Strictly Stadium Opinion: Live In The Now

You want headlines in Buffalo? Say something about the future of the Bills in Western New York. Believe me, news and sports directors all over the 716 will be falling all over themselves to lend credence to your plan.



If you’re waiting for me to breakdown the dollars and cents of this, you’ll be waiting a long time, but what I will say is something that needs to be trumpeted to Bills fans whether they like this particular idea or not (I do): if you want the Bills here long-term, they are going to need a new place to play.

Ralph Wilson Stadium has loads of memories and lots of parking… and really, that’s it. I don’t mind going down there for a game and it’s adequate thanks to our relatively-sated tastes but anyone who’s gone to an NFL game out-of-town knows how far behind the Ralph trails the majority of facilities (and all modern joints). In fact, if Buffalo weren’t operating under antiquated tailgating laws that cater to our own boozing standards, this would be much clearer. The question isn’t whether or not Buffalo needs a new stadium to keep the Bills, it’s whether the community could pay the season ticket rates to fill the place. Maybe that’s the bigger fear; a new joint would expose the market?

Let alone the actual hilarious nature of the Ralph. Here is a building in use for a maximum of, what, 15 days a year (not counting Bills practices)? A building that, from what I understand, needs an incredibly silly amount of money just to keep it from falling apart each offseason. Yet even so, Orchard Park has a knack for development and probably would have a Carrabba’s, White Castle, Chipotle and 14 law offices in the “Rockpile” before the last of the Wall of Fame letters were readied for transport.

In terms of this particular idea, I’m for it. There needs to be a lot of research into what the NFLPA and NFL teams take off the top of stadium events — I’ve heard it’s a straight-fleecing for concert & event promoters — but Buffalo could begin to reel in some “urban” sprawl by challenging Darien Lake’s lockdown of huge summer concerts (Funtime Presents is already doing this, but we’re talking different fish for different fisherman here) as well as Orchard Park’s commandeering of Sunday’s economy at least seven times each year.

Fact of the matter: if you want to keep your Bills, Buffalo, get out-of-the-way of a new joint.

5 Responses to Strictly Stadium Opinion: Live In The Now

  1. How come nobody is really talking about this? It’s the elephant in the room. Part of me feels like Erie County is waiting for Ralph to pass on which is not a viable plan. But they have a point insofar as it would royally suck to help finance a brand new stadium only to have the Bills leave. But that’s kind of a defeatist attitude and it seems like an agreement could be reached that would help financially protect the County.

  2. […] Strictly Stadium Opinion: Live In The Now | THE BEST OF NICK MENDOLA . . .LIVE“The question isn’t whether or not Buffalo needs a new stadium to keep the Bills, it’s whether the community could pay the season ticket rates to fill the place. Maybe that’s the bigger fear; a new joint would expose the market?” […]

  3. Seriously, $1.4 billion for a new stadium? This isn’t necessary, and not only that, but parking would be severely inadequate. Additionally, tailgating would suck! The Bills have some of the best tailgating of any NFL team, and that’s what us fans look forward to the most since our team is most likely going to get blown out of the water. You don’t go spending $1.4 billion for a new stadium on a team this low-class.

    As far as the Ralph goes, I have absolutely no issues with it. I’ll take $200 million in renovations over $1.4 BILLION for a new stadium. The Ralph still has the best sightline of any stadium in the league, new or old, and where are you getting your information that the stadium is “falling apart”? I guess I must have missed the occasional squashed men and women that are taken out by random debris falling off of the Ralph in my 3-4 games per year that I go to. Entirely unnecessary…this whole attitude of “well, the other teams got a new stadium so we should to!” is akin to a little bratty kid complaining that his brother got a toy that he didn’t get. It’s not needed and the fact of the matter is, us fans like things just how they are.

    • I understand what you are saying, but given all the questions regarding this team from future investors & keeping the team here… your mindset could cost the town its NFL team. Realism stinks, but 22 of 32 teams have stadiums that are 25 years old or younger. Of the other 10, two have had ridiculous refurbishments that cost way more than 200 million (Soldier Field & Lambeau). Of the other eight, several face uncertainty in the future of their immediate market (Minnesota, New Orleans, San Diego, Oakland, San Francisco). The landscape of the league is moving this way. Want to save your team? Need a better fix than that.

      And I wouldn’t give up my source on the decrepit nature of the Ralph out-of-season, but suffice it to say the work that goes into fixing it each offseason is very expensive and borderline disgusting.

  4. I’m all for anything that gets White Castle into the Buffalo-Niagara region.

    Also, the Ralph is a shithole and letting OP get all that tax revenue is absolutely idiotic. It wouldn’t be that hard to have a talk with the BPD and tell them to relax the application of the open container law in the immediate vicinity of a downtown stadium.

    A new stadium is something that’s been necessary for way longer than most people would like to admit, and I’d much rather spend $1.4b on something new and nice than $200m every few years on something that’s way past its expiration date. Logical thinking about this situation with more foresight than a toddler might use really leads to exactly two likely outcomes: a new stadium or a new home city for the team. If it’s the latter, I’m going out Elliott Smith style.