The Bills and Erie County agreed in principle Wednesday to a one-year lease extension that would allow the team to keep playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium next season, the Associated Press reports.
County executive Mark Poloncarz announced the agreement after Bills CEO Russ Brandon raised concerns about the lack of progress in negotiations to reach a long-term deal, and with the current lease set to expire July 31. Poloncarz said the agreement was reached after several discussions with team officials, including a conversation with Brandon on Monday.
“Nobody wants to have a gun at their heads thinking if we don’t get it done by the end of the season then what’s going to happen,” Poloncarz said. “By doing an extension, it guarantees the Bills are here for the full 2013 season, and it gives us ample time during the next 18 months or so to continue these negotiations.”
Poloncarz said the state is also on board with a one-year extension, and expects a formal deal to be signed “fairly quick.”
The announcement came after Brandon went public by informing The Buffalo News that negotiations had stalled in a story published Wednesday morning. Brandon then repeated his concerns in an interview with The Associated Press.