Bills punt on stadium negotiations

The Buffalo Bills and Erie County have agreed in principle to a one-year lease extension after team management complained that stadium renovation talks were stalling. (Okay, actually Bills CEO Russ Brandon said that “we’ve hit somewhat of a cone of silence in the discussions,” which is far more excellent.) This will give the two sides — plus the state of New York, which is being asked to chip in as well — more time to hash out an agreement, as well as more time for the Bills to apply for an NFL G-4 loan, which can now be pushed back from October to March.

The Bills talks are destined to be a strange one, as the team has fairly little leverage, given that owner Ralph Wilson has deep Buffalo roots — the stadium is named after him, already — and isn’t likely to threaten to move to Los Angeles or anything. You have to wonder how long it’ll be before the NFL sends someone to town to start dropping hints about what could happen if public stadium subsidies aren’t approved. I’m going to go out on a limb here and set the over/under for January; check back then and see how my prediction went.

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