NFL says Raiders vote not a message to Buffalo about stadium

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Last June, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that the Bills “have to stay up with” other teams in the league in terms of their stadium in what seemed like a suggestion that it was time for the team to move forward with a push for a stadium to replace New Era Field.

Giants co-owner John Mara sent similar vibes earlier in 2016 when he said the Bills would need a new stadium to keep pace financially with others in the league. It didn’t take much to remember both sets of comments as 31 of the league’s owners (including Terry and Kim Pegula) voted to approve the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas. That adds up to three teams moving in a relatively short span of time after failing to secure new stadiums, but NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman said there was no message for Buffalo to take away from the vote, however.

“This certainly is not intended to send any message and I don’t believe anyone should take any message in it,” Grubman said. “Buffalo’s fans are legendary and ranked right up there with the greatest fans in the NFL. Ownership there is evaluating their options and those options are very long-term in nature. I don’t want to speak for them, but I think you can see, by virtue of the fact that they’re not waiting and have done work on the stadium already, that they care about their fans and they care about Buffalo.”

Direct message or not, the stadium issue has been on the table in Buffalo for several years now and the team is going to step up the push for a new building sooner or later. Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News quotes a league source that says the Pegulas “want the team to have some success” before putting out their palms for public money, but the team’s current lease is up in 2022 so the conversation is coming.

39 responses to “NFL says Raiders vote not a message to Buffalo about stadium

  1. Yeah.. they probably should have jumped on this boat a few years back when the political climate was much better (is in, more willing to provide public funding). Delaying is more costly/risky.

    But regardless… this team isn’t going anywhere as long as the Pegula’s own them.

  2. NFL owners only care about one thing and one thing only- the almighty dollar- they care less about the fans- 3 moves in year sums it up.

  3. “Buffalo’s fans are legendary and ranked right up there with the greatest fans in the NFL.
    —————————————————————–

    So were the Raider fans in Oakland and see how well that worked for them.

  4. I am gonna say this as a Chiefs fan and a dyed-in-the-wool Raiders Hater.

    Is Eric Grubman suggesting that Oakland Raider fans aren’t ” legendary and ranked right up there with the greatest fans in the NFL?”

    Because it sure seems like that’s the message he’s sending if the day after Oakland loses their franchise, he is telling Bills fans that they don’t need to worry because they are “legendary.”

    As much as dislike Raiders fans, I have to give them their due. There is a CRAPLOAD of them and they are as vocal, passionate, and dedicated as any you’ll find out there.

    So, I’m not sure how being “legendary fans” matters at all to whether a team stays or goes. If you’re going to try to spin a story, at least try to do it in a way that doesn’t treat your consumers like they are morons. You can tell me it’s raining all you like, Grubman. I know what you’re doing back there.

  5. “NOBODY is SAFE!…..”

    Actually the Packers are with the non-profit model they have in place. Its part of why the league has banned all other teams from adopting that model. They have to use their own money to upgrade their stadium and can’t extort it from the taxpayers or threaten to move if the taxpayers don’t pony up.

  6. So when Goodell claims “It’s not an option” for the league and the owners to spend their own money on stadium upgrades, on what is this ostensibly based? Vegas is not a sports market, it is a transient market that won’t support the Raiders just as LA is not supporting the Rams (the upshot being the Rams are spending THEIR own money on a stadium there).

    The argument that teams should not spend their own money on stadium upgrades or have to move rather than be what they’re supposed to be – permanent fixtures in their communities – does not withstand any scrutiny.

  7. Fact, Al Davis was bailed out by Ralph Wilson in the early years of the AFC.

    The product on the field sucks but by far the best fans in the league. Name another team that can miss the playoffs 17, going on 18 years in a row with the fan support of the god damn Buffalo Bills. Go to any city in the country and you’ll find a Bills Backers club, full of drunks just hoping for a good team again. Without the Bills you have no NFL

  8. The Bills won’t do a thing until they get permission first from their Daddy……….Bill Belichick. The only Bill that wins in Buffalo.

  9. No one buys that. The NFL’s mission is to force the public to give them free stadiums. They were made at Kroenke for building his own but that anger was offset by their desire to be in the LA market.

    Also, to hell with the Chargers. No one wants them here in LA.

  10. As a visiting fan that’s been to several games there I can honestly say Orchard Park/The Ralph/New Era is a great game day experience. The tailgating atmosphere is second to none, there isn’t a bad seat in the house and the place is rocking even when their team goes down by 14. Of course the league concern$ it$elf with other thing$ but as a fan if you have the chance to take in a game there better do it while you still can.

  11. Bills should move to Oakland, and change their name to the Invaders and Oakland will get behind them.

    Just bring a leather coat, because it’s cold in that 49ers shadow.

  12. @kfclake says – “How many teams will the NFL force to move? It’s bad for business. The NFL will see.”

    No, it isn’t bad for the NFL’s business. No one outside of Buffalo cares if the Bills move. The same is true for the Chargers and Raiders. Not one single person of the millions who consume NFL broadcasts will stop watching if the Bills move.

  13. Stephen Ross (Dolphins) yesterday put his money where his mouth is and vice-versa. He is the only Owner who voted against the Oakland move and has been a Proponent of the Pagulas and keeping the Bills in Buffalo. I have been to a Bills game there and it was fun and friendly. My children were young and we enjoyed the epic Kelly vs Marino battle even as an enemy. I can’t say that about today’s Stadium experiences elsewhere. The times are a-changin’, corporate greed and social media as news sources have ruined everything.

