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Coalition calls on Bills, state and county to promise benefits to community in stadium deal

Posted at 6:35 PM, Feb 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-02 18:35:42-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — While the Buffalo Bills, Erie County, and New York State are hashing out details for a new stadium, community members are working to make sure they're included in the plans.

A coalition of groups that include the Partnership for Public Good and Buffalo Transit Riders United spoke at the Rock Pile on Wednesday, calling for a Community Benefits Agreement within the stadium deal that supports everyone in Western New York.

The coalition wants clauses in the new stadium deal that will fund wellness programs, housing programs, and youth sports programs, as well as better public transportation to-and-from the stadium, and opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses.

"The reason the Community Benefits Agreements are in increasing use all over the country is because voters, taxpayers have held that a massive expenditure of public money without any public benefit is fundamentally unjust," said Miles Gresham, Policy Fellow at the Partnership for Public Good.

Spokespeople for Governor Kathy Hochul and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz would not confirm what, if any, specific agreements have been made that align with this coalition's demands.