Bills are making New York politicians nervous

AP

The decision of New York Senator Charles Schumer to chime in regarding aspects of the league’s G-4 loan program that could hurt the Bills’ efforts to upgrade their stadium (but endorsing aspects of the program that make it harder to move the team) didn’t seem unusual.  After all, Schumer has on multiple past occasions found a way to curry voter favor by taking positions conducive to keeping the Bills in Buffalo.

The news that Governor Andrew Cuomo (pictured) has hired an expert to advise the state on ensuring that the Bills will remain in Buffalo long after the passing of owner Ralph Wilson (and the sale of the franchise to an outsider) feels much different than grandstanding.

Cuomo’s move suggests that there’s real concern the Wilson family could sell the team to someone with designs on moving it.  There’s also concern that any effort to ensure the Bills won’t be able to break their lease could be leveraged by the franchise into a much more favorable lease.

“New York state is committed to doing all we can to keep the Bills a part of the Buffalo community, while also protecting taxpayer dollars and seeing that the team can thrive in western New York for years to come,” Cuomo said, via the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

That’s the balance that Erie County and the state of New York State will be trying to strike.  They want to be sure the Bills can’t leave, but they also don’t want to have to give the Bills too much of a sweetheart deal to ensure that they’ll stay.

The fact that the powers-that-be are sufficiently concerned to hire an outside expert implies that the Bills are driving a very hard bargain.  Even if the Wilson family has no intention of selling the team to someone who would ever move it, the current management sees an opportunity to parlay security into a much more favorable arrangement.

And so the politicians who are wringing hands and gnashing teeth need to be willing to call this what it is.  The Bills are making a power play.  They know that there’s anxiety about the team leaving, and the Bills want to convert that into every last penny they can get.

We’re not saying the Bills are wrong for doing it.  But the Bills can’t have it both ways, pretending to be committed to remaining in western New York while privately trying to get as much taxpayer money as possible to do that which they claim they want to do anyway.

41 responses to “Bills are making New York politicians nervous

  1. i hate that mr wilson has made millions of dollars a year from our city and doesnt care about the people enough to try and help keep the team here. oh and thanks for the product youve put on the field the last 12 years wilson you bum

  2. The Wilsons should sell to Jim Kelly and his “group.” I was never really a fan of his, but I dont think it would be good for the city or the NFL if Buffalo lost their team.

  3. What no one is considering is that Mr Wilson could already have a deal in place to sell the team upon his demise.

    This is a very real possibility and if so, it won’t matter what any politician, former player, or anybody else says or does.

    Just putting it out there.

  4. But the Bills can’t have it both ways, pretending to be committed to remaining in western New York while privately trying to get as much taxpayer money as possible to do that which they claim they want to do anyway.

    Yes they can…. they are an NFL team.

    There are only 32 and you don’t want to lose one, especially if your Buffalo – you won’t be getting another….

  5. Perhaps not, but that won’t stop them from trying. And they should never complain in the future when a player uses what little leverage he has to get a better deal from THEM.

  6. Western NY is a cruel place and Bills are being just as cruel to the people of NY state by milking them for everything they have, yet they still cheer, go Bills. #fandom

  7. the bills will never leave buffalo. they will simply die slowly and alone on the outskirts of an already dead city.

    i should know. i live there.

  8. i can’t be the only one, who when i think about the bills they never seem like a “NY” team to me. even though technically speaking they are. but in reality, they are essentially a Canadian team

  9. We’re not saying the Bills are wrong for doing it.
    ~~~~~~~~~~
    OK, I am. The fans and community have been very supportive of the Bills. Exploiting that for extra money is not very ethical.

  10. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. That’s why I no longer fault players for holding out. As Ross Tucker says, if the owners were the players, they’d be holding out, too.

  11. With ol’ Chuckie boy on the case, I am sure that the American taxpayers will bail out the franchise to keep in in Buffalo.
    Thats how Chuck helps his friends and keeps his office.

  12. If Chucky Boy Schumer is involved in trying to prevent it, it must be a good thing cause that guy is as corrupt as it gets. Don Corleone would be looking over his shoulders for this guy.

  13. Why are some of you saying you’d be glad to see them go? The Bills are ingrained in the fabric of this community. Losing them would be devastating to so many of the good people of this city.

