Jump to content


If you build it, will they come?


  • Please log in to reply
54 replies to this topic

#1 Bronc24

Bronc24

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,294 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 03:14 PM

I'd like to pose a question to the board:  What would be the state of this franchise if the Bills were a perennial contender?

I ask this question with a bit of context.  I live in Saskatchewan, Canada.  From the late '70's to the mid 2000's, our CFL team was pretty much a joke.  They kept their payroll low and put the fans through years of agony.  All this in a football-rabid province.  Consequently, the financial state of the franchise was terrible and it needed a lottery to keep it afloat.

Fast forward to now.  The team has contended because they are willing to spend the money to be successful.  More importantly, winning has allowed them to capitalize on merchandising, so much so that of every dollar spent on CFL merchandise, 70 cents are spent on Saskatchewan gear.  The team is flush with cash.

I know the CFL is a much smaller (and inferior) product.  I also know that the Bills turn a profit regardless of the crap on the field.  However, this is an example of how winning helps the bottom line.

Thoughts?

#2 MyHorseAteTheKid

MyHorseAteTheKid

    RFA

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,373 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 04:08 PM

Winning solves all problems.... :thumbsup:

#3 BADOLBEELZ

BADOLBEELZ

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,750 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 04:49 PM

View PostBronc24, on 19 December 2013 - 03:14 PM, said:

I'd like to pose a question to the board:  What would be the state of this franchise if the Bills were a perennial contender?

I ask this question with a bit of context.  I live in Saskatchewan, Canada.  From the late '70's to the mid 2000's, our CFL team was pretty much a joke.  They kept their payroll low and put the fans through years of agony.  All this in a football-rabid province.  Consequently, the financial state of the franchise was terrible and it needed a lottery to keep it afloat.

Fast forward to now.  The team has contended because they are willing to spend the money to be successful.  More importantly, winning has allowed them to capitalize on merchandising, so much so that of every dollar spent on CFL merchandise, 70 cents are spent on Saskatchewan gear.  The team is flush with cash.

I know the CFL is a much smaller (and inferior) product.  I also know that the Bills turn a profit regardless of the crap on the field.  However, this is an example of how winning helps the bottom line.

Thoughts?


If it were a football organization to be proud of the place would be sold out every week and the team would have a lot more unshared revenue options.

That said........the easiest time to do that was the early 2000's when the children who grew up during the SB years became paying customers and the big spending 30-50 year age group were also impressed with the organization.

The iron was red-hot and Donahoe actually appeared ready to take advantage of it.

Then came the relentless losing.

#4 bills_fan_in_raleigh

bills_fan_in_raleigh

    Live in Raleigh but Bleed Buffalo Sports

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,800 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 05:45 PM

Yet people forget that the comeback game was not sold out.  So even if the Bills are contenders and hosting a home playoff game the fans still stay home.   Sure it will be easier to sellout in December if they are in contention but there are no guarantees

#5 section122

section122

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,899 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 05:50 PM

View Postbills_fan_in_raleigh, on 19 December 2013 - 05:45 PM, said:

Yet people forget that the comeback game was not sold out.  So even if the Bills are contenders and hosting a home playoff game the fans still stay home.   Sure it will be easier to sellout in December if they are in contention but there are no guarantees
I've said it before and I'll say it again...

You can't site 20 years ago as if it were relevant today.  Football has become much more popular of a sport than it was then.  Baseball and basketball were much more popular than the nfl in the late 80s early 90s.  That was prestrike/ped baseball and Jordan era basketball.

Bills fans have been more than patient and afforded this franchise much more than it deserves.  The threat of moving the team is why many people attend and spend money on an inferior product.  The team is essentially holding its fans hostage.

#6 jboyst62

jboyst62

    Hall of Farmer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 19,625 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 06:17 PM

Win. Win with whatever it takes. Look at NE. How many people really remember the asterick over the last dozen years?

#7 dubs

dubs

    RFA

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 899 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 06:18 PM

I think it goes without saying that if the Bills were more competitive that the games would almost always be sold out.

