Buffalo News: We will bombard you with mixed metaphors until Bills agree to demand a $1B stadium

The Buffalo Bills stadium situation is a weird one, with the team’s owners Kim and Terry Pegula insisting a new building isn’t a priority for them, while NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Gov. Andrew Cuomo and especially the Buffalo News have insisted that they do too need one, and soon! And in the wake of Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz saying that a new Bills stadium would cost $1 billion, which would be too rich for the public’s blood, the News editorial board has doubled down to insist: Oh, yes, there will be a new stadium. No, really, that’s what the editorial was titled, and it went on to say:

Does Buffalo want to remain in the football business?

We say yes to that, also. And to stay here long-term, the Bills will inevitably need a new stadium. The price for one will be likely more than $1 billion….

The current county lease on New Era Field will run out in five years. The Pegulas and Poloncarz are starting to stake out positions and float trial balloons. The balloons may not be full of hot air, but they should not be taken as anything more than conversation starters. The closer we get to the deadline on the lease expiring, the more serious the talks will get.

That … is a very confusing metaphor there (hot air normally means it shouldn’t be taken seriously, but hot air is what makes hot-air balloons fly and oh my brain). And the News editorial board, whose members presumably got their position because of long experience with the written word, didn’t stop there:

Some people keep their old car until it falls apart, but as a region we can’t afford to drive this stadium into the ground.

No no no when you drive something into the ground that’s “drive” as in driving a stake not a car, and anyway stadiums don’t have moving parts so they don’t wear out like cars do, oh just never mind.

In any event, readers can skip to the last paragraph of the editorial, which goes like so:

The Bills are part of our civic fabric and if we have to pony up some tax dollars or added ticket fees to keep the team from becoming the Portland or St. Louis Bills, that’s the cost of remaining a major-league city.

You better help pay for a $1 billion stadium that your elected officials say you can’t afford and that the team’s owners aren’t demanding, or else your team will move to one of two cities that have shown no interest in building new NFL stadiums, so there! The editorial writers seem to have forgotten that Buffalo would still have the Sabres even if the Bills moved to Oshkosh or Boise, but these guys were clearly on a roll, so don’t confuse them with facts, okay?

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16 comments on “Buffalo News: We will bombard you with mixed metaphors until Bills agree to demand a $1B stadium

  1. Got news for them: no one really thinks of Buffalo, New York as a major league city NOW, if they think of Buffalo at all.

    1. Buffalo was name dropped in a really funky fresh song by David Lee Roth and Steve Vai in the 80s. If that doesn’t make a city major league then nothing does.

    2. Yeah Buffalo was a huge deal in say 1905. A much bigger piece on the national landscape. Bigger than SF, LA, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Tampa, Denver, Seattle, Minneapolis, and on and on.

      But you know that was 110 year ago. It really isn’t a top 30 market anymore unless you give it some large portion of Toronto.

        1. The Bills already tried to lay the foundation for a Toronto relocation between 2008-2013 with a series of games to measure interest and failed miserably ! Perhaps an expansion team might have success, but at the expense of the CFL. The Argonauts we’re finally supposed to be successful after new owners relocated the team to BMO Field. Unfortunately the big 3 cities of Canada are slowly but surely losing interest in the CFL.

  2. Poor example of move threats. It’s not like St Louis or Portland would shell out a billion. The NFL is missing a stalking horse city now that LA and LV are building stadiums.

  3. “that’s the cost of remaining a major-league city.”

    That’s a big chunk of the problem right there. Buffalo is currently only the 81st largest city in the country. It is smaller than Toledo, St. Petersburg, Laredo, Wichita… It’s 50th if you count the greater metro region population but that’s still smaller than Birmingham, Hartford, Richmond… Lots of places that don’t have major league sports.

  4. If there’s any city that demonstrates the utter lack of connection between the NFL and a city’s economic development, it is Buffalo.

    1. Hilarious. Did you know the owners of the Bills have been dumping money into the economic development of the city left and right?

      1. I don’t doubt it. They seem like public spirited people and committed to their home region.

        Nothing against Buffalo or WNY, but facts are facts–for reasons that have nothing to do with the NFL, Buffalo’s population has continued to decline since the foundation of the Bills in the AFL and throughout their time in the NFL, to include the Super Bowl years.

        IF Buffalo wants to keep the team to hold some status as an “NFL town”, that’s up to Buffalo and New York. But let’s not pretend its going to make life somehow better. I think there are probably a lot better uses of a billion dollars than the NFL.

  5. That hot air balloon section is the most convoluted way they could have explained that any stadium talks might have some real substance to them but are still preliminary. Assuming I even understood that correctly. That has to be one of the more confusing things I’ve read in some time.

  6. I disagree with the statement that St Louis hasn’t shown interest in building an NFL stadium. They offered to build a billion stadium on the riverfront to keep the Rams. Granted they have a new governor but if the Bills called when their lease was up and said “hey we’ll move to town if you give us the deal you offered the Rams” I think St L would do it.

  7. One point and one question:
    First, the editorial demonstrates the paper’s understanding of NFL finances when it states that shared revenue “topped $8 billion per team” in 2017. That amount was the total revenue to be shared, or about $250 mil per team. No wonder they think that building a stadium should be easy!

    The question is, what is this competitive disadvantage that Mara speaks of in his quote?

    “In March 2016, New York Giants owner John Mara told The News’ Vic Carucci that the Bills could be at a competitive disadvantage if they did not erect a new playing facility. ‘It gets tougher and tougher to compete when all these new stadiums are going up and’ the Bills are in their original building, Mara said.”

    Perhaps Mara thinks that Buffalo fans are going to look at Megatron’s butthole or the free sauna at Levi’s stadium and think, “Well, we were going to go a game here in Buffalo, but we’re sitting at home until our stadium also doesn’t have any parking, just like the big boys in Vegas!”

    1. I do think that, revenue sharing aside, that some teams get an advantage in getting players (and especially assistant coaches) due to the additional income a premium-seating-laden stadium can provide. I’m sure NFL players are no different than the rest of us–all things being equal, working in better weather, or a nicer building, lower taxes, or a place with good neighborhoods and schools can be a deciding factor. (what is of interest is that many of the Sun Belt teams that have some of these advantages don’t seem to be doing well now).

      Maybe if New York wanted to give a cheaper incentive to the Bills, they could allow professional athletes and coaches working in Erie County to pay no state income tax. I’m sure that would go over well.

      1. Every metro area has some nice neighborhoods and when you’re a pro athlete thats where you’re going to be. If you signed with the Lions before Detroit had its recent redevelopment its not like you were going to be living in the burned down inner city neighborhoods. Schools probably aren’t high up on the list because these guys are younger and probably don’t have school age kids and again every metro area is going to have some good schools and when you make that much money its not an issue. Also most players live in the city the play in during the season and elsewhere in the offseason.

        However, the local revenues do give the NFL teams the cash flow to pay out the large aigning bonuses.

  8. Those are some weird metaphors but I’m not sure why that editorial board is so dead set on being the Leon Czolgosz of local taxpayers.

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