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Pessimism grows in Buffalo about the Bills staying in town

Jacksonville Jaguars v Buffalo Bills Getty Images

No one in Buffalo wants to think about the possibility that their beloved team will one day be known as the Los Angeles Bills or the London Bills. But some in Buffalo see that as a real possibility.

In a column for the Buffalo News, Donn Esmonde writes that once the estate of the late owner Ralph Wilson sells the team, “the Bills’ future in Buffalo will likely not extend past the 2022 expiration of the 10-year lease.”

The reason, of course, is money — which other cities have more of than Buffalo. The column notes that Buffalo has zero Fortune 500 companies and nowhere near the buying power of Los Angeles, and quotes analysts who say Buffalo’s long-term chances of supporting an NFL franchise are not great.

“It’s not just corporations buying luxury boxes, you have private citizens who can afford them [in Los Angeles],” said Ted Fay, a sports management professor at SUNY Cortland in Upstate New York. “They don’t even sell seat licenses at The Ralph.”

We won’t know much of anything about the Bills’ future until we know the identity of the next Bills’ owner. Fans who want to see the team stay in Buffalo will hope the next owner is someone with ties to the community, or at least a football fan who has sentimental feelings about keeping the Bills in Buffalo.

But if the next owner is simply a businessman who wants to maximize the team’s earning potential, there’s a strong case to be made that the franchise can earn a lot more elsewhere.

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126 Responses to “Pessimism grows in Buffalo about the Bills staying in town”
  1. green41563 says: Mar 29, 2014 6:25 PM

    Pessimism can’t possibly grow any larger in Buffalo.

  2. burgundyandgold says: Mar 29, 2014 6:27 PM

    “they don’t even sell private seat licenses at The Ralf” oh, the horror.

    This is why Mark Cuban is probably right…

  3. alshonbrandontandem says: Mar 29, 2014 6:27 PM

    Football belongs in Buffalo alot more than in Jax or Tennessee or Arizona. Keep the team there!!!

  4. ravensbob says: Mar 29, 2014 6:27 PM

    I really don’t think L A deserves a team, but there is no doubt the Bills will be somewhere else.

  5. hallforpresident says: Mar 29, 2014 6:27 PM

    Toronto Bills, that has a nice ring to it.

  6. Pittsburgh Steelers says: Mar 29, 2014 6:28 PM

    We, the Steelers, believe this is a sad ending for Buffalo’s fans. It is, however, very fitting and summarizes the organization’s existence thus far. A move will provide a clean slate. Good luck.

  7. illwillthemick says: Mar 29, 2014 6:28 PM

    kinda sad… they gotta do it how ever green bay does it

  8. rdskns2000 says: Mar 29, 2014 6:29 PM

    What difference is that from any other business. NFL is a business and it will go where it can make money and that isn’t in Buffalo. Come 2022, the Bills are gone.

  9. emoney12 says: Mar 29, 2014 6:29 PM

    PFT why are you reading Donn Esmonde articles? No one in Buffalo does. If you ask Donn, we couldn’t keep McDonalds in Buffalo.

  10. jetsfmleveryday says: Mar 29, 2014 6:29 PM

    Only so much losing someone can stand…. Says a jets fan :(

  11. dickshotdogs says: Mar 29, 2014 6:30 PM

    Buffalo has some of the nicest people you will ever meet in your life. And The Bills fans are as loyal as any in the country. I honestly feel terrible for them. I put the blame squarely on the politicians. The party that runs that state (and we all know who I’m talking about) has destroyed the city of Buffalo and the state of New York. Period. Just look how the states latest campaign to encourage businesses to set up shop in New York. That party has taxed these fine people into irreversible depression. Keep The Bills in Buffalo, somehow.

    Patriots fan

  12. jimbo75025 says: Mar 29, 2014 6:31 PM

    The landscape may change by 2022 anyway. The NFL has to be careful about screwing over longtime loyal fans because if the Bills bolt no way Buffalo will get a new franchise.

  13. pftfan says: Mar 29, 2014 6:31 PM

    Remember, folks…they’re the “REAL New York Team”

    Too bad no one cares about a team 400 miles away from New York City.

  14. jotto87 says: Mar 29, 2014 6:33 PM

    The Bills will never leave Buffalo. Too strong a fanbase, and too much history. Not to mention Roger Goodell is a WNY native. They’ll get a modest new stadium built (similar to what the steelers did with Heinz field), and they won’t leave for at least 30 years after that. Anyone who says otherwise either hates the Bills and says it just to be a troll, or just wants to make a story out of nothing.

  15. reptar310 says: Mar 29, 2014 6:35 PM

    Build a stadium at Hollywood Park, next to the refurbished forum. Bring sports back to the City of Champions, Inglewood.

  16. mickton says: Mar 29, 2014 6:35 PM

    Say hello to the London bills

  17. xinellum says: Mar 29, 2014 6:36 PM

    The Buffalo Bills are one of the original AFL franchises and as such are critical in forming the AFC/NFC arrangement, the Super Bowl and has the illustrious (if not dubious) honor of appearing in four straight Super Bowls. LA will have a franchise long before 2022 and the Londonderry experiment is on the downswing not the upswing. Here is hoping the Bills stay in Buffalo for a long long time.

  18. wayupsouth says: Mar 29, 2014 6:37 PM

    I have to think there are at least a few British fans of ‘Murican football on this site. Honestly, how many of you think an NFL team in London is a viable thing?

  19. macker1283 says: Mar 29, 2014 6:38 PM

    For a fan base that doesnt even sell out playoff games, who cares? The NFL is too big to have teams in these nowhere cities.

