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New York State not yet ‘buying in’ on new stadium for Bills

The coming $1.9 billion, multi-use building in Los Angeles has raised the bar for NFL stadiums. But the state isn’t “buying in” on a new Bills stadium in Buffalo – not yet, anyway.

“I’m not going there yet,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters and editors at The Buffalo News. “We’ll deal with the new stadium issue when we have to.”

The Bills play in a circa-1970s building that, despite a recent $130 million facelift, remains in many ways outdated – particularly in comparison with the new neo-palace that Stan Kroenke, who recently relocated the Rams from St. Louis, is building in Los Angeles.

The additional revenue from new stadiums – from higher ticket prices to advertising and sponsorship deals – is shared among all owners, increasing league-wide pressure for new or enhanced buildings.

The Bills lease expires in 2023, and there already is significant community chatter about a new stadium here.

Asked about the possibility and the percentage of taxpayer dollars that might be involved, Cuomo instead focused on the how the purchase of the Bills 17 months ago by Buffalo-loyal owner Terry Pegula secured the team here.

“That was the fear, moving the Bills,” Cuomo noted. “That’s what the owners collectively wanted, the Bills in Toronto or Los Angeles, because of the larger revenue share. That’s what we were up against. Pegula’s attraction to the region” squashed those concerns.

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