The plans for the renovations to Ralph Wilson Stadium are officially public and they look pretty darn good. These renovations are part of the new lease agreement and this should serve as the official bridge that will carry the Bills from The Ralph to a new stadium.
Any new stadium talks are in the very early stages and can’t be taken all the seriously at this point since the main group promoting their plan remains without any backing or support from any outside entity. While that stadium plan is certainly ambitious and should be pursued, it seems like quite a longshot at this point in time.
Based on how the new lease was constructed and some of the comments made by those involved in this process (both with the County and Bills) it would appear that a new stadium is indeed part of the long-term plans for the franchise. For the time being, making sure that The Ralph is habitable for fans is key. Call it putting lipstick on a pig or a band-aid for a gunshot wound, but these renovations are not only necessary and they look good.
The two most visible additions will be the Welcome Plaza on the west end of the stadium and the addition of two videoboards on the east end of the stadium. Additional renovations to the concourses and gates also appear to be part of the gameplan. Continue reading
Don’t get too excited about the pretty picture of the proposed stadium project for the Outer Harbor. Not only is this in the very early stages but the proposal seems to be a pie-in-the-sky plan that probably isn’t a great fit for Western New York.
There are plenty of bits and pieces about this idea that will hopefully become part of an actual new build, but as a project without much backing – and one the Russ Brandon said won’t happen – it is just a pretty picture for now.
To recap the details from The Buffalo News article: The 72,000 seat stadium would be the centerpiece of a $1.4 billion project that would have the stadium serve as a convention center along with a hotel, retail and parking for somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 cars. That was billion, with a B.
Considering the scope of the project, it doesn’t seem all that bad. It puts the stadium downtown along the water, something that fans have been clamoring for a while. In addition, it provides a brand-new home for a team that has been rumored to have one foot out the door due to a number of circumstances – namely their aging relic of a stadium.
However, a 72,000 seat stadium is actually on the high-end of capacities when compared to a number of stadiums around the league and the price tag would most certainly require PSLs and significantly higher tickets costs. The latter two points being widely panned as deal breakers for a financially limited region. Of course, any sort of investment in a new stadium is far more attractive and beneficial (long-term) than wasting another $200 million on upgrades to the Ralph. Continue reading