Report: Austin is a possible destination, real or threatened, for Bills

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Maybe they’re negotiating. But in any negotiation, the negotiators need to be willing to act in order to have any credibility.

As to the negotiation between the Bills and Buffalo that has begun with the Bills wanting taxpayer funding to pay the full price of a new stadium, an impasse could lead the Bills threatening to move — and potentially moving — elsewhere.

Citing an unnamed ownership source, Seth Wickersham of ESPN.com reports that Austin is a possible destination — or threat — as one of the cities to which Bills ownership was referring when telling government negotiators that “there are other cities elsewhere that desire an NFL franchise and would pay handsomely for it.”

San Antonio was one of the leverage destinations for the Raiders before they moved to Las Vegas, and the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans weren’t believed to be thrilled about the possibility of a third team coming to Texas. Presumably, they wouldn’t want a team in Austin, either.

Regardless, it’s not about moving at this point. It’s about making the politicians in New York think a move could happen. Until they do, they won’t open up the public coffers.

98 responses to “Report: Austin is a possible destination, real or threatened, for Bills

  1. Bills to Austin helps Jacksonville to London issue. London to AFC East Austin to AFC South.

  2. The City should agree to fund the stadium if the Pegulas agree to share 50% of the team’s revenue for the next 20 years.

  3. Any responsible city should be able to do much more for their community with $1.1 billion than what an NFL franchise brings to the table.

  4. Yeah Jerry didn’t even want the Texans he sure isn’t going to allow the Bills.

  5. Austin would be a good Major League Baseball city a great MLB city.Not an NFL Town. Cowboys are a three hour drive away and you have Longhorn football, plus Baylor football right up the highway. Bills wouldn’t last in that market.

  6. They would have a tough time peeling away Cowboys fans. There are other markets that would make more sense.
    For the Bills I would think Toronto would be a good choice. It’s not that far from Buffalo.
    If I’m an NFL owner looking to move I would seriously consider Mexico City. They’ve had 75-76,000 at NFL games.
    London would be great also but the time zone difference is so huge it loses a lot of USA viewers

  7. Maybe Jerry Jones is allowing the Bills to use Austin as a pawn in order to help get things moving in New York State.
    Every knows that Jones wouldn’t want another NFL team in Texas , and there isn’t any other city that’s a good bluff.
    Jones would love to see the Bills get a new stadium in Buffalo. This could be his way of helping.

  8. Then they should change their name to the Texas Toms. Or maybe Tims. Nah, it’s Toms.

  9. That would leave New York without any football team. I suppose they could stay the Buffalo Bills no matter where they play. Works for the New Jersey teams.

  10. As a Packer fan living in Austin, this would never work. Aside from Texas Longhorns fans, this city is probably more than 50% transplants with allegiances to other teams, and the other half are either die-hard Cowboys fans, or have zero interest in football whatsoever. On the flip side, it’d be nice to go to NFL games in my hometown, but I can’t see this happening.

  11. Toronto makes sense with only L.A. and New York having a larger population in the U.S. and Canada , most fans at the games now are Canadian

  12. Yes, Texas can easily support a 3rd NFL team. There are 2 teams each in NYC and LA respectively, not to mention the state of Ohio, which is declining in population, has 2 NFL teams. Texas is huge with a surging population.

    Austin, TX would make the most logical choice. You could build the stadium south of Austin in San Marcos area to make it an easy drive for San Antonio area fans.

    Buffalo, NY vs Austin, TX: Quality of life is far superior in Austin, TX. Everyone knows this by now.

  13. Toronto would be a great option. The Bills fans could travel north just as easily. These billionaires holding cities hostage to pay for their stadiums while they enjoy its spoils and get riches is puke worthy! Screw them all.

  14. Texas does not need three teams. New York needs a team. If the Bills leave, there will be zero (actual) New York teams. There would be something fundamentally wrong with that

  15. No one will care. City full of Cowboys and UT fans as well as people who’ve moved in from other cities and already follow other teams. Give them Chargers if they must have a team. From one city who doesn’t care about them to another!

