Inside The Bills

Committed to Buffalo

Posted by Chris Brown on December 21, 2012 – 4:36 pm

All parties involved in the new lease agreement were encouraged by the Bills renewed commitment to Buffalo with the new 10-year lease agreement. Though the Buffalo media wondered about the $28M buyout, Bills CEO Russ Brandon assured it’s a non-issue.

“The assurance is that we are standing here right now,” said Brandon. “The unwavering commitment of Ralph Wilson. The unwavering commitment of Governor Cuomo, Mark Poloncarz, our business leaders and our community leaders. This is, as I mentioned early, this is a monumental day for us. The Buffalo Bills are right here in Western New York—where we are going to be for many decades to come.”

When asked if that was a guarantee by him, Brandon offered the following.

“Guarantee. We are in Buffalo, Western New York. We are committed to this region,” said Brandon. “Mr. Wilson’s belief in this region 50 years ago is the same as it is today. We are excited about it.”

Brandon’s comments were subsequently supported by Lt. Governor Bob Duffy.

“The Buffalo Bills have never wanted to leave,” Duffy said. “They have wanted to stay here. They are a huge part of this community. It has been clear from day one. Looking at the realities, I think you take us through seven years. That is a great commitment right there. That gives us a chance as the County Executive mentioned, this community gets to look at options for a new stadium. I think anyone if there is ever an ownership change in the future, they look to how much is the community going to support this team. I do not think you can get a better support system than in Buffalo and Western New York for this team.”


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Buyout option window is brief

Posted by Chris Brown on December 21, 2012 – 4:24 pm

While the exact length of time for the Bills to exercise a buyout option in Year 7 of the lease agreement with Erie County and New York State is not specifically spelled out in the memo of understanding signed by the Bills, the county and the state Friday, it is said to be brief. Here is why that is significant.

The exact time frame for the buyout option, in which the Bills would have to pay a termination fee of just over $28M, will be spelled out once the Memorandum of Understanding is ratified by the NFL as well as the state and county legislatures. But once that brief buyout window closes, the remainder of the term of the deal (3 years) will still operate under the $400M relocation penalty.

So essentially the $400M relocation penalty exists for almost the entire length of the deal, not just the first seven years.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz also stated that under the previous lease agreement the Bills could’ve left for a paltry sum in comparison to the $28M buyout in the new deal.

“Right now that the Bills could probably leave for two million. Last year, they could have left this community for two million dollars based on the prior lease,” said Poloncarz. “I know we have a strong commitment from Mr. Wilson and the Bills organization. As Russ has noted, if they wanted to leave they could have left for peanuts in the last few years. They have been committed to this community and continue to be committed to this community through the life of this agreement.”


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Lease deal still needs ratification

Posted by Chris Brown on December 21, 2012 – 4:15 pm

The announcement Friday of a new lease agreement between the Bills and Erie County for the next 10 years was welcome news for Bills fans. It is only an agreement in principle at this point and still needs to be ratified by the NFL. Here’s a timeline for ratification.

The NFL is expected to ratify the new lease agreement at the owners meetings in Arizona in March. It is expected to be approved by NFL ownership.

The lease agreement also needs to be ratified by the state and county legislatures, but that is considered a mere formality.

“We will spend time with the legislatures and make sure everything is worked out,” Bills CEO Russ Brandon told Buffalobills.com.


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Bills fans react to new lease agreement

Posted by Chris Brown on December 21, 2012 – 3:25 pm

Here’s a sample of tweets from today’s announcement, including reaction by Bills fans to the new lease agreement between the Bills and Erie County in conjunction with New York State.


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