A Movie About The Buffalo Bills Will Be Filmed In Cleveland

03.06.13 5 years ago 30 Comments

“This town must be hot. They don’t need a large ad or even correct spelling!”

Kevin Costner used to only be in sappy movies about baseball and golf, but it appears the well of fresh material about boring sports has run dry, so Costner is going to try his hand at acting in a movie about the NFL. In the upcoming “Draft Day”, Costner will play the general manager of the Buffalo Bills. The character has designs on returning the franchise to its former glory, so clearly he is not based on Buddy Nix.

For whatever reason, the filmmakers were eager to shoot their movie in Buffalo. Unfortunately, economic realities being what they are, that won’t be happening.

Last month, Reitman, the film’s director, and a location scout toured Ralph Wilson Stadium, as well as other local sites, and seemed excited about filming the movie in Buffalo, Clark said. But Lionsgate, the film’s distributor, thought otherwise despite efforts by state officials to sweeten the pot and keep the movie here.

Instead, the movie will be shot in Cleveland, a location that will cost the studio $3 million less than filming in Buffalo. It seems catering with beef on weck really drives up production cost. I’d like to make a joke about how Buffalo can’t afford to be cheap because the town is out of money after agreeing to finance the repairs to Ralph Wilson Stadium, but this has more to do with boring things like statewide tax incentives for filmmakers.

One factor was that there is a 35 percent tax deduction incentive for making the movie in Cleveland for Ohio crew members, 5 percent higher than New York State. A bill sponsored by State Sen. Patrick Gallivan, R-Elma, would increase incentives for upstate and Western New York, allowing up to a 45 percent credit for Buffalo.

For what it’s worth, Cleveland knows a little about this phenomenon. Neither of the first two Major League movies (the ones people actually watched) were filmed in Cleveland. 20 years later and now Cleveland is taking sports movies from other towns. Dare I say, greatest Cleveland sports victory of this generation?

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