Bills Chief Executive Officer Russ Brandon spoke to reporters today about the team's uniform unveiling tomorrow. In addition, he was asked about how he thinks the small-market teams will fare in the collective-bargaining talks between NFL players and owners. Brandon would not speak directly on the talks, but he expressed confidence in the team's continuing efforts to regionalize the franchise.
"I know that we focus on the here and now here in Buffalo," Brandon said. "When you look at it from our standpoint, we’re always looking to do everything in our power to keep this team viable and as you’ve heard many times from me regionalization, regionalization and regionalization. Ten years ago when we went off to Rochester that was step one in the plan and a few years ago when we went north to Toronto that was another step in our process. When you look at our region of totality it’s a very large market and we’re looking to bring fans back to Ralph Wilson Stadium. It’s been a very successful venture for us and we’re going to continue that process moving forward."
On keeping the team viable in Buffalo, Brandon said: "I think the response is we just focus here and we focus now on everything that we can control and that’s keeping this building full, keeping all of our business platforms full. We’re a volume business. We’re a very affordable business as you know here with our ticket prices and that’s what we focus on. My job and everyone’s job in this organization is to focus on this organization and our fans and that’s really what we do on a day-in and day-out basis."
Brandon was in Chicago this week for the briefing meeting held for owners on the labor talks with the players.
On the long-term economic viability in Buffalo, Brandon said: "We think that’s been a big part of it for us. Obviously in Rochester when we went to training camp there they play a very large role. On any given Sunday there’s 14 or 15 percent of the fans in Ralph Wilson Stadium from Monroe County. And when you look at what’s happened in Toronto, we’ve had a 44 percent increase in season-ticket holders from the Southern Ontario marketplace in just a few years. And again, on any given Sunday you’re looking at 15 to 16 percent of our fans from Southern Ontario. Regionalization works and it will be a linchpin to everything that we do from a business standpoint moving forward."\