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Russ Brandon: Bills only working on Ralph Wilson Stadium for time being

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On Thursday, Bills president Russ Brandon made reference to the recent league meeting that resulted in the Rams besting the Chargers and Raiders by getting approval to move to Los Angeles and reflected on how many people thought the Bills would “have been part of that equation” just a few years ago.

Brandon credited the sale of the team to Terry and Kim Pegula after Ralph Wilson’s death for taking “the anvil off our collective shoulders” about the possibility of the Bills moving to another city. It didn’t take away the possibility of the team moving to a new stadium, however.

Ralph Wilson Stadium is one of the oldest stadiums in a league that has seen more modern edifices constructed from coast to coast, so there continues to be discussion about when the Bills will make a move in that direction. With eight years to go on their lease, Brandon said that the only focus right now is on the current stadium.

“It needs to make sense for our community and it has to have a macro appeal to our fan base,” Brandon said, via the Buffalo News. “We also have to be practical as we move forward. We are still working through the renovations of Ralph Wilson Stadium. We think that [$130 million] renovation will serve us very well. There’s a lot of speculation. We are working on Ralph Wilson Stadium and Ralph Wilson Stadium only for the time being.”

There would be several questions to answer before the Bills could make serious moves toward a new stadium and history says that the amount of public money involved will be right at the top of the list. It’s not one that needs to be answered immediately, though, and that’s a nice change from the recent past in Buffalo.

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36 Responses to “Russ Brandon: Bills only working on Ralph Wilson Stadium for time being”
  1. fordbw says: Jan 29, 2016 11:43 AM

    Ralph Wilson? The guy from The Honeymooners?

  2. solgoode says: Jan 29, 2016 11:45 AM

    Please let me know when they announce their “Stock” sale to help finance that stadium.

  3. marvsleezy says: Jan 29, 2016 11:51 AM

    So…….the whole idea of a new stadium is for the owner to make more money right? So why not just raise ticket prices and keep the old stadiums?

    The seats still work right? Pretty sure they do. Never seen a stadium fall a part on its own (even then they can be fixed cheaply) unless its REALLY old, which none are anymore.

  4. bvolke says: Jan 29, 2016 11:53 AM

    Ralph Wilson Stadium still has an awesome fan experience and the best tailgating in the NFL.

  5. joetoronto says: Jan 29, 2016 11:53 AM

    They need to get out of that dump. It’s painfully behind the majority of the league, especially now with St Louis, San Diego & Oakland bolting.

    Pegula will have one built downtown. There is a lot in the works to connect downtown/canal side, Larkin District & a stadium in between.

  6. 2ruefan says: Jan 29, 2016 11:57 AM

    @solgoode,
    Um… that would have been Ralph Kramden there sparky… not Wilson.

  7. nicofthenorthstar says: Jan 29, 2016 11:58 AM

    There’s a novel idea – remodeling an existing structure. Wow. Where do they come up with this stuff?

    There’s no reason many of these stadiums shouldn’t be thought of as something other than disposable. Make improvements, upgrades for a fraction of the cost (and waste produced). If they’re going to base their business model on scamming taxpayers to pour cash into billionaires pockets, at least they could show a little restraint and consideration.
    I know. I’m a dreamer. What can I say.

  8. steelerben says: Jan 29, 2016 12:00 PM

    At what point does a stadium stop being considered “old” and start being considered “historic”? You can market it as the house that Jim Kelly built, slap on a new coat of paint, and raise ticket prices since the Ryan circus is putting butts in the seats. Job done and the tax payers don’t need to chip in $200 million.

  9. jyosuckas says: Jan 29, 2016 12:01 PM

    The only person not ok with this is Roger, us fans LOVE the Ralph

  10. abninf says: Jan 29, 2016 12:06 PM

    Just don’t build some indoor dome crap.

  11. dapollock69 says: Jan 29, 2016 12:27 PM

    How about Ralph Wilson Stadium Classic? It worked for Coke.

  12. imodan says: Jan 29, 2016 12:31 PM

    nicofthenorthstar says:
    Jan 29, 2016 11:58 AM

    There’s a novel idea – remodeling an existing structure. Wow. Where do they come up with this stuff?

