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Erie County Legislature holds first public hearing for new Bills stadium

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Posted at 12:03 AM, Dec 07, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Erie County Legislature held its first public hearing for a new Bills stadium. There will be two more on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, here is how to sign up.

“Let’s do it right and let’s do it for the whole region," Jomo Akono. "Downtown can help the whole region grow.”

The Buffalo Bills have proposed building a new billion-dollar stadium in Orchard Park. A recent study from the state also includes a downtown Buffalo option. More than thirty citizens spoke at Monday night's hearing of the Erie County Legislature. Most of them prefer downtown.

“What is in it for the city of buffalo? As I look at the whole situation, really nothing unless you build it downtown,” Manuel Wiggins said.

Some are pushing for a covered stadium. Other concerns include people in buffalo being displaced and whether maintaining traffic flow and tailgating would be feasible downtown.

“I can’t see it handling 75 or 80,000 people,” Wayne Taneff said.

“There’s so many surface lots within the same area that we have in Orchard Park that I don’t feel that tailgating is going to suffer,” Mike O'Boyle said.

Some argue a downtown stadium would make traveling to games easier.

“It’s closer to the Peace Bridge because we have a lot of Canadian residents that come over,” Wayne Solomon said.

People were split about whether tax dollars should pay for the stadium. Some say they are fine with it if the stadium is within city limits. Others say more discussion is needed.

“We need more time for public input on this proposed project,” Bridge Rauch said.

Pegula Sports and Entertainment says there is no update on status of negotiations tonight and there still is no timeline for development and building.