Stadium Group Could Make Recommendations In Two Years

The new stadium working group will have its first meeting next week. The group, consisting of appointees by the state, the county, and the Bills will determine the future of Ralph Wilson Stadium.

When the new lease between the county, state and the Bills was signed a little more than a year ago, it was done with an eye on both the Bills' short term and long term future in Western New York.

It's basically iron clad for the first seven years no matter who owns the team, and that became important this week with the passing of Ralph Wilson.

The lease also included language about forming the stadium working group.whose job it is to determine whether the stadium goes through a major renovation, or a new stadium is built - that's obviously a critical piece to the team's long term future here.

County Executive Mark Poloncarz says thanks to the lease being iron clad for the first seven years, the stadium working group has the luxury of time as it determines the stadium's future.

Mark Poloncarz: "I've said all along that I look at this as an 18 month to two year process this is not going to happen overnight. This is going to be a longer process, but thankfully we have the time to do a complete, appropriate longer process."

This week, following the death of Mr. Wilson, we spoke with a nationally known stadium consultant, Marc Ganis who says if the stadium issue is addressed to the NFL's satisfaction the league won't permit the team to be moved.

Marc Ganis: "If they get that put together this team is going to stay in the region for the foreseeable future for generations to come regardless of who it is that buys the team."

Mark Poloncarz: "I think Mr. Ganis is correct, if we get our ducks in order and this community's willing to support what's necessary to keep this team here in the long run, I think this team will be here in the long run."


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