When the Bills open their season this year, the fans will notice the many changes and improvement to Ralph Wilson Stadium, but they are likely to miss the fact that the stadium no longer has those eight Canadians from Toronto.
Those Canadians, diehard Bills fans all, have been at every Bills game in Section E9, Row 3, right on the aisle. Season-ticket holders since 1975, and occupants of those seats since 1984, these fans elected not to renew their tickets because they were relocated to the 17th row, around the 20-yard line, after 15 years of being surrounded by friends that had lived and died with the team for all those years.
They put up with many changes over 25 years, but the relocation necessitated by the stadium renovation was the final straw.
When we received notification that we were being moved, I spoke to the Bills' Director of Ticket Sales about our displeasure, and he promised to see what he could do. We paid the first installment on our tickets, and have not heard one word since or received a refund. It is obvious from their lack of response that their position is that either the fans will support the team, or they will move.
We are still Bills fans, but cannot bear to go anymore, just to look at where we used to sit. I truly hope that this new generation of high-priced fans will stick with the team through the down years as well as the good years, as we have done. It is obvious that professional sports are entering a new corporate era, and there is little or no room for the blue-collar fan that made Buffalo famous. The fans may not notice our absence this year, but the future can be a very ugly thing!