    Bills are some of the best fans in the league.

  16. I have to wonder how much of this standoff is due to the NFL getting slapped around in the St Louis matter and now on the hook for a boatload of money?

  17. Toronto makes the most sense from a logistical standpoint to keep the fan base and my guess is it would be an indoor facility.

  18. supercharger says:
    August 1, 2021 at 2:31 pm
    What about St.Louis.

    37 32 Rate This

    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    Right there, perfect fix

  19. A couple of good seasons and the demands start. Build me a state of the art stadium or else I’m out of here. And use the money from the taxpayers who supported the team all these years when we were down. I always sort of liked the Bills ever since I worked out there in the Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas days, but greed is still greed. If the NFL made a ruling that there was a minimum percentage that owners had to chip in for stadiums all thus would stop. But what owner is going to vote to spend their own money When they can use other people’s?

  20. While San Diego would be a primo location, Californian’s aren’t stupid and are not going to be supporting billionaire schemes for 10 games. It’s ridiculous.

  21. Greedy owners start the squeeze. I’d love it if the voters reject it and let the team pound sand.

  22. At first, nobody thought the Raiders would move to S. Nevada. Now the A’s are seriously considering it over the same type of financing issues with the current host city. Buffalo better step up or there is going to be a huge hole that will not be replaced. They most likely will not get a second chance like Indy did.

  23. my guess is it would be an indoor facility.

    _____

    Wouldnt it also have to be an indoor stadium in Buffalo too? I mean, the only way it would make sense to the state/county is to roof it so they can use it for other events.

    When you think of Bills football and their fans, do you think of games being played indoors ?

    I guess you’d get used to it after awhile, but it would be like when the Vikings moved inside , a lot of that home field advantage and team identity went away.

  24. While San Diego would be a primo location, Californian’s aren’t stupid and are not going to be supporting billionaire schemes for 10 games. It’s ridiculous.
    –——–
    I was agreeing with you until you said Californians aren’t stupid.

  25. San Antonio would be a better Texas city, although I doubt the city leaders would come close to meeting the Bills’ demands. Plus, Jerry Jones would do everything in his power to stop it. I suspect, as most others do, this is a pretty transparent bluff by the Bills.

  26. Interesting situation for buffalo. Based on the city’s current population, that $1.5 billion is like a $6,000 tax on each person. Stadiums are a luxury good. I suppose if buffalo has adequately funded schools, roads, police, etc. then it makes sense. But, we know that’s not true.

  27. jrquiz says:
    August 1, 2021 at 3:28 pm
    Yes, Texas can easily support a 3rd NFL team. There are 2 teams each in NYC and LA respectively
    ————————————-
    Much more precisely, there are 0 teams in NYC.

  28. Ownership needs to be paying AT LEAST 60 percent or else it is just another millionaire/ billionaire grifting the city and tax payers

  29. Smokescreen by Wickersham to create clicks. Bills and the local government are just beginning negotiations and outlandish demands are to be expected. Everyone step back from the ledge and take a deep breath. Rumors are that, rumors, not fact.

  30. How about moving to El Paso and building a stadium across the border in ciudad Juarez so Goodell could finally get his international market team. Call them the Juarez Bills of El Paso.

  31. A new stadium creates like 2,000 jobs.

    That’s why they want the taxpayers to pay for it.

  32. Interesting situation for buffalo. Based on the city’s current population, that $1.5 billion is like a $6,000 tax on each person. Stadiums are a luxury good. I suppose if buffalo has adequately funded schools, roads, police, etc. then it makes sense. But, we know that’s not true.

    ____

    Thats just the city though. Buffalo is in Erie county and the population of the county is about 1 million. Lots of very big suburbs

  33. Owenership is going to lose a lot of fans and backers by even using the threat to move. Just ask any native Houstonian what they think of oilers owner Bud Grant. The fans even tried to buy the team to keep them in houston. Still hard to watch a titans game.