  20. andreweac says: Mar 29, 2014 6:39 PM

    No chance the Bills stay when they can opt out of the stadium lease.

    When they move I will be surprised if they keep the name “Bills”. If the NFL can’t get enough corporate welfare out of LA then San Antonio is a strong possibility.

    The attempt by Goddell to get a permanent team in London is ludicrous.

  21. wawa33 says: Mar 29, 2014 6:39 PM

    The LA Bills? That sounds pathetic…

  22. mistrezzrachael says: Mar 29, 2014 6:41 PM

    Is easy to point @ the Bills….

    HOWEVER…Jax, & Miami have the 2 weakest fans bases in the NFL…If it were not for the opposing fans flooding SunLife, there would be no one @ the Dolphin games…and even @ that, stadium has empty sections always.

    Right now, 2014, those 2 franchises are at the top to be moved…and their outlooks poor.

  23. wnbasuperfan says: Mar 29, 2014 6:44 PM

    This is what’s wrong with today’s NFL. If the Bills move, the league might gain a lot of fairweather football fans in LA, but lose a handful of devoted die-hards in Buffalo.
    Unfortunately, I think that’s a tradeoff that the NFL will jump all over.

  24. jimr10 says: Mar 29, 2014 6:45 PM

    Maybe Mark Cuban can buy and help the NFL implode..

  25. drwbrsdmndsnxplntn says: Mar 29, 2014 6:45 PM

    Florio you need to have your people move the report comment button away from the thumbs up or down buttons, for the benefit of those of us on iPhones with fat fingers. Thanks!

  26. gbfanforever says: Mar 29, 2014 6:47 PM

    The main reason Green Bay has been able to do it was based on reinvestment in the stadium through sales tax and stock sales. That allowed the team to bring in more revenue. The other reason is the absence of an owner to who a few extra bucks means more than the loyal fans who have been lining their pockets. Buffalo can’t let this happen.

  27. @Cereal_22 says: Mar 29, 2014 6:48 PM

    Jay-Z wants to partner up with Putin & move them to Brooklyn.

  28. micknangold says: Mar 29, 2014 6:48 PM

    Okay fans….give it up for your TORONTO BILLS! Second best football team in Toronto!

  29. sandypar77 says: Mar 29, 2014 6:49 PM

    The team has profited over $30 mil several years running. They don’t need to move to make money, it’s already been proven.

  30. anchorbarred says: Mar 29, 2014 6:49 PM

    You mean Don Esmonde’s pessimism grows. If anything in the past few days, the people in WNY are galvanized and ther are people are potential owners, but that would involve actually doing homework for a story. Pegula, Golisano, Jacobs and Gundlach are all potential suitors.

  31. roadbiscuit says: Mar 29, 2014 6:49 PM

    This seems like a good moment to throw some pie in the faces of everyone who sneers about the Packers being owned by the folks.

  32. zackdegnan says: Mar 29, 2014 6:50 PM

    Bills 13th in the league in viewer rankings. Definitely gonna move right? Those other 19 teams are way more qualified to be in there cities

  33. beerbaron says: Mar 29, 2014 6:52 PM

    As a Patriots fan, I want to keep the Bills in Buffalo and in the AFC East for as long as possible.

    Just kidding (I think). If we’re moving franchises, let’s start with the Jaguars. How many Fortune 500 companies are set up in Jacksonville? What a worthless city.

  34. restorativejusticeprogram says: Mar 29, 2014 6:53 PM

    Democrat rule has ruined the economics of Buffalo. Instead of being a low tax low energy cost area (which it could be) they chased away business like it was a mission. How goes Buffalo so goes the US 20 years later.

  35. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Mar 29, 2014 6:53 PM

    Without their long-time patriarch (HOF’er Ralph Wilson) — it is a very real and likely possibility that the Bills are not long for Buffalo.

    It kind of blows too, because the Los Angeles fan tends to be blasé about the epic game of NFL football — and the vast majority of Western New York fans are passionate die-hard maniacs who truly appreciate the game.

    If this decision is based on who DESERVES the Bills, it’s clearly Buffalo.

    If this decision is based purely on profits, Los Angeles will (sadly) poach the team – and trot out their standard glitz routine to their front-runner fans (many of them celebs).

    It makes one contemplate how fortunate the Bills were to have Ralph Wilson in their corner for over half a century.

  36. melikefootball says: Mar 29, 2014 6:53 PM

    Shame on the owners to allow this action. The Bill’s fans have been thick and thin and now they get craped on. God-del remember you care about the fans. These fans deserve better.

  37. deezenucks says: Mar 29, 2014 6:54 PM

    Hey mistrezz, there are more then a handful of teams who have a harder time selling out (blackouts) then the jags. This has nothing to do with a fan base but dollars. You know what jax has, Kahn and his millions.

  38. kd75 says: Mar 29, 2014 6:54 PM

    While the Bills should NEVER leave Buffalo…They WILL have a new owner.

    The new owner isn’t going to spend a few hundred million to lose money. Just to keep the team in a city that can’t afford a NFL team for sentiment.

    Whether it is LA, San Antonio or London, the new owner will take the fast cash grab and sweetheart stadium deal.

    Sad but true…

  39. tmcrouch1 says: Mar 29, 2014 6:56 PM

    Buffalo=Armpit of the NFL.

