The Buffalo Bills’ home in Orchard Park is nearing the end of its lifespan at 50 years of age, and with an ultra-costly renovation needed in the next five to ten years, the team has been exploring a new stadium for some time. With accusations and misinformation flying in the media recently, the mood hasn’t been great among the fanbase. On Monday, all the sides finally got together in the same room to dispense of the chest thumping and (please pardon the on-the-nose pun) sabre-rattling and actually get to work, according to Tim Graham of The Athletic.
According to Graham, representatives from Erie County finally got the same tour the media has been receiving in the last ten days, showing the deficiencies of Highmark Stadium. This led to new optimism that a new stadium deal is actually in the cards.
The state has not made a counteroffer following the Pegula’s initial salvo.
On Monday, NFL Commission Roger Goodell was also in Western New York playing in the Jim Kelly Celebrity Golf Tournament in Batavia. He did not participate in the stadium meeting but did comment on it saying he expected the project to be a public/private partnership with the NFL and Pegulas participating financially.
Goodell also directly addressed the crowd of people looking for a renovation of the Bills’ stadium in the vein of Lambeau Field, Arrowhead Stadium, and Solider Field in Chicago. He clearly said a similar teardown renovation wasn’t going to be worth it.
“We’re certainly beyond that,” Goodell said. “I think a new stadium is what’s needed. I think it’s going to require a public-private partnership. I think the Bills and the community and probably the NFL are all going to have to come together and figure out how to do that in a smart way, and I think we will.”
So nothing concrete (sorry, another pun) and nothing looming, but progress. We’ll take it.