Roger Goodell sends Buffalo some pretty strong stadium hints

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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.

78 responses to “Roger Goodell sends Buffalo some pretty strong stadium hints

  1. Pegula should cut his losses and move on from that town.

    If it wasn’t for 10’s of thousands of Canadians buying tickets there every game, they would never sellout.

    Never.

  2. “…generate the revenue…” – That’s all Goodell worries about.

    When came we get a new commissioner? Hopefully before he destroys the league with his misguided leadership, if you could call it that.

  3. Let’s get the taxpayers of Western NY to pay for a new stadium with luxury boxes and PSL’s and completely ignore the fact that those same taxpayers can’t afford it….great plan for long term success. Greed will kill the NFL.

  4. Like Pegula really cares what Goodell thinks about their stadium. He just paid $1.4 billion for his team, he can do what he wants. The Bills aren’t going anywhere, even without a new stadium, that’s very clear. And the argument that they need a new stadium to remain “competitive” is complete garbage since the vast majority of NFL revenues now come from the TV deals, not ticket sales. Combine that with the fact that there is no debt on the stadium and that Pegula is one of the wealthiest owners in the league, and it’s clear that the Bills will financially be just fine. Will they ever have merchandise sales at the stadium like the Cowboys? No, but with the way revenue is earned in the NFL that really doesn’t matter.

  5. You all love Roger in Buffalo for the “Framegate “saga. Will you still love him when the Bills are in London or Toronto or Mexico City?

  6. Did those “stadium hints” include fielding a real team and a real coach.

    #billsmafiaislame
    nobody celebrates September like the Buffalo Bills!!

  7. Mafia boss Goodell has spoken. Break the backs of local govt. and business to get a free stadium. Then sell the new seats at a premium to maximize profit. Your NFL owners folks. Keep supporting vile goodell and his rich, greedy owners. Thumbs down is a support for greed.

  8. If only there was a column called “Monday Morning Quarterback” to delve into these kinds of issues instead of writing an opus about Muhammad Ali and airline reviews.

  9. Building a new stadium doesn’t make much sense if they already put 130 million towards renovating the current stadium. The Packers renovate and maintain Lambeau Field and no one is saying they should demolish it and build a new one. If the Bills renovate and maintain Ralph Wilson why not just leave it there?

  10. “I think the reality is the support of the fans is really the key,” Goodell said.
    —–

    then why is this even a conversation? Buffalo fans have got to be some of the most loyal fans.

    Why don’t you come right out and say it Roger….what you really mean is that other owners don’t want to share their incomes any more…..so it is all about generating the most amount of $ possible. It’s not about fan support….unless of course you mean $upport.

  11. Yeah, like Buffalo is going to give the league a free billion.

    No city should. Let the scumbag billionaires pay for their own stadiums.

  12. I’m a little confused. Maybe someone can help me out.

    Exactly what does Roger intend to do if Buffalo sits tight with the stadium they have now?

    The Bills are an NFL franchise, and as such, they’re already “in the club”. The Bills are not looking for a league blessing to move out of town, and they’re not looking to the league for permission to host a Super Bowl. And the fans seem happy enough with the current digs.

    Where’s the NFL leverage over the franchise? Seems to me that the Bills can tell the league to go pound sand. If Buffalo wants to build a new stadium, fine. If not, then nuts to the NFL…

  13. Building a new stadium doesn’t make much sense if they already put 130 million towards renovating the current stadium. The Packers renovate and maintain Lambeau Field and no one is saying they should demolish it and build a new one. If the Bills renovate and maintain Ralph Wilson why not just leave it there?

    _________________________________________

    Exactly the fans point. RWS, for all its faults, has the best sight lines in the NFL, is consistently voted the best tailgate experience, has decent traffic flow to the location, and is fairly well kept particularly after the recent bout of renovations. The ONLY reason to build a new stadium is to have a roof on the venue to host other events. But Buffalo doesnt get all that many other events, and the stadium is already bringing back open air summer concerts. So there really isnt all that much point to it. The Pegulas could put $500-700 million (under half price of a new venue) into RWS to make the place state of the art again and not deal with it for another 20-30 years.

