BUFFALO (WKBW) The state-hired consultant tasked with finding suitable locations for a new Bills stadium has shortened its list to four, according to a report.
A source tells the Buffalo News that AECOM, the state's stadium site consultant, is down to its final four suggested sites for the future home of the Bills. On the list, according to that report, is at least one site in downtown Buffalo and one site in West Seneca. There is also the possibility of the complete retro-fit of Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park.
"If we could spend $400 million retrofitting a stadium and save $800 million dollars, that's not chump change. So that's where my heart is and what I feel," Orchard Park Town Supervisor Patrick Keem said.
A Niagara Falls site is not on the consultant's final four, according to the news, citing transportation issues.
"I would've loved to have the Buffalo Bills in Niagara Falls. But if they don't go to Niagara Falls that's fine because we're Western New Yorkers first. And we have to think as a region and move as a region together," NYS Assemblyman John Ceretto said of his district.
Also left off the list is the Outer Harbor site, proposed to include a stadium, hotel, convention center, and more. But one of the leaders of that project is denying that report.
"The report today was not based on factual information. It's using spin and rumor and innuendo. Because it's an ultimate decision that the NFL and new owner will make and come back to that state and the community and say well this is what we think," George Hasiotis of the Greater Buffalo Sports & Entertainment Complex said.
Several local leaders are now calling for more transparency in the process, both in the stadium site consultation, and in the new stadium working group that includes state, Bills, and local officials.
"We don't have a seat at the table. We don't have a seat to find out what is going on, how our taxpayer money is being spent. And once again, I don't think this should be done through anonymous sources. I don't think this should be done with back door deals. This should be done in an open and transparent way," NYS Assemblyman Michael Kearns said.
As for the consultant's final report, that is expected to be released after a new owner is named.
Eyewitness News also spoke to several members of the stadium working group as well, who say they will begin meeting again once the sales process is complete.