Bills confirm there will be no new Buffalo lease without a new Buffalo stadium

Green Bay Packers v Buffalo Bills
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It had been so widely reported that it had been regarded as a given. Now, it’s been said.

On Thursday, an executive from Pegula Sports and Entertainment publicly confirmed that the Bills won’t sign a new lease at their current stadium in Buffalo without an agreement in place to build a new stadium there.

No, we absolutely will not,” Ron Raccuia told WBEN radio, via the Associated Press.

With two years left on their lease, the implication is clear: get a deal for a new stadium in place within the next two seasons, or see the Bills leave.

Raccuia also was asked about the possibility of relocation.

“We’re not even focused on that, yet,” he said.

“Yet” is indeed the key word. Expect the Bills to focus all efforts on getting an agreement in place for a new stadium deal in Buffalo. Expect them to not consider other locations unless and until they reach an impasse with politicians in Buffalo. If/when the Bills are ever actively looking for a new home, they need potential suitors to believe it’s real. That another city isn’t being used as a pawn to help the Bills close a deal in Buffalo.

However it goes, it needs to go quickly. The Bill have two more seasons in Buffalo. And those two seasons will fly by. If Buffalo isn’t going to work out a deal to keep the Bills in place quickly, the Bills need to start looking for a new partner. If/when they start, it will be too late for Buffalo to keep a move from happening.

103 responses to “Bills confirm there will be no new Buffalo lease without a new Buffalo stadium

  1. Charming. Billionaires issuing threats to get handouts…I’d tell them to move to St Louis.

  2. Let them go. After everything Joe Q Public has been through the past couple of years the last thing anybody should be doing is bailing out big businesses.

  3. Only in america would the little guy, be expected to fund the facility of a billion dollar company and it be considered normal. Billionaires already dodge taxes, exploit cheap labor, and we keep giving in more and more. At what point do the everyday americans stop looking at billionaires from a “they earnest it” view, and see what they really are, enemy of the working class. Billionaires make so much of passive income alone,their greed cant be satisfied though. Every year Americas quality of life falls, and their corporate tax rate falls. See the correlation?

  4. The unmitigated gall of these fat cats who want to steal money from hard working tax payers. Leave, see ya!!

  5. This would be an atrocity the size of the Cleveland/Baltimore move. And just when they’re turning a huge corner.

  6. Such drama! The Bills aren’t going anywhere. The Governor,The NFL commissioner, and the will of the people won’t let it happen.

  7. It’s good to see the tides turn, with sports fans no longer supporting welfare for billionaires the way they once did.

  8. As it should be. The Bills organization deserves commitment from the locality if they plan to invest their own portion into the community.

  9. Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News picked the Browns to go to the Super Bowl in 1995. Shortly thereafter, Modell announced he was moving the team. Don’t think it can’t happen to a good team, it actually gives the owners more leverage when they have a team on the rise.

  10. Screw corporate welfare. Hate all you want on the Patriots, but Bob Kraft paid for Gillette himself.

  11. ^^^ And the Pegula’s have enough money to pay for their own stadium as well.
    But they won’t !

  12. Let’s all pull together, pack the stadium, and boo at the top of our lungs for the next two years. The team is already gone, along with the glow of a Super Bowl possibility. Let’s cheer for the local high school kids from now on.

  13. This will NEVER happen in Green Bay where the Packers are owned by the community. NEVER. That’s what those shares bought.

  14. Terry, where are you? Why can Terry never address anything himself. Always hiding behind other people and leaking things to the public through the media. This guy is slimy; he is a Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane falling in his lap away from destroying both Buffalo franchises.

  15. Bills fans stick with a 15-20ish year dumpster fire of a team. As soon as they put a good team on the field they hold the fans hostage to extort the city.

  16. Nice little antitrust exemption you got there NFL. It would be a real shame if anything happened to it.

  17. Posturing, positioning, setting some negotiating points, that’s all it is. The team wants to stay and the fans want them to stay. Like most big projects, money is the battleground. An NFL team has great financial benefits for the home town but not as much as Owners wish you to believe and not worth 100% of the facility cost. But a share, certainly, so contributing public funds to the cost is not “coorporate welfare.” Find the balance, be creative, make the deal, build a first class facility, and move on.

  18. Nothing like holding the taxpayers in Buffalo hostage. I’m beginning to lose interest in the NFL because it is turning much more into a business and much less of a sport. Maybe I should get prepared for what the NFL is morphing into and watch the stock market ticker scroll and call it a sport too.