  14. Now Goodel wants to shakedown the NY taxpayers, probably the second most taxed state in America. Of course they are the same ones who voted for this tax happy government. No sympathy here.

  15. “…generate the revenue…” – That’s all Goodell worries about.

    When came we get a new commissioner? Hopefully before he destroys the league with his misguided leadership, if you could call it that.
    _____________________________

    Hmmmm, that’s what every commissioner worries about. That’s why they are the commissioner of the LEAGUE. You can knock Goodell for lots of things but worrying about revenue shouldn’t be one of them. If that wasn’t his #1 priority he wouldn’t be commish for long.

  16. Notice to Buffalo:

    The Cartel (NFL) is going to do what they want to do. A new stadium means NOTHING. If they have a new location for your team and think they can make more money it is gone. St Louis was willing to give a new stadium and you see what happens! Remember, your owner voted to approve the Rams moving, do you think he will not move if it means more money?

    Good luck

  17. why does one idiotic person always have to bring up deflate gate crap? Come on I am a huge Brady fan but to think that Kraft would have just let them take a 1st round pick over something that wasn’t true is just naive. He would have fought it since the beginning just like Brady. A team that has been caught cheating before is hardly the victim. Just get over it Roger sucks at a lot of things but let’s stop pretending to be victims.

  18. Roger, FYI – the Ralph is the 9th largest stadium in terms of seating capacity, and every Bills game sells out. Western New York does not need or care for your opinion. Stay in NYC and hassle the Patriots. Leave us alone. All is good here.

  19. whats wrong with the old one? it has a field to play on, seats to sit in, and pieces of it aren’t falling on anyones head. pegula isn’t moving the team that threat to blackmail taxpayers isn’t going to hold water.

  20. I live in STL. We have lost the football Cardinals and the King of California took the Rams to LA with help from Jerry Jones and the NFL. We didn’t lose the Rams. The NFL moved them. I say this because when the NFL starts talking about building a new stadium , fans should be very nervous. If Buffalo is willing to put money into a new stadium , this is not a big deal. If they are not , it will be. What is sad about this is if the Buffalo fans are happy with the stadium and they support the Bills every season which I have read they do both and the owner is happy with the situation with the stadium , what right does the NFL have in telling them to build a new one ?

  21. Roger Goodell is right. Buffalo needs a new stadium. If they don’t get it, they could move to STL, San Antonio, Los Angeles, or Birmingham. Western NY isn’t real wealthy, so coming up with a funding plan may be difficult. Hopefully Pegula pays for most of it himself.

  22. chuckshontaspads says:
    Jun 6, 2016 12:29 PM
    You all love Roger in Buffalo for the “Framegate “saga. Will you still love him when the Bills are in London or Toronto or Mexico City?
    —–

    First of all, it’s spygate, not framegate. There were literally thousands of frames taken illegally. They were also lost in Roger’s mysterious bon fire.

    Now deflategate, that’s such a lame name…. makes me want to trash my 3 month old phone. Don’t worry, I have an older phone laying around as backup.

    Second, I think the fans in Buffalo are pretty comfortable right now. Do you even realize they’re not in danger of losing their anymore?

  23. Everyone:

    The Bills will not be moving, please stop with Toronto, London and whatever other city is the hot location that week for a new NFL team. Time for new material that is actually factual.

    Signed,

    Bills and NFL fans with common sense

  24. joetoronto says:
    Jun 6, 2016 12:23 PM
    Pegula should cut his losses and move on from that town.

    If it wasn’t for 10’s of thousands of Canadians buying tickets there every game, they would never sellout.

    Never.

    ————————————–
    Ummm yeah the idea is that the areas around where the team is become fans, and considering it’s a border city some of them are from Canada.

    Seriously, that’s like saying ” if it were not for the 10’s of thousands of people from the suburbs of Atlanta/Detroit/Dallas/Phoenix/Seattle/Pittsburgh/every team in the NFL buying tickets for every game they would never sell out.

