The best way to get a Super Bowl is a build a new stadium, and preferably to get someone else to pay for a lot of it.
But the stadium arms race isn’t limited to the simple awarding of title games, and commissioner Roger Goodell used his trip to Western New York today to remind the locals to keep up with the times.
Via Tyler Dunne of the Buffalo News, Goodell suggested that Bill owners Terry and Kim Pegula might want to think about a new stadium.
“Well, I think that’s one of the things Terry’s going through,” Goodell said, “trying to see what it takes to make sure the Bills remain here on a successful basis. That’s their objective and I know that’s their commitment. We fully support that.
“Stadiums are important, just to making sure the team here can continue to compete not only throughout the NFL but also to compete in this environment because we’ve got great facilities here now. The Bills have to stay up with that.”
As threats go, that one’s pretty thinly veiled. The Bills just invested $130 million in 2014 to update Ralph Wilson Stadium, and the team has defended the viability of the building. But while Goodell has said the team needs to think “long term,” he stopped short Monday of suggesting the Bills’ future might not be there if they don’t come up with a new stadium.
“I think the reality is the support of the fans is really the key,” Goodell said. “The business community is important also. But ultimately the stadium has to make sure it can attract both of those elements and then generate the revenue that’s necessary to be competitive in the league. So I think every team in the league continues to look at whether it’s a new stadium or renovations.”
Fan support has never been an issue there, but the market is economically limited compared to some others, and it’s hard to know how many bells and whistles Buffalo can bear.