  40. silverbackdk says: Mar 29, 2014 6:56 PM

    European fan here. My first experience of football was the Bills losing 4 straight super bowls. Hopefully they will find a Green Bay solution…and maybe win a super bowl

  41. kgun80 says: Mar 29, 2014 6:56 PM

    They make $$. But I can definitely see the new owner wanting a stadium… And who knows? NY state only pays for billion dollar stadiums in Brooklyn for second rate basketball franchises…Western and upstate ny have been getting kicked in the pants for decades because of NYC.

  42. slaugin says: Mar 29, 2014 6:57 PM

    What Would Bon Jovi Do?

  43. everyonesuksbutme says: Mar 29, 2014 6:59 PM

    Wide right!

  44. lsuphil says: Mar 29, 2014 7:00 PM

    “wayupsouth says:

    I have to think there are at least a few British fans of ‘Murican football on this site. Honestly, how many of you think an NFL team in London is a viable thing?”

    It isn’t. We follow existing NFL teams over here. A new franchise would take years to bed in, if ever. Pats fans aren’t gonna give up their team. Raiders fans aren’t gonna give up the Raiders. Broncos, Packers, Bears, Giants, Dolphins, etc.

    We don’t want a London franchise. A game or two a year was a bonus but a London team? No thanks!

  45. londonlion81 says: Mar 29, 2014 7:01 PM

    I’m a English fan of the NFL, and honestly I wouldn’t support the NFL having a team in London.
    The games are great, but I’m not sure if many UK fans would leave their current teams to support a new one, especially if they have been supporting them for many years. I wouldn’t personally.
    Plus I’m also not sure if new fans would stick with a expansion team that would be probably quite rubbish to begin with.

  46. hawkforlife says: Mar 29, 2014 7:07 PM

    Take it from a city and surrounding area that knows, watch out for a guy named Ken Behring from LA. If he’s still interested in owning a franchise he’ll rip your team out from under you.

    As did a guy named Clay Bennett with the Sonics. They’ll tell you they want to keep your team there and one morning you’ll wake up to moving vans trailing out of Dodge.

  47. thebandit27 says: Mar 29, 2014 7:08 PM

    Anyone claiming that the Bills are leaving (a) hasn’t read the team’s lease, (b) is woefully unaware of both the number of potential local buyers and the goals of the trust that now runs the team, and (c) is patently ignorant regarding the team’s ranking in TV ratings and revenue in comparison to the rest of the NFL.

    Seriously.

  48. lnfinite says: Mar 29, 2014 7:10 PM

    LA Billcollectors??

  49. EJ says: Mar 29, 2014 7:12 PM

    There may not be a Fortune 500 company in Buffalo, but how about their neighbor and partner City Rochester or Corning? The Bills are not just Buffalo, they are Western, NY/Central, NY. The team that they assigned to find a way to keep the Bills in Buffalo is a good team…

    The Buffalo Bills on Thursday announced their selections for a high-level panel exploring options for a new football stadium in Western New York, kicking off the process that looks to cement the team’s future in the area just days after the death of longtime owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr.

    Dubbed the “New Stadium Working Group,” the panel also includes the surprise appointment of one of Washington’s top political figures, Sen. Charles E. Schumer. His presence in the group is now viewed as key, given his influence in the Senate and his long-standing efforts to keep the Bills in Buffalo. That includes a close relationship with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, a Western New York native.

    The group appears to be wasting no time in getting started, with Cuomo administration officials indicating a Tuesday meeting is slated for a yet-to-be-determined location in the Buffalo area.

    The Bills also named six other high-powered figures to the effort, including Bills President and CEO Russell H. Brandon; Louis P. Ciminelli, chairman of LPCiminelli Inc.; Christopher H. Koch, CEO of New Era Cap Co.; Jordan Levy, managing partner of SoftBank Capital; Jeffrey C. Littman, chief financial officer of the Bills; and Mary Owen, executive vice president of strategic planning for the Bills.

    Other members already have been named to what could be a 21-member panel by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz.

    The team will remain in Buffalo Mr. Donn Esmonde.

  50. wvujess20 says: Mar 29, 2014 7:13 PM

    I love how they keep talking about the Bills going to LA in 2020… LA wants a team now, not 7 years from now… By the time 2020 rolls around I’m sure LA will have gotten a team and lost them again.

  51. steeltuff says: Mar 29, 2014 7:18 PM

    Have no fear, Buffalo fans. When the “Chief” passed away, some skeptics said the Steelers would leave town. It didn’t happen. And it ain’t gonna happen to the city that was home to Cookie Gilchrist, Jack Kemp and the AFL Champion Bills of the ’60’s. Art Rooney is looking down from above . . . and he won’t let this happen to the team owned by his old buddy, Ralph Wilson.

  52. patfanken says: Mar 29, 2014 7:19 PM

    There is no earthly reason for the Bills to leave Buffalo any more that it is for the Packers to leave Green Bay. You industrial base no longer means as much in an age where most of the league’s revenues are generated by TV and the leagues revenues are shared.

    Buffalo has EARNED its franchise. If LA has to have a new team, the Rams, Jags, Arizona and even Miami would be better choices than Buffalo. If the NFL takes the Bills franchise just because they didn’t build a stadium filled with luxury boxes for fairweather fans, then I really really start to question my loyalty to the NFL.

    It shouldn’t be ALL about the money.

