Even winners pay to play

After years of an inferior product on the field, New York state is handing over some $124 million for upgrades to the Buffalo Bills’ Ralph Wilson Stadium. Earlier this spring, the Empire Center for New York State Policy sounded off about the plan in a commentary in the Times Union of Albany.

In the article, it notes the Bills are one of the 10 most profitable teams in the NFL. It also notes that other teams – just as popular in their region – could not muster voter support for taxpayers to help subsidize their deals.

“On the other hand, at least five NFL teams have built their own stadiums – including the New England Patriots,” the commentary noted April 2. “The Pats are at least as beloved in their region as the Bills are in western New York, but they couldn’t squeeze a stadium subsidy out of Massachusetts. Nor could the even more beloved Boston Red Sox, whose owners are reaping big profits from a privately financed renovation of Fenway.”

Bills’ fans are always looking for a sign the team will be in Western New York forever. Not even $124 million over 10 years can guarantee that, which leaves many Buffalo fans with a familiar feeling – hopelessness.