The Buffalo Bills have reached an agreement with Erie County and the state of New York on a new lease deal for Ralph Wilson Stadium. The 10-year deal will keep the Bills in western new york, according to sources.
The deal was brokered by New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo and avoided the expiration of the current lease on Buffalo’s stadium, which would have expired on July 1st 2013.
The deal was first reported by the Buffalo News. According to them,
“Officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the deal would be announced at an 11 a.m. press conference at Ralph Wilson Stadium.”
Per the terms of the agreement, the Bills would have to pay a $400 million relocation penalty if they leave during the time of the lease. The only exception is in year seven of the lease. In the seventh year of the contract they could pull out with only a $29 million penalty.
The Buffalo News also reported a few details of the agreement:
The 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. The state and county will share the remaining $95 million renovation costs, though it is uncertain how much precisely will be coming from both government entities.
This is great news for Buffalo fans who have had to not only contend with poor play this year, but the fear that their team may be relocated to either LA or Toronto in the coming years. With age and poor health seemingly catching up to team owner Ralph Wilson, this is a definite sigh of relief for fans who have stuck with their team through good times and bad.
The Buffalo Bills, one of the oldest franchises in the NFL with roots back to 1959, will remain in Buffalo for the time being. Rejoice, Bills fans. Finally, something to shout about.