All over the internet I’ve been seeing comments that a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills should be a domed facility. Being a person that has recently finished his Masters in public relations I can tell you that is going to be almost impossible to get done.
In the field of public relations an idea has to be sold, especially when it involves politics. So, in order for the idea come to fruition and be successful it has to appeal to everyone. The thing is with a domed facility there is going to be one segment that will fight back hard and will have serious consequences.
What many people are forgetting is that Western New York isn’t an area where the majority of people are young families or individuals. The fact of the matter is WNY is a place that is predominantly ruled by aging couples that live on fixed budgets as the majority of young people flee the area in search for a job.
So, what does that mean?
You first need to go back and look at the cost of recently built National Football League domed stadiums. The Minnesota Vikings is projected $976 million, Dallas Cowboys cost $1.3 billion and the San Francisco 49ers cost $1.3 billion. In each of these tax payers had to pay more than $300 million with the city of Santa Clara paying $850 million for a new stadium.
So, the question is will the older community be willing to see their taxes go up to pay for a stadium?
For the most part no, but there is one way taxes can go up that most of the community won’t mind at all and that is sales tax. The reason is a sales tax doesn’t just hit home owners or a certain segment of the community. It affects everyone; even the tourists and Canadian Bills fans that cross the border to come to the games.
The real problem isn’t going to be taxes folks it’s going to be the courts.
This past decade saw to major lawsuits that held up one project for years and completely killed another in the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino and the center that that Verizon wanted to build in Lockport. So, what do you think is going to happen if someone doesn’t like that a new stadium is going to be built nearby?
What’s going to happen is that they will sue and hold the project up. This already happened with the 49ers as the initial plan for a new stadium was proposed in 2006 and will finally be open for the upcoming 2014 NFL season. That’s a total of eight years from beginning to finish.
According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Bills current lease has a onetime opt out clause in 2020 to void the last three years of the contract for $28.4 million. So, there isn’t enough time to build a brand new stadium somewhere else.
In the end, the only real option is to build a new stadium where the team currently plays on the parking lot adjacent to it. This not only will save time, but money as well.