clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Buffalo Bills Sale Puts Rams Stadium Negotiations In Full View

The Bills were just sold for the most money ever for an NFL franchise. What does that have to do with the Rams?

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Bills were officially sold yesterday to the Pegula family pending league approval.

The story had gained some national traction with the specter of Jon Bon Jovi, he of rock and arena football note, being involved with a group out of Toronto that was, at least, somewhat interested in the possibility of moving the team across the border.

In the end, the team will stay in Buffalo under the Pegulas who already own the Buffalo's Sabres of the NHL. What's the takeaway for the Rams?

For one, the sale comes at a record cost for an NFL franchise at $1.4 billion. Since the boom of NFL ownership changes in the 1990s, the price for franchises has exploded. After the Cowboys, the Patriots are the next most valuable team at an evaluated $2.6 billion according to Forbes. The cost for the Pats to owner Robert Kraft who purchased them back in 1994? $172 million. (In a reminder of how small the NFL world is at the top, Kraft purchased the team outright instead of accepting a $75 million payment to break the Pats' lease at Foxboro...which would have freed then-owner James Orthwein to move them to St. Louis...)

Since then, the values for every team have exploded, Rams included. Moving them to the focal point of this discussion, the Rams are currently the lowest-valued team in the league according to Forbes at $930 million. The team just above them at the next least valuable NFL team? The Buffalo Bills.

A second point of note is that the Bills can now turn their efforts to finding a long-term solution for their stadium situation. They're still a bit behind the point on the timeline the Rams and the city of St. Louis are on, but they're actively working through the assessment phase. There are only 31 NFL stadiums, so maximizing the value and revenue of your home stadium will always be one of the most vital aspects of NFL ownership. Consider the difference between the Edward Jones Dome naming rights deal (worth less than $4m per year) and the MetLife deal in New York (about $16m per year). Stadiums are not just where the teams play...they're often the centerpieces of holdings for the owners.

So while the Rams and St. Louis continue to creep toward a year-to-year lease after the end of this year, keep what happened and what will happen with the Bills in mind.

There's only so many ways for teams to make money...and homes to house them.

(P.S. If the Rams want to squeeze out a bit more revenue, maybe they can convince the NFL to follow MLB who's got their own collection of team-based wines...Rams fans could've used an official team liquor to get through last Sunday...)