Ed. Note: Bumped from the FanPosts. - BG
Any day now, we should see a news story detailing the stadium renovation and upgrade plan by the site planner gurus at Populous. Ralph Wilson Stadium looks to receive a $200 million dollar revamp. The issue of public money for the project weighed against the overall economic benefit of the Buffalo Bills to the area, we will now acknowledge, consider, delay, and, for now at least, move on. Let's just say that $200 million doesn't grow out of the cracks in Parking Lot A during the offseason.
What I want to discuss are what the potential upgrades will be. I haven't seen much in the way of concrete examples of what will be added or changed. I've heard Russ Brandon talk about expanding the square footage of the complex beyond its current gates to include more and better amenities, so that leaves a lot to the imagination.
Let me say this, if I read or hear Russ Brandon repeat his bit about the Ralph having some of the best sight lines in the NFL, I'm gonna punch whoever is closest to me in the liver. I have an inner Bill Hicks when I feel like that a master salesman is selling me something.
Let me say this, too, I like the Ralph and probably agree with Russy. The inner bowl and stadium to me is fantastic. It elicits a thrill and a certain mental decibel level just thinking about it. And while I would love for the stadium to be downtown, I've grown quite fond of its current location somehow in a way that is hard to explain. Maybe it's the memories.
But that's not to suggest there isn't a lot of room for improvement. I have just a few ideas I would like lay out, but the beauty of this web site is the interaction with other Bills fans here, so let me know what you'd like to see around the stadium. In no order of importance:
1. A pedestrian bridge over Abbott Road. There has to be something to connect the largest parking area to the stadium in a way that doesn't traverse a four lane boulevard.
2. Improve parking lot amenities. To pick up directly from #1, there's that long stretch of empty vendor booths along a busy walkway that separates the bus parking lot from one of the main parking lots and I feel there's something the team could do to make that area more vibrant and fun on game day. Better food and drink options, for one, (not everyone tailgates so hard!), and maybe some outdoor heaters, live music, and the like to create more options for the ones who roam with pockets full of beer looking for a party.
3. Bathrooms. I probably should have this as #1. There is nothing to me more frustrating about attending Bills games than having to wait 10 minutes in line in a dank and crowded men's room during the game.
4. Expand the concourses. The councourses are tiny. Almost as bad as waiting in the bathroom line for 10 minutes or more during a game is waiting in line in the concourse to get to the bathroom line.
5. Concessions. To be honest, I don't really care about the in-game concessions. I don't go to the game hungry, and beer's always relatively easy to get. But I'm sure they could do better.
What's on your wish-list?