New York State and Erie County officials today reportedly will join in announcing that the Buffalo Bills have signed a 10-year renewal of their stadium lease, and that team owners have agreed to pay a $400 million penalty if they move out of Buffalo before the lease expires.

The tab for state and county taxpayers apparently will be at least $95 million out of a total of $130 million in renovations to Ralph Wilson Stadium.  ** UPDATE: This report suggests the public’s share of the costs will total $226 million, including but not limited to the stadium rneovation. **

But, hey, it could be worse: New Jersey taxpayers are still paying for the repeatedly refinanced debt first issued in the 1970s to build the now-demolished Meadowlands stadium that was home to two of the NFL’s “New York” teams before they moved to a new billion-dollar stadium next door a few years ago.

The previous Buffalo stadium lease deal included $63 million in state-subsidized renovations and $38 million in upgrades paid for by the county, which itself ran into such deep fiscal trouble a few years ago that it was placed under the supervision of a state control board.

Last year, Forbes analysis suggested the Bills franchise is among the most profitable in the NFL.

About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is Empire Center's founder and a senior fellow.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

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