Western New York, the threat of the Buffalo Bills franchise moving has been relieved, well at least for 7 more years. The Bills signed a new 7 year lease with Erie County and Ralph Wilson Stadium today with promises of $130million in upgrades to the current facility. The Bills will be providing $35million of that sum. I think this signing as having brain surgery to relieve a tumor. It won’t get rid of the tumor, but it will extend your life a little bit, same with this deal. When this lease expires, Ralph Wilson will be 102 years old and the stadium will be 50 years old. They both sadly need replacing which means the deal is great for when a new owner takes over and it leaves a door open for the possibility of construction of a new stadium.
A couple of interesting notes on the new lease:
- The Bills will pay rent for the first time ever at $800,000 a year
- For the first 6 years, if the Bills re-locate the team would have to pay $400million in fees, while in the 7th year the Bills can pay $28million to break the lease
- In addition to the annual Toronto game, the Bills will be allowed to play an additional international game
- The Bills did want $230million in renovations, which means more funds could be put towards a new stadium
To settle the debate about the on-going anxiety Western New Yorkers have about the team ever leaving, this will settle fears for a little while at least. Also keep in mind, Toronto has always been a threat, but Rogers can’t buy the team as the NFL needs one person as majority owner. Rogers is a conglomerate. The Rogers Centre is not a suitable facility for the NFL as it is outdated an undersized, so a new facility would have to be built. We’re talking over a $2billion price tage. The Bills are one of the most profitable teams in the league thanks to the team carrying NO debt. The Bills have a rich history, despite the recent troubles on the field, but the organization has had great success off the field.
What’s Happening This Weekend:
The Buffalo Bills head to Miami to take on the Dolphins. Miami is still mathematically alive in the playoff hunt, but its a long shot. The Bills meanwhile haven’t publicly stated they’ve quite on their coach, but their play on the field says otherwise. The defense is making history this year, (in a bad way) and it will be interesting if Miami Quarterback Ryan Tannehill takes advantage of the banged up Buffalo secondary. CJ Spiller will be showing what he can do as the lead back and we’ll see if Gailey can get the troops motivated.
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