While attending Jim Kelly's annual golf tournament, the NFL commissioner spoke about the Bills' current stadium situation and, in the process, provided a reminder for the franchise: Keep up with modern facilities if you want to remain in Buffalo.
"I think that's one of the things Terry (Pegula) is going through, and trying to see," Goodell said, per ESPN. "What does it take to make sure that the Bills remain here on a successful basis? That's the objective, and I know that's their commitment. We fully support that. We have league funding that's available to help in that kind of circumstance. Stadiums are important, just to making sure that the team can continue to compete, not only throughout the NFL but also compete in this environment. Because we've got great facilities here now and the Bills have to stay up with that."
Ralph Wilson Stadium opened in 1973, but underwent $130 million renovations as recently as 2014. Still, as Goodell alluded to, those renovations only fixed short-term issues and ownership needs to consider long-term solutions.
"Yeah, we talked about that, when the agreement was made with the state," Goodell said. "Is it best to do a big renovation or look to build a new facility and put that money there? Ultimately, those are decisions that are made locally. They're not made by us. We'll support it, through the league funding programs. It's important for them to think long-term also. They got some short-term issues they had to deal with, and they did that."
The Bills' lease with the county currently goes through 2022, according to ESPN. On Monday, Goodell didn't give the Bills a deadline to find a new stadium or issue any ultimatums, but when he was asked if the absence of a better stadium would result in the Bills leaving the area, he didn't really provide a clear answer.
He did, however, stress that their stadium needs to be attractive to generate the revenue required to remain competitive in the NFL.
"I don't know about that. I think the reality is the support of the fans is really the key. The business community is important, also," Goodell said. "But ultimately the stadium, it has to make sure it can attract it -- both of those elements -- and then generate the revenues necessary to be competitive in the league, ultimately.
"I think every team in the league continues to look at, whether it's a new stadium or a renovation or renovations to their stadium -- they just completed a renovation here -- but ultimately long-term, you have to look down that road. What's the right thing for the franchise and the community?"
For the past couple years, most of the NFL's stadium talk has been centered around the Raiders and Chargers. Both of those issues still remain unsolved, so they should continue to generate the most important headlines in the near future.
But, based on Goodell's comments, the conversation will eventually shift to the other side of the country, where the Bills' own issues might be brewing.
Wink of the CBS eye to ESPN