(Toronto) Bils owner Ralph Wilson outlined his club's plans to play a total of 8 games in Toronto beginning with next season.
Wilson steered clear from discussing whether the Bills would ever relocate north of the border. "Don't worry right now," was the best answer he could provide at a news conference Wednesday announcing the Bills would begin playing an annual regular-season game in Toronto beginning this season through 2012.
Based on what Wilson saw during a half-hour drive from the airport to a downtown hotel, he was convinced Canada's financial capital and North America's fifth largest sports market was ready for the NFL.
"I can answer that in the affirmative," Wilson said. "It reminds me of my trip to Dallas a few months ago. They're building in Dallas, Texas, everywhere, cranes, brand-new structures. And I see the same thing here in Toronto."
It was certainly a different view than what he usually sees in economically challenged Buffalo.
"It's no secret, Buffalo is diminishing in size," Wilson said.
Asked then to assure Bills fans he's committed to keeping the team in Buffalo, the 89-year-old declined to guess.
"Hey, I can't speculate what's going to happen in the future," Wilson said. "But don't worry. Don't worry right now. Does that answer your questions?"
Toronto will formally land on the NFL map later this year, when the Bills become the league's first franchise to play an annual regular season game outside the United States. The deal also includes the Bills playing three preseason games -- one every other year, starting this year -- in Toronto.
Dates have yet to be announced.
The games would be played at the downtown Rogers Centre, a domed stadium with a retractable roof and home of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Wilson stressed the team's decision to expand its market to Toronto was one out of necessity and considered a chance for the small-market franchise to generate much-needed additional revenue.
"We've overturned all the rocks in western New York," Wilson said. "We've got to do something so we looked this way to the north and we came up with some great partners."