Erie County wants ironclad Bills lease


When the Bills have a new lease at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the powers-that-be in Erie County want to be certain that it won’t be easy for the team to leave if/when the franchise is sold following the passing of the nonagenarian for whom the venue is named.

According to the Buffalo News, Eric County executive Mark Poloncarz wants an “ironclad” lease that the team won’t be able to break during its anticipated duration of 10-to-15 years.

“That’s all part of the negotiations,” Poloncarz said.  “I want to ensure that we have a lease that keeps the Bills here for many years to come.”

To get terms that will make it difficult if not impossible for the team to move, the negotiating process will require Erie County to make extra concessions, such as cheaper rent or a greater contribution toward expected renovations.

It will be a small price to pay to ensure that the team won’t be able to move.

The current lease expires in July 2013.  Poloncarz previously has said he hopes to have a basic understanding in place by the end of July 2012.

16 responses to “Erie County wants ironclad Bills lease

  1. just keep the bills where they belong, in the city that has supported them through the good and bad (mostly bad)

  2. This is good but should be a 30 year lease the bills will stay in buffalo and any intrested buyers who want to move them will be scared off

  3. What would Tom do on Sundays, if they close down the Ralph?

    This lease needs to get taken care of, and taken care of quickly. Ralph is up there in age, and you never know when the great Commissioner in the sky call you to league HQ.

    It is not just Buffalonians that have an interest in keeping the Bills in Orchard Park. Canadians from Moose Jaw to Point Pelee have an interest.

  4. Anyone who is a Bills fan understands what this really means to the town, it’s HUGE.

  5. Bills are in the bottom 5 in attendence %, TV market and were one of only 4 teams that got blacked out last yr. Great support.

  6. Good because I would hate to see another team have to go thru wait we did in Cleveland…may you rot in hell Art Modell…

  7. @tedmurph
    Yes the Bills were bottom 5 in attendance that’s all part of the team being competitive. If they put a winner on the field that will change quickly. And if anything… selling 85% of your home seats after not making the playoffs for over a decade shows nothing but commitment by the fan base.
    I can tell you if the Bills are good,sellouts will be no problem! The first two games are already sellouts

  8. I’ve only been to Buffalo once and it was on a cold January day. How anyone could sit outside at a football game in that weather is beyond me. Good people up there. I hope they keep the team there permanently.

  9. @raideryan88, I live in the south (TN) and this weather absolutely sux, I don’t understand how anyone could possibly like this heat. Florida and Texas even more so. If my job were even close to Buffalo I would live there in a second and go to every Bills game of the year, including in Canada. I like what the county is doing here, Buffalo Bills arn’t just a team in a City, its NFL history that keeps getting written every year. I could only hope its in Mr. Wilsons Will to sell the team to a buyer to keep it in Buffalo. The very town that has kept his family wealthy all these years.

  10. Ralph Wilson stadium is starting to show its age. The best bet for Buffalo to keep the team would be new digs on the other end of Buffalo, closer to Niagara Falls and Toronto. I mean if you have a stadium 15-20 miles outside of town at least put it in a more attractive locale than Orchard Park.

  11. If I were the Bills, I wouldnt sign anything longer than 5 years without a new building promise. The stadium isnt new by any stretch of the imagination. And stadiums these days arent going much more than 30 years, with a few exceptions. It was opened in 1973. Most of the other stadiums from that era have already been replaced (3 Rivers, Veterans Stadium, The Kingdome, etc) Granted, most of those were multi-purpose stadiums, but 40 years in a stadium is pretty good.

    I have family in Tonowanda, right outside of Buffalo. And I used to go up there twice a year for a week at a time. And we would catch a game every year, regardless of who they were playing. Bills fans are fantastic. Very enthusiastic, considering their team hasnt given them a ton to be enthusiastic about. And some of the friendliest to root with/against. I wish more Eagles fans were like Bills fans.

    But, if they want to get over the bottom 5 stuff, they really should get a new building, a little closer to civilization. They just spent $100 million on Mario Williams. They need $100 million to spend on a building. They are an up and coming team. Now or next season is the time to capitalize. No way I sign anything longer than 5 years if Im Ralph Wilson. Not without an ironclad new building in that lease in exchange for a 30 year lease.

  12. I’m surmising that it would be a non-starter for most interested buyers to keep a billion dollar entity anchored to Buffalo, NY for the next 15 years. The Wilson family should keep all options open, and it should be left to the next owner, not this one, to make that call. Therefore, the sale should be undertaken (no pun intended) now, while Wilson is living.

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