  34. This is the typical NFL playbook want a new stadium, try to get all of the money from the public, threaten to move… Pegula’s better not overplay their hand here. Threatening to move the Bills while their other team the Sabres are probably gonna set an NHL record for most season without a playoff birth. They move and leave the Sabres behind they wouldn’t be able to show their face in public.

  35. San Antonio and Austin are 80 miles apart. Slap a stadium in the middle and you have a huge market. The Pats are about equidistant from Boston, Hartford and Providence. I believe the Cowboys are between Dallas and Ft Worth. No Brainer.

  36. It needs to be made clear to people here that it wouldn’t be the city of Buffalo paying for a stadium. The Pegulas are asking New York State to pay for it.

  37. Let them go. San Diego, St. Louis and Oakland are doing just fine without the Chargers, Rams and Raiders.

  38. Buffalo finally gets a decent team and then they leave. This would almost be as bad as losing 3 Superbowls in a row. On the bright side it would give every player on the team a significant raise due to the drastic difference in state income taxes (and it would probably be a tax incentive for the team as well).

  39. Poor Terry Pegula. Guess all that fracking money, combined with a guaranteed profit for the Bills thanks to TV and (soon) gambling) revenue streams before they open the gates each season isn’t enough to at least split the cost of a new stadium with Buffalo, Orchard Park, and the State of New York

  40. As we know, Toronto (a city of over 3 million) is right across the border, has a great, large multipurpose stadium with a retractable roof. and lots of large corporations with lots of money. Terry Pegula did’t get to be a billionaire by being stupid. Toronto is the easiest fallback option

  41. Ugh! Just tell me when they’re moving or getting a new stadium. I just want to enjoy the season without all this nonsense!

  42. This is worse than the daily Aaron Rodgers BS. Just stop it already. The Bills are not going anywhere.

  43. Why not move them to somewhere else in New York and name them the New York Hitmen after buying the rights from the XFL.

  44. UT wouldn’t allow it. They own Austin’s city council. Heck they flipped out when Arena Football came to town in 2003.

  45. Why do taxpayers have to foot 100% of bill for a new stadium? Aren’t the Bills making enough?

  46. I’m glad Florio hinted at it in the headline:

    THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN!

    Their fanbase is called Bills Mafia for crying out loud.

    If it comes down to it, they’ll make those owners an offer that they won’t be able to refuse.

  47. The league has to have a market that it can use to blackmail cities into approving stadiums… Apparently, now that LA has two teams, Austin is that city.

  48. If the point of naming Austin is to have a credible alternative, the Pegulas have already lost. Austin hasn’t upgraded their road system since the early 90s–when the population was 1/4 of what it is now. There is nowhere in the Austin area to put a stadium that has anywhere near enough road capacity to support a stadium. San Antonio, El Paso, Albuquerque, and Oklahoma City are all better cities to use as leverage.

  49. HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA, another billionaire wanting public assistance, TOO FUNNY!

    I hope they don’t fall for it, using taxpayer dollars to build NFL stadiums is total BS because it’s benefits such a small percentage if the population.

  50. as for Jerrah allowing it, or not. The Spurs, Rockets and Mavericks are some of the healthiest (financially) NBA franchises…Jerrah is smart, and can sniff a dollar in a pile of manure, of course he would allow it. Frankly it’s ignorant to think otherwise…Jerrah would want to extract his pound of flesh – because he can – but he’d absolutely allow it, he’d promote it.
    Frankly, I’ve long thought at some point in time a MLB or NFL franchise would be wooed by San Antonio. Either or both would slot in and complement the Spurs quite well.
    I really don’t think Austin would be a great market…perhaps, as it’s only 10 games a year…but I think S.A. would be very similar to Vegas. Both cities economies are very much tied to the visitors dollars and they both have great infrastructures for such…building a stadium to anchor something like the NFL or MLB and supplement other huge events such as the rodeo (the primary customer in Houston is the largest rodeo in the world; NRG is filled to the brim for about 25 nights, never mind another quarter-million or so per day on the grounds). And by definition, a new team in Texas would create a HUGE conference rivalry with either the Texans or Cowboys (assuming no re-alignment it would be the Texans).

