All sides want a deal done in March.
If all goes according to plan, the Pegula family-owned Buffalo Bills National Football League franchise will be getting a new stadium by 2027 at the latest. New York State, Erie County and Pegula Sports and Entertainment, the entity which owns the Bills’ business, are expected to announce that an agreement to finance construction of a $1.4 billion football facility in Orchard Park has been finalized. New York Governor Kathy Hochul did say “there are issues to work through but I feel very confident that they’ll be resolved in time to have conversations during the budget process.” The New York State budget is due on April 1st. The Pegula family wants a stadium that seats between 60,000 and 62,000 people, with room for up to 5,000 more customers on a standing-room-only party deck and all of the revenue generating gadgets that come with new stadiums.
Buffalo is a small regional market that includes Rochester and Syracuse in New York along with Toronto and Hamilton in Ontario, Canada. The Pegulas need state stadium funding because the area doesn’t have a taxable base with big money that could help with stadium costs. In 1959, when Ralph Wilson purchased an American Football League franchise and placed it in Buffalo, instead of Miami, the area had heavy industry, steel mills, flour plants and a major port. Wilson only paid $25,000 for the business. The Pegula Bills’ lease to use the Orchard Park facility ends in 2023. Former Governor Andrew Cuomo was in the Bills ownership camp in 2012 with a new lease agreement which included renovations and taxpayers handing over a couple of million dollars annually to Bills owners. There was a story that Bills ownership was looking at Austin, Texas if New York would not be able to fund a new stadium. As of now, the Pegulas are staying put.
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