The Buffalo Bills, New York state and Erie County officials all signed off on a 10-year lease agreement Friday, ensuring the team stays in western New York while committing $130 million in upgrades to the aging Ralph Wilson Stadium.
In addition, the team and state officials will form a committee to study the possibility of building new stadium “in the next decade or so,” according to Bills CEO Russ Brandon.
“We are committed to this region,” Brandon said.
The 10-year agreement runs through 2023. The Bills would be forced to pay $400 million if the team is relocated before then, except for after the seventh year, when the team would have a one-time-only option to buy out the remainder of the lease for $28 million.
“This is an exciting agreement,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “The agreement basically commits the Bills to staying at Ralph Wilson Stadium for another seven years.”
The deal came together Friday after months of negotiations between the team and both state and county officials, as well as the National Football League’s front office. Cuomo had met at least twice with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and helped broker the agreement.
The full lease agreement will be finalized in the coming weeks. Via the official press release, here’s what we know it will include: