Latest On Bills’ Future In Buffalo

The Bills will remain in Buffalo in 2020. There never seemed to be any notion that another outcome was on the table, but technically it was a possibility that the Bills could be playing elsewhere as soon as next season.

The team’s lease with New Era Field expires in July 2023, but the lease contains an early termination clause that the Bills could have exercised by February 28 of this year. If they had done so, the lease would have terminated on July 30, thereby making the club a geographic free agent.

Per Sandra Tan of the Buffalo News (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk), Erie County Executive Marc Poloncarz pressed Bills ownership for a commitment, and Terry and Kim Pegula informed Poloncarz on Friday that the team would not be exercising the early termination option. But the team’s future in western New York remains in doubt.

Last June, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made it very clear that the Pegulas will need to address the club’s stadium situation at some point in the near future to keep the Bills in Buffalo, and he reiterated those sentiments on Wednesday. Goodell said the Bills and the local government need to settle on an approach within the next several months, and he noted that the team’s stadium will need to remain competitive with other sites around the league.

The Pegulas have not yet wavered in their commitment to keeping the Bills where they have been since they joined the AFL in 1960, and they want to either renovate the current stadium — which opened in 1973 — or build a new one. They issued a statement on Wednesday indicating that a study into potential stadium sites, designs, and financial options had been completed, but it’s unclear if that study has pushed this matter any closer to a resolution.

Florio suggests that, the longer the Bills go without a long-term plan in place, the more offers will come flooding in from other cities anxious to get an NFL franchise. Those offers could be especially tempting to the Pegulas, who do not have the personal resources to fund a stadium themselves.

Toronto has long been rumored as a potential future home for the Bills, but when asked about the possibility of a team north of the border, Goodell reiterated his usual stance, saying that one of the foremost requirements is a stadium that meets NFL standards (Twitter link via Farhan Lalji of TSN).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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34 comments on “Latest On Bills’ Future In Buffalo

  1. Ironman_4life

    So they cant play in a stadium you can see from Buffalo, but they can play in London and Mexico City ?

  2. metsie1

    I am not a Buffalo Bills fan. However, with all the Goodell adoration isn’t this where he earns his money. Buffalo has a dedicated fan base with what seems like an owner who wants to stay put. Stop with the nonsense about Toronto or overseas. Surely their is a viable happy, medium deal right there in Buffalo. Stop the posturing and get a deal that works for everyone. Isn’t what this guy gets paid for?

    • Steven Juris

      Goodells primary motivation is to make sure the owners make large amounts of money. He really doesn’t care about anything else.

      • compassrose

        They don’t have to build a palace like some of these guys are. Seattle’s stadium is no beauty I was actually a little surprised to see how plain it was. Everything works in it foot traffic flows pretty good and we all know the fans and design work well together. Stop trying or thinking you need to out do the last guy. Will be awhile I think before the shrine to an owners ego beats LA but I thought that after Dallas.

        Make it simple and functional. Fans don’t need all the artwork or other trappings. Sure it looks good for tours but to be honest is Buffalo a tourist hot spot?

        They probably can use the bones of the old stadium to make it work but sometimes a remodel is more. Build the stadium but get money in payment back from them. Losing the team would be a big loss not only for fans but for the city financially.

  3. captainchaos55

    Move the Bengals to The North Pole… and I’m a Bengals fan

  4. Wise Old Owl

    Keep the “local government” out of it. The tax payers should be burdened with a sport that afford to overpay spoiled, entitled, egotistical, dysfunctional boy/men outrageous amounts of money so they can demonstrate how important they are with their childlike celebrations and chest pounding antics. If private business/individuals want to invest in a new stadium, then so be it, but keep the unrepresented, unspoken for taxpayer out of it.

    • bklynny67

      Lol I didn’t realize there are people out there who straight up hate sports because they are jealous babies about how much money athletes make. Stop your crying!

    • aloop

      Talk about misfiring your anger….christ.

      How about instead of complaining about the athletes you actually make a worthwhile argument about the ownership groups bilk the cities out of hundreds of millions of dollars every time billionaires cry poor? Oh.., and don’t forget to mention the politicians who, after feigning “the best interest for their cities” and vow “not to use a dime of taxpayer money” end up bending over and caving like jellyfish.

