In which we dream up an alternate reality for our favorite football team.
When the Kelly-Jacobs group bought the Buffalo Bills from Ralph C. Wilson in 2006, one of the negotiated terms the parties agreed to was that the stadium in Orchard Park would continue to bear Wilson's name. Many originally criticized Mr. Wilson's desire to retain a vanity name over the team he founded and owned for almost 50 years, but that has subsided in the wake of last week's news that Wilson plans to contribute $350 million of his personal fortune to help construct a new stadium on the Outer Harbor land, owned currently by the NFTA.
"I personally want to try to get this stadium thing done while I still have a chance to, to reward the people and fans of Buffalo for being the greatest fans in the NFL," Mr. Wilson told the media from his home in suburban Detroit."Everyone knows this league, this sport, and the Buffalo community has been very good to me," Mr. Wilson included in his statement, alluding to his $750 million sale to the Kelly-Jacobs group, "and we all know I can't take my money with me when I enter the next phase of life. I want to do this. I want to get this done, and I think we can do this without public money, without asking the taxpayers to pitch in."
The NFTA was quick to respond to Mr. Wilson's generous statement by holding a press conference in which Chairman Howard Zemsky expressed willingness to work with the Bills' current and past ownership to broker a land-transfer to the City of Buffalo to facilitate the construction of a stadium on the Outer Harbor.
Jim Kelly also expressed an unbridled optimism with the developments.
"You know, I think we should just rename the entire Harbor after Mr. Wilson, not just the stadium," Kelly told reporters. "As everyone knows, I'm not originally from the area, but it's my home now. And days like today, weeks like this week make me so proud to call this place home. It's truly a special place, and it's people like Mr. Wilson, it's people like the 73,000 die-hards that cheer their team on no matter what, that make the Buffalo area unique in this country. We're really in it for each other here, for our community, and you just don't get that in other places."