  19. This is “pay or die” extortion. Wasn’t there a similar situation with the stadium lease in Oakland?

  20. Browns fan, here. At least your owner and franchise is giving you a chance to do something about it. Make it happen, Buffalo.

  21. Before everyone gets their panties in a bind, just let the process play out. I don’t think they are looking to move the team but rather just put a little heat on the politicians to keep after it and get a deal done. You know how the politicians can drag this stuff on forever. Wait and see how it all plays out.

  22. jimmygeewhiz says:
    September 3, 2021 at 10:59 am
    This will NEVER happen in Green Bay where the Packers are owned by the community. NEVER. That’s what those shares bought.

    /////////

    Brown County imposed a half cent sales tax for many years to pay for upgrades. Ooops.

  23. its kinda funny huh as the local side is finally good since the jim kelly n the wide left days n ya got an owner pulling stuff like this who could easily afford to go like 90/10 giving the great unwashed a break on paying for something which well does not directly benefit them but such is the temperment of corporate welfare while course if in the real world the poor were able to get a livable welfare check ohh how so many folks n politicians would be up in arms ….. :S

  24. Unfortunately this is how the game gets played out. Kraft threaten to take New England to Hartford, CT. After that deal died with corrupt CT Gov. Rowland he ran back to Mass. He ended up paying for the stadium himself and all the State needed to do was install all the roads around it. The Pegulas are shooting their shot.

  25. Manufacture facilities, large retail projects, large corporate office complexs all benefit the local job growth and get state and local tax and building credits to bring that to an locality. Same with a nfl franchise. Big bucks comes in.

  26. gophersnot says:

    Brown County imposed a half cent sales tax for many years to pay for upgrades. Ooops.
    ——————–
    Which has been closed and done for years now. I would more than gladly pay 1/2 cent sales tax for the joy and fun times I have attending and watching packer games at the local establishments or on my own TV.

  27. jimmygeewhiz says:
    September 3, 2021 at 11:15 am
    This is “pay or die” extortion. Wasn’t there a similar situation with the stadium lease in Oakland?
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Yes over the years Oakland ask for help with funding with a new stadium and The City of Oakland refused to pony up to the bar thinking, you cant move and there is nothing wrong with the old one,just fix it.

    Ya that didnt work because The NFL will allow teams to re locate if they see no external help from the host city or state. Not all owners can just come up with a billion plus dollars for a re location.

    What is going on in Buffalo is ditto for the Vikings. They came up with a co agreement and various parties ponied up to the bar.

  28. shutiggyupdotcom says:
    September 3, 2021 at 10:30 am
    Screw corporate welfare. Hate all you want on the Patriots, but Bob Kraft paid for Gillette himself.
    ————————

    Colts fan here. I don’t hate the Patriots. I respect their organization and appreciate the way they Kraft handled funding for Gillette. I’m fine with incentives like tax breaks because these facilities draw so much money to the community, but outright demanding that citizens pay for stadiums is practically legalized extortion.

  29. Browns fans need to remember when they built a beautiful stadium for the Indians, Modell lost his rent payer and the city said we’re strapped for cash. Too bad too sad. Modell got a sweet deal in MD thanks to William Donald Shaffer and the MD Stadium Authority. Never mind most states use the lottery money for schools. Maryland puts the emphasis on sports.

  30. 50Stars says:
    September 3, 2021 at 10:20 am
    As it should be. The Bills organization deserves commitment from the locality if they plan to invest their own portion into the community.
    ————

    Sports teams don’t really generate that much local revenue in exchange for stadium subsidies. It’s not an investment; it’s welfare for billionaires. Is it nice to have pro sports in town? Heck yeah, but don’t call it something it isn’t.

  31. May be they will end up being homeless just like the LA Chargers, needing to share a stadium with another NFL team.

  32. I like how many are commenting on just let them leave damn billionaires! If you are a Bills fan, you sure don’t want them to leave. You lose a lot of identity when a franchise leaves and the Bills are supported by the fans. It will get worked out. Buffalo is too good of a franchise and publicity nightmare for the NFL for them to leave. Cooler heads will prevail.

  33. classiccommenter says:

    Sports teams don’t really generate that much local revenu…
    ————————
    “Tourism industry takes $30 million loss after two home games without fans at Lambeau Field” is the headline of a news article from the past season. I cant share the link on this comment section but there are plenty of articles out there.

