Orchard Park, NY (AP) —The Associated Press learned that the new $ 1.4 billion stadium proposed by Buffalo Bills will include approximately 60,000 seats and 60 suites.
Bills Proposal It includes a construction timeline with a fixed completion date by 2027, based on the speed at which the contract is concluded. Those who were directly aware of the documents presented to state and county officials told AP on condition of anonymity in the plan. Not published.
The team’s current lease expires in July 2023 and will be extended until a new facility is opened if the project is approved by New York State and Erie County.
The proposed capacity is about 12,000 less than Bills’ current facility, now called Highmark Stadium, built in 1973. The new venue will not include a roof, but will be designed to protect most of the seats. From the element, the person said.
He said the team initially considered a larger stadium with a $ 1.6 billion price tag before making a decision to shrink the project.
Discussions between Bills’ parent company Pegra Sports and Entertainment and government officials began in late May, and both parties held an on-site tour last week in Bills’ dilapidated home.
The question is how quickly the transaction will be approved and how the construction costs will be split between the team and the taxpayer.Bills already has team owners Terry and Kim Pegra We promise to share part of the costHowever, I haven’t specified how much.
States and counties are required to cover more than 50% of their projects, raising concerns. Taxpayer Financing Possibility..
The PSE proposal is considered tentative and subject to controversial changes, and a rendering of the proposed facility has not yet been submitted. Negotiations were partially delayed due to the change of governor of New York, which was taken over by Kathy Hokul last week following Andrew Cuomo’s resignation.
Hochul is from Buffalo and is already in contact with PSE officials.
Her office issued a statement to AP on Monday, stating: Negotiations are underway and her administration looks forward to sharing details with the general public as soon as the negotiations are complete. “
The $ 1.6 billion cost of the shared facility at the New York Giants and Jets MetLife Stadium, which opened in 2010, was fully privately funded. At Minnesota Viking’s $ 1.1 billion US Bank Stadium, which opened in 2016, taxpayers funded 45.2% of the cost.
At Orchard Park, taxpayers have completely taken up the $ 22 million construction tab at Highmark Stadium in the early 1970s.
The bill has excluded further refurbishment options as it is exorbitantly expensive compared to starting anew.
Over $ 130 million was spent on refurbishment as part of the previous lease agreement signed in 2013. A year later, a state commissioned survey predicted that the next refurbishment would cost $ 540 million and most of the work would be largely devoted to reconstruction. The entire third deck. Its cost is expected to be much higher in today’s dollar.
Pegras, who purchased the bills in 2014, said he spent an additional $ 146 million on capital, match days and stadium-related costs, including suite upgrades, new training facilities and expansion of the driving range.
As part of PSE-funded research initiated in 2018The team conducted an extensive analysis focusing on three potential stadium sites in and around Buffalo before proposing to build a facility in a team-managed parking lot opposite the current home. bottom.
The other two locations considered were a university on the Buffalo campus north of the city and a downtown location on land where the abandoned Perry project was vacant. The estimated cost of a downtown stadium has reached $ 1.9 billion, excluding the necessary infrastructure upgrades, he said.
PSE since then Adopt Legend Global Planning, A stadium consulting firm managed by Cowboys owners Jerry Jones and the New York Yankees. A division of Legend Global Sales was also hired to oversee the sales and seat licensing of future new stadium sponsorships.
The PSE submission includes an economic impact study that concludes that the team is generating $ 361 million annually in the local economy.
Sports economists boost the impact of sports facilities on the local economy Ask if taxpayers should share the cost burden.. According to Allen Sanderson, an economist at the University of Chicago, the NFL stadium is particularly relevant, as the opening dates are limited based on the NFL’s 17-game regular season schedule.
“The answer is zero. Sports stadiums are not a catalyst for economic development,” says Sanderson. “They greatly enrich teams, leagues, and franchise owners.”
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