Can we expect Bills stadium announcement in State of the State? Chatter conflicts
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WBEN/WHEC) — Conflicting reports are coming out about how close New York State, Erie County and the Buffalo Bills’ owners are to settling on a stadium deal.
Tuesday morning on WBEN radio in Buffalo, Albany insider Jack O’Donnell of O’Donnell and Associates said Gov. Kathy Hochul could announce a stadium deal on Wednesday during her State of the State Address, calling it "high profile" in the speech.
However, during his COVID briefing Tuesday, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said he does not expect to hear an update on the Bills stadium from the governor Wednesday and the state and county are "not imminent to a deal."
The options still being considered are a new stadium in Orchard Park, moving the Bills to Downtown Buffalo, or renovating Highmark Stadium.
Spokespeople for Bills owners Pegula Sports and Entertainment (PSE) have repeatedly said the company’s preference is for a new stadium in Orchard Park, across and down the street from where Highmark Stadium is currently, and that PSE does not see renovating the current stadium as an option.
Hochul seems to support the decision, saying last month, "if their desire is Orchard Park, it’s Orchard Park."
The Bills’ lease on Highmark Stadium is up in July of 2023. Bills owners Kim and Terry Pegula have made it clear that they will seek taxpayer funding to help pay for part of the cost of a new stadium.