  25. staff2cj says:
    Jun 6, 2016 12:58 PM
    Goodell ain’t telling Green Bay to get a new stadium…
    ___________________

    With all due respect I love the Ralph, it has good sightlines and it brings some throwback funk, but it doesn’t belong in any comparison with Lambeau

  26. Roger Goodell was speaking for Jerry Jones there. Since he built his new one he has been trying to pressure everyone else to follow suit. Likely because he hates the idea of profit sharing, especially when he also took on debt to build his new tree fort and probably wants everyone else to have no less of a cash burden than he does.

  27. Green Bay already has a first class stadium with all of amenities that the NFL wants. Beginning in 2000 with a $300,000,000 renovation, they continued to stick money into stadium upgrades:

    2012- $ 130,000,000 North and south end zone renovation adding 7000 seats along with new top of the line scoreboards.

    2013- 145,000,000 Complete atrium renovation

    Present- $130,000,000 investment into the new “Titletown District” that will include an upscale hotel; restaurants; brewery and retail.

  28. My high school has a better stadium than this place! You know it’s bad when people are parking in the surrounding neighborhoods to avoid the mud. The aluminum bench seating is horrendous in the middle of a -40 degree blizzard.

  29. meh, it’s all about luxury boxes.

    I’ve taken the ride to Western New York a half dozen times over the years to watch the Pats play there. That stadium is great once you are in your seat. It has a super atmosphere and the seats are close to the action. Even the upper tier has a fine line of sight to the field.

    The concourses are narrow and the amenities are few. So what?

    If they just want soft warm seats for multi millionaire butts they should just build a sky scraper in the endzone for the muckety mucks and leave the rest of the place for folks who want to watch some football.

  30. “Integrity of the game”… yeah, right… It sounds more like “Integrity of some television rights” to me. I think Buffalo is the 51st TV market in the US. That leaves 20 other places for Rodger to move them.

  31. Buffalo will be building a new stadium right next to first niagra center, harbor center, and canalside. You think Pegula invested all this money into downtown Buffalo not to move the Bills in Downtown Buffalo? Come on this is a no brainer. Not only will the new stadium have a roof it will also have a convention center attached and superbowls, ncaa , concerts etc will all be available and guess where? Right next to the building pegula owns. There are also reports that Pegulas bought more land next to the stadium in orchard park but I find it hard to believe he wouldn’t invest in a stadium next to all of his investments downtown. The only thing I can think of is that logistically downtown might not work so he might just keep it in orchard park but all signs point to a new stadium downtown. He built a hotel with shops and hockey rinks right across from FNC, plus office space for pegula sports business.

    The land he bought around the stadium could mean a stadium out there along with building of hotels stores etc like I said if downtown is logistically impossible for it. Pegula isn’t stupid he knows long term we need a stadium and he will cash in on that when the time comes. Look at indy stadium thats what we can expect and then he will build around it with hotels and stores and then $$$$$

  32. grogseal says:
    Jun 6, 2016 12:26 PM
    “…generate the revenue…” – That’s all Goodell worries about.

    When came we get a new commissioner? Hopefully before he destroys the league with his misguided leadership, if you could call it that.

    ————————————

    If you’re hoping for a commissioner that doesn’t care about revenue more than anything else, don’t hold your breath…

  33. joetoronto says:
    Jun 6, 2016 12:23 PM
    Pegula should cut his losses and move on from that town.

    If it wasn’t for 10’s of thousands of Canadians buying tickets there every game, they would never sellout.

    Never
    ………………….
    So what? Buffalo borders canada. Buffalo doesnt have suburbs west of the city, because it’s Canada. So essentially, Canadians make up a decent chunk of what would otherwise statistically be considered part of the Buffalo area.

    Every team draws from their surrounding area, and Buffalo’s surrounding area just so happens to include Canada. Thus they draw from there.

    So, what exactly is your argument here?

