"Don't get the idea that this is like a two page lease with your landlord," says Co. Exec. while hoisting current Bills lease.
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Based on two statements from representatives of the governor, the sticking point in lease talks with the Buffalo Bills may be the state's demand that the team stay in Buffalo for the entire term of the lease no matter the team's future owner.
Current owner Ralph Wilson will be 94 next month.
Wednesday morning, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said a lease will not be completed by the end of this year, which was his goal.
In subsequent remarks, two representatives of the governor -- Lt. Governor Bob Duffy and Empire State Development Corporation Regional President Sam Hoyt -- noted the importance of the lease keeping the team here for the duration of the lease.
"We want the Bills here for the length of the lease, be it 10 years or 15 years," Hoyt said. "So I can say with certainty that's one of the things that we are certainly demanding when we're at the table."
Duffy issued the following statement:
Let's set the record straight: the governor and this administration are actively negotiating in good faith with the Bills. Keeping the Bills in Buffalo is critically important to the state and the region. And this administration is committed to doing everything we can to ensure that the Bills remain in Western New York. If taxpayers are going to be asked for substantial financial support for stadium improvements, they must be assured of a long term commitment by the Bills to stay in Buffalo regardless of future ownership.