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The Buffalo Bills‘ long-term future in western New York was secured when Terry and Kim Pegula purchased the franchise following the death of Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson in 2014.

 

Where the team will play its home games – at its current stadium in suburban Orchard Park or at a new downtown Buffalo facility – within the next decade is the question.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell touched on the topic at league meetings in Florida on Wednesday by saying the Pegulas are ”at a very early stage” in assessing their options. Goodell then left the details to be announced by the owners when they are ready to share them with the community.

On Tuesday Robert Golden Color Rush Jersey , Terry Pegula said, ”We talk about that heavily internally, but not publicly,” when asked if the Bills would consider using the opt-out clause in their lease in two years to explore a new stadium site.

The Bills later clarified Pegula’s comment by saying he was referring to long-term stadium plans and adding that the team had no plans to opt out of the lease, which expires in the summer of 2023.

The Bills maintain they are early in their planning process and have not ruled out any option. They’re also aware that time will become an issue in determining whether the next lease negotiations will focus on a long- or short-term agreement.

The questions come down to building a new stadium, either downtown or near the Bills’ existing site; renovating their current home, New Era Field; and how much public money would be spent.

One possibility is pairing a new stadium and Buffalo’s need for a new convention center, which would ease concerns over taxpayer money being spent on a stand-alone sports facility.

A new stadium alone would cost approximately $1 billion.

Staying at New Era Field, which opened in 1973, also wouldn’t come cheap.

A stadium site selection study conducted by AECOM Technical Services in 2014 projected it would cost $540 million for the next series of renovations, including structural improvements and rebuilding the stadium’s third deck. The study based its estimates on what it cost the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs to extensively renovate their facilities over the previous decade.

And that cost is on top of the $130 million in renovations that took place four years ago, and the $18 million the Pegulas are spending on club seat upgrades this year.

The next step would involve the Bills hiring a firm to conduct a feasibility study to identify sites, costs and what best suits a franchise based in one of the NFL’s smallest markets.

The AECOM study was commissioned by New York state – not the Bills – at an uncertain time during the sale process. Concerned that someone out of town would purchase the Bills and consider relocating them, Gov. Andrew Cuomo had the study conducted to provide prospective owners a list of options of what the region had to offer.

The relocation fear ended once the Pegulas, who own the NHL’s Sabres and have established a corporate base in Buffalo http://www.panthersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-dj-moore-jersey , emerged as the front-runners.

The AECOM study can at least still serve as a guide.

Of the three downtown stadium sites identified, one is no longer an option because it has since been developed.

The site that drew the most attention is a large two-block parcel of street-level parking lots located in the city’s emerging Cobblestone entertainment district. The site is located a block east of the Sabres’ arena and within two blocks of HarborCenter, a $200 million hotel and hockey entertainment facility built by the Pegulas, and the headquarters of Pegula Sports and Entertainment.

One person directly involved in discussions three years ago, after the Pegulas purchased the team, told The Associated Press in January that the Bills were focused on building a downtown stadium, and that the Cobblestone site was regarded as ”one of the prime target areas.” The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks were private.

It’s unclear whether those plans have changed.

At the time, the state was tentatively committed to funding the necessary infrastructure upgrades, such as expanding roadways and access ramps from nearby Interstate 190. The site is also close to public transportation. It’s a five-minute drive from the Peace Bridge border crossing into southern Ontario, a few blocks from the Amtrak Rail station, and within about 15,000 parking spaces.

Developer Carl Paladino, who owns a large number of properties in the area, called the Cobblestone site ”the most logical place to put it (a stadium),” in an interview with the AP in January.

Kim Pegula outlined the challenges the Bills faced during an interview with the AP in 2014.

”You only get to build a stadium once http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/authentic-byron-maxwell-jersey , so we just want to make sure we take our time and do the right thing,” she said. ”We just want to make sure that when the time comes that we have done all our homework and have the best stadium that we can for Buffalo.”

The Pegulas have since backed off discussing stadium plans by calling them premature, and added they’re satisfied with the most recent renovations.

Boston playoff star Jayson Tatum and Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue are cousins. The Cavaliers and Celtics might as well be.

The Eastern Conference’s top two teams have been intertwined for more than a year – from a summer blockbuster trade, from opening night, from afar.

Although there were long stretches this season when it seemed at least unlikely, and maybe impossible, that the Celtics and Cavs would reach the conference finals, they’re back again and meeting in the playoffs for the third time in four years.

The series everyone wanted. The one few expected to see.

