Buffalo Bills

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The Buffalo Bills organization is gearing up for a large event Friday night in downtown Niagara Falls.  The Bills "Billieve" Breast Cancer Awareness Event will help raise funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer.  

WBFO'S Eileen Buckley sat down with organizers of the event -- including two Buffalo Bills wives and a breast cancer survivor.

"I had a mastectomy.  I had chemotherapy. I had radiation.  I had the whole nine yards," said  Susan Morreale. 

Five years ago Morreale experience what many women fear -- the discovery of a lump in her breast.

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Long-time Buffalo Bills punter Brian Moorman was in Buffalo on Friday visiting the pediatric unit at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Moorman began his PUNT Foundation while he played for the Bills. Now that he is punting for The Dallas Cowboys, Moorman remains committed to upholding this connection to the local region.

The PUNT Foundation helps young patients realize their wishes and supports their families.

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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.

File Photo / WBFO/AM 970 News

A former Buffalo Bills player has found himself on the wrong side of the law.

Ruben Brown was charged with Driving While Intoxicated after a traffic accident on Friday evening. Brown was arrested after a rear end collision in Hamburg. He was not injured in the incident, but the driver of the other vehicle did suffer minor injuries.

Brown was last a member of the Buffalo Bills in 2003.

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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.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

You've heard of Flutie Flakes and T.O.'s -- now there are MariO's. 

Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams is the latest local sports star to have his own breakfast cereal.  Tops Markets is now selling the limited edition, honey nut toasted oat cereal.

All of the proceeds from the cereal will go to Roswell Park's Carly's Club.  Williams, appearing at the Tops store on Orchard Park Road in West Seneca Tuesday to launch the new cereal, talked about how cancer has touched his life.

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The Buffalo Bills are facing the prospect of four local blackouts this season.

Following last week's lackluster performance in the season opener, tickets sales for games against Miami, Jacksonville, St. Louis and the New York Jets have been slow. Three of those games are in December, and the Miami game is a Thursday night affair, conditions that lend to lower ticket sales.

Earlier this year, the Bills opted out of a new NFL policy that would have lifted blackouts with fewer tickets sold.

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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. 

Report: Bills owner Ralph Wilson hospitalized

Aug 31, 2012

Bills owner Ralph Wilson, Jr. is in the hospital. A team spokesman says the 93-year-old Wilson is in "good" condition.  It is unclear why he has been hospitalized or what hospital he is in. WBFO & AM-970 news reached out to the Bills. Bils spokes Scott Berchtold said "Wilson is in the hospital in good condition." No other details were provided, but reports claim he has an infection. Wilson suffered a broken hip last year.

Bills enjoying increase in ticket sales

Aug 22, 2012

Saturday's Buffalo Bills-Pittsburgh Steelers pre-season game at Ralph Wilson Stadium will be shown locally on Channel 7.

It's more good news at the gate for the Bills, who announced that three regular season games have already sold-out, meaning the local television blackout will be lifted on those dates.

The home opener on September 16th against Kansas City, September 30th against New Enegland and the Tennessee Titans' game on October 21st have sold-out.

Season ticket sales have risen to over 43,000 for the upcoming season, a 16 percent increase.

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.

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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.

Bills make gameday changes

Aug 8, 2012

Fans attending Thursday's NFL pre-season game between the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins are encouraged to arrive at stadium gates one hour prior to kickoff.

Bills officials are hopeful the early arrivals will alleviate delays while security officials enact new procedures.

Gate personnel will no longer "pat down" team customers; instead hand-held metal detectors will be used to conduct personal searches.

Bills lease talks moving slowly

Jul 18, 2012

Lease negotiations between Erie County and the Buffalo Bills aren't moving along as planned.

According to the Buffalo News, County Executive Mark Poloncarz says the parties are behind his timeline, including the hope that a memorandum of understanding would have been accomplished by the start of training camp on July 26th.

Though the Bills are asking for over $200 million in improvements at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Poloncarz believes a new lease will be signed by the end of the year.

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While Buffalo Bills fans may be miffed over the team not easing its television blackout policy, Jim Fink of Business First believes the faithful may be encouraged by the progress of lease negotiations that could keep the club here for many years.

In WBFO and AM970's Press Pass conversation, Fink also discusses development prospects in downtown Buffalo.

He hears that Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, which has had great success in Syracuse and Rochester, may be opening in Buffalo.

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It is expected that the basic framework of a new lease deal between Erie County and the Buffalo Bills could be structured within the next few weeks.

