Roger Goodell thinks the Bills need a new stadium to remain viable in Western New York. Experts say there’s little chance of the team moving before 2022, thanks to the stadium lease that’s costing taxpayers $95 million in renovations to Ralph Wilson Stadium. But after 2020, all bets are off – unless the Bills have a new, taxpayer-financed home.
If you agree the Bills need a new stadium – and even the Erie County Executive is skeptical – why would you build one in Erie County’s suburbs? How would that be so different from the Bills current home? People would drive in and drive out. You wouldn’t keep them around for any spillover development.
But check out this plan for a suburban Bills stadium. Scott Congel would like it to be located on his ailing plaza property in West Seneca. He has a grand $700 million redevelopment proposal for the site. The Buffalo News reports:
(Congel) unveiled plans for a mixed-use, public-private mega-project with two hotels, residential apartments, office buildings, retail, a theater, community facilities featuring twin hockey rinks and vast underground parking.
Congel wants a 30-year payment-in-lieu of taxes agreement for his plan. (YES, IT’S MEDLEY CENTRE ALL OVER AGAIN!) Here’s what Erie County Executive Mark Polocarz tweeted:
Any tax break for a development must be short-term and linked to new net economic wealth for region, not for 30 years http://t.co/ibv1GwcKJG
— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) May 29, 2014
Here’s where the Bills come in. Tom Golisano is interested in buying the team and is reportedly in talks with Congel about putting a stadium on that plaza property. Not only would taxpayers help Congel build his fantastical development, they would also fork over at least several hundred million dollars for a Bills stadium at the site.
Meanwhile, Erie County already owns land right next to Ralph Wilson Stadium where a stadium could be built. If you’re going to build a suburban stadium, why not just keep it Orchard Park? Why not…just keep Ralph Wilson Stadium?
Right. WE NEED A NEW STADIUM OR THE BILLS WILL LEAVE WESTERN NEW YORK FOREVER!
Poloncarz tweeted there should be no deal for Congel unless it’s linked to “new net economic wealth for the region.” That same standard should applied to a new stadium. Economists agree stadiums don’t pay for themselves and having an NFL franchise doesn’t pay, either.
Meanwhile in Rochester, the LPGA is saying adios. It’s sad to lose such a great tradition. But we didn’t see politicians lining up to build new golf courses or throw money at the organization. Ladies golf is far inferior to men’s football in our culture. The LPGA is a multi-million dollar organization. The NFL is a multi-billion dollar organization. But which one demands your tax dollars to stick around?
Links of the Day:
– The FBI may be looking into Phase One of the RCSD’s Facilities Modernization Program. Meanwhile, Phase Two is in limbo.
– Being lieutenant governor doesn’t usually lead to great things.
– CEOs continue to get their personal airfare paid by companies.
– This is dumb. A Long Island school banned backpacks and lockers to keep kids safe.