There was a somewhat interesting article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram yesterday. An executive for the firm that built the new stadium for the Dallas Cowboys had this to say as far as any upcoming prospects for a new stadium.
Mark Williams, associate principal architect for HKS Inc., stated: "We've been working with the [Minnesota] Vikings for about nine months, and they are still trying to get their funding. The [San Francisco] 49ers and the Buffalo Bills are thinking about doing something and also the [San Diego] Chargers and maybe the Atlanta Falcons. Those are the potential new stadiums in the NFL."
Hmmm. Now of course the Bills and Ralph Wilson deny this. But it is interesting. Now, this coming just as The Aud, Memorial Auditorium, is being torn down makes me hate this idea. I have a lot of memories sitting in a twisted pile of steel right now. Do I want more memories to fade into a pile of dust?
Then there's the economics of it all. The Ralph "just" got remodeled in '98, consuming lots of taxpayer dollars to do so. Do the taxpayers of New York want to pay for a new stadium? I doubt it.
The Bills are currently in no debt whatsoever. That means none of their revenue goes to paying off loans, which in turn means you can spend more on the actual Buffalo Bills product. That all changes with a new stadium.
Then there comes the issue of higher season ticket prices and luxury suites. Are there that many companies in WNY or Southern Ontario that want to spend more on luxury boxes? Are fans wanting to fork out more money to sit in a new stadium? Doubt either one of those.
All economics aside, I still don't want a new stadium. Maybe, as I mentioned, it's because the demo of The Aud is still fresh, and ongoing. But we don't NEED a new one, either. Whenever the day comes when we actually do need a new one, I just hope it's an outdoor stadium. We would lose true home-field advantage if we lost the wind-snow-cold component that opposing teams hate...not to mention the fun of cheering on your favorite team with your shirt off when the wind chill is sub-zero. So what if we never host a Super Bowl?
I just hope Ralph Wilson, Jr. is serious when he says there is no truth to that report..or is he simply denying it to avoid a potential firestorm from Bills fans and taxpayers alike? Let's hope not.
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