The Pegulas want taxpayers money and lots of it.
That was quick. The owners of the Buffalo Bills National Football League franchise want a new stadium and they want New York State taxpayers to pick up a sizable portion of the estimated $1.4 billion cost to build a new plant for the team in Orchard Park. The negotiations between the franchise owners and New York State and Erie County officials have started and the Bills’ PSE spokesperson has thrown down the gauntlet. The team owners, “the Pegulas have made a proposal,” said Jim Wilkinson. “They would like to build it right there and we need to hear back. You can’t really do plans and designs on things until you have a deal, and right now the City of Buffalo and the State are going to have to decide if they want a team.” Buffalo Bills fans are giddy about the team’s Super Bowl chance in February, 2022. They are investing time and money into the Pegula business but have been rewarded with the “it is up to the politicians to spend money on our business and force us stay” line.
The Buffalo market is not big enough to handle an NFL franchise anymore and needs public money to help pay the freight. In 1959, when Ralph Wilson purchased an American Football League franchise and placed it in Buffalo, instead of Miami, the area had heavy industry, steel mills, flour plants and a major port. Wilson only paid $25,000 for the business. The Pegula’s Bills lease to use the Orchard Park facility ends in 2023. Outgoing Governor Andrew Cuomo was in the Bills ownership camp in 2012 with a new lease agreement which included renovations and taxpayers handing over a couple of million dollars annually to Bills owners. The Pegulas have issued the non-threat threat to move, just a step in the stadium game.
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