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Populous, Legends tapped to design and oversee new Buffalo Bills stadium construction

Ralph Wilson Stadium

Sports-architecture firm Populous and Legends Project Development have been tapped by Pegula Sports & Entertainment (PSE) to design and act as owner’s rep on construction of the new Buffalo Bills stadium set to open in 2026.

Populous will be lead designer and architect of record on the project. The new stadium will be built next to the team’s practice facility and current home, Highmark Stadium, in suburban Orchard Park, N.Y. The new open-air stadium is expected to hold 65,000-67,000 fans: 60,000-62,000 seats along with a 5,000-capacity SRO party deck (less than the current Highmark Stadium), and incorporate a design providing more protection from the cold-weather elements–upwards of 80 percent of the capacity sheltered in some manner. It will also be a multiuse stadium with a grass turf, supporting soccer as well as a slew of events throughout the year.

“Together with PSE, we are reimagining the Bills fan experience of the future,” said Populous senior principal Scott Radecic via press release. “This stadium will connect fans to the action on the field and engage the Buffalo community in exciting new ways. It’s going to be a world class venue built for Buffalo, and we’re honored to bring our experience to this transformative project.”

“This stadium will be visioned, designed and built for football and all it encompasses–the team, the organization, the fans and the community,” said Populous senior principal Jonathan Mallie via press release. “A storied franchise and fan base deserve an innovative and authentic place to call home with a presence and adaptable quality that transcends time.”

Populous has designed some of the most iconic stadiums and venues throughout the world, including 17 NFL stadiums, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Climate Pledge Arena. Previous Populous worked with PSE on LECOM Harborcenter and the 2015 renovations to Highmark Stadium.

Legends has been involved in the Bills’ new stadium project for the past year, working closely with the team and PSE on the feasibility study for the project and more recently, conducting valuable initial focus groups and surveys to help inform stadium design and sales. In addition to its work on the new stadium project, Legends currently handles e-commerce for the Bills.

“As we continue toward our goal of constructing a new stadium for our team, our fans and the Western New York community, having the right partners in place is critical to our success,” said Ron Raccuia, Bills executive vice president. “As we have seen in recent years at SoFi Stadium and Allegiant Stadium, the team at Legends brings an incredible level of expertise, success and understanding around NFL stadium development as well as sales and partnerships. We are proud to partner and get to work with them on our new stadium project.”

Legends provided planning, project management, sales and partnerships, including naming rights, for the Los Angeles Rams’ and Chargers’ SoFi Stadium, and the Las Vegas Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium.

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