ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) As part of a new lease agreement between the Buffalo Bills, Erie County, and New York State, Ralph Wilson Stadium will get $130 million dollars in renovations.
The Bills will fund $35 million of the improvements, with New York State paying $54 million, and Erie County adding $41 million.
With the Erie County Legislature scheduled to vote on funding for the stadium renovation project later in the month, the Buffalo Bills invited county lawmakers to take a stadium tour and hear a presentation about renovation plans.
The sports architecture firm 'Populous" is developing the plan for improving the stadium, and there is a special Bills connection.
Scott Radecic played linebacker for the Bills during the late 1980's.
He is now a senior partner with Populous and is responsible for helping develop the Ralph Wilson Stadium renovation plan.
"We want to create a look that is contemporary, modern, and forward thinking just like the goals of the Bills organization now," added Radecic.
Fan experience is the focus of the improvements with a lot changes being planned to decrease congestion at entry points and in concourse areas.
One of the biggest improvements concerns the perimeter area around the stadium.
It will be pushed out allowing more room for fans to move around, and it will include the addition of several new covered entrance lanes.
Video displays will be mounted outside the stadium to help fans stay connected to what is going on inside.
100 and 300 level concourse areas will see significant changes with new lighting, more bathrooms, and an expanded offering of food concessions.
The Bills team store is being increased to 4-times its current size and will include more historical displays.
It will also be moved the the west end of the stadium to create a more modern front-door look.
Two large video screens will be added to the east end of the stadium, more radiant heating will be added to club seat and some concession areas, the press box will be expanded, and the stadium will see new signage.
The Bills are also making several improvements to help fans with disabilities such as installing new handrails and creating new seating areas for people in wheelchairs.
Work on the renovations will start after the 2013 season and should be complete by 2015.