Stadium Group Holds Its First Meeting

Buffalo, N.Y. - The Stadium Working Group, which will make recommendations on the future of Ralph Wilson Stadium, held its first meeting on Tuesday.

The stadium committee consists of a bunch of heavy hitters - everyone from the the Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy, to Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, to Bills CEO and President Russ Brandon and Ralph Wilson's top financial adviser Jeff Littman.

The biggest recommendation the group will make is whether to do massive renovations at the stadium, basically a retrofit, or to build a new stadium.

The group met for about two hours Tuesday afternoon behind closed doors.

Members said the group was briefed on past leases and the current stadium renovations, and it set an agenda for moving forward.

A second meeting has not yet been scheduled.

The group's first meeting came exactly a week after Ralph Wilson's death.

"Our focus and I've said this from Day One, my sole responsibility is to focus on the viability of this franchise moving forward and that's what I will continue to do and everyone at One Bills Drive will continue to do that as well," Brandon said.

Both Brandon and Poloncarz said not to expect any recommendations soon.

"We want to make certain when the recommendations are made that we've looked under every stone and done everything possible to ask the right questions of the community and ourselves so we're doing everything we can to keep the team here long term," Poloncarz said.

"I can tell you one thing speaking for the governor, we hold the Bills very dear, I'm a lifelong fan, a lifelong Western New Yorker. We all know what our goals are, but we can't predict the future, we just have to follow the process and work and I think today was a great, great first step," Duffy, said.

"We can't predict the future but we know that due to the great work that was done (prior to this) we have a locked in lease for the foreseeable future," Brandon said.

Brandon was referring to the fact that the team's lease is basically iron-clad for the next six years.

The meeting was closed to the media and the public.

2 On Your Side asked the County Executive why that was and he said because the committee will only be making recommendations, and not final decisions on the stadium, that the meeting did not have to be open.


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