So, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, you’ve just approved more than $200 million in state and county cash toward renovations of the Buffalo Bills‘ stadium, in exchange for which Bills owner Ralph Wilson has agreed to keep the team where it is through the 2019 season. What are you going to do now?
In a letter to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon, the Cuomo administration announced it had appointed its first five members of the New Stadium Working Group “as part of the state’s unwavering commitment to keep the Buffalo Bills a thriving part of the Buffalo community.”…
“The purpose of the group is to explore options for development and construction of a new stadium in Western New York to serve as a home for the Bills, a catalyst for economic growth and a premier sports and entertainment venue for the region,” stated the letter from Howard B. Glaser, director of state operations and senior policy adviser to the governor.
Well, isn’t that just swell. Handing over $200 million for renovations in exchange for a mere six-year lease extension (it’s technically a ten-year extension, but the team can opt out after six with a minimum penalty) always seemed like a pretty dubious deal, but actually appointing a task force to figure out how to build a new stadium before renovations have even begun on the old one sets some kind of new record for self-blackmail. Though probably not all that surprising coming from a guy who’s established that he thinks the business of government is giving money to business.