Tonawanda News — The Bills are essentially locked into playing at their current home through the 2019 season, because the lease features a $400 million penalty in the event the team broke it. In 2020, the Bills have a one-time opportunity to opt out of the lease for about $28 million.
Toronto and Los Angeles are regarded potential suitors.
The new owner will have final say on any stadium proposal.
It’s incumbent upon the working group, which includes U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, to present a framework of viable options that provide the best chance of keeping the team in western New York.
“We have many very good tools to help that happen,” Schumer told the AP. “I think there is a view that us showing early interest and the potential of a new home for the Bills is very helpful, because we want to show an owner that we want to do what it take to keep the Bills in Buffalo.”
Ralph Wilson Stadium is currently undergoing $130 million in upgrades. The work includes structural upgrades and adding fan amenities to bring the facility up to modern-day NFL standards.
The Bills’ presence has been regarded as key in helping an economically hard-hit region maintain a national identity. As the NFL’s only New York-based franchise, the team generates about $20 million in direct annual tax revenue for the state.The Associated Press contributed to this report.