  53. fabquarrymen says: Mar 29, 2014 7:24 PM

    Let’s be realistic…if they move to L.A. or London, they definitely won’t keep the name ‘Bills’. Maybe the LA Earthquakes or London Fogs! :)

  54. grimreaper12 says: Mar 29, 2014 7:24 PM

    Patriot supporter here.
    ..I’m gonna miss watching New England’s yearly domination in Buffalo.
    #gopats

  55. isphet71 says: Mar 29, 2014 7:25 PM

    It would be pretty sad to not have a franchise in Buffalo. Sure, they haven’t been good lately, but that is a historic franchise. Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith… those teams in the 80s when I grew up were iconic in my mind.

    I think the NFL is diminished if they don’t have a franchise in Buffalo.

  56. piratefreedom says: Mar 29, 2014 7:32 PM

    Death Spiral:

    Bills fans think team is leaving so support drops.
    Support drops so moving team becomes even more likely.
    Bills fans even more certain that team is leaving so support drops further.
    Support drops further so moving team becomes even more likely.
    ….

  57. mistrezzrachael says: Mar 29, 2014 7:33 PM

    deezenucks says:
    Mar 29, 2014 6:54 PM

    Hey mistrezz, there are more then a handful of teams who have a harder time selling out (blackouts) then the jags. This has nothing to do with a fan base but dollars. You know what jax has, Kahn and his millions.

    DEEZE…Jags stadium, actually never sells out, other than the 2004 Super Bowl….You forget that they “cover” up upper corner sections????? But will say this, have been to 6-7 games there, and 20+ @ SunLife/Dolphin stadium…and Jax much much better…Fan base for Dolphins doesn’t exist.

    Either way…the Bills, like the Chiefs, Browns, & Packers, have most loyal fan bases in NFL…those fans start arriving for Sunday games on a Friday.

  58. packerbackernj says: Mar 29, 2014 7:34 PM

    Stop bringing up the Packers, it isn’t going to happen. The original Packers shareholders had to pay about $25 a piece to keep the team. All 260,000 people of Buffalo would have to pay close to $3,000 a piece to publicly own the team. The buffalo bills will be privately owned, As for this idea that Buffalo has somehow “earned” the Bills isn’t American any more. there is no loyalty in business. Forbes has the Bills at #29 on the most profitable NFL franchises. I applaud Bills fans for their passion and loyalty, but there is a very huge possibility that this franchise will not be there in 2023. now they are trying to keep it in western NY, but there are a lot of dominoes that have to fall in place. I personally hope the Bills never leave Buffalo. But if I was a corporate raider instead of a measly broker, and I just shelled out close to a billion for an NFL Franchise, I would move them in a heartbeat.

  59. T.J. Haugo says: Mar 29, 2014 7:35 PM

    NFL should step up n buy the team.

  60. m3dman3 says: Mar 29, 2014 7:36 PM

    Seattle will lose the Seahawks before Buffalo loses the Bills.

  61. realnflmaster says: Mar 29, 2014 7:36 PM

    Anyone who thinks the Bills won’t move are DELUSIONAL. No money to be made in that dead zone.

  62. stixzidinia says: Mar 29, 2014 7:37 PM

    Anybody who actually agrees to pay for a PSL is an idiot of the highest order. You’re paying a ton of money for the “privilege” of spending even more money on over-priced NFL tickets.

    And I love how they gave it a name that had the word “license” in it…..as if there was any sort of legality involved/required in purchasing a season ticket.

  63. stixzidinia says: Mar 29, 2014 7:39 PM

    As a Patriots fan, I want to keep the Bills in Buffalo and in the AFC East for as long as possible.

    ——————

    That’s funny, It wasn’t until this last decade that the Patriots were historically among the absolute dregs of the league.

  64. 6250claimer says: Mar 29, 2014 7:39 PM

    “I’m not a pessimist, I’m an optometrist.” – Ricky, Trailer Park Boys

  65. hawkstradamus says: Mar 29, 2014 7:41 PM

    Build a publicly funded 200,000 seat stadium with no luxury boxes. Bring football back to the masses.

  66. scottmccandless says: Mar 29, 2014 7:42 PM

    The Bills Are not going anywhere. Edmonde is not a a visionary columnist and has been a champion of government funding for the arts, but has been against corporate welfare for professional sports. The fan support is there, and in the age of technology most Fortune 500 companies are in a handful of cities. We can not have 20 teams in New Jersey and Northern California. Three years ago Blackberry founders were rumored to be the next owners of the Bills since they are located over the border. That company is in a much different position in only three years. A new owner is two years away, and there are PSL’s at the Ralph for about 20.000 of the 74.000 seats. The region not including Toronto has 2.5 million people. The people of Western New York and Southern Ontario will not allow the team to leave. Edmonde is not an expert on this issue. He is a perfect writer for commenting on school board issues, and promoting festivals, but he has very little knowledge on the business of sports.

  67. rabidbillsfan says: Mar 29, 2014 7:43 PM

    This is something that is missed in all of this “speculation”. There is no established fan base in either LA or London for any football team. Look at recent team moves and “expansions” the only 2 new locales with new teams are JAX and CAR, and look at how poorly JAX has turned out recently. Clevland moved a (relative) short distance to Baltimore, establishing that fan base wasn’t exactly hard. Same thing with Houston to Tennesee. Similar region, and already a strong football fan base with ‘Ole Rocky top in state. Fans in LA already endured the Raiders and Rams, two teams that still exist and are both within a reasonable distance of LA, those fans won’t be bailing on either of those franchises. Outside of a few transplant fans, whose going to watch the Bills play in LA? Established celebrities already have their loyalties with other teams, while the newer generation are more apt to teams that are winners, aka not the Bills. The Kings, Lakers, Dodgers, and now the Clippers becoming relevant will be the first destination for fans before the NFL franchise. LA just doesn’t make any sense for any team. And don’t get me started on London.