And yet here they are: the odds-defying Celtics, guided by baby-faced coach Brad Stevens and prospering without injured stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, versus the Cavs, who despite a massive roster makeover in February are rolling as 33-year-old LeBron James enhances his legend with every game.

”There’s been a lot that’s happened throughout the season with us and for them,” Cavs forward Kevin Love said Thursday as Cleveland prepared for Sunday’s series opener in Boston. ”Both teams have raised their level of play and been through it, but are here now and have to lay it all on the line.”

It’s hard to process how much has changed for these teams since they played last May.

Major moves, injuries, upheaval.

After the Cavs beat the Celtics in five games in last year’s conference finals to advance to their third straight NBA Finals http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-kolton-miller-jersey , there were no hints the two franchises would ramp up their rivalry with a trade that caught their entire league, well, off-guard.

The Cavs succumbed to Irving’s trade demand – he was tired of playing in James’ shadow – and sent the All-Star to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, a first-round draft pick, forward Jae Crowder and center Ante Zizic. The 5-foot-9 Thomas had bravely carried the Celtics in the 2017 postseason despite a balky hip and broken heart following his sister’s death in a car crash.

With so many subplots, the league scheduled Boston at Cleveland in the season opener.

However, Irving’s awkward reunion with James was quickly overshadowed by Hayward, Boston’s big free-agent signing, grotesquely breaking his ankle just feet from the horrified Cavs bench. As Hayward left on a stretcher, the Celtics’ season seemed to be riding to the hospital with him.

Boston, though, showed grit and reeled off 16 straight wins before injuries resurfaced. Marcus Smart had thumb surgery and the Celtics lost Irving, who needed more knee surgery and won’t get a crack at dethroning James.

Irving will watch this series from the bench. Thomas is much farther away.

He spent the first two months in Cleveland trying to get healthy, but wasn’t the same when he came back and never connected with his new teammates.

With Thomas a mess and the season slipping away, Cavs general manager Koby Altman traded him on Feb. 8 to the Lakers for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. Altman didn’t stop there Hector Rondon Houston Astros Jersey , dealing Crowder and Derrick Rose to Utah for Rodney Hood, sending Dwyane Wade back to Miami and acquiring point guard George Hill from Sacramento.

Three days after the trade, the new-look Cavs beat the Celtics 121-99 in Boston as Hill, Clarkson and Hood combined for 44 points to the delight of James, who seemed rejuvenated after weeks of moping.

He’s now on a mission as he prepares to face the Celtics for the seventh time in the postseason. James is averaging 34.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 9.0 assists in 11 games in these playoffs, which has included him making two buzzer-beaters, scoring 45 points in Game 7 to oust Indiana and dispatching Toronto with shocking ease.

”LeBron’s on just a ridiculous run of play,” Stevens said. ”We know that it’ll be quite a challenge.”

The Celtics may not have anyone of James’ stature, but they have a complete team that’s clicking. Tatum and Jaylen Brown are two of the game’s rising young stars and Cleveland native Terry Rozier has emerged as a postseason menace, filling in for Irving and quickly winning over Boston fans, who have dubbed him ”Scary Terry.”

Lue knows the Cavs have their hands full.

”They’re well-coached,” Lue said. ”Despite all the circumstances of guys getting hurt with Kyrie out, with Gordon being out for the whole year, they just keep plugging guys in and keep playing. (Boston executive) Danny Ainge has done a good job of getting guys in that fit that mold of Celtics basketball and they’ve been playing well.”

Especially the 20-year-old Tatum. He averaged 23.6 points in Boston’s series win over the Philadelphia 76ers Frank Ragnow Color Rush Jersey , who didn’t do enough to slow him down.

That now falls on Lue, who has known Tatum – or ”Little Jay” as he called him – since he was a kid. They’re related on Lue’s grandfather’s side of the family.

”He’s not scared, he’s not afraid and he’s always been that type of kid,” Lue said. ”He wants these type of moments and he’s taking advantage of it. With Kyrie and Gordon going down and him having a chance to play the minutes he’s been playing, starting and playing in the playoffs the way he has, he’s taken full advantage of it. But he’s never been scared, he’s never been afraid of the big moment. You can see that.”

Six years ago, a 14-year-old Tatum posted a picture of himself, wearing a replica Kobe Bryant jersey, with James on Twitter and asked Cleveland’s superstar to follow him.

Lue smiled when shown a picture of his cousin.

”Now .

Posted in Travel on August 10 at 08:09 AM

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