by Pat Freeman
During the past several months the dialogue on why a stadium should be located in downtown Buffalo is truly beginning to gain steam. The subject was asked of me in regards to parking in downtown Buffalo , and if I had a suitable sight in downtown Buffalo ? My answer to that person was beware if you hear in regards to this subject that there is no parking, and there is no suitable sight. The reason I say this is because western New York has been the victim of a multitude of bad decisions over the last 40 years that has led to the problems that hurt us today.
Many years ago it was thought that you would need 100 or more acres for a NFL stadium to meet space, and parking requirements. This trend really reached its apex when the mode was to build suburban or rural stadiums. Now with the influx of technology and the understanding that stadiums must become partners with urban centers that thought has changed drastically. For example the Cleveland now have two arenas, baseball stadium, and a NFL stadium all in downtown Cleveland . Their football stadium doesn’t sit on 100 acres of land space at all but only occupies 31 acres. So let’s ask the questions are their any sites in downtown Buffalo that equal the land space of Cleveland Brown stadium? The answer is (yes)!!
Now let’s examine parking in some NFL cities beginning with our stadium in Orchard Park .
Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park , New York- 12,000 Parking spaces
Gillette Stadium in Foxboro , Massachusetts- 14,000 parking spaces
Both of these stadiums are considered suburban stadium models.
Let’s take a look at some stadiums located in the downtown NFL cities.
Soldier Field in Chicago , Illinois – 8,000 spaces
Georgia Dome in Atlanta , Georgia- 3260 spaces
Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans Louisiana- 5,000 spaces
Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis , Indiana which by the way just hosted the Super Bowl in 2012 has only 3,000 spaces.
So when you hear people say there is no suitable site, and we just don’t have the parking in downtown Buffalo to sustain a NFL game capable stadium share with them this information listed above. The moral of the story is that facts silences the argument, and ends the debate.
The Buffalo Bills began operation AFC East on July 26th. 2012 at 3pm at St John Fisher in Pittsford , New York . Not since the late 90’s have the Bills on paper were considered a pre-season contender based on their pre-season acquisitions, and how they started their 2011 campaign at 5-2. When you examine how the Bills built this team over the last three years you can’t help but to be excited about the chances that finally our beloved Bills have legitimately done enough to contend with our nemesis in the AFC east. The Bills must first examine their poor division record over the last 12 years in which we have gone through multiple seasons by not winning any division games. So this is why I believe they have to first address their futility in the AFC east in order to have any success in the NFL this year. If you examine their schedule the Bills play two out of the first three games against the New York Jets, and the New England Patriots.
The Bills first four games are against AFC conference opponents which means the Bills must start fast again but this year they have to sustain their good start through out the long NFL season. The General Manager for the Buffalo Bills Buddy Nix feels that they have finally added enough talent, and depth to compensate in case of injury. If the injury bug hits the Bills this year they feel they have upgraded their talent level at almost every position where the drop off will not be as great. This is a key component for any NFL team having any chance of success rests with their ability to overcome injury during a long NFL season. During the last five years when a Bills starter was injured the drop off was substantial, and could not hold up for more than a few games of film study. This year management feels they have made enough positive additions that the Bills will move from pretenders to contenders.
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