by Pat Freeman
The Buffalo Bills open the home portion of their schedule against arch rival Miami on Sunday. This game should be a great challenge for the hometown team because Miami not only moved the ball against New England last week, but also sacked Tom Brady four times.
This will also be the first regular season home game since the passing of Buffalo Bills founder Ralph Wilson and also marks the beginning of a new era for the team with new owners Terry and Kim Pegula. It should be a memorable Sunday game in the newly-Renovated Ralph Wilson Stadium because it will also be Bills Alumni weekend.
Since the announcement of the accepted sale of the franchise to the Pegula family the joy of Western New York is undeniable. The new owners are committed to keeping professional football here in Western New York and must also put forth a new formula to increase revenue for themselves and the rest of the league owners with a short term plan to accomplish this. This plan must include a new multi-use facility in the commercial district of the city of Buffalo. Our elected leaders still must realize that the profit margin for Mr. Wilson was on a $25,000 investment in 1960, and this margin is not acceptable on a more than billion dollar investment. The other problem is that our stadium with all of its improvements is one of the lowest revenue sharing facilities in the NFL. There is no doubt in my mind that the Pegula’s are already looking at the best way to tackle this problem with the rest of the owners. The concern that I have is when our local leadership will face this reality so we can move forward in a reasonable fashion.
I do understand that one of the deciding factors involved was getting the new owner in place and sitting down with them to see what direction they would like to proceed. The problem is that the other NFL owners have already told our elected leaders that you need a new stadium and that the facility in Orchard Park can’t be retrofitted despite the efforts of the popular media to convince us that it can. The Orchard Park Stadium’s location and structural defects play an even larger role than most ordinary citizens can imagine. So the push for anew downtown stadium continues at full speed ahead. Let me bring you up to date with where we are now.
We have now identified three workable sites which could accommodate the proposed Stadium complex proposal which I believe will solve the remaining problem we have in keeping professional football in this area for the long term. Unlike the firm hired by the Governor all three of my sites are located in the city of Buffalo, and renovating the 40 year old stadium in Orchard Park is not an option. Time will tell how history will treat a person who has continued to fight for what he knows is the right thing to do and that is change our formula and bring a Multi use Entertainment complex to the city of Buffalo.
Buffalo Bills will win Sunday 24-17
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