For the past few seasons we’ve heard the Buffalo Bills would be in trouble after Ralph Wilson passed away as they would likely be one of the first NFL franchises to relocate, assuming a franchise was to relocate.
But that will not be the case – at least not until the 2020 season as Sun Media is reporting that outside of a small window after the 2019 season, the Bills franchise can not be relocated at any point – even under new ownership.
In an interview Wednesday morning at the conclusion of the NFL annual meeting, the prominent sports-franchise consultant said that whoever should buy the Bills in the wake of Ralph Wilson’s death on Tuesday cannot relocate the team from Western New York at any time over the remaining nine years of their lease agreement, which expires after the 2022 season.
The exception is the brief, well-known period of time following the seventh year of the extension — that is, after the 2019 season.
The general belief was that the Bills had a standing $400 million dollar option that would allow the franchise to leave Buffalo at any point, but that no longer appears to be the case thanks to the relatively new (and extremely quiet) 10-year lease which expires after the 2022 season.