The Buffalo Bills have informed Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz that the pro football franchise will not exercise an opt-out which could have ended its lease at New Era Field this summer.
By taking no action, the Bills are committed to staying at their Orchard Park home through 2023, when the current lease expires.
Poloncarz confirmed the communication via his Twitter account Friday afternoon.
There are media reports of my receipt of a letter from @BuffaloBills confirming they will not early terminate the lease. That is correct. I requested the letter from them to show their commitment and good faith to the county and community. They delivered and I thank them. #Bills pic.twitter.com/1O94dILXJY
— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) January 31, 2020
The Bills would have been required to pay a penalty of $28,363,500 if they decided to opt out early. (Click here to see a summary of the Bills' lease at New Era Field).
The decision to stay put comes amid continuing speculation as to where the National Football League club may plan to play in the future. Rumors continue of a possible downtown stadium, possible in the Perry Projects, but earlier this week NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated that he is open to the idea of a large-scale renovation of New Era Field, where the Bills have played their home games since 1973.