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Inside The Bills

Stadium group’s work will be lengthy

Posted by Chris Brown on April 2, 2014 – 4:26 pm

They were just getting to know one another at the initial meeting of the three parties representing the state, Erie county and the Bills as part of the Stadium Advisory Committee, and right away all three arms of the group agreed on the amount of time it will take to reach a conclusion on what they’ve been assembled to accomplish.

“This will be a process. It will be a long process,” said Bills President & CEO Russ Brandon, who will serve as one of the co-chairs of the committee. “There is a lot of work that needs to be done, but I know that our group is up to the task and look forward to working with everyone in the future.”

“It’s an advisory committee which will be making recommendations based on the accumulation of information that’s going to take some time,” said Erie Count Executive Mark Poloncarz, also a co-chair. “I agree with Russ it’s not going to be a short process. I wouldn’t be shocked if it lasted a few years. We want to make certain when the recommendations are made, that we’ve looked under every stone and did everything possible to ask the right questions of the community and ourselves so that we know we’re doing the right plan to keep the team here long term.”

“Everybody understands the seriousness of this process,” said Lt. Governor Bob Duffy, the third co-chair. “I believe we have the right people at the table from all three entities and the people we have put on our teams. This is the first of many, many meetings. A lot of work to be done. We know what all of our goals are, but we can’t predict the future. We just have to follow the process and work and I think it was a great first step.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills