As the Bills and the powers-that-be in Erie County negotiate a new lease that will entail upgrades to Ralph Wilson Stadium, Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) wants the NFL to modify its program for loaning money to teams that are building and/or modifying new venues.
“I will do everything in my power to keep the Bills right here in Buffalo,” Schumer said Wednesday, via WBEN.com. “Because of the their unique situation, the bottom line is that the NFL’s loan program to upgrade stadiums, as structured, is practically useless for the Bills. Making some basic, common sense changes to this key NFL loan program is something that can generate significant resources for much-needed stadium renovations, and could do so in a way that provides significant incentive for any future owner to keep the team in western New York.”
The problem is that the league’s G-4 loan program requires the full amount of a loan to be repaid when a team is sold. And so, when the Bills are sold by the estate of Ralph Wilson, the purchaser (or the Wilson estate, or both) will have to write a check to the league for the full amount due.
Of course, Schumer wants the league to retain the provision that makes the loan fully due and payable upon relocation, in order to help ensure that the next owner won’t move the Bills.
“Enabling the Bills [to] take advantage of the league’s loan program to pay its share for the needed renovation of Ralph Wilson Stadium is a game-changing play that can help secure the team’s continued success in Buffalo for decades to come,” Schumer said. “That’s why I am urging NFL Commissioner Goodell to consider an amendment to the ‘due on sale’ clause in the G-4 loan program so the Bills can access the program and put the resources to use in the stadium renovation effort.”
And now we’ll wait for reader comments (the over/under is 27.5) complaining that members of Congress have better things to do than worry about how the ultra-rich will pay for upgrades to football stadiums.