Bills owners Kim and Terry Pegula confirmed that everything is still on the table with respect to stadium plans, be it a renovation of New Era Field or a brand-new venue, but making a decision on which direction to go will take time and be tied in part to their private feasibility study.
“It’s a private assessment that we’ve got CAA and IKON working on,” said Kim Pegula. “We’ve received a tremendous response from people on what they’re looking for. We’re talking with our corporate sponsors and of course talking to our fans. That study is still in its early phases. It’s going to take a while. It’s our own study and I’m sure there are going to be others and there will be more hands in that jar to work on a plan. I’m looking forward to seeing what they have, but we are at least taking those steps as early as they are.”
The study is largely a market study designed to help ascertain what kind of stadium project Buffalo as a municipality could support. Populous, a familiar league partner with stadium plans, is also part of the study. Terry Pegula said the conclusions from the study would not be done until the end of the summer.
“We’re open to any option and we’ll see what the market study says,” he said. “I think the league more or less wants to see something done, one way or the other. We’re one of the smaller markets and any way we can increase our revenue, we’re for it.”
While the Pegulas were resigned to waiting for the results of the feasibility study before speculating on what could happen, when Terry Pegula was asked if he thought the Western New York market could financially support a new stadium he offered the following response.
“I think the answer is probably a scaled down version of the palaces being built around the country,” he said. “The thing that Stan (Kroenke) is building in L.A. is amazing. Jerry Jones facility in Dallas. We need to do something that is Buffalo style, but we’ll see what the market research says.”
Beane and McDermott a great duo
One thing the Pegulas were more than happy to discuss was their satisfaction with the work GM Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott have done in their first two years together as a front office pairing.
“What I will say about Brandon and Sean is they’re very engaged with Terry and me,” said Kim Pegula. “As much time as I spend on the business side, Brandon and Sean work together so well. I think that really helps in the long run.
“These guys work,” said Terry Pegula of Beane and McDermott. “They’re smart. They put the time in and we talk a lot. There’s such good communication between all three of us and Kim. It’s fun to be there and working with those guys. If they can communicate with me, I know they can communicate with the players and the staff. There’s a good vibe over there.”
Encouraged by the team build
The Pegulas knew the first two years of the rebuilding plan under the Bills front office was going to be tough from the start. But now that the club is out from under the burden of dead cap money and has been able to spend a bit more freely in free agency, ownership sounds encouraged by the course the team build has taken.
“We’ve been very happy with the foundation that they’re building,” Kim Pegula said. “We’re not a finished product by any measure and we have a bunch of young players and new players. Every year is different, but we’re very happy with the direction and foundation that Sean and Brandon have laid out.”
Terry Pegula is particularly buoyed by the fact that the team now has two young stalwarts leading the offensive and defensive units respectively.
“One thing we’ve seen from Josh Allen… everybody knows he’s got an arm. What impressed me with him was how the team gravitated to him and he became the leader,” said Terry Pegula. “He’s a hard worker and he’s a heck of an athlete. So we’ll see what he can do this season, but I can tell you one thing, he’s going to be a good leader.
“We’ve got another young piece on defense in Tremaine (Edmunds). So we’re developing a good solid foundation for the football team. We’ve got 10 draft picks this year, so we’ll see what happens.”