The Buffalo Bills have announced the approval of a new stadium which is expected to be completed in time for July 2026 ahead of that year’s NFL regular season. Following the 11-member Erie County Legislature voting in favor of the plan for a 30-year lease, the construction is scheduled to begin in June.
The documents have been signed and construction on New Bills Stadium is set to begin immediately: https://t.co/TTjpADnUqy pic.twitter.com/6ZkVNAuCYI
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) May 4, 2023
The Associated Press reported that the new stadium is expected to cost more than $1.5 billion. The NFL and team will contribute $550 million, while Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula will contribute $350 million, and the Bills will be responsible for construction costs over the original budget of $1.4 billion.
Naturally, much of the cost of this gleaming new stadium will be passed on to those who live in the area and attend games through public funding and the imposition of personal seat license fees on tickets. A “significant portion” of the Bills’ contribution will be funded through the sale of PSLs, which involve charging season ticket holders a license fee for the right to purchase their tickets. The cost of these PSLs in Buffalo has not yet been revealed, but the recently completed Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas sees Raiders fans paying between $500 and $75,000 for the one-time licenses on top of their annual ticket costs.
An estimated $600 million to fund the construction will come from New York State taxpayers, with another $250 million from Erie County and local taxpayers.
On April 4, 2023, the NFL team submitted the final contractual agreements, including a detailed 30-year lease to the Erie County legislature, and the county approved the project on May 4, after a-30-day process to review the documents and ratify the agreement. The new facility is going to have a capacity of up to 62,000 with an open-air plan and will be built on a 242-acre site, which will make it the biggest project constructed in Western New York. It will replace the Bills’ current home, Highmark Stadium which dates back to 1973, as the option of renovation was put aside due to high cost.
“We want to thank Governor Hochul, the County Executive and all of our public partners for bringing this process to a successful conclusion,” said Bills Executive Vice President & COO, Ron Raccuia. “All of the legal agreements and public-private partnerships with the county and the state are signed. There are no more documents. All the focus is now on construction and the opening of the stadium, which will start immediately.”
“Now that all the negotiations are over, we are excited to begin the physical phase of this project, which will lead to the opening of the stadium,” Raccuia said. “Major construction in June will begin with excavation. The final design elements are never really final, but it’s extremely dialed in at this point.”
The agreement includes a public transportation hub along with sidewalks and pathways for fans and employees to access the facility. It also involves a community benefits agreement that includes the team committing $3 million per year in the community for social, educational purposes and the economic health of the region.
Last Updated on May 10, 2023 by Dave Clark
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