Back in mid-June, Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz told The Associated Press that he hoped to have a new lease agreement for Ralph Wilson Stadium hammered out with the Buffalo Bills prior to the start of training camp. (Players report on July 25.) Poloncarz on Wednesday told WGRZ the same thing - but posturing has now begun in the negotiation.
"(The Bills) want more (money) than I think they know they're going to get," Poloncarz told the station. "But but we're not going to give away the store to keep the team here. We're going to ensure that this team is economically viable and is kept here for many years. But it's my goal that the Bills contribute to part of the construction costs associated with the stadium."
As we discussed a few weeks back, the county is asking the Bills and the NFL to contribute funds to the impending renovations at the Ralph. MRW calculated that the Bills could be asked to spend as much as $37.5 million (with the league matching that figure) a couple of weeks ago.
Poloncarz also told WGRZ that while he still expects the big pieces of the agreement to be reached by the end of the month, the full agreement may not be ready until just before the end of the year, as the two sides will need more time to finish up the final details of the agreement.
Still, both sides have seemed upbeat about the negotiation to date, and Poloncarz told WGRZ that a meeting last week was "very productive."