Austin, Texas, suddenly became the front runner for a pro-football team over the weekend.
The Buffalo Bills owners Kim and Terry Pegula are eyeing a new $1.1 billion stadium that New York taxpayers would foot the bill for, The Buffalo News reported. It's rumored that if the Pegulas will move the team if they don't get their way.
Austin came into the picture when ESPN reporter Seth Wickersham on Sunday tweeted "An ownership source tells me that Austin is a possible destination—or threat—as one of the 'other cities elsewhere that desire an NFL franchise and would pay handsomely for it.'"
Are the Pegulas legitimately interested in moving the team to Austin or are they using it as a threat to get public money? It's most likely the latter because local government officials in Austin knew nothing about a potential move, according to NBC Sports.
This is in complete contrast to what happened the last time a professional sports team moved to Austin. Austin American Statesman reporter Ryan Autullo pointed out that the City Council was actively involved with Austin FC years before the Major League Soccer team became a reality, while they only learned about the Bills move.
Pro teams leveraging Texas cities for financial reasons is far from unusual. The Raiders flirted with San Antonio before deciding to move to Las Vegas in 2020.