If the Bills and the NFL want the taxpayers of New York to chip in on a new stadium in order to keep the Bills in Buffalo, they’re going to have to work on convincing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo, who has previously indicated that he’s not sold on the need for a new stadium, indicated in an interview today that he believes there are better ways to spend taxpayer money than building a replacement for Ralph Wilson Stadium.
“Let’s remember that a new stadium is great, and it’s fun, and it’s new, but it’s also very very expensive,” Cuomo told WGRZ. “We [the state] put $100 million into the current stadium, so let’s see how it goes,” Cuomo said.
However, once the estate of the late Ralph Wilson sells the team, the new owner may say a new stadium is a necessity if the team is going to remain in Buffalo. And Cuomo did indicate that he would at least consider supporting a new stadium if that’s the only way to keep the Bills in Western New York.
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” said Cuomo. “Everyone wants the Bills to stay in Western New York. And, if everyone agreed that the only way the Bills could stay was a new stadium, then we should talk about a new stadium. But I don’t know that that’s the case.”
Cuomo is surely right that there are more important public needs than building a football stadium. And yet the reality is, if Western New York won’t spend taxpayer money on the Bills, some other municipality in some other part of the country will.