Buffalo, NY - During Governor Andrew Cuomo's visit to Buffalo on Wednesday, he raised he caution flag on potential public financing of a possible new stadium for the Buffalo Bills. While many may be debating a location, the larger issue may be how to pay for it.
Cuomo said again the state is doing everything it can to retain the team here in Western New York. He obviously noted the ongoing 130 million dollar renovation to Ralph Wilson Stadium. But he also acknowledged comments from NFL Commissioner Goodell and others that a new stadium may be needed.
The Governor expressed his feelings about taxpayer money from Albany being part of a equation. "If we're gonna ask the taxpayers for money then we want to be very clear about the terms and conditions and then the people will have decide at that time. I've done everything I can to reduce taxes , reduce state taxes, reduce property taxes so I am very cautious about anything that would cost more money."
Cuomo also said that if the discussion does move to a new stadium, there must be consideration of how it would be used. Cuomo says "Is it a stadium for a stadium or is it a stadium as part of a larger economic development complex that could be creating jobs and income?"
One reporter raised the issue of Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Cuomo responded "That is a stand-alone stadium and that was the decision made as a stand-alone stadium. You could argue that Yankee Stadium brought development to a neighborhood but there are also stadiums that are done that are part of a larger economic development complex that will actually generate revenue. So they wind up being less expensive in the long run."
Cuomo says they are closely watching all the reports about potential owners and relocation of the team. But he says many are just rumors at this point.