Bills block NFL's new blackout policy

Jul 13, 2012

The Buffalo Bills will buck a new league trend by continuing to mandate that Ralph Wilson Stadium be sold out before allowing the region to watch broadcasts of home games.

The NFL is now allowing its franchises to follow an eased blackout policy requiring at least 85 percent of stadium seats to be sold to lift the blackout. But the Bills say the change doesn't make financial sense for the small-market team.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Blackouts may be a thing of the past for television-viewing fans of the Buffalo Bills. A local congressman and two fan groups applauded the news in front of Ralph Wilson Stadium Monday.

The Wall Street Journal reports that team owners have agreed that games could be televised in local markets if only 85-percent of the seats are filled.

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Lease negotiations between the Buffalo Bills and the County of Erie appear to making headway.

County Executive Mark Poloncarz believes that the most significant issues could be ironed out be the end of July and the deal could be signed by the end of the year.

Stadium renovations, estimated at more than $200 million, are among the issues to be addressed.

File Photo / WBFO/AM 970 News

Lease negotiations between Erie County and the Buffalo Bills regarding the use of Ralph Wilson Stadium are progressing.

County Executive Mark Poloncarz anticipates that the framework for a deal can be in place by the end of next month. One aspect of the talks is the issue of stadium renovations that will carry a $200 million price tag. The current deal expires in July.

A memorandum of understanding needs to be reached between the parties before an actual lease can be hammered out.

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The Buffalo Bills released their 2012 schedule Tuesday night. 

They open the season on Sunday, September 9th, on the road against the New York Jets.  Their home opener is a week later against Kansas City at Ralph Wilson Stadium. 

The Bills will play one nationally-televised prime time game at home against Miami on Thursday, November 15th on the NFL Network. 

The annual Toronto game will feature the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, December 16th.  

The Bills will wrap up the season with a home game against the New York Jets on Sunday, December 30th. 

The National Football League unveiled brand new uniforms Tuesday designed by Nike. 

The sleek uniforms were designed for all 32-NFL teams and that includes the Buffalo Bills.

Nike is now a new partner with the NFL, knocking out former designer Reebok.   

You can check out the new look on line on Nike's Website http://nikeinc.com/nike-football/news/nfl-uniforms-buffalo-bills#/inline/9189.

Bills sign marquee free agent Mario Williams

Mar 15, 2012
Chris Caya/WBFO

The Buffalo Bills have landed one of the biggest prizes on the NFL free agent market, agreeing to terms with defensive end Mario Williams.

Williams has been in Buffalo since the free agency period began on Tuesday. ESPN reports the deal is for six years and up to $100 million, with $50 million guaranteed. The guaranteed money is the most for a defensive player in NFL history and the deal is the biggest overall contract in team history.

Chris Caya/WBFO

The Buffalo Bills' top receiver is staying put. At Ralph Wilson Stadium this morning, the Bills announced that wide receiver Stevie Johnson has signed a long-term contract extension. 

Johnson led the team in receiving for the second straight year in 2011 with 76 receptions.  He became the first player in franchise history to record 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons. 

Johnson told reporters he got his start with the Bills and he wanted to remain loyal to the team because the team has been loyal to him.  

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The Buffalo Bills announced Tuesday that season ticket prices will remain flat for the 2012 season.  The Bills also said prices in the Tops Family Corner and Coors Light Rockpile sections will be significantly reduced.  

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A federal lawmaker is urging an end to the National Football League's television blackout rule. Western New York Congressman Brian Higgins is calling on the FCC to change the rule saying it hurts markets like Buffalo.

“Mr. Speaker, I rise to discuss an issue of great importance to Western New York– the Buffalo Bills," said Congressman Brian Higgins as he appeared before his colleagues on the House Floor Wednesday.

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One of the many issues new Erie County Executive-elect Mark Poloncarz will need to tackle is a new lease deal to keep the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. 

The county is hoping the state will kick in some cash, but as WBFO's Eileen Buckley tells us, the Governor is making no promises.

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Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has reportedly sealed a new contract deal with the Bills.

The Associated Press reports a person familiar with negotiations has told The AP that Fitzpatrick has agreed to terms of a new contract.

Details of the deal were not immediately known. The person, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the Bills have not made an announcement, told The AP Fitzpatrick was informed of the development immediately after practice.

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Ralph Wilson Stadium is in need of an extensive facelift expected to cost tens of millions in taxpayer dollars in a project that would be tied to the Bills renewing their lease within two years.

Bills CEO Russ Brandon says the team has hired a world-leading architectural firm to conduct a thorough study of what improvements are necessary to upgrade the stadium's existing structure and add fan-friendly, revenue-generating enhancements.