ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 09:Fred Jackson #22 of the Buffalo Bills walks of the field with his son at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 9, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo woin 31-24. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Buffalo Bills CEO Russ Brandon has informed John Wawrow of The Associated Press that the Bills have hired the architectural firm Populous to begin a thorough study of necessary structural and revenue-generating alterations for Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Brandon would not elaborate on what changes might be made, but the report goes on to speculate that the team is seeking to capitalize on the excellent tailgating tradition of the stadium, and that technical modernization is needed to enhance the Ralph's ability to host prime-time games.
Brandon also told Wawrow that no monetary figures have been established for the future upgrades; hence the study. Erie County Executive Chris Collins told Wawrow that he expects the figure to fall between $40-100 million (or perhaps more), and that the figure will be a de facto pre-condition in ongoing lease negotiations between the Bills and Erie County. The stadium lease expires in 2013. The vast majority of the money necessary for the upgrades - whatever the cost - will be footed by the state, and will be at taxpayers' expense. All of this, of course, has direct effect on the long-term viability of the Bills in Western New York.
Make sure you check out the full report for even further detail. As a fun conversation-starter, what one upgrade to the facility would you like to see occur?