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Buffalo Bills' lease should be fail-safe, says county

If the Buffalo Bills are to remain in Erie County, area officials want to make sure the next lease agreement would make it very hard for them to leave.

The Buffalo News reported Sunday that Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz is pushing for protection for county and state taxpayers to ensure the Bills can't relocate if the state and local governments invest up to $200 million in Ralph Wilson Stadium renovations and upgrades.

The county's best bet could be including a heavy financial penalty for breaking the lease, though even that wouldn't fully protect them.

"That's all part of the negotiations," Poloncarz said. "I want to ensure that we have a lease that keeps the Bills here for many years to come."

The current lease is scheduled to run out in July 31, 2013. Poloncarz has said he hopes to have the lease deal signed by the end of this year. It's anticipated that any agreement would be for 10 to 15 years.

One interesting note in this: The county is studying other NFL lease agreements as a road map and has focused on the Jacksonville Jaguars' reportedly ironclad lease for EverBank Field. The one Jaguars fan in downtown Los Angeles nods grimly.

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