If there’s one thing any statewide politician knows is that if you go to Buffalo, you’d better say you support keeping the Bills in town.
In the Queen City today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo again reiterated support for keeping the Bills in their home. But he also warned that the state faces its own financial difficulties.
“The Bills are very important, not just to western New York, but the entire state,” Cuomo said. “We want to keep the Bills here. I’m looking forward to being part of a cooperative effort to keep them here.”
Cuomo got western New York all excited when he included his budget $84 million to support ongoing economic development initiatives and mentioned “the retention of professional football in western New York.”
Turns out that was just the $3 million that was already due to the team in the last year of a 15-year commitment for stadium improvements.
The team is looking for $100 million to upgrade its aging stadium.
“Obviously, money is tight. We all know that,” Cuomo said. “The taxpayers are not in a position to be shelling out more money and we’re going to great lengths to bring efficiencies to this state budget … But the Bills are important, and I want to be a big part of keeping them here.”
Footnote: The Bills question starts at the 6:30 mark, with a reporter saying “The Buffalo Bills are the only team to play in New York.” To that, Cuomo responds, “And we want it to stay that way.”
It’s an interesting point as the Giants head to the Super Bowl and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wants a Super Bowl parade there if the Giants win, saying yesterday that, “The only thing NY about the Giants is the helmet. That’s it.”