    There’s no reason many of these stadiums shouldn’t be thought of as something other than disposable. Make improvements, upgrades for a fraction of the cost (and waste produced). If they’re going to base their business model on scamming taxpayers to pour cash into billionaires pockets, at least they could show a little restraint and consideration.
    I know. I’m a dreamer. What can I say.
    —————————————————–
    Fenway Park and Wrigley come to mind. Maybe Buffalo should follow their lead and then market the stadium more than the team. People from all over the world will go to the stadium not giving a hoot about the Bills but it will make a great selfie and upstate New York is beautiful in the fall. Ralph Wilson Stadium, it sucks, it’s falling apart but dammit it’s old! Come see it.

  13. byrnestj7 says: Jan 29, 2016 12:33 PM

    The Ralph is good to watch a game. Sight lines are great and prices are pretty reasonable. It needs some work. They sell to many seats in the lower bowl and I find myself fighting to get a view sometimes bc the rows are so crowded. I love the tailgating and overall experience. Very underrated stadium I think. I hope they make improvements and keep it like Lambeu

  14. dohczeppelin says: Jan 29, 2016 12:34 PM

    Pros of current stadium:

    -Perfectly functional
    -Downtown Buffalo isn’t completely mobbed by the drunken masses after a game
    -Won’t cost the city and fan base millions of dollars in subsidies/increased ticket prices.
    -Offers old-school, down and dirty tailgating that fan bases with “downtown” stadiums can only dream of.
    -Downtown Buffalo traffic isn’t turned into a parking lot every other Sunday in the fall

    Cons of current stadium:
    -You have to drive to Orchard-Effin’-Park to see a game so one of your crew always has to bite the bullet and be the designated driver. If it was downtown you could use the subway/buses/taxis. etc to get there which would minimize the amount of drunks on the road.

  15. juice08 says: Jan 29, 2016 12:34 PM

    keep the Bills in Orchard Park where they belong – it’s an experience like none other in the NFL

  16. fm31970 says: Jan 29, 2016 12:36 PM

    Considering ticket sales are an ever shrinking piece of the NFL owners’ revenue pie, why bother with the expense of a new stadium? Remodeling current stadiums to be more intimate, have fewer but more luxurious and larger seats, and make the individual an experience better would be a good move as fewer people attend games in person.

  17. george1859 says: Jan 29, 2016 1:01 PM

    RWS is simply the best fan experience in the league. The stadium is excellent, in a great location, and there are NO bad seats.
    Most importantly, its paid in full.

    #savetheralph.

  18. 2ruefan says: Jan 29, 2016 1:04 PM

    I understand and appreciate the concern over the taxpayers having to foot the bill for a new stadium. For those who don’t care about football, and won’t attend any events at a Stadium, it’s painful.

    That being said, those of you who make the argument of “Why can’t you just renovate the old one” aren’t really comprehending the business aspect.

    Teams make about 51 million a year from ticket sales.

    If your stadium is older, lacking in amenities, foul bathrooms, deteriorating stadium seats, lacking in other physical aspects, fans will be less likely to come to the stadium.

    I’m not saying that the Ralph is any of those things, IDK. I haven’t been there in about 10 years for a game.

    I’m just saying that NFL teams are businesses, just like anything else. They are not there to serve a public service. They exist to make money. So, if they can’t be competitive with other franchises in terms of ticket sales, etc., then there comes a time when “upgrading’ is the only intelligent move.

    What I think is outrageous is the amount of $$ that firms will be paid to do any kind of “analysis” on such a thing. Gets into millions. What a freaking rip-off!

  19. richjohnson7 says: Jan 29, 2016 1:14 PM

    If Buffalo needs a new stadium make sure the owner and NFL pay for it. STL and MO where going to finance $500 M of 1.1 B stadium and the NFL STILL pull the Rams from STL for one financed the owner. The NFL owners don’t need public money.

  20. todd6162 says: Jan 29, 2016 1:15 PM

    If you’re going to build a new one put in downtown I’m all for it

  21. claritysolution says: Jan 29, 2016 1:16 PM

    The greater Buffalo area has more than enough economic problems to allocate scarce taxpayer dollars. Wasting taxpayer dollars by throwing them down the toilet with welfare for billionaires would be sheer madness.

  22. watney99 says: Jan 29, 2016 1:21 PM

    “You can market it as the house that Jim Kelly built”

    Yes, that would be the marketing approach as “the house that OJ built” is more accurate, just not quite as palatable for the public …

  23. pftfan says: Jan 29, 2016 1:22 PM

    They’ll definitely build the new stadium in the area.

    By the area, I mean Toronto.

