Gov. Andrew Cuomo got a late holiday present from Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy at a cabinet meeting today: a Buffalo Bills helmet.
The state announced a 10-year lease agreement on Dec. 21 to keep the NFL team in western New York. Cuomo was expected to attend the announcement in Buffalo, but couldn’t get there because of poor weather.
The state and Erie County are expected to kick in $226 million as part of the deal, with the Bills picking up $44 million in stadium renovations and capital costs. The state’s contribution will total $123 million, and Erie County will pay $103 million.
Cuomo and Duffy, the former Rochester mayor, hailed the agreement today, saying it was critical to keep the team in town. Duffy said Cuomo’s “completion percentage is the envy of any NFL quarterback in terms of what he has done over the last two years.”
Cuomo was excited about the gift, saying “That’s the real deal. That’s a beauty.”
And he joked the helmet “will help with legislative relations.”