New York Taxpayers Set To Pay Bills For Stadium

Even with the NFL in lockout mode, the taxpayers in Erie County, N.Y., still have to keep paying the Buffalo Bills for their stadium expenses even if that stadium doesn’t host a game this season. The Bills are set to receive $640,000 from the county on May 1, part of a quarterly payment the team — as the stadium tenant — receives for upkeep and game-day expenses.

The Buffalo News shined a light on the payments, which total $4.01 million for the current fiscal year. Bills team treasurer Jeffrey C. Littman told the Buffalo News that the team will not charge the county for game-day expenses if the lockout forces a cancellation of the 2011 season but the team expects payment from the county for the day-to-day stadium costs that are written into the lease agreement which total about $2.5 million, 62% of the yearly commitment. The payments could foreshadow financial problems for NFL teams and their partners — as well as a major public relations issue for the league — if the lockout extends into August, when preseason games are scheduled to begin.

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