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Roger Goodell focuses on mourning Ralph Wilson, but acknowledges 'we have to find a long-term solution' for Bills

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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Ralph Wilson's death has elicited many emotions from Buffalo Bills fans: grief for the loss, sentimentality over what he's done and even anxiety over what will happen next.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reflected on Wilson this morning at a news conference to conclude the annual owners meetings, an event Wilson relished.

"He was a special owner," Goodell said. "I know how much he did for the Western New York region, and I also know what he's done for the NFL, having seen it first hand.

"As a commissioner, he was a great owner. He was principled. He was strong. He understood when to compromise."

Wilson died Tuesday at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich. He was 95.

Goodell is keenly aware Western New Yorkers are nervous about the Bills' future. He has deep WNY roots. He was born in Jamestown and has spent significant time on Chautauqua Lake. His mother came from Buffalo.

"I haven't focused on that," Goodell said of what will happen to the Bills next. "Obviously, my thoughts and my heart are with the Wilson family. That's not something I have spent any time on in recent days.

"We all know they have a lease. We know the terms of that lease, and we also know we have to find a long-term solution to keep the Bills there. That's what we're going to continue to work to do, but that's not our priority now in the next few days."

Goodell spoke with Wilson's widow, Mary, on Tuesday night and said he will attend Wilson's funeral. Arrangements have not been announced.

"He's going to be missed by the NFL and by me personally," Goodell said. "He's someone who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and he has really done incredible things for the league, for pro football in general.

"That's something that will be a great legacy for him."

  • test test

    Son of a bi*ch. Pack the trucks. The Bills will be heading to LA as soon as the family can sell the team. I grew up a Bills fan. I went to the first 2 AFC championship games in 91 and 92. This is making me very nervous. The Buffalo area would be crushed.

    • Alolao

      LOL crushed ? I'm happy I won't have to for them anymore.

      • Vidiot

        Spending your free time learning how to write instead huh?

        • Newday12

          LOL...he's just a typical townie with a marginal existence...they'll bash anything.

          Even if someone gave half these people a million dollars the would still find something to complain about.

    • BullGuy

      So what part of "we have to find a long-term solution to keep the Bills there" do you not like? There are many other things he could have said to make you jump off the cliff.

      It remains to be seen if he's true to his like Gary Bettman was in doing whatever he could to keep the Sabres in Buffalo.

      • Newday12

        I grew up here...moved out and came back 15 years later and love the city.

        But I noticed the townies are negative and will complain about ANYTHING.....

        People have to realize nothing is going to happen over night and yes the NFL collectively has meet and figure out "how to handle" the situation.

        This is the type of statement I expected from the comish this morning.

        • TedLogan

          Your generalizations and personal attacks only detract from your debate. They do nothing to support your argument and are generally counter-productive.

    • andybflo

      Honestly, I think the opposite...

      He's a Jamestown boy. His statement of "finding a long-term solution" inspires a little confidence that the NFL wants to keep it here. And will work to do so.

      He won't want another Cleveland black eye on a profitable team. That's my thought. Look for the Chargers, Jacksonville, or the like to move first. Easier. Not profitable. No fan support.

      • Newday12

        Bingo.....totally agree.....mentioned this in a few post.

    • Maureen

      Did you read the article? the quote from Goodell says we need to find a solution to keep the Bills HERE.

      • Cloud Wisp

        Solution = taxpayer monies.

    • Jamie Rozek

      Apparently you don't know how to read, and like many around here, don't know the simple facts:

      1) The Bills are one of the more profitable teams in the league
      2) There are teams in MUCH BIGGER TROUBLE than the Bills
      3) Moving the team makes no sense due to the pricetag
      4) There are plenty of people around here interested in buying them.

      • B H

        1) The only reason the Bills are a profitable team is because Ralphy didn't have a mortgage on the team. He purchased the franchise right with the AFL in 1959 for only $25,000. So while Ralphy always cried poverty, he was one of the richer money makers in the NFL.

        2) Other teams that may or may not be in much bigger trouble than the Bills, they are not going on sale to the highest bidder as the Bills will be in the near future.

        3) Moving the team may make sense because whoever purchases the team and depending on how high the winning bidder is, they might not be able to afford the small market price tickets that Buffalo would pay.

        4) The most important and driving force to rally around and get investors together to purchase the team locally is Jim Kelly. We don't know what kind of health Jimbo will be in after this very important operation or if he will still have the desire to take on such a important role.

        Yesterday listening to Vic Carucci who is now working in Cleveland, I was surprised that even he said he doubts the Bills will remain in Buffalo after the team sold, even with a $400 million moving penalty.

    • test test

      Let's be real.... The Buffalo is in decline and the economic base is stagnant or shrinking. There are a lot of under-served areas in the country that would love an NFL team. If the Wilson family gets the right offer, the team is history.

  • turd ferguson

    LA does not need another team. They couldnt keep the Raiders. let them have an expansion team

    • Newday12

      yeah...LA is a failed experiment with the NFL...two teams and both gone for a reason.

      If anything the Raiders are in a desperate situation for a new stadium and they will probably move back accross the bay.

      Jacksonville is a mess.......