  34. give me a break. The Ralph is a great place to watch a game. I’ve never had any issues with it, esp. after the recent renovations. When the lease is up in 2022, then it will be time to talk about a new stadium. For now, just stop with all the new stadium talk.

  35. the stadium extortion process is running out of steam. Now that LA has a team and the markets out west have enough saturation, the days of holding cities/states hostage are nearly done.

    Raiders & Chargers are still in play in a few places but the reality is there aren’t markets that can generate enough local revenues to justify the $500M plus they’ll have to pay (even through bonds) to lure an NFL team just to have 30k people show up on Sundays.

    instead of stadium extortion, how about we retract a couple teams 🙂

  36. Good Ol’ Boy Roger Goodell practicing as hit man for the blackmail squad.

    Does he really think people are this stupid? Apparently, which goes to show you his contempt for everyone below him.

    The NFL franchises could play their games on a dirt lot at a local park WITH NO PAID ATTENDANCE, and still make hundreds of millions of dollars in profit per year per team.

    They don’t even need stadiums to make money. They don’t need attendance to make money.

    …but here comes Roger Goodell indirectly threatening the community of loss of their team if they don’t pony up.

    Roger Goodell is crony all the way through, not an ounce of integrity in the man.

    How in the hell can someone say what he said with a straight face, when the facts completely oppose him?

    Thinks about it. The league is competitive because it has a salary cap, and the salary cap is at a level which ensures HUGE PROFITS FOR EACH TEAM. So where does competitiveness aspect of the untruth that spews forth from his lying lips come from?

    What is the rationale that a team can spend to the cap every year, not leaving one cent in space and still be extremely profitable, yet they need more to be ‘competitive’.

    The holes in his logic are about as large as the Grand Canyon.

  37. I think that if the NFL really would like to attract more fans to the game, building giant state-of-the-art stadiums is the wrong way to do so. Keeping the classic stadiums in good repair and driving down the cost of admission would put butts in seats. I’ll gladly skip wifi, an art museum, and four star dining in order for a ticket to a game where you can get a seat and a box of popcorn for your kids for under $200.

  38. If I were a Bill’s fan I’d be worried about the “commish” telling new ownership what they have to do! Look around the NFL and the pressure he puts on the local fanbase to put up more money for their local teams, I don’t trust this guy, he seems a bit slimy!

  39. Why not just threaten to move the Chiefs to St Louis?
    I mean… Arrowhead is a year older than Ralph Wilson Stadium and I don’t hear any cries about that.
    Going to be having a Super Bowl in Kansas City any time soon?
    The Super Dome is only 2 years newer than Wilson so maybe the new scam to get another Super Back in New Orleans is to get a new stadium too.
    “Keep bidding!” they are told while places like Atlanta and Minnesota leap over you in line.

  40. As a Dolphins fan I would be disappointed if the Bills ever left Buffalo. Rivalry aside they have a great fan base that supports that team through thick and thin. No offense meant but the hotels there won’t generate enough money with the ill begotten hotel tax to finance a new stadium so many NFL cities impose and Buffalo nor its residents should have to shoulder the burden Goodell is pushing on them.

    Over the course of my 55 years on this earth there is no doubt that Roger Goodell is the worst commissioner of all the major sports.

  41. After yet another year of missing the postseason Buffalo fans will probably be glad to see the team go….

  42. mightymightylafootball says:
    Jun 6, 2016 12:45 PM
    I’m a little confused. Maybe someone can help me out.

    Exactly what does Roger intend to do if Buffalo sits tight with the stadium they have now?

    The Bills are an NFL franchise, and as such, they’re already “in the club”. The Bills are not looking for a league blessing to move out of town, and they’re not looking to the league for permission to host a Super Bowl. And the fans seem happy enough with the current digs.

    Where’s the NFL leverage over the franchise? Seems to me that the Bills can tell the league to go pound sand. If Buffalo wants to build a new stadium, fine. If not, then nuts to the NFL…
    ===================================
    Probably the biggest threats Goodell can make is to force the Bills to play frequent games elsewhere ie London, Mexico City, or wherever else Goodell dreams up. And to force the Bills to be on Hard Knocks every year.
    I suppose the worst thing they could do is force the Pegulas to keep the Ryan boys as coaches……

  43. joetoronto says:
    Jun 6, 2016 12:23 PM
    Pegula should cut his losses and move on from that town.

