The Buffalo Bills are one of the franchises with an unbelievable connection to their local fans. The team’s stadium situation has ownership at odds with the local government.
One of the major threats that has surfaced this week is that the team could relocate if they don’t have a new $1.5 billion stadium paid for with taxpayer funds. Austin, Texas is cited as one of the potential destinations for the franchise, if they leave Buffalo.
It would be a real shame for the area to lose the beloved Bills, but it also feels ridiculous for it to pay for a $1.5 billion stadium when Bills owner Terry Pegula is worth almost $5.5 billion.
Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz seems optimistic the two sides will work something out. He also struck back against the rumored threats that the team could head elsewhere.
Earlier today I was asked about recent reports regarding negotiations with @BuffaloBills and NYS. Some of the reports were untrue. At no time has the team threatened to move, either to Austin or elsewhere, if their requests are not met. My full comments:https://t.co/aT4mqqlBZZ
— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) August 4, 2021
“We will get a deal done,” he said, per ESPN. “It’s just got to be a fair deal for all.”
“I want the public to understand there’s been no gun put to the head of Erie County and New York state stating, ‘If you do not do this, we are moving,’” he said. “I want people to understand negotiations are a long process. … A negotiation takes time. It takes compromise on both sides.”
The Buffalo Bills have played Highmark Stadium—formerly Rich Stadium, Ralph Wilson Stadium, and New Era Field—since 1973. The stadium underwent renovations in 1998 and 2013. The team’s lease expires in July 2023, so there isn’t a ton of time to work out a deal here, though most have to hope that they can come to a reasonable agreement and keep the Bills home.
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