No News On Bills And Sabres Ownership Facility Plans

The research continues.

The National Football League season is at the quarter pole and the National Hockey League is closing in on the 2019-2020 season. In Buffalo, the owner of the NFL’s Bills and the NHL’s Sabres, Terry Pegula, is reviewing his facility options. Does he want a new football stadium or renovate the present building? What does he want to do with the Sabres arena which is now 23 years old and seemingly in this day and age is near the end of the line as a productive facility. It appears Pegula is thinking of sprucing up the Sabres arena. But Pegula is only half way into a feasibility study of the two places. And the public may never see the study’s findings. After the 2019 season Bills ownership can opt out of the stadium lease.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has put Buffalo and western New York on notice that it was his opinion that the Bills franchise needs a new facility. Goodell was at a charity golf outing in western New York in June when he threw down the gauntlet asserting the need for a new stadium. Bills ownership has been quiet about the future plans. Pegula’s lease at the Orchard Park, New York stadium ends in 2023. In 2012, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo found state money that was part of a deal to spend $130 million to fix up the stadium in exchange for extending the team’s lease.  Buffalo got an American Football League franchise in 1959 and was a contender for an NFL team in 1950 after four years in the All-American Football Conference. Then Buffalo ownership decided to put money in the Cleveland Browns instead. The Buffalo of 1959 is not the same as the Buffalo of 2019 which is much smaller and far less wealthy. Buffalo might not even be considered by NFL owners if the city was vying for an expansion or relocation team today.

Buffalo Sabres forward Tage Thompson (72) and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov (86) battle for position during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, in Buffalo N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)