IT’S OFFICIAL! THE BILLS ARE HERE TO STAY! [SPORTS]
Regardless of how you feel about the Buffalo Bills, they are not going anywhere! Negotiations have been finalized and the Bills will remain in their home at 1 Bills Drive for at least the next ten years. There’s a lot of legal jargon and technical verbiage in the talks that took place behind closed doors at the Millennium Hotel, but here’s the meat and potatoes of the deal….
The Bills will pay $800,000 a year in rent; previously they had been rent-free tenants.
Overall, the county will spend $11 million more for the 10-year lease, that possibly could be as short as seven years, than it spent under the previous 15-year lease.
Under the new lease, Erie County will pay $41 million for upgrades at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The state will pay for $54 million in renovations. The Bills will contribute $35 million.
Stadium upgrades include new $8.76 million high-definition scoreboard, an $8.33 million expansion and renovation of the east end-zone concourse and $7.1 million on entry plazas with wrought-iron security fences.
Other planned improvements include a $7.68 million expansion to the training facility and $3.7 million for an operations and storage complex.
The county and state will share annual payments that will start at $3 million for working capital, $2.9 million for operating expenses and $1.8 million for game-day expenses.
The Bills retain naming rights to the stadium.
The Bills still can play one preseason game every other year and one regular-season game a year in Toronto.
The Bills are allowed to play one more international game over the next 10 years in addition to the Toronto game.
The state gets a suite at Ralph Wilson Stadium to be used in its “I Love NY” promotional campaign.
Also, if the Bills were to move within the next seven years of the lease, they could be fined a whopping $400-million dollars! With that being said, this does give the franchise an out, but I am almost certain that with the million of dollars of improvements, they probably aren’t going anywhere.
Although the news is welcomed by die-hard Bills fans, some are left asking, even though the Stadium will be fixed, is it time to fix the team as well? With the straight 13th year of missing the play-offs, should the focus be on the team, or do you think that having some stability improve the teams performance in the long run?