By Tim Graham
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is bringing in a veteran sports attorney to help him protect the Buffalo Bills as a local institution.
Irwin Raij, a partner with Foley and Lardner LLP in Washington D.C., has an impressive Major League Baseball resume that shows he knows sports leagues and stadiums. He will advise Cuomo's office on efforts to keep the Bills in Western New York.
"I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to collaborate closely with the State of New York on an issue that carries both emotional and economic implications among many residents," Raij said in a statement released by Cuomo's office. "Throughout this process, I plan to leverage my and the firm's collective experience on these complex and evolving issues in order to find a solution that helps keep the Bills in Buffalo."
He represented Major League Baseball in its relocation of the Montreal Expos and the building of a D.C. stadium. Commissioner Bud Selig appointed him to a committee that researched the feasibility of a new Oakland A's stadium.
Raij also represented Magic Johnson's group (Guggenheim Baseball Management) that recently purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers and Nolan Ryan's group (Rangers Baseball Express) when it bought the Texas Rangers.
Raij does have some NFL experience. He advises the Miami Dolphins on development in and around SunLife Stadium.
He also was co-counsel for the Gore/Lieberman presidential campaign and served as an attorney for the White House Office of Counsel to the President and associate counsel in the White House Office of Counsel to the Vice President.