Goodell encouraged by Toronto Series

The NFL commissioner talked about Buffalo's eight-game Toronto Series at his annual address. He said the northern-exposure goal was met...

Despite the scattered stadium, dim atmosphere and slighted fans back home, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell called the Toronto experiment a success.

Friday at his annual State of the NFL address, Goodell glowed about the Bills' eight-game Toronto Series --- lauding that its purpose was met.

"We said that the objective was to regionalize the Buffalo Bills, and it achieved those objectives," Goodell said Friday during his annual State of the NFL address at the Super Bowl. "We were able to increase our season ticket sales in the Toronto area significantly — over 40 percent. And I think from that standpoint, we achieved what our initial goal was."

Buffalo lost to Miami 16-3 in its first regular-season game at the Rogers Centre. The Bills also played a preseason game against Pittsburgh in Toronto.

At the Dolphins game --- typically Buffalo's best home turnout --- most fans were Dolphins supporters. Many blamed the astronomical ticket prices, which averaged $200 apiece. The 54,000-seat stadium was sporadically filled and dead in excitement.

Still, Goodell holds hope that things will turnaround. The prices for the games could be tempered down.

"I met with the people promoting the game, Rogers Communications along with the Bills, earlier this week, and I'm very confident next year's game is going to be bigger and better," he said.

Click here for a past column about the Bills' first regular season game in Toronto.

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