Discussions of a new or renovated Buffalo Bills stadium will not get underway until after November’s election, according to team co-owner Kim Pegula.
The Bills are facing a decision on their long-term stadium situation. New Era Field–their current home–originally opened in 1973, and is considered out of date by NFL standards.
The team’s commitment to New Era Field expires in the summer of 2023, so it would like to have a long-term stadium plan in place before then. However, funding is one of the issues that has to be resolved regardless of whether the Bills renovate New Era Field or build a new stadium completely, so the team will have discuss the financial picture with state and local officials. For now, the Bills are waiting for November’s New York gubernatorial election to pass before launching those discussions. In a recent interview, Pegula noted that the timing makes more sense, and that holding off on stadium discussions prevents a distraction leading up to Election Day. More from the AP:
“That makes sense, and regardless of who wins or doesn’t win, that would be for us the prudent thing to do,” Pegula said during a wide-ranging interview Wednesday, four days before the Bills’ home opener against the Los Angeles Chargers. “There’s no reason to cause a lot of distractions right now.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose administration played a role in negotiating the team’s current lease in 2012, is running for a third term, and being challenged by Cynthia Nixon in the Democratic primary. Marcus Molinaro is the Republican candidate.
Pegula reiterated while there have been internal discussions regarding the future of their current home, New Era Field, no decisions have been made, and the team has not yet hired a consultant to conduct a feasibility study.
The clock, however, is ticking, with Pegula saying she would like to have the framework of a plan in place before the current lease expires in the summer of 2023.
New Era Field is currently the sixth-oldest stadium in the NFL. It will move up in the coming years, however, as the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum–the NFL’s oldest venue–will lose the Rams as a tenant when a new Inglewood stadium opens in 2020. Also set for a replacement is the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, which is the NFL’s fourth-oldest facility and will lose the Raiders when they move to Las Vegas. The new Las Vegas stadium is set to open in 2020.
Image courtesy Buffalo Bills.
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