Buffalo Bills agree to lease for Ralph Wilson Stadium

  • By Gregg Rosenthal
  • Updated: Dec. 21, 2012 at 10:36 a.m.

Buffalo Bills fans haven't had enough to cheer about over the last decade, but we have great news for them this morning: The team is staying in Buffalo.

The Associated Press and Buffalo News confirm that the team has reached an agreement with the state on a 10-year lease deal for Ralph Wilson Stadium. The news will officially be announced a press conference Friday morning.

The Buffalo News reports there is a prohibitive relocation penalty built into the agreement. The franchise would have to pay $400 million if they leave during the lease with one exception. The penalty would only be $29 million in year seven of the lease.

That will quiet any talks about the franchise leaving until at least close to 2020. There will also be $130 million in the agreement set aside for renovating Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Bills will pay $35 million out of the sum, with the state and Eric County sharing the rest.

With the Los Angeles market still open and the Bills' foray into Toronto having mixed results at best, this news should quell any anxiety from Bills fans that the franchise is leaving town. Buffalo has one of the most knowledgable, passionate fan bases in the NFL. They deserve a team. Now they just need a winner again.