Commissioner Roger Goodell commented on Ralph Wilson Stadium – the Bills’ 43-year-old home – earlier this month, saying, “You’ve got great facilities (around the league), and the Bills have to stay up with that.” None of Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula, Buffalo, Erie County or New York state are ready to put a new stadium plan in place for the league’s second-smallest market, however, writes Sal Maiorana of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
“We’re in the fact-finding mode,” said Kim Pegula, who added that the Bills “don’t talk about it now because we don’t have all the answers and we don’t want to get misconstrued because things change.”
Buffalo – along with Baltimore – is one of just two NFL cities without a Fortune 500 company, as Maiorana notes, and the team is cognizant of the economic reality in which it finds itself.
“With a new stadium comes a lot of things — public-private partnership, there’s PSLs (personal seat licenses), there’s cost increases across the board,” club president Russ Brandon told Maiorana. “We’ve been successful in Buffalo with a volume model; lot of seats in the building, lot of suites in the building, and we’ve been able to keep costs down because we’ve been able to manage a 43-year-old building and we’ve been able to do that very well. That equation, economically, changes with a new building.”
With help from New York state and Erie County, which combined to chip in $95MM, the Bills renovated Ralph Wilson Stadium at a cost of $130MM in 2013-14.
More from Buffalo:
- Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus entered last summer with only one year left on his contract, but he eschewed a holdout and the Bills ultimately awarded him a mammoth extension in early September. Teammate and fellow defender Stephon Gilmore is in the same situation now as Dareus was 12 months ago, and the cornerback isn’t happy about it. Dareus, speaking to SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday, offered some advice to Gilmore, stating, “He’s got to understand that it’s a business and you’ve got to be patient. You still have a job, do your job and just be patient. Let things fall where they may” (via Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News). Notably, Dareus didn’t exactly heed his own words when he expressed frustration about his slow-moving extension negotiations last August. As for Gilmore, the Bills may be willing to go to $12.5MM per year for him, though they won’t give the fifth-year man a Josh Norman-esque $15MM annually, Carucci reported last week.
- The Bills have made several changes to their player personnel department, the team announced. Kelvin Fisher is the Bills’ new player personnel advisor, and they’ve promoted Pete Harris from BLESTO scout to college area scout. Bo Taliaferro, who was the Bills’ college scouting assistant from 2013-15, will move up to Harris’ vacated position. Former Saints scout Ryan Hollem will take the reins as Buffalo’s college scouting coordinator, while Collin Dotterer is the club’s new player personnel assistant.
- Star receiver Sammy Watkins allayed some concerns about his minor foot fracture on Monday, indicating that he expects to be available for training camp.