Buffalo Bills: Roger Goodell Turns up the Heat on New Stadium Debate


Commissioner Roger Goodell is at it again, discussing the future of the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium, but does the team really need a new home to remain competitive in the NFL?

If you’re going to talk about the Buffalo Bills stadium situation, what better place to do it than at one of the most high profile annual events in Western New York? Certainly, it’s no accident Roger Goodell discussed the matter on Monday, at Jim Kelly‘s annual celebrity golf tournament.

Speaking to WGR550 and the rest of the media, Goodell said: “Stadiums are important, just to making sure that the team here can continue to compete and not only throughout the NFL, but also compete in this environment.

“Because you’ve got great facilities here now.  And the Bills have to stay up with that.”

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And really, it’s the last part of those comments which need to be heeded, despite around $130 million recently being spent on renovations. The Bills current stadium lease with Ralph Wilson Stadium runs through the 2022 season, and you better believe the clock is ticking.

Despite claiming there is no timetable for a new stadium, Goodell went on to say: “I think that’s one of the things Terry’s going through, and trying to see what it will take to make sure that the Bills can remain here on a successful basis.

“That’s (the Pegulas) objective.  I know that’s their commitment.  We fully support that.  We have league funding that’s available to help in that kind of circumstance.”

In that respect, it’s worth noting the Pegulas would need to spend at least $200 million towards any new stadium, before the NFL would loan $200 million of their own money. Of course, the biggest concern for local residents would be the request of substantial taxpayer money to help fund the project.

Understandably, a lot of people believe the NFL owners are merely looking to purely make even more money (as if they need any help). Further, there have been demands for evidence the Bills are losing financial ground on the rest of the league, by continuing to play at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Supporters of remaining at The Ralph could also point to Lambeau Field as an example of how it is possible for a franchise to remain where they are. Consider that the Green Bay Packers stadium is actually 16 years older than the Bills current home.

Buffalo Bills
Oct 18, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; (Editors note: Caption correction) Buffalo Bills owners Kim Pegula (left) and Terry Pegula on the field before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /

Regardless, if the decision is made to build a new stadium, there is then the question of where to place it? While moving to the downtown area would help with the continued revitalization of the area, it would likely mean an end to one of the best tailgating experiences in the NFL.

One final point to consider, was made by The Buffalo News‘ Vic Carucci, who explained Goodell would not be so persistent with his calls for a new stadium, if the Pegulas were not on board. Revered by Buffalonians for buying the team and ensuring their future, Terry and Kim get to remain in favor, while Goodell and the NFL take the hit as the bad guys in this ongoing saga.

Ultimately, while Goodell claims the support of the fans is key, you know the NFL will eventually get their own way. As such, no matter how much adulation the Pegulas currently receive, they will need to come up with a solution which appeases all relevant parties.

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What are your thoughts about the ongoing discussions regarding the Bills’ stadium situation? Are you happy to stay at The Ralph long term, or would you prefer to see them build a new home, whether it be in Orchard Park or downtown? Let us know in the comments section below.