Roger Goodell says the Buffalo Bills need a new stadium
By Avery Duncan
NFL’s commissioner Roger Goodell wants to see the Buffalo Bills build a new stadium.
It’s no secret that the Buffalo Bills play in one of the NFL’s oldest stadiums. New Era Field, previously known as the Ralph Wilson stadium, opened up in 1973. Just five teams have an older stadium.
When the Bills changed ownership to Terry and Kim Pegula in 2014, there were intentions to build a new place to play in. But, they mentioned it wouldn’t be done quickly, as it would naturally take considerable time to complete. Terry Pegula talked about the plans for a new stadium in his announcing press-conference, saying;
"I said in the back room, I hope I don’t have to spend the next eight years of my life answering stadium questions. We will gradually proceed to plan and design a stadium for the Buffalo Bills. You know, these things take time. It takes time to get this stuff organized. Where is the stadium going to go and whatnot? I realize it seems to be a significant issue but it wasn’t when we bought the team. We wanted to get the team first. We always have to have the prize before you can build the arena."
Now, as it currently stands, the Bills ten-year lease at New Era Field will run up in 2023. Pegula noted that he wants to build a contender first; judging by the current roster build, he’s close. But, since 2014, we haven’t heard many murmurs about a new stadium, or a push by the league.
Until the NFL’s commissioner addressed the issue, on Monday morning, at Jim Kelly’s golf tournament, Roger Goodell noted that for the Bills to be competitive and stable, a new stadium should be built.
The business of building NFL stadiums isn’t an easy one, but it gets a bit tougher when the league is breathing down a team’s back. The NFL has been no stranger to dangling the idea of team relocation if they cannot fund the stadium adequately in their own backyard. However, moving the Bills probably isn’t in the league’s best interest.
Though the Bills have their issues revolving around an older stadium, they are consistently at the top of the NFL’s leaderboard in ticket sales. Bills Mafia is a historic fanbase that won’t fade away anytime soon. But, Goodell is right, the team could certainly use an upgraded stadium. Considering that Pagula is close to building his contender, maybe it comes sometime soon.