ORCHARD PARK — Buffalo Bills CEO Russ Brandon issued a statement Tuesday about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s formation of a 21 member committee that will explore the possibility of a new stadium for the Bills in western New York.
Cuomo announced the first five members of that committee today. Brandon’s statement appeared to focus more on the updates that the team was undergoing on the current Ralph Wilson Stadium than on the actual construction of a new stadium. The New Stadium Working Group (formed in 2013) includes representatives from the state of New York, Erie County, and the Buffalo Bills and its intent is to either build a new stadium on the current stadium site or find a new suitable located within Erie County.
However, the second option was to undertake a significant renovation to the current stadium. One would think that a completely rebuilt new and modern stadium would be preferable as that would tie the Bills to Buffalo for at least the next 25-30 years. With the Bills having played “home games” in Toronto for the past several years, there was concern among the Bills die-hard fan base that the franchise would be relocated after Wilson passed away.
The fact that a new stadium in Buffalo is even being considered and that the state of New York is cooperating in such efforts, brings a sliver of hope to Bills fans that they will not lose their beloved team (to Canada no less) any time soon. With the implementation of new leadership, the hiring of a new coach in Doug Marrone, and the drafting of a quarterback last year in E.J. Manuel, the Bills seem to be moving forward with a more clear direction.
For now, anxious Bills fans will have to be content with renovations to Ralph Wilson Stadium that will be completed by the start of the 2014 season and hope that Bills management and ownership is serious about finding a way to build a new stadium and stay in Buffalo in the long-term.