Three NFL franchises have already moved house in just the past five years.
The Rams left St. Louis and returned to Los Angeles in 2016, 22 years after leaving the City of Angels for the first time.
One year later, the Chargers made an interstate transfer from San Diego to Los Angeles.
In 2020, the Oakland Raiders spent close to $2 billion to build a new home stadium in Las Vegas.
Welcome 😎 pic.twitter.com/7yb6TXkB4p
— Allegiant Stadium (@AllegiantStadm) August 15, 2021
These relocations boil down to one reason: money.
The opportunity to bring football to lucrative markets translates to unlimited potential revenues.
After all, it’s still a business, and their loyal fanbase’s sentiment is the least they will consider.
If the city doesn’t want to share the expenses of building a new stadium, franchises threaten to leave.
Unfortunately, a fourth team may join in the future without a deal for a new home.
Buffalo Is Bills Country
They’re still within the state of New York, but the metropolitan areas with the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area are Bills Country.
The Bills called Buffalo home in 1960 when they joined the American Football League.
Back then, they played at War Memorial Stadium, widely known as “The Stockpile.”
The squad did have the ammunition to win consecutive AFL titles in 1964 and 1965.
However, the AFL merged with the NFL, and the Bills joined the latter in 1970.
Three years after the merger, the Bills played at their new home field, which they still use today.
#OTD in 1973 State Supreme Court justice Frank J Kronenberg ruled that the Buffalo Bills must allow Erie County to hang signs in Rich Stadium. The Bills contested that Erie County could name the stadium, but had no rights to signage and called the stadium "The Home of the Bills" pic.twitter.com/3uBHW9UqWI
— ThisDateInBuffaloSportsHistory (@BuffSportsHstry) August 30, 2021
It went through several renovations and names such as Rich Stadium, Ralph Wilson Stadium, New Era Field, and Bills Stadium.
This field was their home during the team’s heyday when they made four consecutive Super Bowl appearances.
But through thick and thin, the Bills Mafia showed unwavering support to their beloved team.
Sadly, that relationship might end as the Bills’ lease on the current stadium will expire in 2023.
It’s not enough for the Bills to have another renovation.
They want a deal for a new stadium, the funds of which will come from both private money and taxes.
Update On The Bills’ New Stadium
The Bills already submitted the proposal for a new stadium at Orchard Park, New York, worth $1.4 billion.
That’s way more than the $22 million used to construct the current stadium in 1973.
Likewise, the new stadium will only have 60,000 seats, less than the roughly 71,000 that Highmark Stadium offers.
Any new @BuffaloBills stadium should have 120,000 seats.
— Kevin O’Neill (@KevinBuffalo) September 1, 2021
The franchise estimates to complete the construction by 2027 should the state of New York and Erie County approve the proposal and agree to the projected 50-50 share of the expenses.
Using public funds to fund such stadiums always spark a contentious debate.
When that happens, the Bills may use the four-year gap between the ending of the current lease and the target completion of the new stadium to relocate the team.
Austin, Texas, is the location that often comes up as their choice for a new home.
However, Bills fans should not waste time getting their voices heard if they want the team to remain in Buffalo.
They must attend public consultations regarding this matter if they still want to tailgate outside an NFL game of their home team.
Rest is not an option until a new deal is in place.
If they don’t do enough, they’ll be in tears once they see their beloved franchise loading the trucks and head to a new location.