Goodell: Bills must "stay up" with stadiums around NFL

Posted at 5:52 PM, Jun 06, 2016

Since Terry and Kim Pegula took over as owners of the Buffalo Bills franchise, there haven’t been many new developments in terms of the team making moves with the intention of building a new stadium. Ralph Wilson Stadium just recently underwent a $130 million renovation, which has brought numerous upgrades to the facilities.

However, it is still one of the oldest stadiums in the National Football League, and when they were initially ratified by the rest of the owners, many came away with the impression that Terry and Kim Pegula had the plan to eventually build a new facility in Western New York.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hasn’t made too many statements since about the Bills stadium situation, but he was asked about it quite a bit on Monday during the 30th annual Jim Kelly Celebrity Classic Golf Tournament. Most notably, Goodell commented on that initial expectation that a new stadium would be in the works.

“Well I think that’s one of the things that Terry’s going through and trying to see,” Goodell said. “What does it take to try to make sure the Bills can remain here on a successful basis? That’s their objective, and I know that’s their commitment. We fully support that, we have league funding that’s available to help in that kind of circumstance. Stadiums are important, just in making sure that the team here can compete not only throughout the NFL, but also compete in this environment. You’ve got great facilities here [in the NFL] now, and the Bills have to stay up with that.”

The last bit is perhaps the most interesting of what the NFL Commissioner initially said. That would imply that the Bills have to keep up with increasing amount of teams that are dumping big money into new stadiums to stay current, in the hopes that they hold venues — and in the league’s eyes — stay competitive.

While Goodell admitted there is no hardline stance as to when a potential new stadium would come about, but, he did stress that it has to be done the right way — a way that benefits all parties involved.

“I like to say, nothing’s a cookie cutter approach here,” said the commissioner about new stadiums around the league. “You have to build a stadium that’s right for the community, so that’s up to the community and Terry to really get focused on. What does it take? What’s the right location? What are the alternatives? What can they do to help generate other economic activity? Those are the difficult decisions that have to be made locally.”

Even with new facilities, Goodell admitted that they need to be viable enough in the home market of Buffalo. A place that fans want to go to and would support the building of, in addition to the business community in and around the area.

“I think the world of Terry and Kim. They’ve made a big difference in the NFL already, Goodell said. They feel strongly about this region, as I do, and I think they’re looking to find the right solutions. They’ll work patiently, but they’ll also find the right long-term solutions ultimately.”

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia