Clock is ticking on Bills stadium talks

Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins
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The stadium negotiations between the Bills and public officials in the city, county, and state are just getting started. They’ll need to move quickly.

The team’s lease at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park covers only two more seasons, 2021 and 2022. The Bills have made it clear that there will be no extension.

That makes the franchise a free agent in 2023, able to go anywhere. To play anywhere. Which means that progress needs to be made quickly on a new stadium in Buffalo.

Although relocation hasn’t been, and can’t be, ruled out at this point, it’s likely that the team will try to get a deal done for a new stadium in Orchard Park without any active efforts to get a new city to make an offer that would create specific leverage for a better deal. If, however, the Bills reach the point where they decide that the right deal can’t be done to build a new stadium in Buffalo, that’s when the effort will commence to find other suitable cities.

If it gets to that point, things will get very interesting. The Bills don’t want other cities to sense that they’re being used in an effort to get a better deal in Buffalo. If/when it’s time to listen to other offers, the Bills will be listening and considering and potentially accepting.

So, basically, now is the time for the public officials in Buffalo and New York to make their best offer to keep the Bills. If it gets to the point where other offers are being solicited, someone quite possibly will make the Bills an offer they can’t refuse.

Whether in Buffalo or elsewhere, the philosophical and political question becomes whether and to what extent the elected officials and/or their constituents have the will to subsidize billionaires. In recent years, the pendulum has swung sharply against public funding of stadiums used by privately-owned teams. Indeed, most if not all recently successful public-private stadium partnerships have happened without the proposal being put to a public vote. Public votes, in most jurisdictions, would be destined to fail.

Strange as it may sound, most people in a given NFL city don’t care about the NFL or whether an NFL team plays there. They just don’t. In a country with more than 350 million people, barely 100 million watch the Super Bowl. The league has not saturated the hearts and minds of the average person to the same extent that many would assume.

With incoming interim governor Kathy Hochul preparing for a re-election effort that will surely include multiple candidates in the Democratic primary who oppose public funding for private ventures, things will get tricky. Regardless, things need to get moving — or moving will become a very real possibility.

25 responses to “Clock is ticking on Bills stadium talks

  1. Hopefully the city and state can come through to cover their fair share of the support for this team. There is alot of money generated for this region by the Pegula’s business that the Pegula’s dont see a dime of by having them in Buffalo. And they could probably make alot more money elsewhere. So the taxpayers need to understand their responsibility here as well for the money & opprotunities the owners bring to the residents.

  2. 50Stars says:
    August 19, 2021 at 1:14 pm
    Hopefully the city and state can come through to cover their fair share of the support for this team. There is alot of money generated for this region by the Pegula’s business that the Pegula’s dont see a dime of by having them in Buffalo. And they could probably make alot more money elsewhere. So the taxpayers need to understand their responsibility here as well for the money & opprotunities the owners bring to the residents.

    Eloquently said, Ms. Pegula

  3. Bills mafia in San Antonio or Toronto…. Ha Ha Ha Ha

    Greetings from New England where our team will be for a 1000 years……..

  4. I think this site is creating smoke where there is no fire.. Buffalo is a sports town, where support is solid. The deal will get done.

  5. It would be weird to have the Bills in any other city than Buffalo. The St. Louis Bills, for example, would be just as strange as the Utah Jazz.

  6. Lets say a team moves, who doe sit affect?

    Some low level stadium workers.
    And the fans who attend the game in person.

    If my team tried to extort money from me as a taxpayer I’d rather they leave.
    A new team will be on TV for me to watch.
    Such is life.

  7. Yawn. More posts about this story without any additional insight other than “no stadium will move.” The Bills won’t sign a long term lease, but at no point have they said they wouldn’t sign a temporary lease while the new stadium is being built. So a new stadium doesn’t have to be built in time for 2023, they just have to have an agreement in place.

  8. rfkimball says:
    August 19, 2021 at 1:20 pm
    Bills mafia in San Antonio or Toronto…. Ha Ha Ha Ha

    Greetings from New England where our team will be for a 1000 years……..

