Today it has been announced that the Buffalo Bills and Erie County have signed a new 10-year lease that will keep the Bills in Buffalo for long after long time owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. has passed away.
Word of the deal comes just days after The Buffalo News reported “significant’’ talks were held this past week between the state, county and team negotiators.
In the newest lease, the Bills would have to pay a $400 million relocation penalty if they leave during the time of the lease – with one exception. In the seventh year of the contract they could pull out with only a $29 million penalty, but I think that “out” is moot point unless Mr. Wilson lives to be 101, which seems unlikely I think a team lead by former quarterback Jim Kelly will in charge by then. Also Kelly has gone on the record by saying he will never let the Bills leave Buffalo on his watch.
An official with direct knowledge of the negotiations who briefed The Buffalo News on the agreement said $130 million will be spent on a range of renovations at the aging stadium. Of that, the Bills will kick in $35 million, which is different from past deals with the state that included no team contribution.
Also Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo became personally involved in the negotiations on and off after he deemed the Bills staying in Buffalo as one of his top priorities.
This can only kill the speculation of the Bills relocating to Los Angeles, but now it makes me wonder who will move to the city of angels.