(WBEN) - The Governor's office has retained lawyers to help keep the Bills in Buffalo.
Director of State Operations and Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Cuomo Howard Glaser released the following statement on Wednesday:
Since day one the Cuomo administration has been aggressive when it comes to keeping the Bills in Western New York. Foley & Lardner has a proven track record in sports stadium and ownership issues and played a key role in negotiating the ironclad seven-year agreement that kept the team in Buffalo. They will continue to assist in our efforts – including our exploration of a possible new stadium – to convince any potential future owners to keep the team here in New York.
Empire State Development has had a contract since the Summer of 2012 with Foley & Lardner to advise them on the Bills issue.
On April 16th, Empire State Development voted to enter in to a three year contract with Foley & Lardner in order to "Assist ESD with legal advice and counsel in connection with long term planning for the retention of the Buffalo Bills in New York, including consideration of substantial renovation of the Ralph Wilson Jr. Stadium, f/k/a Rich Stadium, or the construction of a new stadium, as contemplated under the Stadium lease."
Empire State Development has specifically worked with Attorney Irwin Raij on the issue of the Bills.
More on Raij from ESD:
Mr. Raij has represented and counseled major sports clients including a professional sports league, professional sports teams as well as owners and acquirers of professional sports teams. He advises clients in connection with a variety of new stadium development projects, construction agreements, new and interim lease agreements, acquisition of professional sports franchises, strategic counsel and commercial matters.
Mr. Raij's experience includes leading the team that represented Guggenheim Baseball
Management in the recent acquisition of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the single largest transaction ever for a professional sports franchise
He also represented Rangers Baseball Express in its acquisition of the Texas Rangers. Mr. Raij was appointed by the Commissioner of Major League Baseball to serve on a three-person committee to determine feasibility of developing a new stadium for the Oakland A's in Northern California, represented MLB in the relocation of the Montreal Expos, now the Washington Nationals, to Washington, D.C., and acted as MLB's counsel in its successful efforts to facilitate the negotiation and approval of new stadiums for the Miami Marlins and the Washington Nationals. Mr. Raij also has provided counsel to the Miami Dolphins in their efforts to renovate Sun Life Stadium and has worked with private developers regarding in the creation of stadium development concepts throughout the country.