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Cuomo Administration Hires Attorney to Assist with Ownership, Stadium Deals

May 1st, 2014 at 5:17 PM
By Richard N. Wade II

The Buffalo Bills have gone through quite the offseason so far. Owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. passed away on March 25. Hall of Fame quarterback and Bills legend Jim Kelly had a reoccurrence of his jaw cancer. Despite the grim happenings revolving around the Bills, one thing is for sure: They won't be leaving Buffalo anytime in the near future.

'Ralph Wilson Stadium' photo (c) 2010, mark.watmough - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Cuomo Administration has hired Irwin Raij and his firm, Foley & Lardner to represent the state in high-stake talks about the Bills. Raij was a key participant in the negotiations that helped develop the Bills current lease deal that runs through 2023. His firm will represent the state in upcoming talks revolving around the sale of the Buffalo Bills

The funding for the Foley & Lardner contract, for three years and $350,000, will come from The Empire State Development Corporation, which is the governor's economic development agency. The contract was approved in mid-April.

Foley & Lardner will represent the state in talks with the Bills and/or its new owners over what steps can be taken to retain the team, including possibly a new stadium, for longer than the deal announced last spring.

"I think it's unknown because we don't know who the owner is going to be, so you always want to know what the other party will want," Raij said.

In addition to the hiring of The Foley & Lardner firm, the Cuomo Administration also intends on hiring a consultant that will have 90 days to put together a package that could be presented to future Bills owners for options on different locations on a potential new stadium in the region.

Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Bills, Football, NFL

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