The Buffalo Bills Could Play Home Games in Toronto or Pennsylvania?
In case you missed the big news last Friday afternoon, the Buffalo Bills are reportedly favoring building a new stadium, rather than making substantial renovations to Highmark Stadium.
The good news for many fans, however, is that the new stadium would reportedly stay in Orchard Park; which has many things favoring it, such as parking and tailgating.
The new stadium would also be open air, rather than a dome. There could be a hanging top over fans, however, like there is in Miami for Dolphins games.
This is all "planned," however, and the Bills still need governmental approval and proper funding to begin the process, which could take a few years.
Since the current lease for Highmark Stadium with Erie County runs through July of 2023, that likely means another extension in the lease would be needed for the Bills to play there while a new stadium is being built.
If a new lease cannot be reached, then according to News 8 in Rochester, the team is prepared to play home games at an alternative location until a new stadium is ready.
The two venues are reportedly Toronto and Penn State, which is located in State College, Pennsylvania (a nearly four-hour drive from Buffalo).
The Bills would like to avoid any situation where an alternative location is needed, but with the current lease situation, that is a possibility according to News 8 in Rochester.
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Could you imagine the Bills playing one or two seasons in Canada or Pennsylvania? Those venues have the capacity to support NFL games, so it makes sense but would be a huge catch 22 for Bills fans if a new stadium is made official.
Temporarily playing home games at a different venue isn't new for the NFL.
The Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings had to play at temporary homes while new facilities were being built.
The Seahawks played the 2000 and 2001 NFL seasons at Husky Stadium (home of the Washington Huskies in college football), while Lumen Field was being constructed. The Vikings played the 2014 and 2015 seasons at TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota, while U.S. Bank Stadium was being built.
I definitely do not want home played anywhere else but Western New York for the Bills and hopefully that can be avoided. The negotiations and funding with local and state government are sure to be the obstacle for getting the ball rolling on constructing a new stadium, however.