  68. billsin20xx says: Mar 29, 2014 7:45 PM

    PLEASE, you are quoting the biggest, liberal, left wing cry baby reporter at the Buffalo News. He used to do sports but was moved years ago to doing whiny, cry baby fluff type stories. Please don’t kisten to him.
    There actually has been more optimism here with the news that they cannot break their lease until 2020 without a court fight, and that the members of the new “stadium study” group were just named yesterday, including NY’s senior senator, Schumer.

  69. rajbais says: Mar 29, 2014 7:50 PM

    Find a place by the buffalo side of Niagara Falls for the stadium.

    It works.

  70. buckybadger says: Mar 29, 2014 7:52 PM

    burgundyandgold says:
    Mar 29, 2014 6:27 PM
    “they don’t even sell private seat licenses at The Ralf” oh, the horror.

    This is why Mark Cuban is probably right…

    ———————

    Cuban is just mouthing off as he always does. Buffalo is the last of the old school small market teams outside the Packers and they can’t survive in a with the salary cap. The salary cap can hurt the smallest of markets if they can’t find another way to make money (print stock for instance). Teams like Dallas and The Redskins who make a ton of money drive up the salary cap where teams like Buffalo are left trying to cover a bill they can’t just to compete. It is the popularity and high revenue of the other franchises that make it near impossible for Buffalo to keep their team. The other owners also would rather partner with a team in LA or London over Buffalo.

  71. theravenlives2 says: Mar 29, 2014 7:53 PM

    The Bills will never leave Buffalo. Too strong a fanbase, and too much history. Not to mention Roger Goodell is a WNY native. They’ll get a modest new stadium built (similar to what the steelers did with Heinz field), and they won’t leave for at least 30 years after that. Anyone who says otherwise either hates the Bills and says it just to be a troll, or just wants to make a story out of nothing.
    ==============================

    Wow! How can you be so naive! Today is the 30th Anniversary of the Colts sneaking out of Baltimore. I can still remember all the letters in the local newspapers the months before the Colts left talking about exactly what you said about “a great fan base and too much history.” This from the franchise of Johnny Unitas. Wake up and smell the Folgers, man.

    I went to a game at the Ralph last year. The fans were indeed passionate (no argument there), but the stadium is a dump. I’ve been to about 10 other NFL Stadiums, and the Ralph is by far the worst. The day we were there, the toilets stopped working in half the stadium. I respect the Buffalo fans, and we had a great time in the area and met some nice people. Guess what? None of that matters. Roger Godell is from the area? Measure that sentimentality vs. doubling the value of an $800,000,000 investment. If the Bills move to Los Angeles or London, they double their worth overnight.

    The first thing that needs to happen is for Buffalo to build a new stadium. Trust me, I come from a city that lost a team and then got one back. If they don’t get a new stadium, the Bills are as good as gone. I would hate to see that happen.

    I’m not being hatefull. I’m someone who’s been through this on both sides and I’m telling you the truth.

  72. buckybadger says: Mar 29, 2014 7:56 PM

    @rabidbillsfan, there have been a ton of places that didn’t have a dedicated fan base when the team first arrived and did just fine. Big markets like London and LA represent a ton more money in several different ways. The NFL believes they can sell their product in those markets and they haven’t been wrong before. It was once said you wouldn’t be able to sell pro-football in Texas and now they have two teams.

    I agree this is sad but Buffalo can’t compete and struggle to make the revenue to compete in a league with a floor to their salary cap.

  73. razzlejag says: Mar 29, 2014 7:56 PM

    When I am asked to pay a PSL, I will stop being a season ticket holder.

    Mistrezz and others- the Jaguars haven’t had a blackout in years; they also outdrew the Steelers in both of the last two years despite their terrible record. The Jags are being rebuilt, they have a nice stadium and solid fan support.

    The Jaguars aren’t going anywhere. If I had to guess about London, I would say that the Jags will remain the “featured” team there with an annual home game played at Wembley with other teams rotating through for maybe 3 other games per year there.

    There was initial opposition (and fear TBH) to them playing a home game there for the 4 years but now it seems like it’s been somewhat embraced. The English fans on the Jaguars message board have been nothing but polite and have even educated us about Shad Khan’s English Premier League soccer team, Fulham.

    Many of us are now feeling that we are in a true partnership with our London counterparts.

    Everbank stadium in Jacksonville is being enhanced with the biggest video boards in the world plus pools, cabanas and palm trees. We’re rocking in 2014 with a good free agency haul, 11 draft picks in the upcoming deep draft and have a very favorable cap situation.

    It’s all good and I hope Buffalo never loses its team either. They are great fans, too.

  74. buckybadger says: Mar 29, 2014 7:57 PM

    m3dman3 says:
    Mar 29, 2014 7:36 PM
    Seattle will lose the Seahawks before Buffalo loses the Bills.

    ————

    Look up who owns them.

  75. billybone says: Mar 29, 2014 8:00 PM

    Anybody wishing the Bills to move is a jerk. If you aren’t a Bills fan that’s fine but if that is the case, why would you wish a loyal fan base like the Bills to lose their team? If you want the Bills to move why don’t you just offer up your team instead?

  76. Pittsburgh Steelers says: Mar 29, 2014 8:00 PM

    Toronto. Goodell is drooling.

