SBD/June 25, 2014/Facilities

Gov. Cuomo Not Convinced About Need For New Bills Stadium In Western New York

About $90M of public money is fueling $130M worth of improvements to the Ralph
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday said he is “not convinced" of the need for a new stadium once the Bills are sold, according to a front-page piece by Robert McCarthy of the BUFFALO NEWS. Cuomo also dismissed Donald Trump’s "claim that only he among prospective bidders for the team is committed to keeping it in Western New York." Cuomo said, "The state would do its part; the county would do its part, but only if you really need a new stadium, which, frankly, I am not convinced of. It would be more a function of what the new buyer and the NFL say is the condition to keep it here. We have to see how it develops down the road.” McCarthy notes Cuomo has "tempered his views on financing a new stadium in recent weeks, especially" as $90M of public money fuels $130M worth of "new improvements to Ralph Wilson Stadium." Cuomo called stadiums "expensive creatures." McCarthy notes Cuomo also discussed the "current expenditures of state and county money" for Ralph Wilson Stadium. Cuomo said it is "still expensive" even if both public and private interests contribute funds for the project. Nevertheless, he "pointed to the state’s participation in a New Stadium Working Group exploring the concept of a new facility, as well as possible sites, and did not dismiss the idea of state participation under the right conditions." Meanwhile, Cuomo "essentially denied the substance of Trump’s Tuesday tweet claiming that all others are not committed to retaining the team in Buffalo." Cuomo: “I know, at this point, a number of bidders who are seriously considering going forward who are committed to keeping the team in Western New York" (BUFFALO NEWS, 6/25).
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