New York governor claims other cities had interest in Bills’ relocation

New York Jets v Buffalo Bills
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Not everyone was on board with the use of $600 million in public money from the state of New York for a new stadium in Buffalo. The payment is included in the state’s $220 billion budget for 2022-23. Erie County will commit $250 million toward the project, with the NFL and the Bills committing $550 million in financing.

Critics have pointed out that Forbes estimates owners Terry and Kim Pegula’s net worth at nearly $6 billion.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Buffalo native, defended the use of public funds for the $1.4 billion open-air stadium in Orchard Park.

“In this stadium, we see very strong support from the local delegation in Albany,” Hochul told WNYC’s Brian Lehrer, via Dan Lyons of “They’re very vocal in their desire to have a share of support go toward a team that is part of the identity of Western New York. It’s like Broadway is to New York City, this team is to Western New York.

“They did have options to leave. That’s hanging over New Yorkers, Western New Yorkers in particular. So the decision was made to get the best deal we could for taxpayers.”

Hochul said San Diego and other cities contacted the Pegulas about relocating if they couldn’t finalize a stadium deal in Buffalo.

“I was aware that they were being reached out to by other cities that have lost teams before,” Hochul said. “That is real. Their stadium was starting to crumble. Something had to happen and if there wasn’t a decision done soon, they had definitely other options. My entire life, there was talk of them going to Toronto. In fact, a significant performer actually was coming forward with a plan to take them to Toronto. Buffalo’s a very small market. It’s quite extraordinary that they have a team at all, because there’s a lot more money to be had in larger cities like San Diego and others who would love to have a team.

“I was not going to give away the shop. The first question was, ‘Can we finance it 100 percent with public dollars?’ I said, ’No. No way. We’re not doing that.’ So it ended up being 43 percent of the total cost is state money, but when you factor in the income tax we’re going to drive from the ball players — these are very highly paid athletes — we have that paid off just in new income for the state in 22 years.”

The Chargers left San Diego because they couldn’t get a stadium deal there, and while Toronto long has been used as leverage for teams wanting public money for a new stadium, it is questionable whether it could support an NFL team.

While relocation was unlikely, decision-makers believed they had to give the Bills what they wanted to guarantee the team stayed. The Bills are scheduled to open their new stadium in 2026 and now have a 30-year lease to remain in Buffalo.

18 responses to “New York governor claims other cities had interest in Bills’ relocation

  1. Sure like LA could use a third team !!! And St. Louis just sued the league so who else was it !!!

  2. Let them move to San Diego, see how they like playing in Miami 1 week, Boston the next, then New Jersey 2 weeks later then even more trips when you play NFC east

  3. Buffalo, along with Cincinnati and Green Bay are the only NFL franchises that I believe public assistance in building a stadium is justified.

  4. The Greater Toronto Area has a population of 7 million!
    North America’s second largest financial centre and a GDP of $300 Billion.
    I am 100% sure we could support a team

  5. The Pegulas are literally the worst. This is completely covered up by the fact they got insanely lucky with McDermott who brought along Beane.

  6. Toronto would be the 4th biggest city in the US. How could they not support an NFL team?

  7. These billionaires won’t contribute leaving the construction bill to hard working Western New York taxpayers

  8. Money today is worth more than money in 22 years.
    It amounts to a tax payer give away of money.
    Its not break even, its a loss.

  9. San Diego is a lie, they already said no to a tax payer funded new stadium and Caly has only gotten worse with its politicians.

  10. New York has two other football teams. Would it have been that bad if the Bills left town?

  11. “New York has two other football teams. Would it have been that bad if the Bills left town?”

    The Bills are the only New York team.

  12. So the residents of Buffalo are paying hundreds of millions of dollars to help build a football stadium and still have to pay hundreds for tickets to go to a game?

  13. The state of New York did the right thing….once A team leaves rarely do they ever return. Maybe Baltimore made it work but Cleveland and St. Louis really never recovered.

  14. As I recall, the good citizens of San Diego voted against a taxpayer funded stadium at least twice. The politicians wanted it (of course they did), but the citizens said they didn’t. That’s why the Chargers were moved to LA, where they are now the NFL version of the Clippers.

  15. gabbertformvp says:
    April 13, 2022 at 6:20 pm
    Toronto would be the 4th biggest city in the US. How could they not support an NFL team?


    -No modern NFL-ready stadium
    -No political will to build one
    -The high taxes are basically a non-starter for the NFL
    -Toronto area NFL fans prefer to drive to Buffalo and tailgate there

  16. The Bills are the only New York team


    The Giants are NY states football team. Always has been, always will be. Most people in downstate and upstate north and west through Syracuse are Giants fans. They have 20 times the fans the Bills do.

  17. cletuspstillwaterjr says:
    April 13, 2022 at 7:17 pm
    New York has two other football teams. Would it have been that bad if the Bills left town?
    NY has 1 football team. New Jersey has 2 football teams.

  18. It’s definitely helpful that the jets and giants play in jersey. Thank you Jets and Giants fans for paying for this stadium!

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