      To many franchises in trouble to single out Buffalo and move them.

  • PaulR

    Uhh Ohhh - less than 24 hours after RW's passing, and did I hear Goodell talking about "the final solution?"

  • anemia716

    reading comprehension seems to be a real weakness for people today.

  • eric

    Ralph Wilson accomplished so many things in his life that should secure his legacy, but in the end it's what he didn't do that will define him. He could have sold the team to Tom Golisano years ago and chose not to. I keep hearing that Buffalo needs to be thankful to him for keeping the team here. Really ? the man made 8 figures a year off the Bills and watched the equity in the team grow from 25k to 870 million. So he makes 10+ million a year and owns a product that grew to almost a billion dollars and we have to thank him. It would sure seem like he benefited from our fandom as much or more than we benefited from having the team here so many years. Except for a 6 year run, the team has been mostly lousy, with the last 15 years being a joke. Unfortunately, even if Golisano (is anyone else capable of buying them?) puts in a bid, he will get outbid, because the Bills are worth 30-40% more the second they are in Toronto or LA. Almost no way Golisano overpays for something that will take 10-15 years to recoup in equity. It's done folks, go to games this season... it is more than likely your last chance to do so.

    • anemia716

      ....again, the buying of a team does need mean the owners can take any liberty they want. the NFL still gets the final say. L.A and Toronto both shown to be weak NFL markets.

      • eric

        You could park 20-30 semi tractor trailers through Goodell's words. He is a very smart person and knows how to parcel his words. "We have to" turns into "We tried and were unsuccessful". To think that there haven't been scumbag businessmen waiting for this moment, with zero sentimentality towards WNY, to pounce and move the team is shortsighted and naive. Follow the money, money, money.... if the team is worth more in a different market (mostly for TV viewers, contract) that is what will likely happen. Money trumps everything in this society, period.

        • Jamie Rozek

          There are also plenty of local businessmen that have already expressed interest.

          • eric

            name 3

          • Jamie Rozek

            Pegula
            Kelly
            Hamister
            Golisano.

            There are 4 that have publicly expressed their interest.

          • Newday12

            @ jamierozek.....we also have Danny Wegman, jacobs family and Rich (forget his first name.....guy who owns rich products is a billionaire) and don't forget the Jacobs family.

          • eric

            1) I already mentioned Golisano as the only potential candidate.
            2) Danny Wegman is not a billionaire and has never uttered a word about buying the Bills.
            3)Jeremy Jacobs has never said anything about buying the Bills.
            4) Terry Pegula is legally prevented from owning a football team in Buffalo.
            5) Mark Hammister is not a billionaire... he didn't have the 80 million to buy the Sabres the first time.
            6) Jim Kelly is not a billionaire.

            Thank you, this episode of reality was brought to you by the letter $ and Trico wiper blades

          • Newday12

            Danny Wegman, Jacobs, Golisano, Pegula, Rich

            All billionaires are pretty close to it.

          • eric

            1) I already mentioned Golisano as the only potential candidate.
            2) Danny Wegman is not a billionaire and has never uttered a word about buying the Bills.
            3)Jeremy Jacobs has never said anything about buying the Bills.
            4) Terry Pegula is legally prevented from owning a football team in Buffalo.
            5) Mark Hammister is not a billionaire... he didn't have the 80 million to buy the Sabres the first time.
            6) Jim Kelly is not a billionaire.

            Thank you, this episode of reality was brought to you by the letter $.

          • Newday12

            Totally agree......

      • Newday12

        There are still fees to move a franchise as well....I believe any owner who wants to move a team has to pay the NFL upwards of $400mil (not sure if that's the exact number) and that's on top of buying the franchise.

        That puts the total cost of aquisition, not counting stadium arrangements close to $1.3 Billion........that's a huge risk for an owner when especially when NFL revues are on a decline and attendance is down since 2007........many stadiums are having trouble selling out.

        It's easier for an owner to keep them here, maintain a loyal fan base, get some government money for a stadium or to defray the cost of owner ship and rack in some profits.

        • eric

          there is an out-clause in 2020 for 28.4 million. And the 400 million buyout you are mentioning... does that seem suspicious ? It's probably a figure they arrived on after calculating the team was worth 40% more elsewhere. If the team moves to LA, it's the 2nd biggest market in the nation. If they move to Toronto, it becomes "Canada's" team with merchandise/ TV contracts being sold from BC to New Foundland. Canada has a population of 35 million and the NFL is the only major North American league with only teams in the USA.

          The NFL doesn't give a turkey about ticket sales anymore, it's about product placement and cross-marketing with TV contracts. That is where the NFL makes 65% of it's money. If it was about ticket sales, the Jaguars would have moved 10 years ago.

          • Newday12

            Sorry wrong person.

            The NFL doesn't care about tickets but the owners do.

            Owners get to keep 100% of the revenue generated on Game Day in their stadium.

            Also, when you combine the Buffalo, Rochester, Southern Ontario and Toronto..our primary fan base.......we make up the 4th largest TV market in North America.

            The region has allot more than meets the eye economically...espcially for a pro sports team.

            But you ask the townies and the sky is falling every day.

