Report: Bills, Steelers to play preseason game in Toronto

Updated: March 20, 2008, 9:26 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills will play a preseason game in Toronto this summer, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

The game will be the first of eight preseason and regular-season games the Bills will play in Canada's largest city, where the franchise is trying to expand its fan base. The Bills are also set to play a regular-season game at Toronto's Rogers Centre in 2008.

The Bills received permission from the NFL this year to play five regular-season home games and three preseason games in Toronto in the next five seasons.

Some fans in Buffalo, as well as supporters of the Canadian Football League, which has teams in Toronto and Hamilton and a dormant franchise in Ottawa, are nervous that the agreement is a harbinger of a permanent move by the Bills across Lake Ontario. But the team has said it needs to grow its regional fan base, as greater Buffalo's population and economic base continue to shrink.

The game will be the Steelers' first in Toronto since a preseason game in 1960 against the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, and their first international game since playing the Indianapolis Colts in Mexico City in 2000.