Every few months, there’s a new rumor about the next owner of the Buffalo Bills. Of course, that’s not surprising given Ralph Wilson is 93 years old, making him the oldest owner in the NFL.
Jim Kelly’s alleged ownership group is one of the favorite topics of speculation. We reported that Kelly had former Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillett
in town for a Bills game last year. Beyond that, it’s been unclear who, exactly, Kelly may partner up with to buy the Bills. Since the team will almost certainly cost close to $1 billion, he’ll need considerable financial backers if he has any hope of landing the franchise.
Well, Ed Kilgore, longtime WGRZ sports reporter, has a post on WGRZ.com
about the future ownership of the Bills. And it contains some remarkable claims.
Kilgore reports that not only are there a number of groups working behind the scenes to be ready to buy the Bills when Wilson eventually dies, but they are already contemplating new stadium options. And, Kilgore claims, these groups are considering privately financing a new stadium. From Kilgore’s post:
These would be owners feel the future of the Bills is almost entirely dependant on the eventual construction of a new stadium either in downtown Buffalo or more towards Niagara Falls and Canada. Not only that, these people would be willing to finance most of the cost of a new stadium privately. I’ll believe that when I see it, because I’m skeptical too, but people I respect insist this is true.
Skepticism about this claim is warranted. Keep in mind, the average public subsidy in the cost of building new NFL stadiums is about 65%. Put another way, taxpayers have paid 65 cents on every dollar
for every new stadium built in the NFL.
The notion that a new Bills ownership group would privately finance a new stadium in downtown Buffalo or Niagara Falls – or anywhere, for that matter – is fairly laughable. So don’t get your hopes up based on Kilgore’s post.