            I moved back two years ago and learned that Buffalo is actually booming right now for people who take off the blinders.

          • B H

            The owners actually do not keep 100% of their tickets sales. The visiting team gets 40% of tickets sales for that game. So moving the team to LA would be a lot more money for every visiting team. That is why old Ralphy boy didn't like to purchase remaining tickets because he was throwing 40% of that money to the opposing owner.

            I don't see this franchise moving to Toronto.....they proved up there they don't have a huge interest but LA looks to me where the Bills will end up sooner rather then later.

          • Newday12

            It's all relative...you give the visiting team 40% of your revenue and then when your the visiting team they give you 40% of theres.

            It's a wash.

            People in Buffalo are so negative and lack basic math/economic skills.....then they wonder why they don't have jobs and companies relocate talent from out of town to work here.

          • B H

            How is it a wash if the Bills move to LA and the ticket prices are twice as much as when they were in Buffalo. The visiting teams against the LA Bills will now make twice as much via ticket sales.

            You are right about one thing, your math/economic skills are lacking.

    • Jamie Rozek

      These negative, un-educated posts are getting really annoying.
      The Bills aren't going anywhere.

      • eric

        I don't think you can read my post and think that it is negative or uneducated. It's pragmatic more than anything. Of course I would love for the Bills to stay, but it's unlikely.

        • Jamie Rozek

          "It's done folks, go to games this season... it is more than likely your last chance to do so."

          Yeah, I read your post. Negative.

          Newday12---see---these people don't even REALIZE they're negative!

          • Newday12

            It amazes me....people in this town are almost programmed....LOL

      • Newday12

        I love my city and most of the people that live here.

        BUT

        It seems like everyone in this town is just so negative, down in the dumps and behind the times.

        After living in 4 different cities in 15 years I will say I totally know why Buffalo gets a bad rap.......the people are just ignorant......

        Love my city but starting to despise the townies.....they have to realize there is life outside of Buffalo and we live in a global economy.

        I'm in HR and I will say the worst interviews I conducted in my whole life have been people from Buffalo.

        Most companies in this area are starting to relocate people in to the city because of the lack of drive, motivation and talent most of the population has here....the entitlement mentality took on a whole new meaning to me when I moved here and started to interview folks.....then they wonder why they don't have jobs.

        • ExpectResults

          One of the first things I learned about Buffalo when I moved here 20 years ago is that people are generally negative when it comes to Buffalo. And you are right, the entitlement attitude is palatable.

        • TedLogan

          interesting use of the word townie. I don't live in WNY anymore, but people there DO have a reason to be negative and expect the worst.

          • B H

            That's what losing 4 consecutive Super Bowls, 2 Stanly Cups and now those two teams can't even come close to making the playoffs will do to you. Did I mention the thousands of jobs and half the population they WNY lost. Or how about the great Siberian Weather this area is know for....LOL

      • TedLogan

        Liviing in and understanding reality is not negativity.

  • Newday12

    The Buffalo TV market when combined with Rochester and southern Ontairo makes us a top 5 TV market in North America....that is where our fan base sits.

    That being said the Bills will stay in Buffalo one way or another.

    NFL attendance is down 5% since 2007, luxury boxes are not selling out like the used as corporations cut back and the millenial fan base (new fans) is down 60% nation wide.

    Let's face it...the NFL is not what it used to be an it is a HUGE risk for ANY owner or the NFL to move the franchise.

    Why would any give up a city that sells out, get an equal cut of the revenue share and is profitable with merchandising and game day?

    I'm not saying that I'm not nervous...but it is highly unlikely that the Bills will move.

    If anything the NFL will try to turn us into an international team...1 game in London, 1 game in Toronto and 1 game in Mexico City and 5 at the Ralph...

    • Andrew

      Attendance is down because TV is still exploding. The NFL has never been better. Hence the $10M increase in the salary cap this season. I hope you were trolling because this comment was ridiculous.

      • Newday12

        To each his own....on many financial publications such as Wall St. Journal, Bloomberg, CNBC ect... has published real numbers that backs up this claim.
        Google it...I don't do other peoples work for them.

        Your statement sound like RE agents before 2008....we all know how that ended.

        Not to mention many national advertisers are starting to pull their sponsorship of pro sports due to the cost....that means there will be less in the revenue pie which in turn means will make owners and teams take less risk.

        Didn't anyone go to college in this town...this is simple economics and simple research...

        • TBN Reader

          Forbes, 8/14/13:

          "[T]he National Football League is in the best financial shape of its 91-year existence. According to Forbes‘ estimates, franchise values have rocketed to $1.2 billion, a 30% jump in the last seven years. Annual revenue for the NFL has gone from $6.5 billion in 2006, when Goodell took over, to $9.2 billion today. At the same time the average player salary has gone from $1.7 million a year to $2 million."

          The poster above you appears to be correct about broadcast growth (Wall Street Journal, 7/2/2013):

          "With declines in ticket sales each of the past five years, average game attendance is down 4.5% since 2007, while broadcast and online viewership is soaring."

          • Newday12

            Sorry charlie......that was publish a year ago.....nice cherry pick.

