NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, was participating in Jim Kelly’s annual Golf event in Batavia earlier today and took some questions from the media. Josh Reed, of Channel 4 in Buffalo asked, Goodell, about the want for a new stadium and Goodell pushed in the direction that he always does. He clearly wants a new stadium in Buffalo.
The commissioner would say, “The reason why I’m supportive is because I want to make sure this franchise remains stable here, and continues, and remains competitive,” Goodell told reporters. “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.”
He would add, “I want the Bills to be successful and I want them to continue to be competitive here in Buffalo.”
When, Goodell says words like, “stable”, and, “competitive”, he is really using euphemisms for the word…contribute, as in make more money for this league!
BILLS fans subconsciously feel that they have a Fenway Park or Wrigley Field of the NFL. Old and charming with a legendary fantastic atmosphere. Goodell, has not said anything new but he reiterated that him and the league do NOT see the old barn in Orchard Park in that way. To him and the other owners, this is the out of date house in their gated community.
Lets get this out of the way, the Pegula’s own the team and therefore the team is stable. Terry and Kim own the BILLS, Sabres, Amerks, Bandits and New Knighthawks. They’ve invested millions of dollars into downtown Buffalo. They have put renovations into both New Era Field and Key Bank Center. They just finished year one of a 15-year contract to operate the Blue Cross Arena. No matter how, Roger Goodell, wants to word it, the Buffalo BILLS are stable.
It is no secret that a league operated by billionaires is greedy, but any notion that they would force the Pegula’s to sell the team in order to go to a bigger and better market is a public relations nightmare that they know they do not want.
Believe it or not though, it was not the commissioner making news today in my opinion. Instead it was Erie County Executive, Mark Polancarz, firing back at, Goodell, saying, “Commissioner Goodell’s comments are the same thing he’s said for years now. It should be noted as Commissioner he is beholden to a group of 32 very wealthy team owners, including those with teams in many larger markets, with very different stadium situations in their communities than the Bills have here in Buffalo. His interest lies not with our community but with the owners that employ him and the highest level of profit he can deliver for them. Many of these owners have placed heavy demands on their fan base and community as well, demands that could not be met in our smaller market. However, members of Bills’ Nation will at least be relieved to hear that Commissioner Goodell wants the Bills to be successful and competitive here in Buffalo.
We meet with the Bills regularly and will continue to do so to discuss all matters related to the stadium, including ensuring the security of the fans and maintenance of the current facility as well as what the future will bring. From our discussions I know Terry and Kim Pegula are committed to Buffalo and Erie County, and we are as fully committed as anyone to keeping the team here in a facility that works for all: the team and the community. Serious stadium negotiations will not commence until after the completion of the CAA Icon report, though we have had preliminary discussions on the matter. As with any negotiation, all options are on the table, including additional renovations or a retrofit of the current facility, and I look forward to representing Erie County when those negotiations commence.”
The Erie County Executive, who’s county owns New Era Field and has the BILLS signed to a lease until 2023 is clearly in no mood for Roger Goodell’s rhetoric. He seems to also make it clear to, Terry and Kim Pegula, that while all options are on the table, if there is going to be heavy reliance on taxpayer dollars then he would much prefer renovating or retrofitting New Era Field.
If the team and county/state do decide to go with a renovation or retrofitting, they would be taking the route of the Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers.
Terry Pegula, has been on record saying that they would be looking at a, “Scaled down” version of the newer stadiums of Dallas, Atlanta and LA.
Roger Goodell, may have said a lot today but he didn’t say anything new. It was, Mark Polancarz, making news today telling the NFL’s head man, “Get off our Lawn! We will deal with you in our way, when we are ready!”