    If it wasn’t for 10’s of thousands of Canadians buying tickets there every game, they would never sellout.

    Never
    ——————————

    So just because some of the fans are Canadians, an owner should “cut his losses”, even though he sells out games?

  44. This is where Roger earns his money – – Pegula says “no, we don’t need a new stadium!” Then, he sends Roger in to start the process by dropping hints that a new stadium is needed. This way the new owner still looks good to the locals…while Roger looks like the bad guy. You are in no danger yet Buffalo – – this is just the first step. But you can bet that either there will be a new stadium planned in Buffalo or threats of moving will be there in the next 5 years.

  45. Hi Five to steelerben…your comments make perfect sense. In the real world, we wouldn’t buy a new house after we just spent good money to renovate the existing house.

    That would be a loss and waste of tax payers dollars with no return on our investment, as we would spend more dollars to create a new stadium.

    Unfortunately, Jerry Jones and the rest of the greedy owners want to force the Pegulas to build a new stadium so they can get more $$$ in their pockets. And their henchman Roger Goodell is sent to make sure that they do.

  46. JoeToronto should be banned from posting anything to do with the Bills. He’s just another disgruntled Canadian upset that they are never going to get the Bills or probably any other NFL team.

  47. llojac1 says:
    Jun 6, 2016 1:53 PM
    give me a break. The Ralph is a great place to watch a game. I’ve never had any issues with it, esp. after the recent renovations. When the lease is up in 2022, then it will be time to talk about a new stadium. For now, just stop with all the new stadium talk.

    _____________

    This is the state of New York afterall. If the lease is up in 2022, and it will be time for a new stadium then, they may already be late in talking about it….assuming they want it open on time. I’m sure construction will go just fine, but all the stuff going into it before hand…not so much…..just sayin

  48. billswillnevermove says:
    Jun 6, 2016 12:21 PM
    At least they don’t have to play in that dump, Rodgers Stadium in Toronto.

    ——————

    Fully agree with you that Rogers centre isn’t a football stadium and it won’t work for the NFL.

    However, if you are urinating in the troughs at the Ralph while calling Roger’s Center a dump, which is clean, safe, very nice and in one of the great cities in the world, then you are lost.

    My experiences at the Ralph, while very fun at times, have included a giant urinal in the parking lot most people call a forest, fights between drunken baffoons all around us (not all Canadians either), women beside us with season tickets so drunk they lost their jackets at halftime in a Dec game, trying to navigate an exit from the parking lot while the entire lot was on fire, only to find later it had to be extinguished by helicopters.

    That is the tip of the iceberg.

    That place can provide a great football experience and great fans, but unfortunately is a dump.

    No other stadium is that terrible.

  49. Its sad to say but if the NFL wants Buffalo to have a new stadium , they will get a new stadium or the team will move. The fans have no say in this even after they have supported this team for as long as they have. The NFL is going to kill the golden goose. They choke and squeeze every last nickel out of every fan that wants to go to a game. They will make it so the common fan can afford to attend a game. The days of 85,000 seat stadiums will be obsolete. Television is where people will be watching games. They will choose to watch at home where they can eat , drink and change the channel to another game if they want. The NFL will become pay per view and that’s where they will continue to make huge profits with TV contracts. The revenue from tickets is pocket change to the owners. The fat cats will get fatter.

  50. BTW………… I saw someone post that STL would be a potential landing spot for the Bills or at least a bargaining chip for a new stadium. Don’t ever believe that Buffalo. Your team or no other team will be coming to STL unless the owner of that team is paying for the stadium. STL has been around the block with mafia , a I mean the NFL , and Im positive both parties want nothing to do with the other at this time. So cross STL off the list. The NFL is running out of places to bleed dry. They will keep LA open for a second team to hold cities hostage.

