Buffalo Bills commit to staying in New York, for now - New York News

Buffalo Bills commit to staying in New York, for now

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs a deal keeping the Bills in the Buffalo area for at least the next seven years. (Photo courtesy governor's office) Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs a deal keeping the Bills in the Buffalo area for at least the next seven years. (Photo courtesy governor's office)
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The Buffalo Bills will continue playing football in western New York for at least the next seven years and may eventually get a new stadium after reaching a deal with state and county officials.

Under the deal, the Bills are legally committed to staying put for at least seven years, even if the team is sold, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday.

The team will also enter into a new, 10-year lease at Ralph Wilson Stadium, which will undergo renovations and improvements to the tune of at least $130 million, the governor said.

The Bills will pony up $35 million, the state will contribute $54 million, and Erie County will shell out $41 million to upgrade the aging stadium with new video screens, a new plaza, a new store, better gates, and renovated concessions.

Cuomo and the county have also agreed to form a working group and fund to look at feasibility of building a new sports complex in the region for the long term.

"The Buffalo Bills are a central part of the cultural, economic, and of the entire Western part of New York State, and the state has never wavered in our commitment to keeping the Bills a thriving part of the Buffalo community," Cuomo said in a statement. "With a fan-base as diverse, passionate, and energetic as any professional sports team in the nation, the Buffalo Bills account for hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact as well as hundreds of jobs in Western New York, and today is a major victory for our entire state."

The NFL will need to sign off on the stadium lease and other agreements, and the state and county legislatures have to approve funding for the stadium upgrades.

The Bills are 5-9 with two games left to play this season.

Ralph Wilson Stadium, named for the team's owner and located in Orchard Park, a suburb of Buffalo, has been their home since 1973.

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