            In business things happen fast and change allot in a year......

            No wonder why people are behind the times and broke in this city.

            Also, your spitting hairs...I said the Millenial viewership is declining and down.......those are people 18-34....the future fan base.

            Advertising for sports is on the decline....that funds the NFL...if you don't have the Ad dollars to support the league...it impacts the bottom line........so it really doesn't matter how many people watch if no one is paying for spots.

            http://www.businessinsider.com/tv-sports-ad-prices-2014-3

          • Andrew

            All that article shows is that some businesses decided the ROI wasn't great enough to buy Super Bowl ads. If that trend continues, prices will decrease eventually to respond to the decreased demand. Doesn't anyone take an economics class in this town?
            Oh yeah, me. I'm finishing a masters degree in a few weeks. You're a terrible troll. Find a different topic, perhaps.

          • Newday12

            Yep...everyone is rich and has a master degree on a blog....that's right I forgot about that one.

            Typical Buffalo townie.....always negative and people who write long comments aren't trolling....I get the impression you don't even know what a troll is.

            There is life outside of Buffalo.......have fun with your Masters Degree and student loans.....real smart in 2014...LOL.......so far behind the times.

            I'm in HR and there is soooooo many of us looking to hire Masters degrees too...LOL....been doing this 15 years....

          • Andrew

            Well I'm actually quite poor but I got a ton of scholarships fortunately, so I don't have many student loans to pay off. So I'm more fortunate than most in this tough economy. Also blessed to have a nice job offer in something I'm passionate about!
            Hope you don't turn down educated people because you're threatened by them or anything. That would be a shame.

          • Newday12

            Actually, we turn down master's degrees because they lack experience and most degree programs are so far behind the times.

            Not to mention, most people with masters degrees act entitled and have very little practical experience that relates to the job.

            In 2014....the experience will get you farther than any degree.

            Another reason why masters degrees are looked down upon is because so many people are indebt they need a wage that is more than the experience person so they can pay their loans.......not cost feasible for companies and no one wants to babysit an entitled brat.

            College is mostly a scam and provides very little real world knowlege and skills.

          • B H

            WOW, you're the first person I have ever heard to bad mouth a good education. Don't know what you do and I don't care but is this the same advice you are giving to your own children.

            I know I pushed my boys to keep on going in school and it has worked out very well for them. One has a degree in medicine (doctor) and the other a master degree in business. WIthout those degrees they might be flipping hamburgers or worse, working for a classless company that you work for.

          • Newday12

            Not bad mouthing a degree...you just have to look at the overall profitability of a degree you are choosing.

            If its not in a technical field (math, IT, Engineering) your pretty much flipping burgers anyways.....

            The people who have non-technical degrees have previous experience...that's why they are hired.

            Yes...I do have a degree and it was my personal drive / hustle that got me to where I am...not my degree.

            Also, before HR I worked in staffing were you work with multiple companies and my statement holds true...been gone for 15 years and lived in 4 different cities and it is all relative in each market...the F500 are the ones that definately stay away from Masters degrees.

            And that is ok if you won't want to work for my classless company......you are going to find 1000s more companies locally, regionally, nationally, globally that will tell you the same thing.

            didn't say you have to work at my company and last I check you don't know who I am and I don't know who you are and you might actually see me in the hall way every day.

            Also, last I check I don't even know if my company would want you to work here anyways.

          • B H

            Don't want to work for your company or any other company as I retired long ago at 48 years old. But you keep on working....LOL

          • david6380

            Interesting, I was just talking with someone the other day in the recruiting area who said almost the same thing as you just did about college being a scam. We happened to both be UB grads from the 70's and reminisced about the under-$1000-per-semester tuition for state residents...

    • Benson86

      The Toronto TV market means nothing to the NFL for a Buffalo based team. Ratings don't count Canadian viewers. Now a Toronto team would count in Canada for Canadian TV ratings.

      • Newday12

        It was lucrative enough for them to do it once.

        The NFL has international plans.....whether it works out or not we don't know.

        Why did the Steelers and Jags play in London?

        The stadium wasn't even sold out and viewership in Europe was marginal but they are going back for more this year.

        Rating do count in Canada/Europe....the broadcast networks in CA/Europe still sell sponsorship and ads for their network in their market which has to be shared with the NFL.......

        It's a global economy and money is money.

    • Michael

      They don't sell out.

      • Newday12

        who's "they"?

        I mentioned allot of "they" in my comment.

        Yes...the international games don't sell out and are a disgrace....but the NFL wants to be international and they are trying it.

        I don't like the idea....but also I'm not the commish or own a team so I really have no say....LOL

        • Michael

          you mentioned a city that sells out. I assumed you meant that the Bills stadium is sold out for every game, which it is not.

          • Newday12

            Basically is for 80-90%% of the games and that is well above NFL average......there are only a hand full of teams that sell out every game....your average team struggles to get people through the gates.

          • Newday12

            Basically is for 80-90%% of the games and that is well above NFL average......there are only a hand full of teams that sell out every game....your average team struggles to get people through the gates.

