Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz recently estimated that a new Buffalo Bills stadium would cost at least $1 billion, making it unaffordable for the county.
There have been questions about what the Bills will decide in regard to their long-term stadium situation. New Era Field–their current home in suburban Orchard Park–originally opened in 1973 and is considered out of date by NFL standards, while the team’s lease at the facility is set to expire in the summer of 2023.
With that situation in mind, there has been considerable speculation about whether Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula will look to replace the facility with a new stadium, and there had been questions of late about if a NFL facility could be added to a larger convention center project. Poloncarz, however, said that the Pegulas are not demanding a new facility, and that a new Bills stadium project could cost at least $1 billion. At that price tag, it could present a serious financial obstacle for Erie County. More from the Buffalo News:
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said the county is not looking to add a new Buffalo Bills stadium to the discussion of where to build a new convention center because the county can’t afford it, and Bills owners Kim and Terry Pegula aren’t demanding it right now.
“I think $1 billion is a low estimate for a new football stadium,” he said Monday, adding, “You people are interviewing the Pegulas, and they’re saying they’re happy with where they are, and people don’t seem to be taking them at their face value.”
The lease agreement with the county for the current Bills stadium will expire in five years.
“I still get people who come up to me on the street somewhere and say, ‘Hey, are you going to build a new stadium next year?’ And my answer is no. We don’t have the money for it. It’s not in the cards right now,” he said.
It has not been determined at this point whether the Bills will eventually seek a new stadium or instead target a major overhaul of New Era Field, and regardless it will likely take time for any plan to come together. Last month, Kim Pegula indicated that discussions of a new or renovated Bills stadium will not get underway until after November’s New York gubernatorial election has passed.
Image courtesy Buffalo Bills.
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