BUFFALO, NY - With the passing of the Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson, many fans are asking 'what happens next'?
The ultimate future of the team remains very much in question. 2 On Your Side's Adam Benigni says the plan is for the team to be sold. However, that could take a year, or possibly two, before any new ownership would be in place.
A source tells Benigni that the team's day-to-day operations will not change for the short term. The team will operate out of a trust, and can operate out of a trust for a number of years.
As all of this transpires, it's important to point out the Bills are entering the second of a ten year lease at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The agreement involves stadium renovations, but also includes a non-relocation agreement that blocks the team from moving for the duration of the lease, with the exception of a windown after the 2019 season where new ownership could leave for a relatively inexpensive sum.
Aside from that, in order for a new owner to move the team, they would first have to win a court battle to overturn the non-relocation agreement. Should a judge rule in the new owner's favor, that owner would then have to pay a $400-million dollar penalty to move the team. Based on the language in the lease, that penalty could be imposed for the duration of the agreement, but for the previously mentioned window after the 2019 season.