Bills wait for MOU approval
It's been nearly a month since the Buffalo Bills announced they'll be sticking around another 10 years, but is it a done deal? YNN's Meg Rossman tells us why the deal is still waiting for the county's approval and whether or not a new waterfront stadium is in the works.
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — "It did not happen overnight, it took nearly a full year of negotiations," Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz explained.
But the agreement that guarantees the Bills will stay in Buffalo along with countless stadium improvements isn't a done deal – just yet.
"We need to have legislative approval for the memorandum of understanding that was entered into by the Bills and the state and the county," he said.
Approval the memorandum will likely receive at a vote next week, before it goes to the NFL on a very tight deadline.
"If this dragged out until late February, we would have missed the owners meeting for the Super Bowl.”
And that could mean missing out on millions of dollars in improvements to the stadium this year alone, according to Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon.
"We'll work on code issues, infrastructure work in 2013 and hopefully have a surprise or two that we're able to finalize in '13," he said.
But will it mean a new stadium for the team?
Representatives from the Greater Buffalo Sports and Entertainment Complex presented their plans for a privately funded $1.5 billion multi-purpose waterfront stadium Tuesday.
"We will have the land in less than four or five months and be at the NFL and close this deal and have a groundbreaking before the summer is even here," CEO Nicholas J. Stracick said outside legislative chambers Tuesday afternoon.
But Poloncarz said a new stadium working group is already included in the memorandum.
"It will be representatives from the county, the state and the Buffalo Bills organization,” he said. “Those are the entities that are going to be investing significant dollars."
Stracick said he'll continue to pursue plans for a new stadium with or without the county's support.
County legislators are expected to approve the Bills memorandum January 24.