’t disqualify others. Plus that one spot is very good.
With that being said here are the 5 Best Canadian Spots For Buffalo Bills Training Camp.
5 Best Canadian Spots For Buffalo Bills Training Camp
Gallery Credit: Google Maps
Now, there's no doubt some of you are... unhappy with this article. Totally get it and would LOVE to know why and what you think is a better idea. Including not changing a thing if you like. Let me know: @ThePatMc on Twitter