  77. ravensbob says: Mar 29, 2014 8:09 PM

    30th anniversary of the real Colts leaving Baltimore. If that can happen Buffalo has no shot at keeping the team:

    Baltimore Colts
    Brooklyn Dodgers
    Buffalo Bills

  78. jimthebuilder27 says: Mar 29, 2014 8:11 PM

    Los Angeles gets a team in 2022…BOOK IT!

  79. underpaid34 says: Mar 29, 2014 8:13 PM

    Let’s just keep putting a team in LA. It’s got to work out eventually,2 or 3 more times max and it will stick

  80. rabidbillsfan says: Mar 29, 2014 8:14 PM

    @bucky badger

    Give me a recent example smart guy. There isn’t one. The NFL is established, it’s not a new toy like it was in the ’70’s and ’80’s. Kids are now raised with the NFL as part of their culture. Which means they adopt the team of their parents and family members. It won’t work. There is zero outcry for a team to be brought to LA by a reasonable amount of “fans” like there was in Clevland and Houston. And BTW, Pro-football has been “sold” in Texas for 40+years, you may have heard that in the 60’s, but that statement is so dated that it has no relevance in this situation. On the flip side, LA has HAD 2 teams, only to watch them walk. While I never said that a team will not end up back in LA, I am saying that it won’t work. It would be an absolute embarrassment for anybody who buys into the NFL’s theory that it would work. Also, Bufflao has never had a problem hitting the Salary cap floor, it has always been managements choice to not spend, which has clearly changed lately. And in their defense, who have the Bills had lately that deserved to be paid?

  81. phluffyclouds says: Mar 29, 2014 8:14 PM

    Bills need to stay in Buffalo.

    If anyone moves to LA, move the Jaguars.

    Jacksonville is the obvious choice.

    Will be a sad day if (most likely, when) the Bills leave Buffalo.

  82. roadbiscuit says: Mar 29, 2014 8:16 PM

    Ralph Wilson had his choice of cities to plant a team after he plunked down his $25,000. He looked at the All America Conference to see attendance figures. Buffalo stood out. It still does. Fan loyalty: Buffalo has it, LA has lost 3 teams because of crappy fan support.

  83. fallguy2006 says: Mar 29, 2014 8:18 PM

    As a Clevelander I know what the people of Buffalo are going through. I hope they can keep their team there . RIP Mr. Wilson

  84. 3highlow says: Mar 29, 2014 8:19 PM

    I hope this never happens. I hate when teams move! And my heart goes out to the Bills fans. I remember not long ago I almost had to become a St Louis Patriots fan…

  85. j0esixpack says: Mar 29, 2014 8:19 PM

    It’d be a shame to see the Bills vacate the city, but it would kindof be funny to remind obnoxious New York fans that they don’t have a team playing in their state anymore.!

  86. rowdymon says: Mar 29, 2014 8:28 PM

    Another Browns fan here. The Bills should stay in Buffalo. Buffalo Bills, Beef on Weck and Buffalo Wings forever!

  87. fordmandalay says: Mar 29, 2014 8:28 PM

    Are fans actually pessimistic that the Bills will stay?

  88. theravenlives2 says: Mar 29, 2014 8:31 PM

    As a Clevelander I know what the people of Buffalo are going through. I hope they can keep their team there . RIP Mr. Wilson

    ==============================
    As a Baltimorean, so do I, and I also hope Buffalo keeps its team.

  89. fordmandalay says: Mar 29, 2014 8:32 PM

    Let’s be realistic…if they move to L.A. or London, they definitely won’t keep the name ‘Bills’. Maybe the LA Earthquakes or London Fogs! :)
    ——————————————————————-
    You mean like the L.A. Lakers or the L.A. (Trolley) Dodgers?

  90. wwwmattcom says: Mar 29, 2014 8:38 PM

    I hate you LA

  91. mrlaloosh says: Mar 29, 2014 8:40 PM

    It’s not Buffalo. It’s Lake Erie. Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit….. PAVE THE LAKE!!!!!! ;>~)

  92. bohste says: Mar 29, 2014 8:47 PM

    The current NFL is run by a bunch of multi-billionnaires that only want to add to their wealth. The NFL is an illegal monopoly that should have to play by the same rules as any other US business. Oh, and by the way, why doesn’t the NFL pay any taxes? All they keep doing is randomly allowing teams to leave very supportive cities and moving to cities where they can make more money. In other words …. who cares about the fans?

  93. brownsfan00 says: Mar 29, 2014 8:49 PM

    As a lifetime fan of the browns, I hope to god that’s not the case for our neighbors. Nobody should have to go through that, except maybe baltimore, and pittburgh.

  94. dontbugmeonsundays says: Mar 29, 2014 8:49 PM

    Relocating that team with that logo and those colors with that rich a history would be a devestating blow to not only Bills fans but a lot of NFL fans in general. The bills have way too much history and have made their mark on the NFL as a legendary franchise. You just can’t lose franchises like that which have meant soo much to the league. I really hope they find a way to keep the bills in Buffalo. Because the NFL needs them there just as much as the city of Buffalo.

  95. campcouch says: Mar 29, 2014 9:02 PM

    19 years LA has been without a team. The second largest media market in the US does not have a team. No expansion,no relocation for 19 years! Two teams left and nothing has replaced them. The NFL wants a team there but the fans could care less. Buffalo was #19 in attendance number last year, right behind Seattle and above Indy. So I find it strange that someone would think that there’s no support for their team. The Bills won’t leave. Sure,they could build a 100,000 seat stadium in LA,and the fans will show up eating fish tacos,but after a couple of 7-9 seasons,they’ll go back to the beach,like they did with the Raiders and Rams. The owners will be smart and stay in a guaranteed market. A place where hard working folks look at football as part of the area’s soul and not a weekend distraction.

