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On a new stadium, Bills remain in 'fact-finding mode'

Commissioner Roger Goodell said earlier this month that the Buffalo Bills' owners were "trying to see what it takes to make sure the Bills remain here on a successful basis." The commish and other NFL owners would like to see the Bills get moving on a new stadium.

Yet all indications on the Bills' side point to Terry and Kim Pegula taking their time in weighing all options. Patience continues to be the theme for the Bills.

“We’re in the fact-finding mode,” Kim Pegula told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. “We want to make sure we have all the information that is relative to our community, to our fan base. We’re not Atlanta, so it’s hard for us to say we’re going to build a stadium like Atlanta. We can’t. It’s not just a yes or no, it’s a lot more involved than that. We don’t talk about it now because we don’t have all the answers and we don’t want to get misconstrued because things change.”

The team also recently completed a $130 million renovation at Ralph Wilson Stadium, a stadium that president Russ Brandon has defended publicly. Buffalo's current lease on the stadium with the state of New York and Erie County runs through the 2022 season.

There's also the reality that the Bills are the NFL's second-smallest market behind the Green Bay Packers. A new stadium means higher costs "across the board," Brandon said, be it ticket prices, concessions or parking. Thus, the team somehow must make the necessary changes without ticking off their fan base.

“When you look under the Christmas tree everyone wants brand-new toys, that’s easily said,” Brandon told the newspaper. “But when you go through the process and look to see exactly what makes sense for our community, that’s what we have to be very thoughtful of. With a new stadium comes a lot of things — public-private partnership, there’s PSLs (personal seat licenses), there’s cost increases across the board. We’ve been successful in Buffalo with a volume model; lot of seats in the building, lot of suites in the building, and we’ve been able to keep costs down because we’ve been able to manage a 43-year-old building and we’ve been able to do that very well. That equation, economically, changes with a new building.”

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