          • Michael

            not my intention to start an argument here, but the bills sold approx 90% of tickets for games this year. That ranked 24th of 32 teams. That's not very good for team with a concern of being relocated. Add to that a stadium that won't be viable soon.

          • Newday12

            They will do something that similiar to what Pittsburgh did when I lived there.

            When they built the new football and baseball stadiums they decreased the size of their stadium and luxury box capacity to maximize the stadium experience, its revenue and to keep the contsruction cost down ..they are a city similar to Buffalo and they lack the major corporate sponsorship that larger cities enjoy.

            It worked even in Baseball and the stadiums are always at least looked packed ..even though this years bills game there was a disgrace but it still sold out.

            Baseball is a hard sport to sell out too.

          • Michael

            But the Steelers aren't or weren't in danger of moving. The Bills will be in an ownership flux and the new owner needs to want to stay and I can't see that many options.

          • Newday12

            Actually the Steelers were about move15 years when old man Rooney (the owner) was courting bids to to move the team.

            Also, he was early 70s and there was no succession plan with in the family.....

            At the end of the day the city built him a new stadium and he signed a 25 year lease.

            15 more years their lease it up and the old man will pass away by them...but I doubt they would ever move...but it did almost happen.

            The Pirates were almost relocated a few years ago but someone bought them, stripped the team and just owns them for the revenues / profit....they got lucky last year making the playoffs.

          • Kevin

            When Art Rooney (the Chief) died in 1988 his son Dan was right there to continue family ownership of the Steelers. Dan's son Art II is currently the team president. Before Heinz Field was built there was some talk about the team moving to Washington, PA and maybe even Steubenville, OH....both cities about 30 minutes away from downtown Pittsburgh. I do not recall any talk of LA or Toronto type moves with the Steelers. Not quite the same situation as Mr. Wilson and the Bills.

          • Jamie Rozek

            That still leaves quite a few seats unsold.

          • Jamie Rozek

            It's sold for most of the games. The ones that aren't---they still pull in a good amount, seeing as how it is one of the larger stadiums to begin with.

            It's actually quite impressive that a market like Buffalo can fill such a large stadium as often as we do.

          • Michael

            24th out of 32 teams in attendance is not impressive. It may be impressive in your opinion based on Buffalo's market size, and you may be correct, but a prospective owner wouldn't see that, they would see better opportunities elsewhere.

          • turtle

            I found this interesting and others might also. This site lists the seating capacity of each stadium in the NFL. How many of the 8 regular season games could they fill if they had a more competitive team? This would be a much better dialog if we ignored ranking and measured "buts in the seats" for each team. It makes a difference when comparing the Bills stadium to most domed stadiums with 60 to 70,000 seats. Just a thought... Continue to bicker...

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_National_Football_League_stadiums

          • Newday12

            That can be not impressive and that's ok.

            A True owner who is a business man will look at the profitability per customer.

            It doesn't matter if your 24 in the NFL in attendance if you are in the top 3 in profitability.

            Like buying anything you have to look at the big picture and overall portfolio and back end revenue streams.....

          • TedLogan

            the next owner will not have the same margins, hence profitability goes significantly down without additional revenue streams

          • Jamie Rozek

            Except you're not taking into account the stadium size or the fact that the product has not been good.
            Buffalo had among the highest in attendance during the Superbowl years.

          • TedLogan

            Buffalo is one of the few cities with multiple blackouts a year.. I agree that's probably tied to losing, but the Lions/Browns have that problem and they sell out

    • ihavecoffeebreath

      The NFL does not include Toronto in the TV Market for the Bills though do they? Unless that has changed, they never included them...which was always part of the problem, a huge TV market that was unaccounted for even though it was there.

  • Rich

    Dam Ralph ain't even cold and Goodell is talking heavy stuff. It will only take a week or two before we start hearing rumors about west coast interest in the Bills. This is going to be ugly.

  • goggles pisano

    He also has a bridge in Brooklyn that is coming on the market.

    • Jamie Rozek

      Oh shut up.

      • Rich

        Oh, play nice Jamie or go to your room!

        • Newday12

          LOL

        • Jamie Rozek

          [sulks in room]

  • jim

    THe Bills will not be moved....

  • Michael

    Two very basic things have to occur for the Bills to stay in Buffalo long term. They must find an buyer for the team that wants to keep the team in Buffalo, despite more lucrative cities. Second, the team will need a new, state of the art stadium. I think it's that simple. Not sure how this can happen, but I will hope.

    • Jamie Rozek

      Several very complex things have to occur for the Bills to leave Buffalo:

      -An owner h ellbent on moving them buys the team over the local guys/girls that already want to buy it.
      -The entire NFL ownership, which owes quite a bit to the Bills (Ralph) has to okay it
      -The commissioner, who is a local native also needs to be on board with it
      -The new buyer has to pay extensive penalties to Erie County, as well as huge relocation and startup fees to the NFL.
      -Other teams that are having serious problems, such as Jacksonville--will have to have already moved, because Buffalo is going to be an extremely hard team to move with the loyal fanbase.
      -The trust has to be okay with the sale.

      Of course, the negative people don't see that side of things.

      • Michael

        Apparently, the news didn't like that I disagreed with your comment. They won't post it. Nothing offensive either. Oh well.