  34. 50Stars says:
    September 3, 2021 at 11:32 am
    gophersnot says:

    Brown County imposed a half cent sales tax for many years to pay for upgrades. Ooops.
    ——————–
    Which has been closed and done for years now. I would more than gladly pay 1/2 cent sales tax for the joy and fun times I have attending and watching packer games at the local establishments or on my own TV.

    ///////

    Point being, when this sales tax increase was proposed, we voters NARROWLY approved it. The Packers were a couple of percentage points from leaving. You’re welcome check that info if you’d like.
    No team is safe from relocating.

  35. This makes complete sense. Do people realize how many jobs and tax revenue is generated by having an NFL team? The payroll is $200 million per year and they must have to pay income tax? Plus if they are smart there is other businesses that benefit.

    If you want to have an NFL team you must play. NYS paid a lot for the Yankees stadium, I do not care if the Pegulas make money, this is AMERICA and we are built off the principle that it is okay to make money when in business.

    Keep the Bills in Buffalo — the fans benefit, the state benefits, the city benefits, and it is OKAY to have the owners benefit. Why cant we all win??

  36. gophersnot says:
    September 3, 2021 at 11:22 am
    jimmygeewhiz says:
    September 3, 2021 at 10:59 am

    This will NEVER happen in Green Bay where the Packers are owned by the community. NEVER. That’s what those shares bought.

    /////////

    Brown County imposed a half cent sales tax for many years to pay for upgrades. Ooops.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    whooptteedo — one cent on two dollars in sales tax. Meanwhile, no threats to move, no gamesmanship, only a community working with ITS TEAM to make it work.

  37. These rich owners make me laugh. They want the tax payers to fund the new stadium so their families can buy another property in the Caribbean.

  38. corkspop says:
    September 3, 2021 at 11:13 am

    An NFL team has great financial benefits for the home town but not as much as Owners wish you to believe and not worth 100% of the facility cost. But a share, certainly, so contributing public funds to the cost is not “coorporate welfare.”

    ————————-

    Show me the economic stats that show publicly funded stadiums are beneficial to local government or local businesses or citizens. There aren’t any.

  39. clevelandsportsandotherthingsthatmakememad says:
    September 3, 2021 at 10:00 am
    Only in america would the little guy, be expected to fund the facility of a billion dollar company and it be considered normal. Billionaires already dodge taxes, exploit cheap labor, and we keep giving in more and more. At what point do the everyday americans stop looking at billionaires from a “they earnest it” view, and see what they really are, enemy of the working class. Billionaires make so much of passive income alone

    But most were okay with giving billionaires a massive tax break. Rich people continue to get the middle class to pay and everything is good.

  40. I wish I’d seen this sooner. I have a different take than most, because I’ve worked for local governments. Local governments are basically run by committee and the different local governments (city, county, regional) then also have to work together. So, any one person almost never has to take the blame for really short-sighted, stupid and bone-headed decisions, but everyone feels free to pe* in the soup. The result is that people running high-profile businesses sometimes find it impossible to work with those local governments.

    For sports franchises, this can often result in exits for very good reasons that the politicians and the media then obfuscate. The Baltimore Colts left in the middle of the night because the Maryland legislature was on the cusp of taking it over using eminent domain (how that would work legally is still a mystery to me, but they would have justified it somehow). The Oakland Raiders left Oakland because the politicians of Oakland were far more interested in playing political games than in actually presenting a plan that could work. The Rams left St. Louis because the local governments there failed utterly to honor the commitments they’d made to lure the franchise back to begin with.

    I seriously hope the applicable local governments in Buffalo pull their heads our of their collective fundaments before it’s too late.

  41. As a San Diego resident, San Diego fans sorta miss the Chargers but we’ve moved on and like having our Sundays back.

  42. The stadium in Buffalo is a dump and has been for years. There is benefit for both sides to get a deal done on a new stadium, if the city jerks them around like Cleveland did to Modell, then its time to move. People forget all the promises that the city of Cleveland leadership gave Modell, but then he watched them:

    1) Built a stadium for the Indians(when they were TERRIBLE)
    2) Built and arena for the Cavaliers
    3) Built the R&R HOF

    Modell just got tired of the political lies, and was hemorrhaging money, so he took a sweetheart deal with Maryland. NO way he wanted to leave Cleveland, but they called his bluff one too many times.

