New Stadium Deal Could Have Been Much Worse for Buffalo
This morning I was watching the news, and the biggest topic of conversation was the new stadium deal between the NFL, the Buffalo Bills, New York State, and Erie County.
As the story went on, they focused on the people that were complaining about the deal. "I don't plan on going to the games, so me having to pay part of the tax bill is just unfair." said one unhappy Western New Yorker. "I'm going to be paying for this in my taxes for years to come, why should I foot the bill?" gripped another.
On and on this went, so I eventually switched off the news and hopped on social media, and I saw more of the same. One person went as far to break it down to a cost of $341 per person living in Erie County, and about $40 a person for the rest of New Yorkers.
This is really what people are upset about $341 dollars? $341 to keep the Bills in Buffalo for the next 30 years? Think about that for a minute. Things could have been so much worse than that $341 bill that Erie County residents are going to have to foot.
Remember when the Bills played the Toronto series for those couple of seasons? Let me refresh your memory. The Bills were originally scheduled to play eight home games, that normally would have been played in Orchard Park, in Toronto over five seasons starting in 2008 as part of the agreement. The groundwork was being laid for the team to move to Toronto. But now for $341, we all get to cheer for them for at least the next 30 years.
The team could have been like the Baltimore Colts and packed up moving vans in the middle of the night and moved to Austin, Texas. But for $341 the name the "Austin Bills" will never be mentioned again.
For $341, Western New York will be home to one of the premier facilities in the NFL. For the next 4-to 5 seasons, 10,000 Western New Yorkers will be working construction jobs, which will lead to them proudly saying someday, "I built that" when looking at the new home of the Bills.
The new facility is being designed by Populous, who is credited with launching the "Retro" era of Baseball parks.
NFL stadiums like Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, as well as NRG Stadium in Houston, and State Farm Stadium in Arizona were also designed by Populous. So, the Bills will be getting a world-class facility. And even though Highmark Stadium had its charm, it was by far one of the worst stadiums in the NFL.
So give it a chance. The stadium will be in the same spot, across the parking lot in Orchard Park. We will all eventually grow to love wider concourses, upgraded restrooms, seats that aren't as crowded, and yes even a little bit of shelter from the elements.
And at the end of the day, for $341, we will all get to call the Buffalo Bills the only team that plays in New York for the next 30 years.