SBD/June 6, 2014/Franchises

Golisano Confirms Bills Interest, But Critical Of Ralph Wilson Stadium Upgrades

Golisano guessed that a new Bills stadium would be covered in some form
Former Sabres Owner Tom Golisano on Thursday confirmed interest in purchasing the Bills and said that he will "keep them in Western New York if his bid is successful," according to Brent Axe of the Syracuse POST-STANDARD. However, Golisano was "critical of the team" for undergoing a $130M renovation on Ralph Wilson Stadium "when a new stadium may be needed to keep the team in Buffalo." He said, "Do I feel it has to be me? No, I'm not possessed about owning the Buffalo Bills, just as I wasn't possessed about owning the Buffalo Sabres. They were in danger of leaving, too. In fact they were a lot closer to leaving than the Bills are. I got involved then because I wanted to keep that entity in western New York, and I want to keep the Buffalo Bills in western New York." Axe notes Golisano "alluded to government support for that new stadium if and when it happens." Golisano: "My guess and it's strictly a guess, is the stadium will be covered. I don't know if it'll have a sliding roof or just a permanent roof, but my guess is it will be covered. And the state government, our governor and some of our U.S. senators are very much in favor of this happening" (Syracuse POST-STANDARD, 6/6). In Rochester, Justin Murphy writes it "was evident" from Golisano's remarks that he has been "involved in the behind-the-scenes process" with the NFL and the trust that is currently in charge of the Bills. Golisano said that he has been "waiting for financial information on the team to be released in a few weeks before making any decisions." He added that some of the "price tags for recent pro-sports franchises," including $2B for the Clippers, "'seem absurd' and are beyond what he'd be willing to pay" (ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, 6/6).
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