The team’s current lease with Highmark Stadium runs out in 2023. At the Jim Kelly Celebrity Classic today, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the Bills’ stadium issue and threw cold water on the relocation rumors.
Goodell expressed his support for working out a stadium deal that will ensure the Bills stay in Western New York for the foreseeable future.
“It’s time to get a stadium done that we think can make sure the Bills are here and successful for many, many decades going forward,” Goodell said, via News4Buffalo. “We’re focused on keeping the Bills here in a new stadium in a public, private partnership. That’s what this is all about and that’s where we’re focusing.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at the Jim Kelly celebrity classic: "We're focused on keeping the Bills here in a new stadium in a public, private partnership. That's what this is all about and that's where we're focusing." @news4buffalo pic.twitter.com/BZifUadAEy
— Heather Prusak (@haprusak) August 23, 2021
The original Buffalo News report indicated the Bills were looking for a 100 percent publicly-funded stadium costing over $1 billion. A subsequent report from ESPN’s Seth Wickersham indicated that Austin, Texas could be a possible destination for the Bills if they leave New York.
However, Tim Graham of The Athletic downplayed those assertions in a recent mailbag feature.
“Folks freaked out when reading the initial story that the Bills were demanding 100 percent public investment in a $1.4 billion stadium and a follow-up report the team could move to Austin, Texas,” Graham wrote. “Turns out, the Pegulas aren’t insisting upon a fully subsidized stadium and Austin politicians had no clue the NFL might be interested in moving there. But the scary narrative — “The lie detector determined that was a lie!” — has been established and will take time to quell.”
Right now, it appears relocation is unlikely, as there are too many influential people who want to keep the Bills in Buffalo.