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Is Buffalo safely out of L.A. relocation mix?

6/13/2011

Buffalo Bills fans were relieved to learn last week stadium developers trying to land an NFL team in Los Angeles have held discussions with five teams not named the Buffalo Bills.

The Bills frequently had been mentioned as a team the Anschutz Entertainment Group would target to relocate. But president and chief executive officer Tim Leiweke said he had spoken with the Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Los Angeles project, estimated to cost $1 billion for a 72,000-seat stadium, will face intensified scrutiny in the coming weeks. Buffalo News reporter Mark Gaughan writes Anscutz Entertainment Group wants the L.A. city council to approve $350 million in bonds by July 31 before committing $45 million of its own funds for an environmental study on the proposed site.

Bills fans will feel even more at ease if the stadium project falls apart. An empty stadium in Los Angeles would create dread in any market the NFL could upgrade.

Gaughan notes: "The Bills were not one of the five mentioned, because owner Ralph Wilson isn't selling. If he died, the Bills would jump to the top of the list."