Bills co-owner says they may not even want a new stadium, give them a couple of years to decide

The Buffalo Bills stadium-replacement discussion has been taking a rather weird course, as NFL stadium talks go, with team owners Terry and Kim Pegula generally refusing to demand anything, even while other league owners and commissioner Roger Goodell insist that the Bills gotta have one. Now Kim Pegula has talked to the Buffalo News about her perspective on the matter, and she still doesn’t sound super-stoked:

“I don’t even know if we can get there,” the team’s co-owner told The Buffalo News while attending the NFL spring meeting. “I know fans in Buffalo don’t want higher ticket prices, they don’t want PSLs (personal seat licenses). The state doesn’t want to give you any money, the city doesn’t … We don’t have a billion-and-a-half dollars sitting around. We used it to buy the team.”

These are good reasons not to build a new stadium! If you’re not going to be able to charge fans more in ticket prices or PSLs, it’s kind of dumb to drop around a billion dollars on replacing the perfectly acceptable stadium you already play in, especially if it’s a billion dollars of your own money and not New York taxpayers. (And speaking on behalf of New York taxpayers, it would be even more dumb for us to pay for it.) Even if all the other kids have one.

Pegula said it could take a “couple of years” to reach a final stadium determination, and that ultimately “it may be nothing happens, it may be we make renovations, it may be that we build a new stadium. But we’ve got to get the information first.” Again, all very reasonable and honest about the decisions to be made. Man, Roger Goodell must hate her.


11 comments on “Bills co-owner says they may not even want a new stadium, give them a couple of years to decide

  1. I bet the other owners are pissed at them! Everyone needs to row together on their stadium grift messaging!

  2. Ok, sure, I may make $50m a year or whatever it is (sometimes it’s hard for even me to count it all, and that’s like, what I do, man). But look at what I have to work with, people!

    Guy makes $4bn off sound supply and demand economics in the gas industry (hate to make it sound simple cos it’s like really hard work… but raise the price when it gets cold, then cut back on supply until people are happy to pay more again) but doesn’t understand artificial scarcity in professional sports franchises?

    On days like these, I tell you, I am underpaid…

  3. Refreshing honesty from a sports team owner. Someone hasn’t drank the kool aid.

  4. She sounds extremely reasonable.

    I have to say that after seeing the 60 Minutes segment on these owners, I liked them right away. This reinforces my opinion of them.

  5. While I am pleased to hear an ownership group speaking frankly about the “need” for a new stadium, I’m not totally convinced that they are doing so for altruistic reasons.

    When I hear Ms. Pegula saying “the fans don’t want higher ticket prices, they don’t want PSLs”…. what I really hear is the same voice saying “there isn’t any more money to be extracted from the present fan base, so how is a new stadium (no matter if it’s free or not) going to help?”

    It’s still a good thing that the Pegulas apparently realize this. It puts them way ahead of most of their fellow NFL owners.

    But it isn’t quite the same as billionaires saying “it’s ok, we make enough money at the old stadium, use your tax dollars for something else like police or libraries or, you know, free medical clinics for the poor”.

    • One step at a time. Evil rich people can’t be expected to behave almost morally overnight

    • John, I’m willing to give them credit for just saying something factual. It happens so rarely these days, you know?

  6. Goodell is probably more focused on turning every NFL player into August Landmesser.

    • I was thinking that too, no need to build a new house if you’re moving anyway, but if they want to move, they will need to play the “this stadium in antiquated” game first.

      • Don’t think they really need to. If we were handing out teams today, would Buffalo/W. New York State be in the Top 20 contenders? (It was an AFL market, not an NFL market, pre-merger–and the AFL tended to go to a lot of secondary markets).

        I think all they need to say is what they said in the article–there is not enough money or corporate support in the area to make having a team worthwhile, especially as the richer owners chip away at revenue sharing. Tough draw for free agents, minimal money (tax or private) for the “extra stuff” that teams like to build.

        I think the owners are actually being relatively good stewards of their neighbors’ money.