As the sale of the Bills moves towards a conclusion, possibly by mid July, New York State's second in command is very optimistic about the future of the franchise in Western New York.
Lt. Governor Robert Duffy was a guest on WGR on Monday and said he is somewhat confident the team will stay here.“I always stop short of saying 100% because I really have no idea who is going to buy the team, it has not been determined yet" Duffy said. "But I would say I’m in the 90% to 100 range of the Bills staying in Buffalo and Western New York. I feel pretty confident about that, and that’s just my gut feeling.”
Duffy said while he doesn't know the details of the trust left behind by Ralph Wilson and he believes the mission is to get the most money possible from the sale, he does believe the group overseeing the trust don't want the Bills to leave.
“I’ve heard nothing that had any indication whatsoever that there’s any interest in moving the team elsewhere" Duffy told WGR. "Again, there’s a lot of dynamics in terms of a sale with the estate, but I do believe that’s what I’ve certainly read in their hearts, and I’m very confident that in the end, the right things will be done.”
Duffy did say he spoke last week with Tom Golisano who has confirmed his interest in buying the Bills.
As to the stadium issue, Duffy, who is a member of the new stadium working group, said the state is flexible and is waiting to hear the thoughts of the next owner about the Bills home.
“The Governor’s position is very clear. Ralph Wilson Stadium is a beautiful stadium" Duffy said. "There are millions of dollars being put into that stadium right now. Its probably one of the best stadiums to watch a football game in, anywhere across the country in the NFL. But, if a new owner came in and insisted on a new stadium, then everybody is ready to go to work. Once that is established(a new owner), there’s no doubt the state will be a willing partner and join the local leaders to make sure the Bills stay there."
Duffy added the state is "agnostic" when it comes to a location for a possible new stadium. He also said there are no stipulations that a new stadium must be located in Erie county. The Lt. Governor pegged the cost for a new Bills home at $750 million and up, if you get all the "bells and whistles"
You can hear the entire interview with Duffy: