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While the prospect is exciting, the Buffalo Bills shouldn’t call Beaver Stadium 'home' | Opinion

Beaver Stadium March 30

Beaver Stadium on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in University Park, Pa.

If you ever wanted to see an NFL team call Beaver Stadium its home, you might just be in luck.

The Buffalo Bills will likely be in the market for a temporary home field in the near future due to their plans to build a new stadium, which is set to complete construction in 2025 at the earliest.

However, the lease for the Bills’ current stadium, Highmark Stadium, expires in 2023 — Bills Mafia could be without a home field for two or more seasons.

Penn State is speculated as a current frontrunner for that time period along with Toronto.

But how is Beaver Stadium even an option for a Bills team whose current home stadium is 187 miles away from Penn State?

For starters, the franchise’s owner is no stranger to Happy Valley.

Terry Pegula, who owns the Bills and three other professional sports organizations in Buffalo, graduated from Penn State in 1973 with a bachelor of science degree in petroleum and natural gas engineering.

The Carbondale, Pennsylvania, native is best known in State College for committing $88 million to the building of his namesake, Pegula Ice Arena.

Considering his connection to the University Park campus, it’s no coincidence that Beaver Stadium happens to be in the running for a temporary home for Pegula’s Bills.

And Bills Mafia would be a nice compliment to the always-rowdy Penn State football fans, both at tailgates and in the stadium.

Furthermore, the businesses in State College would certainly be making up for lost funds caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The scenes downtown and on campus would be quite chaotic should the Bills call Happy Valley home for some time, especially if both the Nittany Lions and the Bills host games on the same weekend.

However, that’s just one reason why this is not a feasible option for Buffalo.

The aforementioned distance from Beaver Stadium to Highmark Stadium may be unattractive to even the most passionate and committed Bills fans.

There’s no telling how many members of Bills Mafia reside in central Pennsylvania, or if NFL fans would take time away from watching their beloved Philadelphia Eagles or Pittsburgh Steelers to watch a Bills game with much less regional importance.

In addition, Beaver Stadium holds roughly 35,000 more people than Highmark Stadium, which would make it hard to replicate a home game atmosphere for the Bills.

Even if Buffalo fans travel well to games, there’s no doubt that hotels and rental spaces would be swamped with both Penn State and Buffalo fans, especially if both teams would have home games on consecutive days.

While temporarily hosting an NFL team at Beaver Stadium could bring benefits to the State College economy, there are too many factors working against the decision to make it a reality.

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