  51. I’m a capitalist but also a government fiscal conservative. There is no way, with governments already wallowing in debt that the taxpayers will be carrying on their wallets for the foreseeable future, that any responsible elected government, anywhere in this country, should be financing a stadium for any billion dollar franchise.

    There never is the payback in jobs, taxes or tourism that the teams say there is. You can spend that kind of money and bring REAL jobs to your area. Long term good paying jobs that will help repay the amount in taxable revenue generated.

    The NFL is funded thru it’s TV contracts. That means they can play on the far side of the moon and the vast majority of the fans will see the game and the NFL will still get its money.

    Tell them to go Buffalo.

    But of course I did use the term “responsible” and when was the last time any government in the US was “responsible” when it came to spending money?

  52. If you’re the owner of the Cincinnati Bengals, you better be making a beeline for the Austin/San Antonio market before someone beats you to it. Austin, TX and central Texas in general are absolutely exploding in population. Cincinnati…not so much.

    At the end of the day these owners care about money. No savy owner leaves money on the table for someone else to take. The central Texas market is big money on the table make no mistake about that.

  53. There is zero chance that the Buffalo citizens won’t pay for a new stadium. Can you imagine what would happen if the Bills moved? SD to LA, who cares. Buffalo losing the NFL? That’s a death knell for the town.

  54. Anybody know how much the relocation fee would be for Buffalo? Raiders paid $378M and Chargers paid $650M. Why a difference? I don’t know.

  55. Doing this to Bills fans, after they suffered through the Tom Brady era, would be heartless. They should force the Pegulas to sell the team for even threatening such a thing.

  56. josh plum says:
    August 1, 2021 at 2:43 pm
    Texas does not need another team. This would be a mis-move.

    California has 3 teams. They had 4. I’d love to see what would happen if they move to Texas.

  57. I hate to hear of teams moving. I grew up a Baltimore Colts fan and was devastated when they left for Indy. Wasn’t happy that the Browns came to Baltimore, wanted an expansion team instead. Glad that Cleveland got a team back and kept the history and colors.

  58. —————————–
    Ellicott Raven says:
    August 1, 2021 at 3:29 pm
    Toronto would be a great option. The Bills fans could travel north just as easily. These billionaires holding cities hostage to pay for their stadiums while they enjoy its spoils and get riches is puke worthy! Screw them all.
    —————————–
    –When the Bills played some games in Toronto it was a total failure, they had to give tickets away. It’s a CFL town.
    –Bill’s fans WILL NOT travel north to see them, if they leave the fans will adopt a new team. There are still a lot of Browns fans in WNY from the days before the Bills.

  59. I get really tired of hearing what the Texans and Cowboys want. I’m sure the 49ers, Raiders, and Chargers didn’t want the Rams moving to California, but they did it anyway.

  60. bob1959 says:
    August 1, 2021 at 8:38 pm
    I’m a capitalist but also a government fiscal conservative. There is no way, with governments already wallowing in debt that the taxpayers will be carrying on their wallets for the foreseeable future, that any responsible elected government, anywhere in this country, should be financing a stadium for any billion dollar franchise.
    —–

    There will always be a city that’s willing to pony up for the NFL.

