SBD/March 22, 2013/Facilities

Bills' New Lease Deal With New York Includes Suite Access For State Officials

The Bills' new Ralph Wilson Stadium lease agreement will include a requirement that the state of New York have "access to a 16-person suite" at all home games for its "I Love New York Hospitality Center," according to Denise Jewell Gee of the BUFFALO NEWS. The state also will "be able to use Bills logos and trademarks for its 'I Love New York' campaign and to promote Western New York and the state." Both are part of a 10-year stadium deal that "moved a step toward completion Thursday as the Erie County Legislature unanimously approved the final lease documents" and authorized the county to borrow $40.7M for its share of the stadium renovations. The deal calls for $130M in stadium upgrades "split among the state, county and the team." The team will provide $35.5M for the stadium renovation, and "will pay for a portion of the annual stadium upgrades through rent payments." The suite will give New York state officials, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, "a new place to schmooze executives and other bigwigs as they try to lure them to the region." State officials said that the idea is to "have a place where state agencies can host out-of-town executives who might be considering moving a company to Erie County or to hold events to promote the region" (BUFFALO NEWS, 3/22).
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