New stadium for the Buffalo Bills?
Posted at: 10/23/2012 9:28 AM
| Updated at: 10/23/2012 6:19 PM
By: Robin De Wind | WHEC.com
Could the Buffalo Bills have a new home in Downtown Buffalo? There’s a proposal to ditch Orchard Park and settle into a new stadium along the waterfront. Right now, the Bills are negotiating a new lease for the Ralph.
But some in Buffalo think a new stadium is a better idea and Tuesday, a developer took his plans before the city council.
The $1.4 billion dollar proposal includes a 72,000 seat retractable roof stadium along Buffalo’s harbor. That would double as convention center. It would be open year long. They have envisioned a 5,000 covered parking lot area and say traffic flow in an out of the stadium would be equivalent to Ralph Wilson Stadium. The plan was presented Tuesday at Buffalo’s City Hall.
The NFL has not given its approval to the stadium that could also be converted into a 20,000 seat venue used for concerts and other sporting events. The engineering firm involved designed Cowboys Stadium and the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The project would take five years to build and needs the green light from the NFL to move forward.
The big question is who will pay for it? Developers say the state would have to pay $400 million, the NFL would pay $200-$400 million and hundreds of millions of dollars would come from construction trades due to the 10,000 construction jobs that will be created. There are a lot of steps to this very complicated process, but the stadium rendering and formal plan was the first order of business.
The developers say the NFL wants something new and progressive and state of the art and this could guarantee the bills would keep their presence in buffalo. The developers have not attempted to measure what the public wants and what will be done economically to the area around the current stadium in Orchard Park will also have to be a consideration.
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Ties to Rochester
If the new stadium gets the green light, part of the new complex would include a world class sports museum and have a tie to Rochester.
The Strong National Museum of Play has been tapped to create this one of a kind sports museum. It would combine hands on experiences, historical artifacts, memorabilia and collections, as well as rotating exhibits and a host of other community education programs.
The Strong brings in 600,000 visitors to Rochester each year. News10NBC asked the President and CEO G. Rollie Adams could a sports museum have similar success.
G. Rollie Adams, Strong National Museum of Play, said, "It's listening to what people want, doing market research and providing highly engaging , hands on interactive experiences for them, and that kind of experience in a museum where one is engaged has in common engagement in sports."
The Strong would manage the 150,000 square foot museum. It would be one of the two anchors at the new stadium that might also include a hotel, retail and restaurants.