  43. Move to San Diego, change name from “Bills” (leave in Buffalo) to “Retirees.” It fits the culture.

  44. 53-47 as a matter of fact.

    ————————-

    oint being, when this sales tax increase was proposed, we voters NARROWLY approved it. The Packers were a couple of percentage points from leaving. You’re welcome check that info if you’d like.
    No team is safe from relocating.

    5 3 Rate This

  45. Maybe we need the european soccer model here. Some teams are owned by the fans, others have an owner with deep pockets. Stadiums are built and payed by the clubs. And nobody in his right mind would expect, as an example, Barcelona or Real Madrid ever relocation to another city…or the City of Manchester losing either United or Manchester City. They have been there for 100 years and will be there, most probably, for the next 100.

  46. Definitely not a Cleveland/Baltimore situation as I saw someone mention. That was a once in a lifetime situation where the city had the money already and was the one demanding a new stadium as a part of their upgrade of downtown and the team owner moved because he wasn’t going to get a cut of the revenue on the new building and was instead trying to get the city to give him the money because he was broke with the guise of using it on the existing one (IE adding some seats and pocketing the rest).

    Bills are absolutely in need of a new stadium. I don’t see how this deal won’t get done for it to even be an issue.

  47. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jeffrey Gundlach bought the Bills and saved the day.I also wouldn’t be surprised if Mrs.Pegula is the one calling the shots and won’t sell.

  48. Modell was an anomaly in that his wealth was solely based on the team’s value, and he borrowed against that many times over the years as owner of the Browns. He had a bad lease deal on Municipal Stadium and got no money from concessions, parking, or boxes. He was getting squeezed and he felt that the city of Cleveland lied to him and strung him along. As another poster noted, the new stadium for the Indians was the last straw. The Pegulas made a fortune in fracking and got in the owners club just as TV rights were exploding. They have sufficient assets to leverage in building a new stadium if the wanted to. Look what Jerry Jones did – he leveraged his wealth and got AT&T to fund a nice portion of the stadium through the naming rights deal.

  49. Enter St. Louis. They had the money and plans for a team when the Rams left. Getting the Bills would be a perfect match.

  50. logicalone says:
    September 3, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    These rich owners make me laugh. They want the tax payers to fund the new stadium so their families can buy another property in the Caribbean.

    ——————

    I hear you – but doubt that these stadiums are getting built if the owners need to rely upon private funding.

  51. Extortion plain and simple.

    If you want a state of the art stadium, pay for it. If you want tax dollars to support the stadium, then put together a business case where the tax revenues to be generated justify the tax expenditure with a maximum 3 year pay back. If you need a 5 year payback, that’s just not going to cut it. The team will have to front the money for the difference.

    This is why your city councils and your mayor elections are extremely important. You need people that understand business in those seats, or you’ll end up with a stadium to knock down and 100s of millions of tax debt.

  52. Why would a billionaire owner not do this and pay for something entirely themselves? If you look at American society, it clearly becoming more unequal financially at the top extreme, and it only growing more disparate. Take the politics out it, the numbers don’t lie. Most unequal distribution of wealth since the 1920’s.

    So in this environment, why should the NFL and its owners not take the easy money when new stadium time comes to help fund their business model of driving the NFL to $25B in revenues? They have been given no signal this will not work, time and time again. Society is just fine with it, regardless of the comments here.

    Washington FT fans….you will soon be on the clock. You’re next.

  53. New York has 3 NFL teams. Maybe they should invest in ONE stadium, since the Jet and Giants play in New Jersey.

  54. It’s interesting how the Bills ownership can pay one man, Josh Allen, $258 million for around 5 years, then turn around and beg for corporate welfare from the fans! Tell that sad stadium story to someone who cares because the fans can only dream of $258 million! Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, the hypocrisy and thievery of NFL owners!

  55. jcdough says:
    September 3, 2021 at 1:46 pm
    Buffalo fans,

    Be careful what you wish for.

    Signed,
    St. Louis, San Diego, & Oakland
    ———————-

    Rams and Chargers moved in to the same stadium, 100% privately financed.
    Oakland was only 30% publicly financed and that’s through a tourism tax in Las Vegas. The residents don’t pay it.

    Let’s not act like cities are willing to build teams a stadium for free anymore. Those days are gone.

    The Pegulas can keep throwing out random city names like Austin but it makes them look stupid when the city doesn’t know what they are talking about.