  51. This is the beginning of the end for the hapless Bills and the toilet of America, Buffalo.

    Just flush baby.

  52. Most stadiums don’t have puddles in their parking lots so deep that drunken fans can drown in them.

  53. The NFL is already walking dead.

    There’s no way this league can survive long term when you’ve got guys with CTE’s that can’t tie their own shoelaces after they retire.

    With the advances in sport science – players are getting bigger and faster and that’s just going to end up with more players with serious brain injuries.

    It can’t survive like this forever.

  54. NFL splits $7.2 Billion in revenue a year and still these billionaires troll American municipalities for handouts.

    Why? Because municipalities continue to give it to them.

    Car companies and other industries play the same game. The NFL happens to be the best at perceived value, leverage, and negotiations. Fine, we are a capitalistic society.

    What infuriates me is how the NFL hypocritically professes their love of game and fans up (over and over and over). They love us fans. That is up to the point they don’t get their subsidized stadiums. Then it is all about the best deal.

    And we let them.

  55. aktiont4 says:
    Jun 6, 2016 7:51 PM

    The NFL is already walking dead.

    There’s no way this league can survive long term when you’ve got guys with CTE’s that can’t tie their own shoelaces after they retire.

    With the advances in sport science – players are getting bigger and faster and that’s just going to end up with more players with serious brain injuries.

    It can’t survive like this forever.

    ————–

    That is just repeating the current trendy crap.

    The truth is, you are here commenting, so you are still a fan, probably a big fan.

    Sports like the UFC, which certainly is more brutal than the NFL is finding plenty of athletes to compete, including women. Risking health to play a sport has never been an issue for people and it never will be. CTE exists, but so do chronic knee injuries, spinal injuries, achilles injuries, etc. It won’t stop anyone. The concussion case is all about the multi-billion dollar NFL paying back some of it’s former less financially fortunate stars, whom the NFL gladly roll out on the NFL network shows to generate some cash, but don’t want to pay.

  56. rcali says:
    Jun 6, 2016 3:38 PM

    Build a new stadium and make Canada pay for it?

    —————-

    If Buffalo invest in a new Stadium, Canadian fans will pay for it.

  57. So many comments from the Bills fans that the stadium is fine. Please travel around and see other stadiums. It is far from fine. Go to Lucas Oil, Gillette, MetLife, Jerry’s World, etc. It would be incredible to have a stadium like that in Buffalo.

  58. Don’t need to keep up with the Jones’s Mr Commissioner if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!!!!

  59. I think most football fans want to hear about their team on the field. What do the players look like they just drafted. How are the players coming back going to do. Instead we have to constantly read and here about the business side of building stadiums. With the new style stadiums being built in Dallas , LA, MIN. ATL when are the owners of Buffalo , Jacksonville ,New Orleans , Tennessee going to come around hat in hand looking for new stadiums ? Fans don’t want to keep hearing about how much more money the owners can make with a new stadium. How they cant survive in the current one they have. How they keep getting richer from stadiums being built at the expense of the city they play in. When is enough , enough ?

  60. Goodell continues to prove he is not qualified for this job. “Budffalo had better build a new stadium or we’re gonna yank them out of there and put them into a city that will build one.” No Roger, cities are not going to build new stadiums anymore because they’re getting fleeced by you.

  61. Isnt it amazing that the richest sport of all- football with the huge TV and marketing contract cant afford its own stadiums and blackmails cities to pay for new ones. Meanwhile, over in NASCAR they can rebuild Daytona at a cost of $450 million in their own money and still let the fans bring in their own beer and food…

  62. Wake up and grow up Buffalo. Goodell is fighting in court to ensure he can abuse the CBA to railroad any team or players to get his other agendas accomplished. Think this would be one of them? And he ain’t trying get Brady to retire so the Bills can win the AFC East. Stop making fools of yourselves.

  63. You make an excellent point about nascar, but remember nascar isn’t a sport, it’s nothing more than a hick’s hobby. Kind of an apples and oranges type thing.

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