Bills closer to new stadium

Buffalo is finalizing and agreement with the state of New York approving the project for a new home

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The Buffalo Bills submitted today (5) the final contractual agreements to Erie County, in New York State and are now closer to starting their new stadium construction. By the laws, the county has now 30 days to review the documents and approve (or not) the construction of the new Buffalo Bills home.

According to the project, the Buffalo Bills’ new stadium would be an open-air construction. The projected costs are at $1.5 billion and with a 60,000-plus capacity. The new stadium location would not change that much as the address is across the street from their current stadium, in Orchard Park, NY.

However, constructing an open stadium would not solve one of the main problems of the current one: the weather. As everybody knows, Buffalo’s winter has a lot of snow. In fact, the Buffalo Bills had to play a home game in Detroit this year because of that.

Maybe it would be smarter to build a covered stadium. Or at least a retractable-roof arena, like the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons. The deadline for the construction of the new stadium is 2026. It is expected to be ready before the beginning of the NFL season, which means before August of that year.

“Today marks another significant step taken as we approach a groundbreaking ceremony later this spring,” the Bills, state and county said in a statement. A study in November 2021 concluded that a renovation in the current stadium would cost almost $900 million, so they decide to build a new one. The Highmark stadium was originally built in 1973.

Terms of the deal

The team, county and state released a statement confirming the news. Check out some of the main topics and clauses of the contract released to the public are:

  • 30-year lease with a non-relocation clause
  • $850 million taxpayer commitment
  • $550 million financing commitment
    • $350 million coming from Terry and Kim Pegula, Buffalo Bills’ owners; the majority of this amount is expected to come from seat and season ticket sales.
  • Pay back all public funding after the first 14 years of the deal
  • Bills commit to spend $3 million anually in socia and educational initiatives
  • State commit to help with $600 million in the construction
  • State commit to help with $280 million in operational costs