I remember when the season was sold out early on.

It would be very interesting if the team built a new, smaller stadium (perhaps downtown or niagara falls). If that was the case and the team was good, I guarantee it would almost always be sold out.

#8 Rockinon

Rockinon

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,837 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 06:43 PM

View Postbills_fan_in_raleigh, on 19 December 2013 - 05:45 PM, said:

Yet people forget that the comeback game was not sold out.  So even if the Bills are contenders and hosting a home playoff game the fans still stay home.   Sure it will be easier to sellout in December if they are in contention but there are no guarantees
That game was played on January 3rd.  I'm not sure I would make it to a game just after the holidays either.  Usually after Christmas, I may have just enough to go out for New Years, but a football game after that? To broke.

Nice post OP.  I do think that winning cures a lot of problems.  In your case, you have to remember that this is a business.  It's incredibly rare for any business to succeed without putting some money into it first, like your mention of spending some money on talent.  Marketing needs to be strong too.  I think Buffalo does a nice job of that and I think Bills are very grateful for the number of Canadians that show up at the games.

It also helps to have a great tailgating experience too and Buffalo has that.  Just wish the drunk and disorderly would settle a bit.  I like my beer as much as the next guy, but I don't ruin the game time experience for someone else.

There is a lot to building a successful football team. A team that wins though will always have a better bottom line

Edited by Rockinon, 19 December 2013 - 06:57 PM.


#9 DefenseWinzChampionshipz

DefenseWinzChampionshipz

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,738 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 06:48 PM

I once built a table for beer pong and people came.

#10 hondo in seattle

hondo in seattle

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,109 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 06:55 PM

View Postbills_fan_in_raleigh, on 19 December 2013 - 05:45 PM, said:

Yet people forget that the comeback game was not sold out.  So even if the Bills are contenders and hosting a home playoff game the fans still stay home.   Sure it will be easier to sellout in December if they are in contention but there are no guarantees

That was a one-off.  In 1991, the Bills set the (then) all-time NFL season attendance record.    Fans supported the team well through the early/mid  90s. Too many years of losing, however, make  ticket prices harder to bear.

As someone who lives elsewhere, I'm always impressed by the amount of Bills gear for sale in the grocery and department stores in WNY.  Buffalo fans take their team more seriously than most  cities.   Field a winner, and the stadium will sell  out every time.

#11 FeartheLosing

FeartheLosing

    Best Bills DC ever!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,263 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 07:10 PM

View Postsection122, on 19 December 2013 - 05:50 PM, said:

I've said it before and I'll say it again...

You can't site 20 years ago as if it were relevant today. Football has become much more popular of a sport than it was then.  Baseball and basketball were much more popular than the nfl in the late 80s early 90s.  That was prestrike/ped baseball and Jordan era basketball.

Bills fans have been more than patient and afforded this franchise much more than it deserves.  The threat of moving the team is why many people attend and spend money on an inferior product.  The team is essentially holding its fans hostage.
Not only has it become the most popular sport in the USA by far. The Buffalo Bills fan base is extremely rabid to keep the stadium filled year after year with so many losing seasons.

Then you need to take into consideration the overall population growth in this country for the past twenty years. Plus, now a lot the children from that 90's era are buying tickets, and going to games.

Winning cures everything, and its true.

#12 Al Cowlings

Al Cowlings

    Rookie

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 313 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 07:25 PM

View Posthondo in seattle, on 19 December 2013 - 06:55 PM, said:



That was a one-off.  In 1991, the Bills set the (then) all-time NFL season attendance record.    Fans supported the team well through the early/mid  90s. Too many years of losing, however, make  ticket prices harder to bear.

As someone who lives elsewhere, I'm always impressed by the amount of Bills gear for sale in the grocery and department stores in WNY.  Buffalo fans take their team more seriously than most  cities.   Field a winner, and the stadium will sell  out every time.

