Bob Duffy will lead corporation overseeing new Bills stadium construction

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A familiar face is leading the construction of the new Buffalo Bills stadium. Gov. Kathy Hochul appointed Rochester Chamber of Commerce CEO Bob Duffy to chair the Erie County Stadium Corporation.

The Bills season may be over with the heartbreaking 10-27 playoff loss against the Cincinnati Bengals. However, the planning for Bills stadium, expected to be completed by fall 2026, is continuing.

The board of directors unanimously approved the general project plan for the stadium on Monday. That vote authorizes the signing of financial agreements, the environmental review, stadium leases, and the community benefits agreement.

Bob Duffy, CEO of Rochester Chamber of Commerce, former Mayor of Rochester, and former Lt. governor of New York

That plan includes a $3 million a year commitment to the Buffalo community. The plan for the money includes supporting mental health, combating food insecurity, creating public art, supporting anti-violence efforts, and recycling programs.

However, a county legislator is questioning that commitment.

“I would have liked to see the Black communities more or less specified in the CBA but I can understand for legal reasons why that’s not necessarily appropriate, but I do believe with having community oversight,” said Erie County Legislative Chair April Baskin. “I do believe with what we’ve already seen with the Buffalo Bills in terms of their intentions to the black community during hardship that we’re going to see reinvestment there.”

New York State approved the construction of the $1.4 billion stadium on March 28, which will ensure that the Bills stay in western New York for at least the next 30 years. $850 million in funding will come from state taxpayers, including $600 million from the state’s budget and $250 million from Erie County. The NFL and the Bills franchise agreed to pay $550 million toward to new stadium.

The next step is a public hearing for the stadium is scheduled for Feb. 2.

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