NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (AP/WBEN) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he wants to do everything he can to keep the Buffalo Bills in New York and would consider a new stadium if necessary.
Cuomo told reporters Friday in Niagara Falls after announcing the Rainbow Mall redevelopment that the state and county negotiated a long-term lease with the Bills two years ago and have spent $170 million renovating the existing stadium.
"If we need a new stadium to keep the Bills here long-term, that's something that I'm interested in talking about," he said.
He says he's already had preliminary discussions with the NFL, the Erie County executive and some potential bidders.
The governor says he's mindful of the high cost and says he'd want "as light a burden as it can be" on the county and state finances.
Despite the rennovations, a new stadium could mean a financial boon to the franchise. A new report from the New York Post cites sources that say the Bills can almost double their operating profit with the addition of a new stadium.
As the sales process moves into the second round and bidders are meeting with the trust, more intimate financial information about the team in being reported. The paper says that the Bills posted an operating profit of between $30 million and $40 million last year. A new stadium, the article says, could bring the franchise on par with other National Football League teams by bringing in about $60 million.
The team's trust is beginning to meet with bidders, but there is one group that reportedly will not be involved. The Vancouver Sun reports the owners of the Vancouver Canucks (the Aquilini family) will pass, despite reports they signed the nondisclosure agreement at the start of the sales process.
The Associated Press reported Donald Trump was the first to meet with team officials late last week as the second-round of bidding gets underway.