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Bills stadium deal creates sticking point in state budget

Posted at 11:14 PM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 23:14:52-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Budget negotiations are tied up in Albany; the deal for a new Bills stadium appears to be a sticking point.

Assembly Member Angelo Morinello said it’s upstate versus downstate.

"We cannot keep the state divided upstate and downstate,” Morinello said. “Everyone has to have an open mind about what is happening."

Morinello said passing the budget with money for the Bills stadium will be good for the entire state.

"We have to focus away from the initial investment amount and go to the positives,” Morinello said. “Employment, vendors, sales tax, other utilizations for the building."

State Senator Jabari Brisport doesn't think the state should pay for the stadium.

"This is a bad deal for New York,” Brisport said. “This is a stadium which the billionaire owners could pay for out of pocket."

"$600 million out of a $220 billion budget,” Morinello said. “So, when you look at it, it's minuscule in the scope of the entire process."

Brisport said if the state does pay, they should get more out of the deal, so he is proposing an alternative.

"It would say that if New York State is paying for more than half of the new stadium then we should have the option to purchase more than half of the ownership of the team,” Brisport said.

Brisport said he thinks the stadium money should go to things like childcare, health insurance and education.

"In many of these fields the governor has cut corners and said we cannot find the money for this but was able to negotiate a backroom deal with a billionaire to fund a new stadium,” Brisport said.

"This venue would be used 300 days a year, much more than just on game day. It is a new total experience,” Morinello said. “This would be an economic developer for our area."