Bills' Kim Pegula: Financial outlook for new stadium not promising

Buffalo Bills owner Kim Pegula expressed doubt at the NFL owners meetings this week about the team's ability to build a new stadium to replace New Era Field.

"I don't even know if we can get there," Pegula told The Buffalo News. "I know fans in Buffalo don't want higher ticket prices, they don't want [personal seat licenses]. The state [of New York] doesn't want to give you any money, the city doesn't. ... We don't have a billion-and-a-half dollars sitting around. We used it to buy the team."

Pegula's comments are the latest twist in a years-long discussion about New Era Field, which opened in 1973 and is among the league's oldest venues.

The facility underwent $130 million in renovations in 2014 that were funded in part by public money and planned at a time when then-owner Ralph Wilson was late in his life. The renovations were considered more of a short-term upgrade to help keep the team viable in the region after an ownership change, rather than a full-scale solution for the long term.

When Terry and Kim Pegula bought the Bills for $1.4 billion in 2014, they committed to keeping the Bills in the region and downplayed any immediate need for a new stadium. However, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell continued to publicly express the Bills' need to "stay up" with modern NFL venues.

Goodell said at the NFL's owners meetings in March that Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula were in the "early stages" of planning the future of the stadium, but Kim Pegula stressed to the The Buffalo News this week those discussions might not end in a new stadium being built.

"It may be nothing happens," she said. "It may be we make renovations. It may be that we build a new stadium. But we've got to get the information first."

The Bills' stadium lease with Erie County, New York, expires in 2023. The lease allows the Bills to opt out in 2020, but a team spokesman said in March that will not happen.