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With New Bills Lease Reportedly Close, It’s Time To Think About What Needs To Be In It

“About a month-and-a-half.”
 
That was the last thing Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz told WGRZ-TV about when the public should hear that a new lease agreement has been reached. Now, with no doubt in my mind that a new lease will be reached, it’s time to start looking into what should be in the new lease.
 
The first thing needed is a steep relocation fee.
 
Bigger than the actual length of the new lease is how much it would cost someone to relocate the team if they so chose. The current lease has a measly $20-million relocation fee to anyone wanting to move Buffalo. In the new lease, that number needs to be 9-10 times as much. There is no way the new lease shouldn’t have at least a $180-million relocation fee. If a steep price is in the new lease, then it would do wonders for guaranteeing the teams long term future in Buffalo.
 
The second thing needed is a decent length deal.
 
With an old stadium, I don’t want a 20-30 year lease. What I want is at least 10 years and no more than 15. It’s as simple as that.
 
Thirdly, money for a complete overhaul of Ralph Wilson Stadium needs to be put aside.
 
Obviously a new stadium will be needed in time, but it needs to be known that a new one isn’t coming until a new owner takes over. A new stadium would also make the Bills being profitable highly unlikely.
 
An alternative plan to a new stadium would to do a complete overhaul of Ralph Wilson Stadium. “The Ralph” has a chance to become another Lambeau or Arrowhead. Old school stadiums that have been made modern by way of renovation.
 
The Ralph is a unique building, with the field being under sea level. It makes for a very tough place to play when the weather isn’t cooperating. Currently there is a $200-million renovation plan in place for the stadium, but that needs to be doubled.
 
The team and the county needs to split $400-million and overhaul the stadium. The field and bowl of the stadium is fine, it’s the main concourse that needs work.
 
The most outdated part of the stadium, the concourse still has that 1980s feel to it. And that’s not a good thing. By insulating, enclosing, and revamping the concourse, the stadium can be modernized while still having that old school feel.
 
There is still a lot to talk about and more that should be included in the new lease, but that will be addressed in time
.

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