To Danny White, Russell Brandon, Tim Kennedy, and the New Stadium Working Group,
As the people who make decisions for the Buffalo Bills, the Buffalo Bulls, and New York State the lot of you need to sit down for lunch, and you need to do it sometime very soon.
This week the Associated Press ran a piece about future stadium sites for the Buffalo Bills. To me the most interesting part of the article was the concept of a shared field house on UB's campus along side the offices for Buffalo's NFL franchise.
Another idea is having the Bills relocate their headquarters to the University at Buffalo campus in the Erie County town of Amherst, where a new practice facility would be built and shared with the school's football team. That proposal would satisfy a long-term need for a Mid-American Conference program seeking to broaden its profile. -- J Wawrow, AP
UB Athletics has told Bull Run that to date there has been no contact between the stadium working group and the schools athletic department. This leads me to believe that the only truth to the AP story is that the idea was thrown up behind closed doors at a meeting of the stadium group.
It's an idea which would help both sides on the infrastructure issue and could help grease the skids on future monies needed for a new stadium. Not only would a stadium "kill two birds with one stone", it would allow Senator Kennedy to be the man who helps keep the Buffalo Bills offices in Erie County.
Despite the protestations of people who will say New York does not have the money for this project we all know the money is there when the will is there. Heck the Governor and a county executive were primed to hand hundreds of millions over for a retractable roof domes stadium in Syracuse. The excuse was "It's for the city" but in reality it was a check for a private school who wants out of their current domed stadium.
UB, on the other hand is not a private school. We are New York's largest state university and the only school in the system who plays football in the Bowl subdivision. UB is also a huge economic driver for the Buffalo Niagara region.
While the Syracuse deal was being proposed in Albany and Syracuse, The University at Buffalo was hard at work promoting their new facilities road map which includes a field house. What we need now is for the political strength of a New York State senator and the Stadium Working group to get behind the project.
While many people will see this idea is far fetched it is not without precedent. In Buffalo people are used to the idea of their NFL teams offices being located right with their stadium but for many NFL teams the teams offices and practice facilities are located miles away from the venue that host them on Sundays. Among those teams are the Vikings, Browns, 49ers, and Colts.
NFL players tend to live in suburbs and the northern Buffalo suburbs have both wealth, location, and most importantly the infrastructure to make it the perfect location for the Buffalo Bills offices. While the idea itself is sure more complicated than it sounds there is absolutely no reason why this option should not be explored in more detail by all involved parties.
We kindly request that one of you take the initiative and set up a meeting where all parties can explore this option in some detail.
Tim Riordan - Managing Editor, Bull Run
Matt Gritzmacher - Editor, Bull Run
J. David Brand - UB Athletics Alumni and Editor, Bull Run
Saurabh 'Calvin' Mittra - UB Grad School Alumni and Writer, Bull Run