Owners approve new lease for Ralph Wilson Stadium

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A new 10-year lease agreement with provisions for a renovation of Ralph Wilson Stadium cleared another hurdle Monday night.

According to Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News, the owners voted to approve the new lease agreement between the Bills, state of New York and Erie County that will provide a $130 million renovation of the stadium.

“On behalf of Ralph Wilson and the entire Bills organization, we are pleased to announce that NFL ownership today approved the financial terms and conditions of our new lease for, and the renovation of Ralph Wilson Stadium,” President and CEO Russ Brandon said in a statement. “This is another important step in the process toward finalizing the related definitive agreements and remaining on schedule to begin the improvements this year.  We anticipate the final approval by the Erie County Legislature and the New York State Legislature in the next couple weeks.”

The current lease was scheduled to end July 31. Per Gaughan, the new deal will carry through 2023 with a $400 million penalty if the team were to move in the first seven years of the lease. The team will have a buy out option after seven years to void the final three years of the lease for $28.4 million.

But in the meantime, the Bills don’t appear to be heading anywhere else any time soon as they will be playing in Buffalo until at least 2020.