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Even winners pay to play

June 4, 2013

After years of an inferior product on the field, New York state is handing over some $124 million for upgrades to the Buffalo Bills’ Ralph Wilson Stadium....

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Jun-05-13 7:20 AM

Yeah, I've only been to a few football games there, and while they were fun the best times there were definately at all the concerts I attended there.

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Jun-04-13 6:00 PM

Darkstar, I have no idea other than no chickensh_t politician wants to be responsible if old Ralph pulls up stakes and moves the team. I have no idea what the lease says, but more than likely your answer lies in that document. Personally, I could care if they left tomorrow. I've been to concerts there in the past, and to many football games. The behavior of the concert crowds was 10 times better than the football crowd. Rich stadium is big enough for the biggest tours of the year. With proper management, the county could make a fortune off of that so-called white elephant if the bills left.

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Jun-04-13 3:47 PM


But why does that mean the taxpayer should pay to help support a business so profitable that it's making everyone, except the County, rich?

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Jun-04-13 2:01 PM

if they recieved no money at all and left the area guys like Steiner would moan about that as well.

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Jun-04-13 2:00 PM

Buffalo has the only NFL team in New York state by the way. something to be proud of regardless of their record.

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Jun-04-13 12:59 PM


As the County owns the stadium why exactly does Ralph Wilson gets to name it and decide what can, and can not, be held there?

If he wants total control of it, then let him buy it from Erie County and pay to maintain and upgrade it himself, short of that the County should do whatever it needs to in order to make the stadium, at the very least, revenue neutral.

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Jun-04-13 12:40 PM

Sure, why not give an exclusive club of ueber-wealthy individuals millions and millions of taxpayer dollars? Raise local, county and state taxes - all for the privilege of calling a bunch of athletes who don’t live here year-round “our team.”

It’s use of government funds to subsidize something the private sector can easily finance on its own. 78% of stadium costs fall on taxpayers, with only 22% paid the teams.

Tax exemptions on interest paid by municipal bonds for stadiums built since 1986 will cost US taxpayers $4 billion. In addition, stadiums aren’t new revenue generators because most tickets are purchased locally, money that would otherwise have been spent at another local business.

The NFL sells “civic pride” quite nicely while lining the pockets of owners at taxpayers’ expense.

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Jun-04-13 10:49 AM

Steiner, why does everything come down to democrats vs republicans for you? I'm sure sports fans cover all political views. And as for our country being sports dumb, have you ever seen a soccer game riot, which happens all the time? As for the Bills, we are definitely giving them way too much. The Bills can afford to pay for it themselves, or at least lease it. We have the threat of them moving, so we always give them everything. I am a huge Bills fan but this is BS.

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Jun-04-13 10:06 AM

Darkstar, the stadium used to make money for Erie county when they held concerts, but Ralph Wilson decided that couldn't happen anymore. There was also about $4,000,000 lost when Ralph decided to name the stadium Ralph Wilson stadium instead of selling the naming rights like almost everyone else does. That, at the VERY least, should have been part of any improvement package. If the Bills left tomorrow, Erie county would make more money off of concert events, rodeo's, circuses, the winter Ice Bowl and that sort of thing than they ever made off the Bills. The Bills only play 8 HOME GAMES, now 7 due to the one in Canada. No money made there at all.

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Jun-04-13 8:21 AM

"learned scientist arrive and are amazed that citizens here like sports?" seriously? do you just make this stuff up?

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Jun-04-13 8:19 AM

Steiner, takes dumb to know dumb I guess.

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Jun-04-13 8:15 AM

As the stadium is owned by Erie County it should finance itself just as many concert venues do, by a per ticket tax dedicated to upgrading the facility.

If $5 were added to every ticket, and 8 home games with an the stadium running at 80% capacity it would give the County just under $2.5 million a year to put toward updating the stadium.

Also the question becomes, what portion of the ticket price goes to the team and what part to the stadium? Or does the team "rent" the stadium for games?

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Jun-04-13 8:01 AM


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Jun-04-13 7:32 AM

My theory on sports is it makes you dumb. Thats why the govt will support it as they value what Rush says, the low information voter.These of course are democrats. Every sports lover I knew could not grasp any complex thought and they were proud of it . Many of the learned scientists who arrived in this country were amazed at the love of sports and not knowledge. Good thing they did not succumb to sportsitis, as we would not enjoy the world we have. Dumbness is ubiquitous in our culture and our govt supports it. unbelievable .

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Jun-04-13 5:55 AM

This made me sick when it was first announced. The Bills fans are all okay with it though, so I'd guess none of them have a thing to say about New York's taxes.

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