Goodell yammers some more about how Bills “ultimately” need new stadium (if they’re not paying for it)

Speaking of Roger Goodell throwing his weight around, the NFL commissioner has started speaking out again on how he really really wants a new stadium in Buffalo, and the Bills owners had better start demanding one if they know what’s good for them:

“Stadiums are important, just to making sure that the team can continue to compete, not only throughout the NFL but also compete in this environment. Because we’ve got great facilities here now and the Bills have to stay up with that.”…

“That’s up to [Bills owner] Terry [Pegula] and the community to really get focused on — What does it take? What is the right location?” he said. “Those are the difficult decisions that have to be made locally. We’ll support it any way we can. But ultimately, those decisions are made here.”…

“I think every team in the league continues to look at, whether it’s a new stadium or a renovation or renovations to their stadium — they just completed a renovation here — but ultimately, long term, you have to look down that road. What’s the right thing for the franchise and the community?”

This isn’t anything new, really — Goodell has been spouting “need new stadium!” soundbites since before Pegula even bought the team — and the guy was asked the question at a charity golf event, of all things, so it’s not surprising that he fell back on league boilerplate. Still, it’s a clear sign that the league isn’t eager to let talk of a new Bills stadium drop, even if Pegula and his wife Kim have been downplaying new-stadium talk since purchasing the team a couple of years back. (Or passing the buck to Goodell to rattle the stadium saber, however you prefer to view it.)

Why does the NFL care, if the Pegulas don’t? WGRZ-TV in Buffalo asserts that “the league and other owners would make millions and millions of dollars in additional revenue if the Bills were to build a fancy stadium, because every home game the Bills play makes money for the other 31 franchises.” But then, if those “millions and millions of dollars” (is that more than just millions of dollars?) had to go to pay for stadium construction, neither the Pegulas nor the NFL would make money on the deal. So really the message here, such that there is one other than “leave me alone and let me play my round of golf,” is “the NFL would love it if somebody else bought the Bills a new stadium, because we like free stuff as much as the next guy.” Stop the presses.

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10 comments on “Goodell yammers some more about how Bills “ultimately” need new stadium (if they’re not paying for it)

  1. What does he mean by compete? The twins have a new stadium why arent competing? The Reds have a new stadium it’s already 13 years old why they competing? The Cowboys have a new stadium why haven’t they made the playoffs in 10 years?

    1. Uh, not a Cowboys fan. Just a fan of correct information… 4 times since 2006 is more than zero times, at least the last time I checked.

    2. When the NFL uses the word “compete” they mean “compete financially with other entertainment options in their local market.”

      As all the franchises are wildly profitable, this is less competing the way your corner bodega competes with the one down the street and more the way Apple competes when they convince you to buy an iPhone 17 instead of food.

  2. Many a wrestler, after being let go from WWE, will go out of his way to praise Vince McMahon. However, these ex-WWE wrestlers, nearly to a man, will also criticize somebody — writers or talent relations, typically — for treating wrestlers unfairly.

    My point is that this smells like Pegula demanding a new stadium and WGRZ (and Neil, apparently!) being naive enough to believe Goodell’s button man routine.

    1. “(Or passing the buck to Goodell to rattle the stadium saber, however you prefer to view it.)”

      If the Pegulas are just trying to play good cop here, though, they’re faking it really well. They’ve consistently deflected any new-stadium talk, even when given an opening.

  3. Man, if only the Green Bay Packers got a new stadium. Maybe then they could compete.

    1. They did, several times with the renovations. The Lambaue Field from the 80’s was a complete dump. Steel corrugated siding. Fugly. it is a palace now.

  4. Maybe the Bills will make all kinds of cash in a new football palace. It isn’t a certainty, however.

    New gold plated (is gold passe now? Is it something else they have to electroplate the toilets with to be 2016?) facilities certainly can make vast amounts of money for the owners who get them for free in certain markets.

    Is Buffalo (or Oakland, or Jacksonville or…) one of them though? Every market has it’s price point. I’m sure there are well heeled football fans in Buffalo who could afford the highest priced seats in any NFL stadium… but are there enough of them to make a new facility generate significantly more revenue than Rich stadium (yes, I know…) does?

    I don’t know the answer to this either way… but it is possible that Pegula realizes a new facility will not be “the answer” to the club’s financial encumbrances (I refuse to call them difficulties as they are not difficulties).

    You can only cater to the well heeled fan in a given market if those fans actually exist in number. I’m sure Pegula would take a new stadium on the public dime either way, but…

  5. Terry Pegula is a rust-belt guy all the way, so its hard to see him as a cynical owner. However, not building a new stadium in the near-term does leave him (or the next owner) a lot more flexibility to move to a better location.

    Buffalo’s story is a painful one, even by the standards of the region–going from the 15th to the 50th largest city in America in 60 years. While people try to make it the Green Bay of New York, it really doesn’t have the money to support a luxury like an NFL team anymore.

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