Cuomo, Schumer stick their fingers in Bills stadium reno debate

If you’ve been kept up nights worrying about how the Buffalo Bills will come up with $200 million to renovate Ralph Wilson Stadium, which was just renovated in 1997, then worry no longer, for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer are riding to the rescue:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced the appointment of a sports expert to advise the state in its efforts to secure the Buffalo Bills‘ future in western New York.

Sen. Charles Schumer, meanwhile, said he has asked the NFL for changes in a stadium renovation loan program that he said would advance the same goal.

Cuomo’s new stadium czar is Irwin Raij, who not only consulted for the group that overpaid for the Los Angeles Dodgers this spring, but who is also on MLB’s Oakland A’s stadium committee that still hasn’t released a report after more than three years. So you know he’s got to have some interesting recommendations to make, or at least lots of free time on his hands.

As for Schumer, he’s pushing the NFL to lift the restriction on its G-4 stadium loan program that requires team owners to pay back the entire loan when they sell the team, since Bills owner Ralph Wilson is 93 years old and his heirs are presumed to want to sell. Since basically this is exactly the kind of quick flipping that the G-4 provision is designed to prevent, it’s hard to see why the NFL would listen to Schumer, but who knows? Maybe he’ll threaten to ban them from riding Amtrak if they refuse…


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