  14. if the Bills leave Buffalo it will spell the end of the NFL. Over priced stadiums and high ticket prices are already getting the ball rolling in the direction of exclusion of the everyday fan. Add in the safty issue and the lack of kids playing the sport?….20 years it will be over taken by Futbol.

  15. How about that pass rush Buffalo? Don’t worry about it too much though that D-line will be disappointing fans in LA instead of you guys.

  16. It makes sense that they’re doing anything they can to make sure the bills stay in NY. It sure would suck if there were suddenly no NFL teams in the state of NY.

    If it was me, I’d sell the team to Toronto and call them the Toronto Maple Bills.

  17. Sure they can have it both ways. The owners of NFL teams can have it any way they want it.

    The worship of this league has thrown perspective so far out of whack that it makes otherwise sane people go crazy. People seem act like NFL owners shouldn’t treat their franchise like a business, that they should accept less than they can get from the consumers of their product.

    You don’t think Macy’s gets a sweeter lease deal in the mall than Radio Shack does? Of course they do- the mall needs Macy’s as an anchor tenant more than Macy’s needs the mall.

    If the City of Buffalo and the State of New York want to keep this incredibly valuable asset (more perception than reality- the truth is that NFL franchises in general provide very little net benefit to the cities they are in) they will have to pay for it.

  18. The Bills are here to stay, no matter what has to happen. Ralph Wilson made a promise to the City of Buffalo that as long as he is alive the Bills will stay, and after he heads off to the great football field in the sky, the Buffalo Bills will remain in Buffalo. I guarantee Mr. Wilson has everything already drawn up in his Will. After he has passed away, the team will be sold to Jim Kelly and his group of investors. 10% of the sale will go into keeping the stadium always and forever as Ralph Wilson Stadium, and the rest will go to his family. Mr. Wilson didn’t keep the team here in Buffalo for half a century, only to let it go to a lame city like LA. The Buffalo Bills are here to stay where they belong, in BUFFALO.

  19. So it’ll be the LA Bills until a story “suggests,” Stl, Sd, Jax didn’t sellout a game. LA better get ready for the LA Rams, LA Bills, LA Jags, LA Chargers.

  20. The Bills and Buffalo in general get so disrespected in favor of those other NY teams!

    The Bills are New York’s only team. We need to keep them here.

  21. Simple fact is no one that owns the Bills franchise will make money in Buffalo same goes for Jacksonville, move both franchises out if those Cities.

  22. In order to survive long term in small market Buffalo, the Bills need to enter into a contract with the local populace like the Green Bay Packers do. Selling non voting shares and embracing indirect community ownership will ensure long term survival of the franchise in Buffalo.

  23. As long as they don’t move outside the US, I’m good. And I’m Canadian. The league is set up perfectly right now.

    32 Teams = 8 Divisions of 4

    Can’t make the schedule any better. Don’t add or subtract games.

    It’s a cash cow, but people still want to eff with it.

  24. Let’s not forget all the other owners signed off on the Jerry Jones & Daniel Snyder’s punishment. You can kiss future revenue sharing (along with the “Buffalo” Bills) bye bye.

  25. They should stay in Buffalo, but change their name to the NY Bills since they’re the only true New York team now.

    And to that effect, Albany should do everything they can to keep New York’s only team.

  26. “if the Bills leave Buffalo it will spell the end of the NFL. Over priced stadiums and high ticket prices are already getting the ball rolling in the direction of exclusion of the everyday fan. ”

    Yeah, at no point in the past 40 years has an NFL team moved due to financial reasons!
    If the Bills are moved, that would be unprecedented and would destroy the NFL because then suddenly the league would be viewed as money driven!

  27. can’t be the only one, who when i think about the bills they never seem like a “NY” team to me. even though technically speaking they are. but in reality, they are essentially a Canadian team

    ————————————————–
    Saying this is essentially saying the Jets and Gaints are New Jersey’s team. Also if Mr. Wilson wanted the team gone they would be. I firmly believe that he has a plan in place to keep the Bills where they are LONG term.

  28. According to Forbes the Bills were one of the 10 most profitable teams going into last season. Saying that nobody will make money while they’re in Buffalo is ridiculous.

    They’re not one of the most valuable teams according to Forbes but they’re doing alright.

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