More Interest in Waterfront Stadium Project

April 26, 2013 Updated Apr 26, 2013 at 8:12 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

April 26, 2013 Updated Apr 26, 2013 at 8:12 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y (WKBW) A proposed plan to build a $1.4-billion dollar waterfront stadium in downtown Buffalo is now getting more interest.

"I think we should give it a chance," said Buffalo Common Council Member David Franczyk

"It may have possibilities," added Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick.

A group called Greater Buffalo Sports & Entertainment Complex LLC (GBSEC) is hoping to get a land option on over 100-acres of outer harbor land so studies can be conducted to see if the project is viable.

The land is currently owned by the NFTA and the developers are willing to pay for a 9-to-12 month land option.

"It is a win-win for Western New York," commented George Hasiotis, Vice President of GBSEC.

However, the NFTA is not currently interested in the idea because the land in question is already being looked at for other purposes.

Active negotiations are underway to finalize an agreement so the land can be transferred from the NFTA to the City of Buffalo and the Erie County Harbor Canal Development Corporation.

Friday afternoon, NFTA Chairman Howard Zemsky issued the following statement:

"The NFTA's Board of Commissioners is committed to maintaining public
access and enjoyment of the waterfront, and we are committed to
transferring our waterfront lands in a way that maintains public access and

Some local lawmakers are not pleased with the NFTA's decision.

Next week, the Buffalo Common Council is expected to adopt a resolution calling on the state to grant the land option.

"Let's give it a full airing and look at the pros and cons," added Council Member Franczyk.

A similar resolution has been sent to committee in the Erie County Legislature.

"We haven't done anything with that stretch of land for decades. What's another year going to cost us especially when the upside is so great," added Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick.

Hardwick is more interested in hearing what the developers have to say after students researching the proposal for his Public Administration class at Canisius College determined that the multi-use facility could have possibilities.