Although rumors continue to churn about a possible move to Los Angeles, the Buffalo Bills have resumed negotiations for an extended lease on their current Ralph Wilson Stadium home.
According to a story on ProFootballTalk.com, citing the Buffalo News, team officials have begun talking again with Erie County (N.Y.) officials about a multi-season deal. The team is currently operating under a one-year extension through July 31, 2013.
Erie County Administrator Mark Poloncarz told the News that the county, state and team had "substantial talks" Tuesday evening and that discussions are progressing well.
"It's a complicated deal," Poloncarz said. "I like the position we're in, but we're not there yet."
One of the biggest elements of the proposed extension is $200 million in public funding that the team is seeking for improvements to its current home. In exchange for the improvements, the team would likely have to agree to a long-term commitment to remain in Buffalo.
"It all comes down to we want to ensure this team's here for a significant time period," Poloncarz said. "So if we're going to invest public dollars to renovate Ralph Wilson Stadium and assist the Bills with operating assistance as we have in the past, then we also want to ensure they're there for some period."
According to PFT, government officials are insisting on a binding agreement that would keep the team in Buffalo even if it is sold to new owners, particularly since team patriarch Ralph Wilson is 94 years old.
Another thing on the Bills' plate is whether to extend its practice of playing at least one regular season game each season in Toronto, as it did this past Sunday. The current agreement ended with Sunday's loss, but talks have already begun to extend the series. While the current agreement brought the team nearly $80 million over its five-year length, numerous Bills players have publicly chastised the team and asked that the series be ended for lack of support from Toronto-area fans.