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Buffalo Bills Agree on 10-year Lease to Stay in Buffalo

December 21st, 2012 at 9:04 AM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101

The Buffalo Bills will remain just that for at least the next decade.

The Buffalo News reported that the team reached a deal with Erie County and New York State that will keep the team in Ralph Wilson Stadium for 10 years. The Bills' current lease expires in July.

'Ralph Wilson Stadium' photo (c) 2010, mark.watmough - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The county and team had been working on the least for the past year. The deal is said to include $140 million for improvements to the stadium, which at 40 years old is one of the oldest in the NFL.

Owner Ralph Wilson, at age 94, has never announced a plan of what would happen to the team after he dies. A lease would ensure the team is in town, at least temporarily, after his passing. It would give investors who want to keep the team in Buffalo time to organize their plan of attack and ensure the team doesn't leave in 2023.

This deal would seem to put an end to talk of a new waterfront stadium in downtown Buffalo. A deal had been pitched earlier this year that would include a retractable roof stadium, play museum and other attractions.

The lease would also keep the Bills out of consideration for relocation to Los Angeles, which is aggressively pursuing one or two franchises.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to announce the deal late Friday morning at the stadium.

Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Bills, Football, NFL, Ralph Wilson

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