What Is the Buffalo Bills' biggest problem that does not relate to players directly? Many would say that it would be the aging stadium and the lack of long term stability in a location for the team to play in. Now the best way to fix that problem, and to ensure that the Bills stay in Buffalo for longer than 5 years, would be to have a new stadium built.
Problem is in order to build a new stadium in the NFL a team must first secure public funding, well unless your team is owned by Jerry Jones that is. And that would also be the biggest obstacle that teams like the Bills, the Vikings and the Saints face when wanting to build a new stadium. Now as far as I know the Vikings new stadium proposal is still going threw legislation (could have passed threw and succeeded or failed, I don't know), and with the Saints winning the Super Bowl they are staying put for a while. But teams like Buffalo are still struggling to find any ground to stand one while inquiring about the possibility of building new stadiums. And that's where New york being awarded the 2014 Super Bowl comes in.
As recently reported by NFLlabor.com, and PFT, NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell is not closing the door on other cold-weather Super Bowls. In fact from now on, and I quote, "each game will be decided on an individual basis." Now Mike Florio of PFT suggests that this is more meant as a wake up call to southern cities to "try harder" when bidding for a Super Bowl, but the simple fact that they now have to try harder, and that Goddell has not closed the door on other cold-city Super Bowl's mean that almost anyone is now able to bid for one.
Now here's what this means for the Bills and other teams looking to build new stadiums within the next decade or so: the message is out, if you try hard enough any city can host a Super Bowl.
Now I'm willing to bet that some of you are still asking "what the heck does hosting a Super Bowl have to do with getting public funding to build a new stadium?" A heck of a lot actually. In a January 2003 article published by the Texas Workforce Commission, the hosting city of the Super Bowl can expect anywhere in between $220 and $350 million in local revenue. That number has now grown, as lat year's Super Bowl was said to bring in upwards of $400 in local revenue. That is a lot of local revenue for two weeks worth of festivities, certainly enough to warrant is discussion about bidding to bring the Super Bowl to your city.
But this in itself does not help secure local funding, as bidding for a Super Bowl and actually hosting one are vastly different realities. This is where help from the league would have to come in. The NFL itself would have to step in and do something that it has never done before: step in and guarantee a the city would be a Super Bowl host if a new stadium is built.
Now that would be new for the NFL, but the tactic has been used successfully in the CFL before. The most notable example can be taken in the case of the CFL's Ottawa Expansion team (expected to take the field for the first time in 2012) where the CFL guaranteed that the City of Ottawa would host a Grey Cup game (the CFL's Championship game) within 3 years of the teams existence if a new stadium was built for the team. (Pertinent note, a new stadium was also a requirement for the team to exist.) Hosting the Grey Cup has consistently brought the hosting city between $60 and $100 million in revenue. That guarantee proved to be one of the major points in the approval of public funding in the sum of $117 million for a new stadium that is expected to cost roughly $150 to build.
Now I know that comparing the CFL's situation to the NFL's situation is like comparing apples to oranges, and that the numbers are vastly different between the two, but I do believe that the example is still pertinent and that the concept can be transferable.
So here what all of this means for us. Cold weather Super Bowls are now a possibility. Now I know that traditionally it is the city, not the team, that bids to host the Super Bowl, but lets say that while trying to obtain funding to a new stadium a team decides to bid for a Super Bowl in order to get local revenue as a bargaining chip. Now here's the long shot (you all knew it was coming), if the NFL deems it in their best interest to obtain a new stadium for said team it could give said team the right to host a Super Bowl with the condition that a new stadium be built in order to host it.
I know that it is a long shot, and the chances of this happening are astronomical low, but the 2014 Super Bowl at least opens the door to this being discussed as a possibility. We all want the Bills to stay in Buffalo, or at the very least the Buffalo-Niagara region (and no that does NOT include Toronto). And we must realise that for that to happen, a new owner will need to be found AND a new stadium would eventually need to be built. Now for a new stadium to be built, you need public funding. Hosting a Super bowl could go a long way to getting said public funding.