Oh dear, Roger Goodell is Goodelling again about a new Buffalo Bills stadium:
We all want the Buffalo Bills to continue to be in Buffalo, to be successful. A stadium that is going to be competitive with other stadiums around the league is going to be important in that context, and I think everyone’s committed to that, whether it’s a new significant renovation or whether it’s a completely new facility in a new location.
I think those are things that the group has to settle collectively and address over the next several months, if not sooner.
Yep, that checks all the boxes:
- Non-threat threat that it sure would be a shame if the team had to leave town.
- Associated threat that it would be a shame of the team weren’t “successful,” not specifying whether this means on the field or in terms of raking in profits.
- Leaving open the option of a new renovation or a new building, so long as it’s “significant,” which usually means lotsa public moneys.
- Two-minute warning that this needs to be resolved soon if not sooner, or else … something.
The Bills’ lease at their current stadium does expire in 2022, but that can always be extended, so there’s really no rush. And Bills owners Kim and Terry Pegula have been decidedly lukewarm on demanding a new stadium, because getting a billion dollars out of the city or state would be hard, and lord knows they don’t want to blow their own money on one. (A spokesperson for the Pegulas told WHAM-TV yesterday that they’ve done a study and are “working internally to determine the next steps regarding any future plans for the home of the Buffalo Bills.”)
But commissioners gonna commissioner, and even if demanding new stadium spending for the Bills doesn’t immediately pay dividends in Buffalo, it does keep other NFL cities on their toes that this could happen to you too if you let your stadium get much past drinking age. (It also, to be fair, came in response to a journalist question, but Goodell certainly seemed to have his talking points ready.) And so if it ensures more headlines like “Could Buffalo Bills get a new home?” even when the team owners are showing no interest in beating the drum for a new home, that’s what Goodell is going to do to earn his big, big bucks.