Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Things continue to look rosy for the Buffalo
Bills' future in western New York.
On Thursday, the Buffalo News reported that the Erie County Legislature voted
unanimously to pass a memorandum of understanding between the team, the state
of New York and the county which is another sign-post towards formalizing a
10-year lease for the club to remain at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Under terms of the new lease, the Bills are set to pay annual rent starting at
$800,000 per season towards all stadium upgrades.
The team announced just days before Christmas that it had reached an
accord with Erie County and the state on a 10-year lease. Under the
agreement, the Bills were committed to remain in Buffalo for at least
seven years, regardless of ownership.
According to the News back on December 21, a hefty relocation penalty was
built into the agreement. The franchise will have to pay $400 million if
it leaves before 2020. In the final three years of the contract, the fee
would only be $29 million.
The deal also featured a total of $130 million that will be devoted to
upgrading a venue that opened in 1973. The Bills will contribute $35 million
to the cause. The state and county will share the remaining $95 million
renovation costs, with $54 million coming from the state and $41 million from
The renovations will be centered around improving the fan experience,
including new video display boards on the stadium's east end and the creation
of a new west end plaza.
The Sports Network