Here’s what the new $1.4 billion Buffalo Bills stadium could look like
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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills released images on Thursday of what they hope will be their new stadium by the 2026 season.
The images show a bowl stadium, grass field, and canopy over some of the upper deck seats but no roof.
“I love the fact that it’s an all-grass field,” said John DiTullio. “And I love the fact that it’s not a dome.”
Sports reporter and radio host John DiTullio has covered the Bills for two decades.
Brean: “Do you think the team would have left without this stadium?”
John DiTullio, DiTullio and Moran Show, Radio 95.1: “That’s a great question, Berk. I think Terry Pegula was keeping his options open. I think more importantly the league was keeping their options open. When the Pegulas bought the team, it was under one condition: You must get a new stadium.”
The Bills play in one of the oldest stadiums in the NFL. The cost of the new place is $1.4 billion and individual taxpayers, the state and Erie County are paying for most of it.
Brean: “Do you think their impact on the community makes the amount of public money being spent on this stadium a little more palatable?”
DiTullio: “Ah, that’s a great question. I’m not a fan at all of using public money for stadiums. I think the owners and the league should be financing these stadiums.”
The issue of cost came up with Congressman Lee Zeldin when his campaign for governor stopped in Rochester today.
“As far as the cost goes, this is unprecedented,” he said outside the Hall of Justice. “Nowhere across this state have we seen anything like this. You have a billionaire owner of the team. The Buffalo Bills are staying in New York. There is no reason for any of us to believe at all that the state has to get totally rolled.”
At the governor’s debate Tuesday, Governor Kathy Hochul defended the stadium deal saying it will create jobs and keep the franchise in Western New York.
“Like Broadway is to New York City, the Buffalo Bills are to Western New York and our legislators made it a top priority in Albany,” Hochul said. “Every region has its own priorities, own regional projects. This was important to make sure the Buffalo Bills stayed in New York State and they were looking elsewhere.”
I emailed the Bills this afternoon to see if they wanted to comment on the criticism. When they reply to my email, I’ll post their answer.
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 new stadium will be built on the other side of Abbott Road in Orchard Park. In a statement, the Bills said:
“The Bills, in conjunction with Legends and stadium architectural firm Populous, have left no stone unturned in covering every innovative element of new stadium design. The exterior stadium image highlights the team’s desire for a visual identity that reflects some of the historical architecture of Buffalo, while also delivering a modern appearance.”
More of our coverage:
- New Bills stadium won’t seek a LEED certification for sustainable energy use (Oct 19)
- Fact Check: Buffalo Bills stadium & Gov. Hochul’s husband (April 28)
- Taxpayer money for Bills stadium included in ‘conceptual’ budget agreement (April 7)
- Seneca Nation leaders aren’t happy with plans to finance new Bills stadium (April 1)
- New Bills stadium projected to create at least 10K new construction jobs (March 29)
- Taxpayers will put up $850 million for new Bills stadium (March 28)