The Erie County Legislature unanimously approved a new 10-year lease deal for Ralph Wilson Stadium Thursday afternoon, the last major obstacle to cementing a long-term commitment with the Buffalo Bills.
An early Christmas present for Buffalo Bills fans arrived in Orchard Park today. The team has signed a new 10-year lease with Erie County for Ralph Wilson Stadium that will keep the franchise in western New York for at least the near future.
Talks are still underway over the proposed renovations of Erie County's football stadium in Orchard Park.
In a visit to Buffalo Wednesday, Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy said Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Bills, and Erie County are talking, but an agreement made in the beginning of talks precludes him from saying much.
Duffy says the negotiators have agreed to talk behind closed doors.
Negotiations between the Buffalo Bills and the region's governments regarding a new lease for Ralph Wilson Stadium have been secretive.
However, a buyout clause is likely to be a part of any final agreement. The existing lease, which expires in 2013, did include a buyout clause that was worth as much as $30 million. Such a clause in a new contract is expected to reach nearly $100 million. The team is looking to secure improvements to the facility that will cost taxpayers upwards of $200 million.
The Buffalo Bills and Erie County have agreed to extend their current stadium lease through July 2014.
The one-year extension was announced Wednesday morning by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.
Talks over lease negotiations for the Bills lease at Ralph Wilson Stadium have been stalled.
Poloncarz said the last meeting between the Bills, the County and the State was June 29th. But Poloncarz insists this weekend's game will not be the Bills last home opener in Orchard Park. He says the Bills have agreed to extend their current lease through July 2014.