  96. 904primetime says: Mar 29, 2014 9:05 PM

    How does Jacksonville get in everyone’s mouth . Why not make sure your city isn’t next to lose a team instead of throwing one under the bus that you evidently have no idea what you’re talking about look at the attendance records for the last 2 yrs for jax and look at buffaloes -enough said…. Reading is fundamental even for NFL fans.

  97. i10east says: Mar 29, 2014 9:08 PM

    All of these Jacksonville haters, with all of that hate in their hearts. Trying to correlate a classic team that’s going through some adversity with a ‘fill in the blank’ team in your biased opinion that ‘isn’t deserving’ of a team…SMH

    That ‘save one, and take one way’ mentality is wishful garbage. Shad Khan isn’t gonna bring in the largest scoreboards to Northeast Florida (real old Florida BTW) for nothing.

    Jax has NEVER been at dead last in NFL attendance, contrary to popular belief. Jax was the ninth highest market watching the Super Bowl (ahead of Denver) but we still don’t care right? Stay classless Jax haters. Hopefully the Bills will maintain staying in Buffalo.

  98. zackdegnan says: Mar 29, 2014 9:24 PM

    I’m a bills fan so I have right to say this. The bills are not popular, let’s face it’s their not a popular franchise. They will not survive in big market LA. Their fair weather fans to begin with. They won’t support a team with no exciting players. I’m not saying we don’t have exciting players, but fans that aren’t as smart as bills fans will believe that. They won’t support a struggling team. They have 3 teams to support. The dodgers, the lakers who have been great in the past and the clippers who are amazing now, their not used to used to losing, too be honest they have better things to do than to go to a struggling teams games. But the people in buffalo (myself included) let’s face it we have nothing better to do. The bills are the best thing for us. All we have other is the sabers and that’s awful. I’m a raptors fan too, I hate that I have to drove 2 hours to go to the game, so I don’t do it often. Anyways keep the bills in buffalo

  99. tomtravis76 says: Mar 29, 2014 9:29 PM

    If the franchise has to move, hopefully the city will retain the history, name and records. And if down the road they don’t get an NFL franchise maybe when the league implements a spring minor league they can have a franchise connected to one of the NYC/ NJ teams.

  100. jaygruntboston says: Mar 29, 2014 9:34 PM

    they belong in Toronto. Buffalo is a dying city.

  101. juliusanonymous says: Mar 29, 2014 9:38 PM

    That myth about los Angeles not caring about football is ridiculous. They were very loyal to the Raiders in the 80s. Everyone in the city wore black and silver. Al Davis embodied and symbolized the spirit of los Angeles better than any other owner ever has for a city.

    And I’m a Seahawks fan. Went to the Colliseum in 1984 to watch the Seahawks play the Raiders in the AFCCG. It’s one of my fondest childhood memories. One thing is for certain, Los Angeles was all about the Raiders.

    If any team goes to LA, it should be the Raiders. Just a natural fit in every way.

  102. theravenlives2 says: Mar 29, 2014 9:54 PM

    Boy, you guys just don’t get it. It’s not about support for the team! The Cleveland Browns sold out every game before they moved to Baltimore. It’s about Stadiums and Stadium revenue. The Bills absolutely have the fan support from the average fan. This has nothing to do with the average fan. It’s about how much money you can make from your corporate partners in the community and with the sale of skyboxes and how much money your stadium can generate. If the Baltimore Colts , Cleveland Browns, and Houston Oilers can move, so can the Buffalo Bills. Don’t kid yourselves with this “we’re different” crap. Buffalo is just like those cities.

  103. braincake63 says: Mar 29, 2014 9:54 PM

    I hope the Wilson family is as classy as Ralph Wilson was. Do the right thing. Keep the Bills in Buffalo.

  104. gmen32 says: Mar 29, 2014 10:11 PM

    Toronto is home to the CFL’s Argonauts. No chance the NFL will put a franchise in Toronto, for a variety of reasons. Argos rule north of the border, while the G-Men rule south of the border.

  105. petehemlock says: Mar 29, 2014 10:12 PM

    Division realignment will suck.

  106. ravensbob says: Mar 29, 2014 10:23 PM

    The Baltimore Colts
    The Los Angeles Rams
    The Houston Oilers
    The Oakland Raiders(likely again)
    The Cleveland Browns(real)
    The St Louis Cardinals

    On and on and on. The league doesn’t care. Roselle, tagliaboob, Goodell –the league will turn it’s back on western NY as quick as you can say Mayflower vans.

  107. beachsidejames says: Mar 29, 2014 10:28 PM

    The Buffalo fans are some of the best fans in the country and it would be a shame to see them lose their team. Some of the best memories of nfl play was lead by the buffalo bills. Alot of sad news has come out of buffalo in the last few weeks and it would be nice to see them catch a break on this one. Also if your reading this J.K. I hope you are doing well.

  108. cptbuff says: Mar 29, 2014 10:30 PM

    I don’t wish any team to move, but for the Jags fan saying they wouldn’t install the biggest screens in the NFL if they were going to move: The Bills had the biggest screen in the NFL 5 years or less ago. They’re doing renovations to the stadium this year costing $130 million.

  109. jayniner says: Mar 29, 2014 10:34 PM

    Don’t worry about them coming to L.A..

    We’ll have a team well before 2022.

