Ralph Wilson Stadium - Courtesy: US Presswire
Buffalo, N.Y. - It's always a worry for Bills fans: "What's going on with the lease?"
The team's current 15 year lease with Erie County expires in about 18 months.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz (D), in a conversation with 2 On Your Side's Scott Brown, says he hopes to have a new lease with the team in place well before then.
Scott Brown: "Have you spoken personally to Mr. Wilson about the lease?"
County Executive Poloncarz: "No, I have not spoken to Mr. Wilson. I've spoken to Russ Brandon, the CEO and President, I've spoken to Jeff Littman (team treasurer) and communications are on going."
Scott Brown: "How confident are you that a new lease is going to get done and are we talking ten years or so?"
County Executive Poloncarz: "I feel very confident that a lease is going to get done, my goal is to get it done by the beginning of training camp (this summer) and we're going to try and get the longest lease we possibly can."
Scott Brown: "Ten years, fifteen years what do you think?"
County Executive Poloncarz: "At least that, at least ten years."
Scott Brown: "Is it encouraging that as opposed to the past, Mr. Wilson is not threatening to move, or asking for a new stadium or things of that sort?"
County Executive Poloncarz: "Well I think he's gone out publicly and said he doesn't need a new stadium, wants to keep the team here in Buffalo, I think that's very encouraging. We're not all going to be on this planet forever so I've got to ensure that this team is going to be here for the long term, generations to come, and I'm glad to see that Mr. Wilson has that same commitment as well."
Scott Brown: "Do you envision penalty clauses or out clauses during the course of the lease?"
County Executive Poloncarz: "We're going to look at all facets of it, communications are on going and as time goes by we're going to be discussing everything. My goal is to get it done by the start of training camp and I think the Bills have a similar timeline as well."
Later this month, the Bills are expected to release the results of a study the team has commissioned to determine what it believes the stadium needs in terms of upgrades and repairs.
Poloncarz says the county will wind up picking up a portion of the cost, but he's hoping that the state will pay for the majority of the improvements.