        • Jamie Rozek

          shocking.

      • Steve

        - What local guys/girls have $800 million laying around?
        - The NFL owners want teams in major cities where they can charge top dollar
        - The commissioner works for the owners. If they want the team moved he won't and CAN'T stop them
        - The penalty to move is very,very small after year 7
        - Jacksonville will be in England - Not LA
        - If you are selling your house do you sell it to the person who you think deserves it more or the person with the highest offer?

        • MaoSayTongue

          Warren Buffett, owner of the Buffalo News--and the person in line to lose the most if the Bills leave.

          • Steve

            Warren Buffet's wealth is tied to Buffalo?? I don't think so.

          • MaoSayTongue

            He overpaid for the Buffalo Evening News in the late 70s and spent/lost millions of dollars driving the Courier-Express out of business. His company has been losing money on this paper for a very long time.

            90% of people still getting home delivery only do so for the sports coverage; Berkshire-Hathaway actually owns hundreds of other small local papers too, but they are in a completely separate corporate entity than the News--in order to keep its red ink from contaminating their entire balance sheet.

            If the Bills leave, the Buffalo News goes bankrupt and Buffet loses not only his entire investment, but respect among his peers as well.

          • Steve

            False. It is owned by Berkshire-Hathaway. Do some research.

          • JCfairport

            Berkshire-Hathaway is Warren Buffet's company.

          • Steve

            False. He's an investor in it and runs it but is not the sole owner of it nor is his entire wealth tied to it. #GOOGLEIT

          • MaoSayTongue

            I never said his entire wealth was tied to it. I said he has the most to lose--financially and reputationally.

          • JCfairport

            That is correct since it is a public company. I should say he owns a significant amount of stock in Berkshire-Hathaway.

          • Jeremy Bentham

            "For the first time in at least 25 years annual operating profits at the Buffalo News fell below $10 million and the paper is exploring the possibility of perhaps charging for online content to offset circulation declines." James Fink, Business First.

          • MaoSayTongue

            He still hasn't made his money back on the investment.

          • Don

            Warren Buffett spends as much time thinking about the fortunes of the Buffalo News as Wayne Gretzky spends worrying that Ville Leino will break his records.

          • MaoSayTongue

            He thinks about it all the time--it is one of his greatest failures.

          • Don

            MaoSayWHAT? I didn't know you and Warren were close.

          • ohweelii

            YUKYUKYUK!!!!!! Thanx for the laff.
            Leino couldn't break a record if he stepped on a 78.

          • Lance Boil

            Warren Buffett is 83. I doubt that is a good long term solution.

          • Don

            Warren Buffett spends about as much time thinking about the fortunes of the Buffalo News as Wayne Gretzky spends worrying that Ville Leino will break his records.

        • MaoSayTongue

          How will the Jacksonville players feel about paying 60% in British/ English/ Corporation of London taxes without even a quarter of the shelters and deductions available in FL, which has no state income tax.

        • Jamie Rozek

          -There are plenty of people that have or can get the money. They have also been public about this.
          -The NFL owners want teams in cities where they can make money. Buffalo is a money maker. LA is not. Otherwise they wouldn't have lost two teams.
          -The commissioner ----see my point above.
          -The penalty to move is small after year 7, but that is only the County penalty. There is still the NFL fees.
          -We will see.
          -There is more to selling your house than just selling it to the highest bidder. Many people put other stipulations in the selling contract.

          • Steve

            - Plenty ? Name 1 and don't say Jim Kelly. he's rich but not the kind of rich to buy a football team.
            - LA is going to have a stadium soon and its funded with private money. That is the difference. That was the only reason they lost money in the past.
            - There is no NFL Fee for moving a team. There is one for purchasing a team so that point is moot.
            - I have never heard of anyone selling their house (or anything else) for a penny less than what they could get for it. Its business not a charity.

            Look, I am a life long Bills fan and don't want them ever to leave but people need to think about this with their head and not their heart. Lets enjoy the next 7 years while they are still here!

          • Lance Boil

            Steve is right. If a pro-Buffalo owner isn't found - we have a very good chance of losing the team in 7 years.

          • boonies

            LA is going to have a stadium soon…see LA Times, 1997.

            As the Stock Market returns to its natural level (say 5-6000) with the absence of QE a lot of OPM wizards are going to draw back from grandiose stadium plans on their own dime.
            Happens all the time.

          • William Kyriakakos

            LA is going to have a stadium soon? I live out here and heard no such thing, they have been talking about building a stadium in LA since the 80s, I will believe that when I see it

          • ihavecoffeebreath

            L.A. is a HUGE money maker...not from the FANS, from the TV rights! Look at the Dodgers...they just sold the rights to Time Warner for some absolutely OBSCENE amount of money. There is a TON of money to be made with an LA team that has absolutely ZERO to do with ticket sales.

          • boonies

            LA already figures in the NFL TV deals. No team in the league will be allowed to cut a separate TV deal from the others.

          • MemeMutator

            Clueless! Let me guess, Bon Jovi is going to buy them... no wait, Jeremy Jacobs... bet Pergula wants a team... Rich Products? They wanted a pro baseball team.
            The Blows are gone, and you have ample time to move on.

