Bills choose not to terminate New Era Field lease prematurely

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The Bills could have pulled the plug early on their lease at New Era Field. They’ve given early notice that they don’t intend to do so.

Via the Buffalo News, the team informed the Erie County Executive Marc Poloncarz on Friday that the early-termination clause will not be exercised. If the Bills had chosen otherwise, the lease would have expired on July 30 of this year. And that would have made the Bills geographic free agents for the 2020 season.

Poloncarz said via Twitter that he requested the letter as a showing of “commitment and good faith” from the Bills organization. The Bills had until February 28 to provide written notice of the intention to opt out early.

Terry and Kim Pegula, owners of the team, issued a statement on Wednesday acknowledging that a study had been completed regarding “potential stadium sites, design, and financial planning for all options.” The primary options seem to be building a new stadium and renovating the current one, which opened in 1973.

Also on Wednesday, Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the Bills and the local government need to “settle collectively” on an approach “over the next several months, if not sooner.” Although Goodell added that he wants the team to stay in Buffalo, he added that the team’s stadium must be “competitive” with other NFL venues.

Last year, Goodell made a bit of a stir in Buffalo by indicating that the best solution would be a new stadium.

However it plays out, the Bills’ stadium lease definitely expires in July 2023. Which is only three NFL seasons away. And it goes without saying, given the recent relocations of the Rams, Chargers, and Raiders, that moving the team to a place that will pony up more public money (or at a minimum using a place like that as leverage to get more money in Buffalo) cannot be ruled out.

Especially since Kim Pegula already has said that the money spent to buy the team has left the Pegulas without the resources to pay for their own stadium.

Football is family, until football is business. Actually, football is a business that realizes slogans like “football is family” are good for business. The sooner the folks in Buffalo realize that, the better the chances that someone will accept the reality that the piggy bank needs to be busted open locally before some other city without an NFL team (like St. Louis) decides to make the Pegulas an offer they won’t refuse.

22 responses to “Bills choose not to terminate New Era Field lease prematurely

  1. With the great sight lines at New Era field and the vast amount of space for the infamous Bills tailgaters, they will refurbish the stadium much like the Chiefs did to Arrowhead and the Bears did to Soldier Field and make the stadium up to current standards. Put in some luxury seating and suites and hopefully it will pacify the greedy owners for years to come

  2. New stadiums provide much more than a venue for NFL teams. New stadiums bring top flight musical and entertainment acts to communities. They provide first class venues for charitable and civic events. New stadiums provide benefits far beyond the cost of public financing.

  3. The no taxpayer funded stadiums people have no pride in their communities. They care nothing about anything that benefits all of their fellow citizens. The no taxes crowd would throw us back into the dark ages. They would eliminate roads, food inspections, libraries, anything that allows us to have a modern society.

  4. No dome in Buffalo, it would ruin the gameday experience (remember the Toronto debacle). Buffalo does not have enough hotels,infrastructure to host a Superbowl. Renovate New Era.

  5. If the Pegulas can’t afford to build a stadium then they are undercapitalized and shouldn’t have bought the team in the first place!

  6. billswillnevermove says:
    February 2, 2020 at 8:44 am
    Best game day experience in pro football and it isn’t close.
    ***********************************
    You’ve never been outside of Buffalo so you have no idea.

    There’s clearly no future in small depressed towns like Buffalo.

    Just move baby.

  7. Pegulas knew exactly what they were buying into and knew the NFL would request upgrades(demand) and they can’t now say, Opps we can’t afford it, why did you buy the team?
    Hint What she really means is, no way in hell are WE spending our money!
    Take loan out like every other american has at one point in time and pay for it like the other AFC teams have done Jets/Pats,Phins are all privately funded stadiums.
    It is a very small market and it is hard to justify a county, state or local governments doing anything more then what they have done up to now for basically 10 games a year
    We here the NFL would LOVE a team in Toronto..Just saying Pegulas!

  8. More welfare for billionaires of a team worth multi billions in a league worth tens of billions. There are things called loans and assets.

  9. It’s sad that Pats fans, who were close to losing their team before Kraft stepped in, flock to these articles to take shots.

    It’s hard to imagine why any one of them would still feel bitter about the Bills, who their team has dominated for 2 decades, but I guess time doesn’t heal everything.

    Regardless, it doesn’t matter. The Bills aren’t going to California, Toronto or Beijing – they have good ownership, and that ownership has a viable plan. It’s gonna be disappointing for some, but Buffalo will stay in Buffalo.

    And I personally don’t mind if it ends up being a domed stadium. Too much is made of keeping that snowy tradition for games, but it’s probably time to get w/ the times.

  10. Goodell has stated that “significant renovations” to the stadium will be acceptable to the NFL. The government isn’t going to build a new stadium and neither are the Pegulas. They will, however pay for renovations. The Bills aren’t going anywhere.

  11. Let the Pegula’s pay for a new stadium! No taxpayer money! They are rich enough or could borrow from the bank with a 30 year mortgage!

  12. billsrthefuture says:
    February 2, 2020 at 12:34 pm
    It’s sad that Pats fans, who were close to losing their team before Kraft stepped in, flock to these articles to take shots.

    It’s hard to imagine why any one of them would still feel bitter about the Bills, who their team has dominated for 2 decades, but I guess time doesn’t heal everything.

    ******************************

    They aren’t aware of that because 90 percent of them didn’t watch football before 2002. Don’t worry alot of them are already jumping on the 9ers bandwagon because of Jimmy garoppalo.

  13. They’re gone and they were gone the minute Pegula bought them, he hoodwinked that delusional fanbase.

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