      Lol… athletes are the problem… hysterical.

    • of9376

      Yeah but he makes an excellent point. The NFL is a multi-Billion dollar company. Why are tax payers funding a stadium for the owners ? The city doesn’t get a penny of revenue from the NFL other than ancillary money as a result of visitors in the city.

      • Steven Juris

        City will cry when said team moves to someplace that will pony up. And a city will pony up to get a NFL franchise. Can’t have it both ways.

    • nentwigs

      Wholeheartedly AGREE !! When these mental infants celebrate after: catching a pass, running the ball, scoring a touchdown, making a sack or making a tackle they are just doing what they are being OVERPAID to do.

      When was the last time an employee broke out into a celebration after:
      repairing your vehicle,
      emptying your trash,
      teaching your child,
      caring for the elderly,
      finalizing an income statement,
      completing your taxes,
      performing an operation,
      winning a case in court,
      fixing your plumbing,
      cutting your grass,
      landing an airplane,
      surviving a day of military service,
      “checking out” your retail transaction,
      re-stocking a shelf,
      waiting on your table,
      and so on, and so on, and so on????

      Perhaps the rest of us “working stiffs” should start celebrating EVERY TIME we do what we are paid to do!

      • Steven Juris

        If you hate all entertainment then by all means stay away from it. But we know you worship big businesses who only care about profit and hiring the cheapest labor possible.

      • Appalachian_Outlaw

        Ha! I just rang up a grocery order, and I did a bang up job. Spiked the lady’s carton of eggs to celebrate. They even gave me a vacation, if you can believe it. Told me to go on home. I don’t know why you hate fun.

  5. diller1340

    If the bills leave buffalo fans should protest the nfl. Buffalo is the definition of true fans that support the league and their team in the right ways

      • Michael Chaney

        Cleveland got a team back when the Browns left so obviously they do care

        • Steven Juris

          Had to pay big money to the NFL and the owners. Otherwise they wouldn’t have come back. Cleveland is also a much bigger market then Buffalo.

  6. aloop

    “…. the Pegulas who do not have the personal resources to fund a stadium themselves.”

    Wait, what? They are worth nearly 5 billion dollars. They have the resources. And… yes, I know that net worth and liquid assets aren’t the same thing. But I’d imagine you could build a stadium for oh 1.3 billion (a bit less than what MetLife Stadium cost in 2010) and still be good financially. Also, unless I missed something, loans still exist. Hell, seems like if the NFL, Pegulas, and a massive bank (BoA, Wells Fargo) came to an agreement that didn’t end up costing taxpayer money.

    • Steven Juris

      Has St Louis built a new stadium yet? When they do maybe the NFL will move a team there.

      • bumpy93

        this was going to be what I said. Stl had a awesome renderings, all they needed was Stan k. to sign the lease and they would have broke ground within 4-5months. Let them go there if a deal can’t be worked out in buffalo

        • Steven Juris

          St Louis will need to have built that stadium first. Remember the league never wanted the Rams there in the first place.

          • aloop

            The league is ridiculous for abandoning St Louis the way it did. Great sports city.

            • Steven Juris

              The league never had any success in St Louis and St. Louis failed at keeping to their lease agreement with the Rams. The NFL gave them 2 chances, they won’t get a third.

                • Steven Juris

                  Truth dippy. St Louis was supposed to maintain the stadium and keep it buiit like a top 5 stadium at all times. They broke the contraCt by not doing it. The city will never get another franchise until they build a new stadium at zero cost to the nfl. And even that might not get a team. They failed twice, not going to get a third.

                  • dynasty in boston

                    It’s a cow town at best. “Gateway to the West”…Adam West maybe.

  7. Wade Herbers

    Buffalo fans seem to me to be very very supportive of the team. They seem quite educated on the game. It would be a shame for them to lose the Bills. I hope the Bills are there for another 40 years!!! And I am not a Bill supporter.

  8. petenehra

    As a Bills Fan. I knew a day would come that the Move to the Great North would happen. Toronto here they come.

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