Skip to comments.Buffalo Bills Owner Ralph Wilson Dies At 95
Posted on 03/25/2014 12:22:01 PM PDT by massmike
The NFL announced Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson died Tuesday. He was 95 years old.
Wilson was the last of the original AFL owners. He founded the Bills in 1959 for the start of the league.
The Bills moved to the NFL when the two leagues merged in 1970.
Wilson was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.
The Bills were AFL Champions in 1964 and 1965, and they won the AFC Championship four years straight from 1990 to 1993 under Wilson. He was the longest tenured NFL owner.
(Excerpt) Read more at nesn.com ...
The passing of Mr. Wilson could lead to the Bills moving to Toronto or Los Angeles.
Rough times for Bills’ fans.
Jim Kelly has said he will fight to keep them in Buffalo. He is a partial owner and this may open door for larger acquisition.
Bills fans have been considering and debating the what will happen from this day forward for the last 15 years.
Unfortunately, Jim Kelly is himself in poor health.
The announcement came as local dignitaries were being shown recent improvements to Ralph Wilson Stadium Somewhat ironic that there have been the constant threats that the franchise would be moved without a new venue built, now with the inevitable taking place we’ll have to see what shakes out RE the Bills’ future in Buffalo.
Buffalo is not a large enough market to support an NFL team and there are many larger markets in the Canada, US and UK that would be more profitable for the team and the NFL.
The won’t move to Toronto because the NFL and CFL have an agreement that would break. And nobody is ever actually going to LA because that gaping hole causes new stadiums to get built. They might move, but not to either of those places. OKC seems the most likely landing spot to me, it’s football country, there’s one major league sports team for the whole state, and they worked hard to get that one and want more.
Yes, a very aggressively occurrence of cancer in the jaw; the prognosis isn’t that great unfortunately. When they broke the announcement about Ralph Wilson on the radio here, many were thinking that Kelly had suddenly succumbed.
Yeah, you mean the same Los Angeles that has lost THREE professional football teams in my lifetime. Sure.
so you really think they will move from Buffalo? I know the NFL has been concerned about keeing teams where they are, after so many teams moved to other cities in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
But, if the NFL wants to tap new markets such as Toronto or London, the Bills are a prime franchise to want to move.
I spent some time in Buffalo in the late 80s, went to a game there....great fans. Hate to see them leave.
The Bills are the only football team in the state of New York. Kind of trumps Oklahoma, doesn’t it?
The Bills are the only football team in the state of New York. Kind of trumps Oklahoma, doesnt it?
Don’t tell the New Jersey Giants and New Jersey Jets......
They might be the only team PHYSICALLY in New York but there are 2 teams that CLAIM New York in their title to the point where we even said the Super Bowl was there even though it wasn’t. So no trumping there, NY has teams according to the NFL.
The NFL wants a team in the LA market but it would not have to necessarily be LA as there are at least a dozen cities in the US that are larger than Buffalo and do not have an NFL team. I would not even be surprised to see the Bills move to London.
But to New York POLITICIANS, the is only one who plays (and pays taxes), in New York State, and they DO have a say.
The only say NY politicians have is using public funds to build a stadium. And with as bad as RJS is it’s a small chunk of the problems the Bills have. Their biggest problem is they’re in a poor city that’s bleeding population, there simply isn’t enough there there to keep a team. They should have moved a long time ago, they stayed because Wilson is loyal, which is commendable, but eventually somebody has to make a business decision.
Buffalo is a small city and only ranks as the 73rd most populous city in the United States.
Lincoln, Nebraska, Henderson Nevada, Toledo, Ohio, Stockton, California and Wichita, Kansas all have populations greater than Buffalo, New York.
I would not even be surprised to see the Henderson Nevada Bills in a few years.
Schumer and Cuomo do not want the Bills to leave on their watch. Not that they care about football, but they don't want the negative publicity. They will open the NY State checkbook if a savvy new owner who knows what he wants, knows how to deal with politicians, and squeezes them appropriately.
I hope Bill’s fans will help keep the team in Buffalo. I will know how they feel if it happens, because my favorite sport team was stolen from its fans. Of course, my favorite team still has an active fan club and we are hoping that the NHL will return our STOLEN Whalers.
They probably don’t have to do much, at least for the next several years. As part of the 2012 lease agreement with the state, the Bills’ new ownership would have to pay a $400 million penalty to move the team through 2020.
I was at the first Bills home game September 18, 1960 against the Denver Broncos.
Ah, Ron Francis, Kevin Dineen et al, had some great battles against my B's. I do miss it too.
IIRC, he bought the Bills for $25,000 in founding the AFL.
No team in the NFL will ever make it to 4 consecutive SuperBowls. That is a record that will never be tied or broken.
It would have been nice if we won at least one of them.
So what drugs are you doing today? He could have sold or moved the Bills for money but didn't. Idiot.
But Green Bay is?
Green Bay is the team for the entire state of Wisconsin and the team is owned by the people of Green Bay. The people of Green Bay will never move the Packers.
The Bills are privately owned and can be sold and moved at any time.
I think the Rams are returning to LA.
They may or Jacksonville may move to LA.
The problem for Buffalo is that it is a 19th century town in a 21st century world.
I've never understood that argument. On game day, everyone in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, and Binghamton all watch the Bills and the 75,000 seat stadium is full.
If all of upstate is watching or attending, how can the market be said to be too small? I understand that's the conventional wisdom, but why is it considered wisdom?
The fact is that any team whose owner dies is liable to be bought by someone in another city if there are none in the hometown. You can't bequeath the team to family members; the inheritance taxes make it uneconomic.
Nonetheless, Erie County [Buffalo] and New York State will now spend great gobs of tax money to keep the team here. Circuses, you know.
The Jets and Giants might play in New Jersey but they are less than 10 miles from mid-town Manhattan. You can see the skyline from the stadium. So yes, they are New York teams as well despite being across the Hudson in New Jersey.
As for Buffalo, never understood how they could support an NFL team but like Green Bay, all the power to them if they can fill the stadium, even if it is rickety. I go there for business every once in a while and it's a pretty nondescript place. Drab run-down hotels, decaying brick buildings and mediocre restaurants. No, I don't like Buffalo Wild Wings that much. Wintertime there is a real drag.
If Houston and LA can lose NFL teams, Buffalo can.
The number of people in the seats does not matter to the NFL, but the number of TV sets does matter.
I find the idea of a team in the UK to be idiotic. They don’t like the sport and the travel would be brutal.
I know that. It is quite a story. My point was that with revenue sharing and salary caps, market size really doesn't mattter.
Would more people watch the NFL in LA if LA had a team? I don't think it makes a difference. It makes a difference to the owners on profit from jersey sales and stadium profits. But TV revenue is a macro thing. The NFL is the top sport on TV. TV revenues drive the league. Owner egos drive things like the Dallas stadium.
Weren't the Whalers playing in a shopping mall ice rink?
BTW I live in NC who stole your Whalers. I love going to the games but they are so expensive. :(
The Jets and the Giants don’t play their home games in the state of New York.
You didn’t steal my Whalers. I’m a Bruins fan. I just miss the rivalry.
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