April 30, 2014 1:48 pm

Sorry Toronto, NY state hires legal expert to keep team in Buffalo

C.J. Spiller #28 of the Buffalo Bills is tackled by members of the New England Patriots in the second half during the game at Gillette Stadium on December 29, 2013

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has retained a key sports business legal expert to assist in the state’s bid to prevent the Buffalo Bills from relocating.

The Empire State Development board approved extending a contract with Foley & Lardner, and specifically the law firm’s partner Irwin Raij. The extension was authorized April 16, three weeks after Bills owner Ralph Wilson died.

Raij specializes in stadium development projects and lease agreements. In 2012, he played a role in helping the state and Erie County negotiate a 10-year lease agreement with the Bills to continue playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The lease included a strict non-relocation clause that makes it difficult for the franchise to move before 2020.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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