  61. shoepik says:
    August 1, 2021 at 5:46 pm
    Owenership is going to lose a lot of fans and backers by even using the threat to move. Just ask any native Houstonian what they think of oilers owner Bud Grant. The fans even tried to buy the team to keep them in houston. Still hard to watch a titans game.
    —–

    That’d be Bud Adams and your revisionist history is skewed. Bud tried for a decade to get a new stadium, he even threatened to relocate to Jacksonville in 1987. The city refused to give him a new stadium, the state refused to step in and help, and the fan base was already turned off by his stunt in 87 and the fact that he had to firesale their roster following the 1993 season due to the incoming salary cap.

    Adams didn’t want to leave, he just didn’t have another option.

  62. I don’t live in Buffalo, but any tax payers having to pay to build a playground for
    rich billionaires is total BS

  63. Tax payer funded stadiums are a bad business decision for the cities. There is zero chance that those buildings ever bring in the incremental tax revenue needed to make up the up front costs.

    Yet teams choose to “pull out of the city” all the time if they don’t get what they want.

    Remember as a fan how loyal the team is to your local area when considering buying a ticket to the game…

  64. Z SPORTS NETWORK says:
    August 1, 2021 at 8:16 pm
    I’m glad Florio hinted at it in the headline:

    THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN!

    Their fanbase is called Bills Mafia for crying out loud.

    ——-

    Ok I’ll bite. If the Bills move to any city, why could their fans no longer be called the “Bills Mafia”?

  65. Austin has been exploding in size but that’s actually not a plus in this situation. Much of the city is transplants with the natives already firmly aligned with the Cowboys. That doesn’t scream “great loyalty to the new team in town.” If San Antonio–which is still larger than Austin and has an NBA team–can’t get an NFL team then Austin certainly won’t.

  66. Took Cleveland how long to get the Browns back ??? when you refuse to fund a stadium sp
    other city will you can take that to the bank .

  67. supercharger says:
    August 1, 2021 at 2:31 pm
    What about St.Louis.

    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    You mean the St. Louis that already lost TWO teams and fans were not showing up for the Rams in their final years? No way they ever get another team.

  68. When I read the stadium deal ends in like 2 years, its kind of late to be thinking of another new stadium. It takes a year to get the land and the permits and the money settled before you even think of starting construction. Throw in bitter winters and they would be lucky to get it done in 4 years let alone two. Niot to mention the current stadium aint doing them any favors if they need to extend their stay. What a joke. Bad joke on the fine people of Buffalo

  69. For perspective, the entire Buffalo/Niagara Falls region is only 1,125,000 (49th in the US according to Wikipedia). And one of the very few cities that’s actually been declining in population.

    Think about that. 31 NFL teams are sharing their revenue and SUBSIDIZING Buffalo just to keep them there for now. Only a matter of time before those owners say enough and for the Bills to pull their weight in generating stronger revenue by moving.

  70. ImFubared says: “When I read the stadium deal ends in like 2 years, its kind of late to be thinking of another new stadium.”
    ——————–

    It’s called a LEASE. You can renew it for long-term and commit to Buffalo or go year-to-year and look for a new city to relocate and build.

  71. So would this move to TX Move Indy back into the AFC East and Move the Bills to the South??

  72. If the Bills leave (which I doubt) they’re dead to me! Might as well take the Sabers, too. The Pegulas would not be too popular in Buffalo.

  73. Toronto is a non-starter. They’ve already had Bills games up there and they basically had to give tickets away. And “free stadiums” are not a thing in Canada. The Calgary Flames were promised a stadium when they moved and they STILL don’t have it yet despite it being a 50/50 split between the team and public money (which is surely not what the Pegulas would want) and the latest holdup is a fight over roughly $70 million in cost overruns which by NFL stadium construction standards would be considered a quaint number that would hardly even be considered over budget.

  74. This move should be a no brainer. How can little Buffalo compare with the mighty San Antonio-Austin corridor economically or any other way. The region is already as big as Seattle-Tacoma and Minneapolis-St. Paul and is getting bigger each month. The money earning potential, the economic support, the adoration of millions of fans and no state income tax. These are the reasons the Bills should move to South Central Texas asap.

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