ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — This isn’t about the money, though the money was, is and ALWAYS will be the main point in any discussion about a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills.

This isn’t about which politician helped her or his popularity with her/his constituents, though Gov. Kathy Hochul and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz milked every bit of their respective announcements of the stadium deal agreement Monday to congratulate themselves for a job well done.

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What this is about is doing what was necessary to make certain the Bills remain in Western New York for the long haul.

The 30-year lease takes care of that.

And of the many details Hochul, Poloncarz and Pegula Sports & Entertainment’s Ron Raccuia revealed, the length of the agreement was the most important.

It defines the extraordinary commitment team owners Terry and Kim Pegula are willing to continue to make to one of the smaller markets in the NFL.

I recognize the projected $1.4 billion cost of construction carries a sizeable public price tag that we, as taxpayers, must cover. I won’t try to trivialize that in any way, nor ignore the fact the state and county money earmarked for the project is greater than the contribution from the billionaires that own the team playing in a league awash in billions.

However, the bottom line is that our community is far better off with the Bills than without them.

Failing to deliver a replacement for 50-year-old Highmark Stadium would have likely resulted in the team going elsewhere. There’s ample precedent for teams that didn’t get the stadiums they sought loading moving trucks.

Happily, that won’t be happening with the Bills.

Not because they’ll give me many more years of content for my local media endeavors, even in their reduced form since my retirement last August from the Buffalo News. With or without the Bills, I fully anticipate being fine.

But the community, as a whole, wouldn’t.

For one thing, the NFL brand remains as large as any, in or out of sporting world. The Bills represent the most relevant entity Western New York has or has ever had. They’re Buffalo’s biggest and strongest link to the big time.

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Take them away and stature and psyche of where we live and work and play takes a mammoth hit. Lose the Bills and there would be no replacement, because great support notwithstanding, the league would not be looking to put another team in such a small market.

For another, the Bills bond our community in ways that nothing else comes close to matching. That has always mattered, but never more than at a time when there has been (and continues to be) so much social division.

No, the deal wasn’t a bargain for the state or the county. New stadiums never are.

It was, however, absolutely a win-win for the Bills and Western New York.