  56. topcide says:
    September 3, 2021 at 10:12 am
    like I have said . good luck selling Sabres tickets if you move the bils

    **** IMO they sell the Sabres to pay for “their share” of a new stadium. And yet the Pegulas are worth around $5.6 billion. Probably need some cash for their massive new yacht !

  57. annapterp says:
    September 3, 2021 at 1:10 pm
    The stadium in Buffalo is a dump and has been for years. There is benefit for both sides to get a deal done on a new stadium, if the city jerks them around
    **** The city has nothing to do with this !!!! The county owns and maintains their current stadium. The land where a proposed new stadium may be located…. county owned !!

  58. Kim said it herself in that PowerPoint: Pegula Family goals prioritize maintaining the Pegula Family Lifestyle.

  59. With all the NFLs before game political antics and all the political stickers that they might put on the helmets etc,etc, who needs that in your face. Hard to like the sport anymore……whatever…..

  60. If I were the NY Government I’d offer infrastructure improvements around any new stadium the Pegula’s are willing to build/finance and nothing more, if they leave, so be it.

  61. These stadium deals are losers for the taxpayers. I’m sure the new socialist mayor is going to fund a billionaires project….lol. Bills fans are getting screwed here. Definitely a fan base who deserves better.

  62. The aggressive and threatening stance the Pegulas (hiding behind their business entities and representative) have taken from the very start of this shows what disgusting and low-class people they are.

    They could pay for the whole thing themselves today and have 3/4 of their net worth left over.

    It won’t stop when one community says “no” – it will only stop when communities on both ends of a potential moves say “enough”.

  63. I’m a Pats fan who also loves the Bills. Their fans are amazing and passionate. When the Pegula’s bought the Bills, I had a weird feeling that I could not explain.

    Just threatening to potentially leave Buffalo is beyond atrocious. The Pegula’s are complete scumbags. I can’t believe they were approved to buy this team.

    One of the most passionate fanbases in all of sports might lose their NFL team because a billionaire feels entitled to what, basically have Buffalo’s tax payers finance a new stadium?

    I genuinely feel bad for Bills Mafia. This is a disgrace.

  64. San Diego Bills with Hacksaw Hamilton as Radio Play by Play!!
    Show me your Lightning Bolt! Opps, I mean Bison!

  65. The Bills have become a legit super bowl contender. They’ll be going deep in the playoffs every year. I wouldn’t want to be the politicians that booted them out of town.

  66. I assume that the Pegulas are following the NFL relocation rules, guidelines or whatever the NFL is choosing to call them now?

  67. The Browns Football team wasn’t hurting, it was the bad deals that Modell made that cost Cleveland.

  68. STL and MO is really regretting their choice with the Rams. There is a big economic incentive for cities to lure the Bills with. LA was a huge market for Kroenke and STL misjudged badly what was fair compensation for keeping the Rams. An NFL team is a very productive asset for both the owners and the local community and state. Can’t stress this enough.

  69. Every city needs to look at the billionaire owners and say build your own damn house. Or free tickets for tax payers. Ridiculous

  70. Give me, give me, give me! When is it enough? They are already exempt from paying taxes. When do we stop giving Government handouts to billionaires? I’m sorry but government welfare for billionaire really pisses me off! Let them move! The biggest reason the NFL pushed to have a season last year, besides money? They didn’t want people to find out they can survive, actually live and prosper without football. You’re a billionaire owner of an NFL franchise, build your own stadium!

  71. With the Bears looking to abandon Soldier Field for the suburbs, maybe the Bills should consider moving to Chicago.

    Two team market.

  72. nickfoliage says:
    September 3, 2021 at 2:57 pm
    Kim said it herself in that PowerPoint: Pegula Family goals prioritize maintaining the Pegula Family Lifestyle.

    —————————————————–

    Right, of course. And they only have $5.6 billion, so if they paid for the stadium how would they live? Buffalo should build them a stadium and send them a nice gift basket, poor souls.

    My question – if they can’t afford to put money into a new stadium how will they come up with the $650+ million relocation fee? Maybe Buffalo should pay for that, too.

  73. NFL owners are the greediest people on earth, they make Jeff Bezos look like charity. They can afford to build thier own stadium. Now teams are moving like free agents.

  74. Properly-built stadiums these days pay for themselves MANY times over before it’s all said and done with, and it goes well beyond just housing their sports team. Clearly most people here don’t understand that the public ultimately benefits from this kind of INVESTMENT.

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