The Buffalo Bills will be staying in Orchard Park through at least the 2023 season following news that the team has declined their one-time option to terminate the lease signed in 2013. No news on the future home of the Bills was announced.
In 2013, team owner Ralph Wilson, Jr. and president Russ Brandon placed a clause in the ten-year lease that only allowed a one-time option to leave, albeit by paying a $28 million termination fee. The team would have had to notify the County by the end of February 2020 and be gone by the end of July 2020.
On Friday, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz shared the letter he received from the team on Twitter. Apparently Poloncarz asked for a letter one way or the other stating the team’s intentions.
There are media reports of my receipt of a letter from @BuffaloBills confirming they will not early terminate the lease. That is correct. I requested the letter from them to show their commitment and good faith to the county and community. They delivered and I thank them. #Bills pic.twitter.com/1O94dILXJY— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) January 31, 2020
Word came last week that the NFL would be “okay” with an extensive renovation of New Era Field in lieu of building a brand new facility. Owners Kim and Terry Pegula have hired a consulting firm and conducted market research on the ideas of renovating the stadium, which was built in the early 1970s and renovated several times over the years, as well as building a new facility in multiple locations around Western New York. They’ve been keeping the results of that research close to the vest.