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NEW BUFFETT LINE ADDS BILLS; ERIE COUNTY OK'S LATEST LEASE
Published July 17, 1998
The Bills "are adding another heavy hitter to their sales team hawking luxury boxes and club seats" in billionaire investor Warren Buffett, according to Gene Warner of the BUFFALO NEWS. Bills Owner Ralph Wilson and NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said Wednesday that Buffett will attend a September 9 reception in Buffalo as part of the Bills' push to sell $11M in luxury suites to keep the team in Buffalo at least six more years. The Bills also announced that they've sold 95 luxury boxes and $6.3M worth of boxes and club seats, or about 57% of their goal for the '99 season. The team also unveiled a new concept for the sale of premium seats under which regional clubs like the Rochester Club and the Toronto Club "will allow business people from the same hometown to sit together and network with each other in club seats or suites." The September 9 reception will be an event for roughly 500 suite holders and prospective customers, with Buffett making a short speech and then answering questions (BUFFALO NEWS, 7/16). ERIE NEWS: The Erie County legislature OK'd the Bills' proposed lease at Rich Stadium, a "major hurdle." The team will receive all revenues from the facility as well as an exemption from paying operating or game-day expenses. The team will also get $3M annual grant from NY as "working capital." County Exec Dennis Gorski "expressed confidence" the Bills will meet their goal of selling $11M in luxury seats, but he noted that the lease also allows a "a figure satisfactory" to the team. Gorski: "The [$11M] threshold is a figure that is arbitrary" (BUFFALO NEWS, 7/17).