Roger Goodell presses play on “buffalobillsstadiumdemand.mp3” file again

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.

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5 comments on “Roger Goodell presses play on “buffalobillsstadiumdemand.mp3” file again

  1. “A stadium that is going to be competitive with other stadiums around the league”. I like that little nugget, there’s always going to be at least one or two that kinda suck compared to the others so it allows them to keep the gravy train rolling.

  2. Now that the NFL has abandoned the Chargers’ and the Raiders’ old digs for good, it needs another stadium to stew about and try to “get it up to standard.”

    This whole situation is bound to weigh especially heavy in a place like Buffalo, given the size of the market, the population trends there over the last 40-odd years, and the fact that Bills tickets on average are the cheapest in the NFL (which could be a problem, since there will inevitably be a markup if a new stadium does get built and opened).

    1. (Also, and I hate to say this as a Florida-based fan of the team, but once (or even before) the Bills situation gets resolved one way or another, I would 100% expect the Jaguars to be the next team in Goodell’s firing line. Between Shad Khan’s international ambitions and Mark Lamping’s half-hearted endorsements of Jacksonville as an NFL market, it’s not difficult to imagine that ownership could eventually try and get the “give me better digs or I’ll rip this city’s heart out” message, either through Goodell or through other media channels.)

    2. Kei: I’d bet one of the main reasons the Pegulas appear lukewarm on the idea of a new stadium is that they know the market… and thus they know that a swanky new stadium with gold plated faucets won’t bring their overall game day revenues up significantly.

      If there were 15,000 people in or near Buffalo willing and able to buy a $25k PSL they would already be building a new stadium.

      All sports leagues will have to face up to the realities of their business sooner or later… not every location can be New York or Los Angeles, no matter how many new ways you invent to fleece money out of fans. At some point, franchises will no longer have enough fans willing the pay the inflated prices they are charging. Taxpayer subsidies for stadia have pushed this off by years or decades, but the fundamental problem still exists.

      You can move the immediate crisis down the road a way, but you can’t eliminate it.

  3. Where would the Bills move, exactly? San Diego? Oakland? I suppose San Antonio could serve the NFL the way Tampa Bay’s dome served MLB owners in extorting new stadiums until they got their own new ballparks.

    The thing is, Buffalo has very devoted fans back to when they played in the AFL at the Rockpile. Despite being stuck with a team that hasn’t won a playoff game since Bill Clinton’s first term, the Bills averaged nearly 69,000 in attendance to finish 16th in the NFL. True, Buffalo finished 28th in revenue for 2019, according to Statista.com, but isn’t revenue sharing the rising tide that lifts all NFL boats?

    Buffalo don’t need a new stadium and they don’t deserve to lose their team..

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