Dustyn’s Digest: read if your time is limited
Buffalo will always be known for its famous chicken wings and professional sports teams. Recently, fans thought Buffalo was losing their NFL franchise, because of a reported threat by Terry and Kim Pegula to relocate the team. However, a quarterback who is all in, an enjoyable city, and a loyal fan base make it hard for momentum to swing in favor of a move. Officials involved in negotiations have discounted the reports and reportedly narrowed down two locations for the new stadium, both in Erie County.
The city of Buffalo has a long, comprehensive history of strong fan bases that support their professional sports teams, especially the Buffalo Bills (NFL) and the Buffalo Sabres (NHL,) but Bills fans were recently forced to hit the panic button. on Aug. 1, multiple news outlets reported Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula threatened to move the team to Austin, Texas if they could not convince Erie County taxpayers to fully fund a new stadium. Discover716 took a deep dive to determine the momentum the move has as we launch into the preseason
Before even running the momentum test, the merit of the original report must be assessed first. For the claim to gain momentum the claim must first be found truthful. What is the best way to weigh the truthfulness of a claim? The answer is simple, listen to people with firsthand knowledge. One of those people is Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, and he recently appeared on WGR550 to discuss the report. “There has never been a threat by the Pegula family to move the bills to Austin, or anywhere else,” he said. “The gun has not been put to the county of Erie or state of New York.” Now, we can examine the momentum outside of the report, by having a test to make the best determination.
The momentum test is specifically based on the fan base. history and recent happenings surrounding the crew at 1 Bills Drive in Orchard Park, and the move to Austin failed the momentum test miserably. According to ESPN's Marcel Louis-Jacques, the fourth-year quarterback woke up to a call at approximately 3:45 AM from his agent alerting him the final deal was almost done, and negotiations did not gain momentum until 10 PM. For Allen, the biggest thing was locking up a deal to benefit all involved. At a press conference following last Friday's practice, he said "I think the way that we structured the deal was obviously a chance for both sides to get a fair deal and feel like they won," Allen said. "To be here for eight more years and allow us to kind of move some things around to keep some pieces here -- I'm not egotistical in how the money is put out or where it needs to be or how much it is. I want to win. Whatever it takes for us to win is what I'm willing to do."
Without question, Allen was all-in after the signing, the 258-million-dollar quarterback was seen playing catch with fans in the lower bowl of the stadium. With Allen and company at the face of the franchise, fans have grown closer to the franchise than ever before.
Last season, the newfound powerhouse of the AFC East marched their way to the conference championship and fell to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. After the loss, and even throughout the playoffs, Buffalo showed why they were "The City of Good Neighbors" and flocked to greet the team's plane at the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport. Fast forward to ongoing preseason festivities, a total of just over 33,000 fans have attended Buffalo's first two open practices, and the crowd will only get bigger and louder.
Bills fans around the globe have expressed love and loyalty to "Bills Mafia" since the team's founding, but especially since the squad had for consecutive Super Bowl runs between 1990 and 1994. Players both past and present, continue to express the greatness the city brings and the loyalty of the fan base. There is no guarantees you will find any of these attributes anywhere else, and the players would need to buy in to a move. Momentum certainly does not seem to be present, and it clearly appears either an existing parking lot located on Abbott Road near the stadium, or Erie County Community College South, which is expected to eventually close will become the home of the Bills.