The Buffalo Bills current lease at Ralph Wilson Stadium expires on July 31st. With talks of building a new stadium/ conference centre for the Bills their future was for a short while uncertain.
The Buffalo Bills have come to a 10-year agreement with Erie County and the state on a new lease with the 40-year old Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Bills fans will be happy about the news as there have been concerns of re-location and uncertainty over the health of current owner Ralph Wilson. The team has also been playing games in Toronto over the past five years, further instilling fears of re-location.
Here are some terms for the lease agreement:
- Bills will be forced to pay a $400 million relocation penalty if they leave, with one exception.
- Bills will have a one-time option to leave after the seventh year, without penalty.
- $130 million will be spent on stadium renovations.
- Bills will contribute $35 million to the renovations
- State and county will split $95 million to renovations
- 10 years in length.
So Bills fans are safe for at least seven more years, assuming that no owner in their right mind would pay $400 million to move the team on top of the price to buy them in the first place. Its just not rational.
My assumption is if the team does well financially for Buffalo over the next seven years, expect them to leverage that to get a new stadium built for them in Buffalo. Keeping all the revenue a game generates within Buffalo.
Canadian football fans much prefer to attend games in Buffalo as you can actually party in Buffalo. Buffalo Bills Bus Tours are extremely popular! In Canada, you cannot consume open alcohol and tailgate in public so Canadians LOVE heading south of the border and having a good time in Buffalo.