    __________________

    Lol well when you claim the entire region, sure. But Toronto isn’t much further from Buffalo than Foxboro is from Boston. So even if the Bills moved to Toronto it’d be like saying “GREETINGS FROM THE GREAT LAKES REGION WHERE OUR TEAM WILL BE FOR 1000 YEARS HA HA HA”

  9. I live ‘downstate’ and Bufalo might as well be PA , Ohio or Canada. I have nothing but respect for the only team in NY (and western NYin general) but it’s as different as Pensacola is to Miami Beach. Maybe way more different, actually.

    There is absolutely NO WAY the PSNY (people, state of NY) are going to pay for a stadium that serves one region.

    Same reason the Feds pay for the projects in the south Bronx. Same reason two teams are in New Jersey.

    Why should people from Buffalo help pay for the Jets to rebuild in Queens? They shouldn’t and they didn’t.

  10. “They’ll need to move quickly.”
    _________

    Proceeds to explain the team is locked in for two more seasons.

  11. Toronto is always dangled out there as a destination, but they aren’t going to cough up more public money for a stadium than Buffalo and NY state.

  12. *Buffalo …missed a letter.

    PS: Good luck getting any jurisdiction, including Buffalo to pay for a stadium after the past few years. Inflation is about to become a huge issue.

    They missed the ‘cheap boat’ by a few years. Just like anyone that’s just about to buy a house. Cyclic and the cycle just happened. 2022-6 is going to be double the cost of anything built pre-2020. Tax payers going to pay that? I seriously doubt it. When we catch up to inflation, then it happens all over again. Timing is everything.

  13. 3 0 Rate This
    wonderboy says:
    August 19, 2021 at 1:32 pm
    Lets say a team moves, who doe sit affect?

    Some low level stadium workers.
    And the fans who attend the game in person.
    ____________

    This is an incredibly short sighted view of the situation. The Bills create hundreds of millions in economic impact for the region. Many businesses depend upon the team. Many people who are not directly employed by the Bills have jobs because of the team.

  14. rfkimball says:
    August 19, 2021 at 1:20 pm
    Bills mafia in San Antonio or Toronto…. Ha Ha Ha Ha

    Greetings from New England where our team will be for a 1000 years……..
    _______________________________________________
    You better knock on some wood or cross your fingers or something… No NFL franchise is safe from relocation. Remember… Brady is gone… Belichick is getting old… Patriot fans are fair weather… when the team is winning they show up, but when they lose ya’ll disappear quicker than spygate evidence. A few more losing seasons and that stadium will be empty. Wish upon others as you wish for yourself… karma is a mother.

  15. Did this dork above just try to say Boston fans, arguably the most loyal to a fault and the most knowledgeable with a sold out stadium for almost 30 years, that the fans are “fairweather”.

    Hilarious.

    Buffalo doesn’t even have a baseballe or basketball team in their market.

    Face it, your owner is slimey and trying to get a free stadium and has been delaying his own investment for years. That’s on you as your own stadium was 75% full up until very recently. You’re not fooling anyone.

  16. A new stadium for the Bills in the near future ? Not so fast. Many things must take place before that happens. Anyone who is absolutely certain that the Bills will not relocate is delusional. San Antonio would be a prime spot for the team should stadium talks disintegrate in Buffalo. We’ll see what happens.

  17. as a life long regional fan I am indifferent on the issue. the bills are an enjoyable (good or lousy) aspect of watching pro football. however I have grown tired of the relentless nonstop greed the NFL constantly shoves down the fans throats. I would definitely miss the bills, which in turn kill alot of enthusiasm I have for the league. but ive been disappointed a few times in my life. I`ll get over it.

  18. Based on the article in the News on Sunday, it would appea that a new stadium is needed. What I would like to know is, what happened to the talk of being “reasonable”? For the last few years, the Bills have said that they understand the local market and that a $1billion palace was not likely to pass. Now, suddenly, they unveil the threats of moving if they don’t get a $1 billion palace. Seems to me that they are paving the road out of town even before negotiations begin.

  19. All the money NY State wastes with a budget of 212B, 1.4 is a drop in the bucket. The team and Pegulas organization brings 100’s of millions of $ through jobs and off shoot businesses. Build them a stadium.

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