NFL commissioner Roger Goodell held a much-anticipated media session with reporters from Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix on Friday afternoon.
You're likely going to read a lot about Goodell's non-answers regarding several prominent issues facing the league at the moment, but in the name of staying true to the aim of our little website (and preserving my sanity in the process), I'm not going to talk about those far more interesting and newsworthy things. Instead, let's cover what Goodell said when asked about the prospect of a brand new football stadium for the Buffalo Bills to play in.
Roger Goodell: "I do believe that a stadium long term is going to be needed in that marketplace, in Western New York."— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) January 30, 2015
Goodell: "I love Ralph Wilson Stadium but it has to compete with a lot of newer stadiums with features that it doesn’t have."— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) January 30, 2015
If you've heard the same thing come out of Goodell's mouth several times previously, that's because it has. Even before the passing of late team owner Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. and the subsequent sale of the franchise to Kim and Terry Pegula, Goodell was pushing the league's agenda of building as many new stadiums as possible.
The Pegulas have previously told reporters that "there will be a new stadium" in Buffalo, with Terry Pegula telling John Wawrow of the Associated Press: "The league was pretty emphatic that Buffalo, we're a small market, needs to be as competitive as we can."
So, yeah... pretty much any question about stadiums and the city of Buffalo directed to Goodell, no matter how they're phrased, are going to route directly into the canned response folder in his brain. You can expect Goodell to continue to say that the Bills need a new stadium until one actually exists, every time he's asked, because that's what the NFL's owners want.
Earlier this month, a study commissioned by the state of New York identified four potential sites for a new Bills stadium.