  14. As a rule, they shouldn’t have to worry until the sewage starts backing up…isn’t that right, Oakland?

  15. cardinealsfan20 says:
    Mar 28, 2017 12:26 PM
    @kfclake says – “How many teams will the NFL force to move? It’s bad for business. The NFL will see.”

    No, it isn’t bad for the NFL’s business. No one outside of Buffalo cares if the Bills move. The same is true for the Chargers and Raiders. Not one single person of the millions who consume NFL broadcasts will stop watching if the Bills move.

    In the very short term, the move excites the new fan base. If they suck, that fan base will not stick around. NFL is trading true fans of the team for fair weather fans. That’s why I say it is bad for business. It also gives the sense the NFL doesn’t care about fans, which we already know is true.

  16. All those who believe the NFL raise you hand!!!

    Sorry, Buffalo, you are screwed. Ask Oakland, San Diego, St Louis about the NFL honesty. You will soon be followed by Tennessee, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay.

  17. radrntn says:
    Mar 28, 2017 11:27 AM

    NFL owners only care about one thing and one thing only- the almighty dollar- they care less about the fans- 3 moves in year sums it up.
    ————————————————————–
    Can someone lease explain to radrntn that owning an NFL team is a business, and that most business owners are in fact concerned primarily with the profitability of their business?

  18. The Bills are going nowhere. In more ways than one but Pegula is buying properties all over downtown near hockey arena.
    Bad move though. The Bills stadium offers thee best sightlines in the NFL. The fans are on top of the players. Top notch. Ive been to stadiums and I’ll take ours over any of those fancy brothels.

  19. Hey Buffalo. If you somehow get a new stadium built there be wise and put a freaking roof on it! Enough of that outdoor crap at the end of December.

    Minnesota was smart enough to build their new stadium with a roof. Now that is saying something, using the words “smart” and “Minnesota” in the same sentence!

  20. The outright gaul of the NFL to want American taxpayers to build their stadiums is outrageous. Their attitude has become….if they’re stupid enough to pay for it…let them. The NFL’s revenue last year exceeded $12,000,000,000. Their attitude is…if the fans don’t pay for our new stadiums, we’ll take our footballs and go home. After almost 60 years in San Diego, the now Carson City Chargers left because of a real bad owner who wants to sell the team to some billionaire who wants a new toy. The Raiders move is a travesty. This bastion of NFL football being allowed to move by the greedy NFL is awful. Their players will be tempted with the hot clubs and black jack being in their faces all the time. How about the San Antonio Bills? It’s western and there are loads of billionaires in Texas. Wait…the Alabama Jets! This is what’s going on. Screw the tradition. Get the money. Pathetic.

  21. The Beijing Bills are going to need special helmets to see through the toxic fog in their new stadium. But on the plus side it will give them a similar unfair advantage to Mile High without the need to even pretend they win on merit.

  22. @kfclake says – “NFL is trading true fans of the team for fair weather fans”

    You’re confusing the point. The 50,000+ that attend a game in Buffalo or any location that the Bills may move to are irrelevant. The television audience drives the NFL. Again, no one outside of Buffalo will stop watching if the Bills move. In fact, most Buffalo residents will continue to watch.

  23. Domed roof would be good but only if it’s a retractable roof. Bills play good in inclement weather. Teams from warmer climates, leave the roof open for a distinct advantage.

  24. so if the owner doesn’t want to move, or build a stadium, what recourse does the nfl have?

  25. “Buffalo’s fans are legendary and ranked right up there with the greatest fans in the NFL.

    That is the absolute truth!
    Right there with Pittsburgh, Green Bay and Kansas City.

    Orchard Park is one of the best venue’s to take in an NFL game.
    The league’s #1 tailgating.
    An amazing atmosphere from any seat in the stadium. Whether it be Endzone, Sideline or nosebleed, Ralph Wilson Field at New Era Stadium is an awesome experience!
    17 years absent from the playoffs and Bills Fans continue to support their team… stepping into the stadium after a 7-9 season still feels as if the team just went to the Superbowl…
    How many NFL teams can say they have that type of support?
    As long as the team is owned by Terry & Kim Pegula the Buffalo Bills will be staying in Western, NY.
    Ralph Wilson continues to help and support the City of Buffalo even today… 3 years after his passing and Buffalo is still benefiting from one of the greatest owners the NFL has known… and I’m sure the Pegula’s will keep that ball rolling.

  26. The Ralph is the eighth largest NFL stadium in terms of seating capacity. Every game is a sell out and the waiting line for tickets is a mile long. The Pegula’s don’t need to do anything with the Ralph. We love it as it is. Please Roger, stay away. Go hassle the Patriots some more.

  27. cterrito2014 Mar 28, 2017 1:44 PM posted:
    “Bills play good in inclement weather.”
    Bills have a worse record in games played with temps below 40°F than they do when above 40°F, and the same goes for rain and snow games.
    Get your facts straight. Stop spreading lies.

  28. Raiders, Chargers, and Rams have one thing in common: horrible owners with no dedication to their old markets. Pegulas may not be able to put a winning team together, but they’re committed to Buffalo and continue to invest their own money in the area. Not to mention, to move the Bills, the Pegulas would have to sell them or sell the Sabres.

    Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble, but the Bills aren’t going anywhere.

  29. weepingjebus says:
    Mar 28, 2017 1:14 PM
    The Beijing Bills are going to need special helmets to see through the toxic fog in their new stadium. But on the plus side it will give them a similar unfair advantage to Mile High without the need to even pretend they win on merit.
    _________________________________________
    And you are about as smart as this post, which means you are not very smart. Another Canadian loser like your buddy Joe.

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