Not exactly the best news to read as a Bills fan on this Friday morning, but definitely a scary wake up call. A fellow Bills fan, Nick Mendola, has bought to everyone’s attention that the city of Buffalo’s lease on Ralph Wilson Stadium, expires on July 30, 2013. Which means a potential move could be on the horizon.
Rumors of moving have been around for many years now, but instead of talking about it, Bills fans choose to turn the other cheek and refuse to believe that one day they could lose their beloved franchise. Even though the Bills last winning season came in 2004 (9-7, no playoffs), thousands of fans still come to support their team week after week. Matter of fact, last year alone, the Bills were ranked 10th out of the 32 teams in attendance, coming in at an average of 70,128 a game, pretty impressive if you ask me.
But no matter how much outside support the Bills get from their fans, the future of this beloved franchise lies within the hands of their 91-year-old owner Ralph Wilson. Wilson and the Bills have been in the NFL since 1960, leaving no dispute that Wilson has put his entire life into the Bills. Wilson also has insisted that he will neither sell nor move the team from its small-market roots during his lifetime. Unfortunately, father time is no longer on Wilson’s side, and after publicly stating that he won’t pass on the franchise to his children after he’s gone, the Bills could someday soon be on the market.
What does that mean? Well the Bills have already been linked to Los Angeles, San Jose, and of course Toronto, but it no matter the location, it will always come down to money. Blue Jay’s Owner, Ted Rogers will surely have Roger Goodell on speed dial to give his first pitch on why a NFL needs to be in Toronto. With a rumored offer of $900 million for the team and $500 spent on a new state of the art stadium, Toronto might seem like a no brainer to the Commish.
But if a hero does come along to keep the Bills in Buffalo (Jim Kelly do you hear me?), not only will they need money to buy the team, but also need to renovate and update Ralph Wilson Stadium. Seems like an impossible job for one man alone, but with the help of the right team of investors, it could be possible.
Either way, the one sure thing right now is that the 2010 NFL season is on it’s way, and no matter how good or bad the Bills are this year, I urge you to put on your fan gear, and go support this team, there may only be 21 more chances to do so in Western New York.