      • MaoSayTongue

        They also have to assuage the NY Congressional delegation. Shumer and his shiksa could cause them quite a bit of trouble if they try to move NY's only NFL team.

        • Steve

          That is completely false. The state,county and or city have zero say in who the Bills are sold to and whether or not the new owner decides to move them.

          • boonies

            Congress could look into the antitrust exemption the NFL has (and shouldn't) and scare the pee out of Goodell and his band of pirates.

          • MaoSayTongue

            Wanna bet?

            A lowlife simpleton senator from Mass just sent Herbalife stock tumbling 30% for a campaign contributor who shorted the stock.

            Imagine what Shumer and his shiksa could do.

      • david6380

        The NFL may want to expand into areas that will make moving the Bills unnecessary. They could, for example, expand by creating two new teams in the LA area and maintain respect for the smaller-market teams such as the Bills. It can be a matter of timing and commitment by a lot of players. NYS can do a lot of lobbying, if it wants to.

      • TedLogan

        Point 1 - is probably actually the reality. Buffalo does have a few people with money, but yeah its not that hard to believe that rich out of towners would want to move the team
        Point 2 - I believe its only 2/3 of owners, again - not hard to believe especially if the team wants to move to a more attractive market with enhcnaces the the TV deals the league gets
        Point 3 - See point 2, though the local thing could influence him
        Point 4- Fair point, but the fee drops by 372 M in year 7 (so at best it serves as a stay of execution)
        Point 5 - That is a good point and maybe the 7 year stay of execution will be enough
        Point 6 - That could buy time, but ultimately the trust needs to get rid of it or face sever estate taxes
        You call people negative and that may be the case for some, but you could be seen as being overly optimistic and not being a realist. I want the team to stay, but its is highly plausible they do not.

    • MaoSayTongue

      Rich Stadium is fine; all it needs is heated seats--and that could be accomplished for less than $10M.

      • Steve

        It already has heated seats.

        • MaoSayTongue

          all of them?

          • disqus_pMhmwyBFzq

            no, during the winter and in the ice a lot of the seats are made out of metal with a couple inches of ice.

      • Rollo Tomasei

        They have had heated seats since 1998 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..not very observant are you Moron Say Tongue!

        • MaoSayTongue

          Okay, then there's nothing wrong with it.

    • boonies

      Green Bay has a stadium built in 1959.
      Renovated or expanded over 10 times.
      Multiple SB champion/ pre expansion NFL titles as well.
      Look competitive to you?
      Why can't we do the same?
      I repeat…1959. Older than The Ralph.

      PS the public ownership of the club has NO effect on the amt of $$ in TV revenues or salary cap requirements per club. Its a level playing field.
      Before 2020 we are going to see another meltdown like 2008 as The Federal Reserve is tapering the pump-up of the Stock Market. The deflation coming will make the purchase of a team (with no city ready to pick up the tab for a stadiumplaypen ) very unwise for billionaires who largely deal with OPM.

  • Jonnno

    OK. Folks. Here is how it is going to go. The team will go up for sale in a couple of years. A well heeled group from Toronto will buy them and keep them here until 2020. Then they will exercise the $28MM escape clause in the lease and move the team to Toronto. That will give them enough time to build a new stadium in Toronto and figure out what to do with the Argos. The NFL will go along with this because it is a well known goal of their's to "internationalize" the league. In order to save face for Goodell, at first they will play two regular season games at the Ralph and call it the "Throwback " series or some other clever name. Then it will be one game a year. Then none. Good-bye Bills.

    • Jamie Rozek

      Except there is no NFL stadium in Toronto.
      The NFL has no interest in Toronto.
      Your negativity has just been shot down.
      Have a nice day.

      • Newday12

        Bingo...

      • joe blanco

        Amen

      • Mark

        Agreed. The whole Toronto thing, as most know, was about the Buffalo Bills and regionalisation. Not to move the team. The NFL's number ONE resource of money by far, is television. They'd get nothing from Toronto, so it's not happening. I'm sure within the next several years that unfortunately, the Buffalo Bills will leave, but not to Toronto. The NFL is all about mega money, and Buffalo is the second smallest market and they are only there still because of Mister Wilson. Times are changing, and selling one hundred thousand tickets a game wouldn't change a thing.

    • MaoSayTongue

      At least they won't be blacked-out.

    • Pete

      Let's hope they leave town and stop fleecing the WNY public coffers quicker than that!

  • Sammy Sabre

    how many more empty warm weather stadiums do we have to put up with in this league? Teams in Southern California, Florida, etc... very rarely sell out when they have playoff teams, which is rare in itself. And the NFL is going to move the Bills from Buffalo when our attendance numbers crush all these warm weather cities EVEN WITH the most mediocre product imaginable over the past 15 years? That sounds more like a Bettman move than a Goodell move.

    • MaoSayTongue

      New ownership could make a mint:
      1) Add 50k fake seats to Rich Stadium to create more TV blackouts.
      2) Quadruple ticket prices.
      3) Open a chain of Buffalo Bills Bar and Grills to show closed-circuit broadcasts of the games and charge the same amount for "refreshments" as they do at the stadium.

