Bills New Stadium? Not Happening Yet

There is work that needs to be done.

There is noise coming out of western New York about a stadium being built for the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills. But according to the Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, it may be time to pull back on the stadium news because there seems to be no news. “While we have met and discussed issues with the stadium there’s no agreement. I want people to understand that,” said the Erie County Executive. Out of nowhere, a Rochester, New York television station WHAM had a story that the Bills ownership was going to build a stadium in Orchard Park, New York where the present stadium is located. There was however a dearth of details about the stadium. No estimate of what it might cost to build and who is paying for the construction. Buffalo is not a wealthy NFL market and has limited corporate support, which is essential to any franchise, the money is not readily available as it would be in New York or Los Angeles. Bills’ ownership would have to cut a deal with Erie County and New York State to get taxpayers help in funding stadium construction.

The Bills’ present facility has had numerous updates. The stadium opened in 1973. In 1984, there was a fix up. In 1998, there was a major facelift. In 2012, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo put up state money as part of a deal to spend $130 million to fix up the stadium in exchange for extending the team’s lease.  The lease is done in 2023. Buffalo got an American Football League franchise in 1959. But the 1959 Buffalo is not the same as today’s Buffalo which is much smaller and far less wealthy with many industries gone. Buffalo might not even be considered by NFL owners if the city was vying for a team today.

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Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) celebrates after an NFL divisional round football game against the Baltimore Ravens Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y. The Bills won 17-3. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)