  110. hockeyfan28 says: Mar 29, 2014 10:44 PM

    Yeh this ain’t happening Golisano who is a multi billionaire is going to buy them and this will all be settled within the year but I will admit the democrats running the state have pretty much destroyed all business development in upstate New York

  111. lagg1 says: Mar 29, 2014 11:10 PM

    I sincerely hope that the Bills do not leave Buffalo. It is like losing a portion of the community’s soul if they do. I hope at the very least the Rogers people in Canada buy them and see what can be done to renovate or finance a new park. The Bills fans that I have met over the years are die-hards who stick with their team through the good times and bad. They do not deserve their team leaving.

  112. upstaterules says: Mar 29, 2014 11:47 PM

    TV contracts are about people, fans, watching the games on TV, not corporate America, which BTW is based somewhere in Asia.

    Try moving an iconic team with a strong fan base and really a large TV market if you go by blackout standards out of Buffalo. They will kill the popularity of NFL football. If you don’t think the league isn’t worried about it’s image, then why did DeSean Jackson get cut?

    We are not pessimistic up here in WNY. Only NBC and Dick Ebersol, who wants a team in LA, want you to think that way. Got to love main stream media!!

  113. billsfan1 says: Mar 30, 2014 12:28 AM

    While at the end of the day this may all be correct, they have 6 years to figure it out. In case you didn’t know, the buffalo sabres current and previous owners are worth a collective 6 billion dollars and both have said they would partake in any way to keep the bills in town.

  114. puntonfirstdown says: Mar 30, 2014 12:37 AM

    Money trumps everything and anything — especially tradition and fan loyalty.

  115. oldcracker says: Mar 30, 2014 12:39 AM

    Buffalo is as American as American Football.

    I think if the NFL allows the Bills to leave Buffalo within the next hundred years, we fans need to start a campaign to eliminate the tax and anti-trust exemptions the NFL enjoys. I know money has bought our elected officials but, if enough of us gets behind it, it could at least catch their attention.

  116. RE LEE says: Mar 30, 2014 1:26 AM

    Hope the Bills stay put. I’m a pats fan and we are loyal to our rivals. It’s not the same if they leave. Move to Los Angeles ?! Los Angeles Tax Bills, nice ring to it. Buffalo Bills,Buffalo Bills… There. That sound perfect.

  117. darcrequiem says: Mar 30, 2014 1:46 AM

    I’m not a Bills fan. That said, I hope they don’t move the team. The have really good fanbase that supports the team.

    I hate to seem them move the team. Especially to place, like LA, that doesn’t deserve a team. How many times has LA had a franchise and failed to build a fan base. I meant they actually had two LA teams at the same time at one point. Although in the case of the Bills, I fear Toronto would be a bigger threat that LA.

  118. thetooloftools says: Mar 30, 2014 1:48 AM

    Bills Fans… we feel for you…
    signed
    Cleveland Fans

  119. murraysons says: Mar 30, 2014 1:51 AM

    As a Pats fan I love buffalo having a team. All about the small markets. Keep buffalo weird!

  120. vicvinegar00 says: Mar 30, 2014 11:50 AM

    I really hope this kind of nonsense backfires on the NFL at some point. There are only so many rich football fans who are going to shell out money for PSLs, $200 tickets, $15 beers, and $30 parking passes.

    Honestly the number of working class people that manage to scrape the $$ together now is astounding to me. Never mind cities like Buffalo, Cleveland, Cincy, and Pittsburgh. You’ll eventually tap out NY/NJ, VA/MD/DC, and Boston too.

  121. iloveagoodnap says: Mar 30, 2014 4:03 PM

    Said it 1000 times and will say it again. The speculation is pointless. Anyone who has the money to purchase an NFL franchise won’t have that kind of money without being smart. That said they will be well aware of the undeniable fact that more money can be made elsewhere. But the bottom line is there will be 2 types of bidders when the time comes: local bidders who fully intend on keeping the team in Buffalo despite the fact more money can be made elsewhere, and those who fully intend to move the team.

    The idea that someone will come in and wait and see before moving is deciding. Simple fact is that a person(s) committed to keeping them there needs to emerge as the buyer in order for them to stay. If that doesn’t happen there gone. I for one very much hope for the city of Buffalo that said person emerges.

  122. nytroutdog says: Mar 30, 2014 6:59 PM

    How can you take anyone’s thoughts seriously when they can’t differentiate “they’re” and “their”? Go BUFFALO Bills!!!

  123. Bigfoot says: Mar 30, 2014 10:27 PM

    There as good as gone

  124. indyhorsepower says: Mar 31, 2014 1:07 PM

    Putting a team in L.A. is pure greed, by the league and potential owner. They dont miss NFL football, they dont care about NFL football or a team would have been there 20 years ago. Keep them in Buffalo where they are relevant.

  125. melvingaines says: Apr 2, 2014 3:49 PM

    At one time I would have thought that Buffalo was untouchable because of the strong fan base and ownership. Times have changed. With Wilson’s passing and the fact that Buffalo is in one of the NFL’s three smallest markets (even smaller than Jacksonville, which has also been flirting with London over the past few years), there are many potential suitors for the team. Los Angeles is far from a slam dunk. It has tried (and failed) with previous franchises. The most logical place for the Bills would be Toronto, where they have played home games. Toronto dwarfs Buffalo with a huge corporate fan base and it has the NFL’s love for international appeal.

  126. BigAlHeBDMan says: Apr 4, 2014 1:07 PM

    The solution is simple. After the new owner moves the Bills to L.A., let the New Jersey Jets move to the Buffalo Toronto area. After all, does NJ need 2 NFL teams, when upstate New York has none?

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