  • MemeMutator

    Adios Bills... and take your stupid fans with you!

    • Jerry Nash

      Wow! That's a powerful post Meme! I'm going to stop being a Bills fan right now! I'm sure others will follow too.

    • Rollo Tomasei

      Go Troll on another website!.Maybe,D-Bags R US?.

    • ohweelii

      Go back to contemplating your navel.

  • Gray McDowell

    The bottom line is that this current renovation will get us through the next 7 years and lock them in town for that period. It is Ralph's last gift to WNY that says you have seven years to get the ducks in order and figure out how to keep them there. Goodell has said we will need a new stadium to remain viable. Cuomo has appointed a team to start the process. That is where we are headed. If a new stadium is started by the time 7 years is up, it will make it easy for local interests to keep the team in Buffalo. What does it mean for the fans and tax payers? It means the days of lowest ticket prices in the league are over. It means PSLs will likely be seen in Buffalo for the first time. It means the taxpayers of NYS and Erie county will be footing part of the bill. That will be the cost of keeping the Bills. I believe it can be done.

    • Dan

      I agree. Hard to imagine LA still without a team in 7 years. That should be enough time to round up the $$.

      • Gray McDowell

        The Rams will be in LA in 2-3 years and I believe the Raiders will return as well. The owner of the Rams just bought a huge chuck of land in Inglewood. I'd be far more scared of losing my team if Iived in St. Louis. This talk of the Bills moving to LA will likely hasten the move of other teams in order to beat the Bills to it. So we will battle it out with Toronto, most likely. What was Bon Jovi's most famous song? "Livin' on a Prayer"? Good luck to you Jon, you will need it.

        • Mark

          Gray, I admire your optimism, I really do. However, there is NO way the NFL is ready to move to Toronto. Simply too much television revenue, their bread and butter, lost. Also, I don't think you are correct about Los Angeles. They are ready for an NFL franchise and I realize you mentioned St. Louis, but when you step back and look at it, Buffalo is a franchise that is a bargain. Good team and in the second smallest market, and read the writing on the wall, or even between Goodell's lines in his message. The league is in high drive mode and the only reason the Bills haven't left Buffalo already is because of Ralph. Others have said they'd step in if it looks inevitable that the team may move, but in reality, it could be a bidding war. Buffalo, my hometown and my birthplace, has fond memories for me, but it's a fallacy to think Buffalo will have an NFL team in seven to ten years. Not happening.

          • Don

            Tell me the "good team" part again?

          • William Kyriakakos

            much conjecture on your part, I live out here in LA and the fan base here goes for back home allegiances on the east coast and the SoCal fans root for the Niners, Chargers, and Raiders. Also there is no NFL stadium in LA.

  • ihavecoffeebreath

    Hey, i too am a lifelong Bills fan and Southern Cali resident. Nobody wants them to stay in Buffalo more than me, and i sure as heck will NOT go see whoever they become when they move here (which they will)...as a matter of fact, my days of being an NFL fan will be over as well. This game is NO LONGER about the fans, as a matter of fact, the NFL could CARE LESS about the fans. Look at the EXHORBITANT prices of Super Bowl tickets...that is about Corporate America, not the fans. They will move to LA, have mediocre ticket sales at best, and will STILL make WAY more money from the TV rights/advertising and Corporations that will buy the extravagant boxes that will be built, then if they had stayed in Buffalo. Just look at what the Dodgers sold their TV rights for! I hope and pray they stay, but that's not going to happen...and Buffalo will be LUCKY if they get 7 years, but i don't care WHAT the lease SAYS, there are ALWAYS loopholes and that is what high priced lawyers are paid to find. They will be out here by the beginning of the 2017 season, if not sooner. The sharks are circling already.....

  • Pete

    Ralph Wilson's legacy: 7 more years of scores of millions of $$$ of public money being flung down the Buffalo Bills rathole!

  • boonies

    ' especially if the new city builds a beautiful new stadium with luxury suites. '…. don't hold your breath as Wall Street unwinds and cities/states are trying to keep firehouses open or teachers employed.

  • MikMul

    If LA is such a great place for a Football team (again), then why did the Rams and Raiders move in the first place. If the NFL is/was so concerned about LA tv revenue, then why were the teams approved to move from LA?? There just seems, to me, to be something "weird" about the relationship between football and LA, that just doesn't mesh right.

    • ihavecoffeebreath

      LA ISN'T a great place for football...just the opposite as a matter of fact. They love the Trojans, Bruins out here when it comes to football. The people don't want it or care, it's the NFL that wants it...why you ask, because there are roughly 14 million people in the LA area alone...that doesn't include the surrounding counties like San Bernardino, Orange, Ventura and Kern Counties. When the Rams and Raiders left, it was what, the 80's, early 90's? TV revenue has changed DRAMATICALLY since then. The reason they haven't had a team is because the taxpayers have refused to foot the bill for a stadium (because they don't CARE)...but they now have a group of business men that are footing the bill with private funds...hence game on.

  • ohweelii

    Long term....we need a QB now!

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining NFL.com as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.