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Bills lease negotiations continue with state and county leaders

ralph wilson stadium.jpg
File photo

Talks are still underway over the proposed renovations of Erie County's football stadium in Orchard Park.

In a visit to Buffalo Wednesday, Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy said Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Bills, and Erie County are talking, but an agreement made in the beginning of talks precludes him from saying much.

Duffy says the negotiators have agreed to talk behind closed doors.

"We are not in agreement yet, but we are working, and when we have any progress and we want to state anything, we're going to do it collectively as a team," said Duffy. "We will not negotiate in public. We will negotiate in good faith face to face, which we are doing."

Duffy says Cuomo has made it a priority to keep the Bills here as long as possible, and that requires a new lease for the stadium.

The team is looking for around $200 million in renovations on the 40-year-old facility. Duffy says the goal is to create a better stadium and continue the presence of an NFL football team in Western New York.

Duffy says if the talks require visiting team owner Ralph Wilson in his Detroit home, that will happen. He says when the sides have something to say publicly, they will.


Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.