SB Nation's NFL bloggers spent a good chunk of their Thursday afternoon on the horn with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Executive Vice President/General Counsel Jeff Pash. During the call, many issues were touched upon, including the current labor situation. We'll have a full transcript (and possibly audio) of the call for you tomorrow afternoon, but for now, I wanted to touch on one issue that touches the Buffalo Bills in a very specific way.
Christopher Gates, who runs Daily Norseman, our Vikings blog, asked the two league executives about language in the new CBA - whenever it's agreed to - that would provide funding for new stadiums. (Minnesota, you may be aware, is in the midst of a stadium crisis.)
"We’ve had a lot of conversations with the union on how something like that would be structured and how it would be a benefit for the players as well," Pash said. "We are quite hopeful that when we get an agreement done, it will support construction in Minneapolis and in other places."
"It’s not a surprise that there has not been a new stadium built since that agreement was structured in 2006," Goodell said. "The stadiums that were completed were started prior to this deal being completed. There have been no projects that have been drawn up, approved and financed under this agreement. Part of what we need to do in getting this agreement done, is to get an agreement in place that allows us to finance these projects which are more and more challenging in today’s environment."
One of the major long-term issues facing the Bills, and their viability in Western New York, is a replacement to Ralph Wilson Stadium, in which the team has played since 1974. Clearly, the league is saying the right things about being committed to getting stadiums built - and the future of the Bills in Buffalo may be dependent on the outcome of that particular piece of the negotiating process.
Much more on this conference call tomorrow.