The NFL and the Buffalo Bills are continuing to work together to figure out how to keep the team financially stable, whether it’s renovations to their existing stadium or a completely new stadium.
“It’s a big, big nut to crack,” Kim Pegula, who owns the team alongside husband Terry Pegula, said via the Associated Press. “It’s going to take some patience on everyone’s part.”
While there have been rumors that the NFL could consider moving the Bills out of Buffalo, Terry Pegula strongly implied relocation was not on the table.
“Whatever we’re going to do stadium-wise is going to be in the best interest of our fans,” Terry Pegula said. “We have the interest of our fans at heart, and what we do will be heavily weighted — whatever the plan is — toward the benefit of our fans.”
Back in May, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hinted at wanting a new stadium for the Bills with help via public financing from the city of Buffalo. Some interpreted his comments as alluding to opening the door to possibly moving the Bills out of Buffalo if progress isn’t made.
“The reason why I’m supportive is because I want to make sure this franchise remains stable here and continues and remain competitive,” Goodell said via Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. “And I think it’s great for this community. And we’ve been able to do these stadiums in such a way that it creates a tremendous economic benefit, too. I want the Bills to be successful and I want them to continue to be competitive here in Buffalo.”
However, the Pegula’s say they have Goodell’s support and dismissed the idea that he was threatening relocation.
“Roger knows where we stand,” Kim Pegula said. “We weren’t at all upset or thought that he was trying to say anything differently.”
The Bills currently play in New Era Field, which was opened in 1973. The Bills have hired a firm to conduct a feasibility study that should be completed later this summer.
A 2014 study billed renovations of the existing stadium at around $540 million, while a completely new stadium in downtown Buffalo could cost twice that amount.
While that’s around the going rate for a new NFL stadium, it might not make sense for Buffalo. The Bills are among the smallest markets in the NFL currently, but also have one of the most loyal fan bases.
“As far as professional sports teams go, Buffalo’s the biggest little city in the country,” said Terry Pegula. “And our fans need their due as far as whatever we do with venues for them to attend our games.”