Cuomo On Bills: ‘Only If You Really Need A New Stadium’
Some unexpected comments from Governor Cuomo Tuesday about the future home of the Buffalo Bills raised a few eyebrows in Western New York. During a visit to Buffalo to ceremonially sign some bills aimed at combating heroin use, the Governor sounded more hesitant than ever before about the possibility of a new stadium for the team.
“No one is anxious to build a stadium if we don’t have to build a stadium, more because no one is anxious to pay for a stadium,” Cuomo said.
The comments seemed contrary to what the Governor said during a visit to Buffalo earlier this month when he indicated the idea of a new stadium was very much on the table. Tuesday the Governor had a different tone.
“Stadium’s are very expensive creatures and even if you said well everyone’s going to contribute, the state, the county, the NFL, the new owner, it is still expensive. So you would only build a new stadium if you really, really had to build a new stadium and then you had a lot of money from other sources coming in,” said Cuomo.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said a new stadium would be vital to the future of the Bills in Western New York. Cuomo’s own stadium working group has been exploring possible sites.
“The situation we are trying to address currently is the situation where the only prospective owners who want to keep the Bills in Western New York need a pathway to creation of a new stadium,” said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.
Dyster is on the stadium working group and told Time Warner Cable News Reporter Ryan Whalen he wasn’t surprised by the Governor’s comments.
“None of us who are elected officials want to spend any more of the taxpayers money than we absolutely need to and if we could get a prospective owner who would sign onto keeping the team here long-term on the basis of the improvements that are currently being made to Ralph Wilson Stadium, I don’t think you’d find anyone in Western New York who would object to that,” Dyster added.
The Bills are entering year two of a ten year lease at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park. The state and Erie County are spending millions renovating the Bills’ current home this offseason.
Despite Goodell’s comments Cuomo said he would only support public financing for a new stadium if it was the only way to keep the Bills in Western New York. After Tuesday’s comments it appears Cuomo isn’t convinced that’s the case.
“We’re in the process of spending a lot improving the current stadium and again this would be if there was a new owner and if the new owner and the NFL say there has to be a new stadium then the question would be when and what are the terms and who’s contributing,” Cuomo said.
As for who will buy the team, Real Estate Mogul Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday he was the only potential owner who would keep the team in Buffalo. Cuomo laughed when asked about the tweet.
“It must be true if he tweeted it. Who could argue with that?”
Cuomo said at this point there are a number of bidders, besides Trump, interesting in keeping the team here in Western New York.
“The bid package is out and people are considering it and I think you’ll have a number of bids that are attractive that will come in,” Cuomo added.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Casey Bortnick on June 24, 2014 at 11:22 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo, Donald Trump, Erie County. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|