How T.O. Could Single-Handedly Revitalize Buffalo's Struggling Economy

Kyle RichardsonCorrespondent IJuly 20, 2009

We all know about Terrell Owens’ ability to bring media attention.

Now he has 17 cameras that follow his every move with the new reality show on VH1. As much as you may be sick of seeing him, you can’t blame it on Owens.

He sees the opportunity to make money, and to set himself up for a career, post-football.

Let's take a look on the local economy in Buffalo; a struggling economy, where everyone is escaping in favor of nicer weather, cheaper taxes, jobs, and frankly...nicer weather.

A once thriving industrial city has businesses fleeing quicker than Sabres owner Tom Golisano.  

So how can Terrell Owens help the city of Buffalo?

To start off, despite three consecutive 7-9 seasons, season-ticket sales had topped the 50,000 mark in May.

What about the increased media presence in the Queen City. There are surely people out there whose sole job is to follow Owens, 24/7. The number of media will without doubt increase as football season begins, just praying for Terrell Owens—to do something—T.O. worthy.  

Not to mention, the Bills play the Patriots in the Monday Night season opener, putting Owens's first game with the Bills versus Tom Brady’s return to the field, sure to be a highly viewed game. The game is in New England, but it will set the stage for the rest of the season.

Every Bills game is sure to have an increased viewership from last season, and will put the Bills on a national spotlight much more; especially if they can put a playoff-run together.   

According to Arizona State University, who researched the effect on Phoenix during the Super Bowl, when people get excited about football, statistics show that impulse buying increases (restaurant and tavern tabs, team gear, etc.).

The teams that make it to the Super Bowl will reach an international audience, which could bring business from Toronto (Canada's "NYC"), to Buffalo.  

"(A Super Bowl team) will be mentioned collectively a million times by media throughout the world. That says we're open for business.  There's a psychology to winning, and it will benefit (team) greatly."

A trip to the Super Bowl is obviously a best-case scenario, but not unrealistic in the near future.

T.O.'s success could keep the Bills in Buffalo for years to come as they catch the attention of investors all over the world.  It could introduce the business world to all the other "marketable guys" the Bills have.

The team is young and if they prove they can be successful this season, fan spending will increase as they should anticipate team competitiveness for years to come.

Local sporting goods stores like Laux, who have six stores in Western New York, will positively increase sales, and grow their international exposure.

Third-year Bills QB Trent Edwards has had a firsthand look on how having T.O. will impact things around One Bills Drive.

"It's fun having him on here," said quarterback Trent Edwards during OTAs.
"There are more fans and there are more (media) here watching us and covering us. The more people who are here to watch us, the better."

Since the Super Bowl runs in the '90s, Buffalo has never really gotten national attention.  I only just realized this when I stepped out of Western New York for the past eight years, having to rely on national media for television highlights.

At least Chris Berman was very supportive during our the Bills 4-0 run to start last season, "Nobody circles the wagons, like the Buffalo Bills!"

And ESPN commentator Ron Jaworski is from Buffalo, he should give us props at the MNF season opener.  

Team success will speed up the proposal to build a stadium, possibly downtown.  Even more north, in I don't know...Lockport, or North Tonawanda, making it easier for those crossing the border to attend games, and expanding the city and fan base.

Big things are possible, looking ahead to the next 50 years of Buffalo Bills football, but it all falls on success of this football team in '09.