As we know, in other places across the planet Buffalo does not always have the best reputation of itself. Our sports teams are at times laughed at and our economy is well, lets just say “rust belt-ish”. While I cringe every time I hear these claims shouted at my hometown it is hard to deny they are not sometimes routed in truth, especially for the first decade of this new millennium.
Now Buffalo seems to be divided. There is the first faction who faithfully follows where ever the city and its teams lead them. They sell out one of the largest football stadiums in the nation even as the Buffalo Bills missed the playoffs for the 14th season in a row. Then we have the other faction. This consists of those who have fallen out of the former group. Those people who due to the process of constant disappointment have fallen victim to a mood of permanent and lasting skepticism.
I do my best to stay up to date with the happenings and news in Buffalo while watching everything develop from New York City. Lately it has begun to appear to me (a person living in the world outside WNY, looking in) that the winds are changing in Buffalo. Slowly, sometimes slower than I would like, it appears things are turning around for the better in Buffalo.
Investors will tell you to never ignore a market when it is in a recession. That is when you can buy in at a time when the market has currently undervalued its goods. Goods can only become so cheap in a region before investors see growing opportunity to buy in at the bottom level and maximize potential profits. This is what appears to be happening in Buffalo. Forbes recently validated this is the case in the Western New York Region when it named Buffalo the Most Affordable City in America.
A few examples: recently 43 North has launched a $1 million dollar prize to attract start ups to fill the cheap and available office space downtown. Avant Buffalo has spent $85 million building up luxury condos and office space. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has pledged the Buffalo Billion to the Region.Chippewa Street is becoming classy. And to get to my point, Terry Pegula has bought the Buffalo Sabres and is now also building the Harbor Center.
As Warren Buffet says “Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful”. Terry Pegula knows this is and is doing what all the rest of the investors are doing in Buffalo. He saw a market opportunity to buy in at an all time low price and did just that. Just as many smart investors, who are now very rich, did just after the .com and housing bubble’s burst.
In the case of Forbes naming Buffalo the most affordable city in America we can see that might not be the best image for Buffalo currently. The most powerful cities tend to correlate with the most expensive ones. Just visit New York City or London. However, this weak perception can also be a strength. Just ask Malcolm Gladwell who’s new book underlines the advantages and importance of being under rated. It is definitely a sign that the opportunity to invest in the region is happening now and investors recognize this. This affordability can be an opportunity for Buffalo Sports too. A great example of this was recently pointed out by Buffalo Down:
- Players can live like royalty in Buffalo for far less than most NFL cities.
- $7 million in Buffalo is like $9 million in Houston, or Dallas, or pick your “Big Market Team”.
So affordability gives us the potential opportunity to attract bigger talent at lower contracts.
Buffalo now finds itself where it lives best; as the Underdog. Terry Pegula bought in on the ground floor and stands to make a lot of money over the next 20 years, while his investments ride out. The best part of this is that he will most likely bring the city and the teams along for the ride with him. We are at a catalyst moment in Buffalo. The key to making the opportunity ahead of Buffalo have a long lasting and perpetual growing impact is that we all get on board and realize it is happening. There can be no more skepticism and false beliefs. Now is a time for action.
So in the next few months as you live in Buffalo, do yourself a favor and look around. Take it all in and remember the Buffalo of now. I believe after years of watching Buffalo just get by, both economically and in the world of sports, it is time we all stop just circling the wagon and finally get on board full speed ahead!