The Buffalo Bills will play their last home game of the season Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. But if you don't have a ticket, you won't be able to see it. The game will be blacked out on local television after failing to sell out.
During his weekly radio show Wednesday, Buffalo Bills president Russ Brandon expressed concern over whether the Bills lose a competitive edge playing home games in Toronto. Brandon says the series held in the Rogers Centre will "be reviewed in a grand manner." Meanwhile, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says he would like to see all Bills home games played in Orchard Park.
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.
Little information has been made available to the public during the quiet lease negotiations between the Buffalo Bills and Erie County, but it's clear that a new stadium is not in the immediate future.
County Executive Mark Poloncarz says there are really three reasons for keeping the team where it is: the county can't afford a billion dollars for a new facility, the Bills aren't asking for one and, there is no room downtown.
Senator Schumer speaking at Ralph Wilson Stadium Wednesday afternoon
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is requesting a change to a National Football League's matching loan program to free up $25 million in league revenue to help with renovations to Ralph Wilson Stadium, without a penalty to the community if the team is sold.
Currently, what is known as the G-4 loan program would help the Bills pay for stadium upgrades, but it would have to be paid back immediately if the team is sold. That would permit a new owner to liquidate assets and relocate the franchise.
After significant study, the Buffalo Bills are proposing that Ralph Wilson Stadium undergo a major renovation as new lease talks get underway.
The cost of the renovation is anticipated to be in the $200 million range, and much of that funding will be provided by taxpayers. It is a less expensive option than retrofitting the stadium or contracting for a new one. The current fifteen year lease agreement between Erie County and the Bills regarding Ralph Wilson Stadium expires in 2013.
With the possibility of spending at least $100 million on repairing Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, city lawmakers are pushing for another look at instead building a new stadium in the City of Buffalo.
Erie County and the Bills are involved in talks about a new lease, although no details are being released. The current stadium needs significant repairs, with the estimate of $100 million being used frequently, although an in-depth study apparently hasn't been completed for the Bills.