The Bills are the only football team in town.  There is no college football team around that anyone cares about.  Fans in other cities have major college teams there or close that sellout big stadiums as well.  The Bills have nothing to compete against.

#13 3rdand12

3rdand12

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,963 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 07:40 PM

View PostDefenseWinzChampionshipz, on 19 December 2013 - 06:48 PM, said:

I once built a table for beer pong and people came.
could you whip one up for the Miami home game real quick like ? and sell it out.
I love wgr550 but i still would prefer the TV with the forecasted rain and such.

#14 PromoTheRobot

PromoTheRobot

    "...I hope I'm wrong..."

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23,842 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 07:40 PM

I've been following the Bills since 1966. I can assure you that winning does not guarantee sell outs. Can you imagine a home playoff game being blacked out? Well no one in Buffalo saw the greatest comeback game on TV. Heck, Ralph Wilson had to buy the remaining tickets to a home AFC championship game against the Cheifs!

Sure, the first year or two of the SB run RWS was packed. But people's expectations keep going up. Whatever you did in one year was not enough the next. After losing two SB's Bills fans started to cool off.

PTR

#15 McD

McD

    RFA

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,326 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 08:06 PM

View Postbills_fan_in_raleigh, on 19 December 2013 - 05:45 PM, said:

Yet people forget that the comeback game was not sold out.  So even if the Bills are contenders and hosting a home playoff game the fans still stay home.   Sure it will be easier to sellout in December if they are in contention but there are no guarantees

That game was played not only right AFTER the holidays (Cristmas spending could've had an effect), but also it was only a week after the Bills got hammered by the same Houston team 27-3.  The Bills were also without Jim Kelly (he got hurt the week before) and Cornelious Bennett, so I'm sure that played into it.  It's not as cut and dry as you make it out to be.

#16 DefenseWinzChampionshipz

DefenseWinzChampionshipz

    Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,738 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 08:53 PM

View Post3rdand12, on 19 December 2013 - 07:40 PM, said:

could you whip one up for the Miami home game real quick like ? and sell it out.
I love wgr550 but i still would prefer the TV with the forecasted rain and such.

There is no table in the world that could sell out the Ralph in December.

Games with no meaning are always better seen at home on the screen. I give my respect to the fans that actually will go to the game, but I personally couldn't do it. I'd be miserable there win or lose.

#17 littlelouie

littlelouie

    Practice Squad

  • Banned
  • PipPip
  • 131 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 09:08 PM

How can you expect to sell out December games without a dome??  You have to be borderline brain dead to go sit in the snow when it's freezing out.  Build a dome and put a contender out on the field and you won't even be able to get tickets unless you buy them two months in advance. :doh:

#18 TallskiWallski83

TallskiWallski83

    Practice Squad

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 184 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 09:18 PM

View Postlittlelouie, on 19 December 2013 - 09:08 PM, said:

How can you expect to sell out December games without a dome??  You have to be borderline brain dead to go sit in the snow when it's freezing out.  Build a dome and put a contender out on the field and you won't even be able to get tickets unless you buy them two months in advance. :doh:

man times sure have changed. Today if the bills backed into the playoffs at 7-9 on a 4 game losing streak with a 3rd string QB playing the game would be a sellout and the tailgating would be off the chain

goddamn were so starved for playoff football

#19 ExiledInIllinois

ExiledInIllinois

    Making It Flow Backwards

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 30,499 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 09:28 PM

Side note to the OP:  Wasn't there a time in the CFL when 3 out of 8 teams were nicknamed: The Roughriders.  

;-P

#20 Teen Insight

Teen Insight

    Two HOFs

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,471 posts

Posted 19 December 2013 - 09:35 PM

View Postlittlelouie, on 19 December 2013 - 09:08 PM, said:

How can you expect to sell out December games without a dome??  You have to be borderline brain dead to go sit in the snow when it's freezing out.  Build a dome and put a contender out on the field and you won't even be able to get tickets unless you buy them two months in advance. :doh:
All you need is a contender, just look at Green Bay