No one knew of passing of team owner, while seeing improvements to stadium bearing his name
ORCHARD PARK, NY - Ironically, just hours before the passing of their team owner was announced, the Buffalo Bills gave reporters a tour of the stadium that bears Ralph C. Wilson's name.
$130 million worth of renovations are being made at the stadium, as part of the lease deal worked out to keep the team here for the next decade.
The sunshine that splashed down on the stadium belied what would turn out to be one of the more somber days in the teams history, under its sole owner since it was formed in 1960.
No one on the tour was aware of course that this would be Ralph Wilson's final day, as they showed off the improvements ranging from the construction of a new main entrance to the stadium which will also serve as a team store, and other enhancements like a new restaurant and bar and improved concession ans restroom areas.
Several new high definition giant scoreboards will grace both ends of the stadium.
It is also ironic that when the tour was wrapping up, which may have been close to the hour of Wilson's passing, that the team's Vice President for Marketing and Broadcasting said something, that Wilson himself might have said, had he been here.
I don't think there's a better place to watch an NFL game in the league," said Marc Honan. "We have a fan base that is so passionate... and I think that most of these amenities will be benefiting the general ticket holder who comes and sits out here, and supports us every day."
The work, which team officials say is about half completed, is expected to be done in time for the pre-season in August...and though he won't be here, there's no doubt the name of the man whose name is on the stadium, will be on the minds of many when they come here.