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Escalating costs, diminishing returns

  I'm a long-suffering Bills fan, too. I want to see the team do well and make us proud.

   But in the interests of full public disclosure, I don't have a problem reminding folks in Erie County how much they pay for this NFL franchise.

   The Bills game-day and operating expenses -- reimbursed by the taxpayers -- will go up next year, even though the Bills play fewer games right here in Erie County. Then there's expensive stadium upgrades and the game-day wages for sheriff's deputies.

   It looks like that in 2009, for the first time, the hometown taxpayer contribution will average more than $900,000 a game.

   This team is important to us, right? The taxpayer investment is worth it, right?

   The Bills generate all kinds of sales taxes and economic benefits. And our collective pscyhe will be forever bruised if the Bills leave town.

   I see that. But you know what would be nice? A playoff game.

   Right here.

   What do you think?

   -- Matthew Spina



The Bills
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