Russ Brandon on Ticket Sales, Stadium Upgrades

1:49 PM, Mar 20, 2012   |    comments
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Mario Williams in Buffalo to visit with Bills management

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y.- From the moment he got of the plane, If not before, It was clear Bills fans wanted Mario Williams.

Now that the defensive end is officially here, he's been a big draw for 1 Bills Drive.

"We've had over 1,400 new season ticket holders sign up, and we've renewed over 4,000 season ticket holders over the last two days, so it's been very active in the ticket office," said Bills CEO Russ Brandon.

So active, the Bills held special hours over the weekend.

And then there's the matter of getting a jersey. Brandon says more than 6,000 people have inquired about getting a new Mario Williams jersey.

Anxious fans will have to wait about six weeks. Nike has taken over the NFL's apparel contract, which used to belong to Reebok.

Brandon says the new jerseys should be on the shelf by mid-April.

And speaking of changes, Williams made an interesting mention in last week's press conference when talking about why he made the decision to sign:

"... Just seeing this area, the facility, knowing what upgrades are coming here in the near future," said Williams Thursday afternoon.

A statement that led 2 On Your Side to ask if Williams was told something Western New Yorkers haven't heard yet regarding stadium upgrades.

Sarah Hopkins asked: "Doe he know something we don't know?"

"No, he doesn't," said Brandon. "We talked about the vision here at 1 Bills Drive, and we've been in communication with County Executive Poloncarz and have continued to do so as we move forward. Everything is on track for the time frames that we set, and we'll update people as we go forward."

There's talk that those stadium upgrades could cost taxpayers as much as a hundred million dollars; the nearly same amount the Bills are reportedly paying Williams.

Sarah Hopkins: "How do you reconcile those two things?"

Russ Brandon: "It's really not, it's really church and state. It's a mischaracterization of how that part of our business works, compared to the other end of our business, so we'll just focus on trying to field the best team possible and trying to work within the salary cap that's presented to us and just move from there."









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