  24. milwaukeeguy says: Jan 29, 2016 1:23 PM

    It seems to me that the market and fan base of Buffalo is similar in some regards to Green Bay. Being as such the Ralph and its tailgating is an asset that can’t be duplicated with a shiny new stadium with an “enhanced fan experience” (hate that corporate / PR term). Like Lambeau, Arrowhead, Wrigley, Fenway, Notre Dame, put the money into renovating the Ralph but keeping the sight lines and overall feel. If the new owner wishes to add extra revenue streams, follow the example of Gillette in Foxboro with the restaurant and retail crap adjacent to the stadium grounds.

  25. fanofsportsman says: Jan 29, 2016 1:29 PM

    The Toronto losers proved they wouldn’t support the NFL already, that city is a CFL/NHL city, they won’t support major league football.

  26. floydsknobbin says: Jan 29, 2016 1:43 PM

    Perhaps the Bills organization should take a trip to Lambeau and get some tips on how to modernize an existing stadium.
    i been to lambeau before and after. Amazing stadium, easily one of the best in the league and yet the oldest.

  27. billswillnevermove says: Jan 29, 2016 2:19 PM

    I can tell you for a fact, it’s not the dump Rodgers Center is in Toronto.

  28. imageflood says: Jan 29, 2016 3:13 PM

    The Pegulas are building Pegulaville, an entertainment district, in downtown Buffalo as we speak, right next to Canalside and the inevitable redevelopment of the Outer Harbor. You are dreaming if you don’t think that building a new football stadium in the vicinity of the adjacent Cobblestone district is not in the works. All Brandon is saying is that they a comfortable amount of time to work out the financing, which will involve participation from Albany. I suspect Erie County will have to be compensated some how for the loss of the Ralph after the current lease is up, rather than putting money up for the new stadium.

  29. mackcarrington says: Jan 29, 2016 3:37 PM

    The team isn’t moving and they have a renovated stadium. When the time comes there won’t be any problem with getting public support or money. Why is there even any kind of story right now?

  30. gbartell22 says: Jan 29, 2016 3:53 PM

    They’ll end up in Toronto

  31. billswillnevermove says: Jan 29, 2016 5:14 PM

    gbartell22 says:Jan 29, 2016 3:53 PM

    They’ll end up in Toronto
    __________________________________
    When Pigs fly. Toronto will never have a team. There will be one in Panama first. Toronto is the worst sports city in all of North America.

  32. wangchungish312 says: Jan 29, 2016 6:03 PM

    Ralph Wilson is a great stadium, named after the founder of the team. Renovate it and keep the history going like at Lambeau and Wrigley.

  33. lazrokit says: Jan 30, 2016 3:38 AM

    The ralf is a dump and is PERFECT for the biggest losers in football along with the dumbest fans. Just put a big cage around it on Sunday and lock them in. Between jumping from the upper deck to starting themselves on fire, it doesn’t take much to entertain the simpleton bilz fan. And the ralf is good for at least one homicide a year. Fun times.

  34. gah05 says: Jan 30, 2016 7:49 PM

    Hey folks, Toronto topic is dead, move on. Beating on a dead horse only shows your insecurities. Be thankful to the Pegulas and let’s hope for a modern stadium soon so we all can enjoy and be proud of as Bills fans!

  35. billsboy88 says: Jan 31, 2016 12:04 AM

    I go to the Ralph to do a little tailgating and to watch a football game. I really don’t need all the “enhanced fan experience” BS. Having swanky food options inside the stadium means nothing to me considering all stadium food is outrageously overpriced and I bring my own food to cook in the parking lot anyway. Only a total fool would get gouged buying that stadium crap. I don’t need special seating since I stand most of the time anyway. I don’t need fancy bathrooms since I’m a guy (the old troughs are actually convenient). I don’t need stupid on-site museums/games/kiddie lands etc. since, as already stated, I’m there to watch a football game, not screw around doing other things that don’t involve watching a football game.

    As far as things like locker rooms, training facilities, press boxes, suites, etc, I don’t see why things like that can’t simply be renovated to meet modern standards. It’s cheaper than a new stadium

  36. unclebluck says: Feb 3, 2016 2:54 PM

    watney99 says:
    Jan 29, 2016 1:21 PM
    “You can market it as the house that Jim Kelly built”

    Yes, that would be the marketing approach as “the house that OJ built” is more accurate, just not quite as palatable for the public …

    Jim Kelly was 8 years old and growing up in Pensyltucky when the stadium was built……

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