NEW BUFFETT LINE ADDS BILLS; ERIE COUNTY OK'S LATEST LEASE
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).