Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Irwin P. Raij, a nationally-recognized professional sports expert with extensive experience in stadium development and the sports industry, will advise the state's on its efforts to keep the Bills in Buffalo.
Mr. Raij currently serves as a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP and is co-chair of the Sports Industry Team. Mr. Raij has represented and counseled major sports clients including a professional sports league, professional sports teams, owners and acquirers of professional sports teams. He advises clients in connection with a variety of new stadium development projects, construction agreements, new and interim lease agreements, acquisition of professional sports franchises, strategic counsel, and commercial matters.
"New York State is committed to doing all we can to keep the Bills a part of the Buffalo community, while also protecting taxpayer dollars and seeing that the team can thrive in Western New York for years to come," Governor Cuomo said. "Irwin Raij has years of experience working together with sports franchise owners, local communities, and government in sports development projects, and he will be a valuable addition to the state's efforts to keep the Bills right here in 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," said Raij. "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."
Mr. Raij's experience includes leading the team that represented Guggenheim Baseball Management in the recent acquisition of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the single largest transaction ever for a professional sports franchise and represented Rangers Baseball Express in its acquisition of the Texas Rangers. He was appointed by the Commissioner of Major League Baseball to serve on a three person committee to determine feasibility of developing a new stadium for the Oakland A's in Northern California, represented MLB in the relocation of the Montreal Expos, now the Washington Nationals, to Washington, D.C., and acted as MLB's counsel in its successful efforts to facilitate the negotiation and approval of new stadiums for the Miami Marlins and the Washington Nationals. Mr. Raij has also provided counsel to the Miami Dolphins in their efforts to renovate Sun Life Stadium and has worked with private developers regarding in the creation of stadium development concepts throughout the country.