We asked fans for their thoughts on three major changes to the new Buffalo Bills stadium.
- Reduced capacity:
- Highmark Stadium has a capacity of around 71,000 seats.
- The new stadium will reduce that number by about 10,000 - seating anywhere from 60,000-62,000 spectators.
"I wish there were more seats. I want to be able to fit as many Bills fans in their as possible, and it would be bad if some people no longer can get tickets," said Kevin Brick, a fan.
"I'd love to get as many people in as possible. My concern is that with less seats - there will be more expensive seats ... I don't want to be priced out of tickets," said Christopher Arlington, another fan.
- An open-air stadium:
- The new Bills stadium will not have a roof - or any retractable roof of any kind.
"I'm a little disappointed they didn't add a roof. I wish we would be able to use the stadium during non-football season for other events like concerts, but with the cold that's not really possible for most of the year," said Allison Contrera, a fan.
"It will be cold, but that's our home field advantage. The cold, the wind, the football outside in January, that's what makes Buffalo, Buffalo. I wouldn't want it any other way" said Chase Carsons, another fan.
- The price tag:
- A $550 million commitment from the Bills and the NFL was approved by NFL owners Monday.
- Governor Hochul will advance a $600 million proposal in the state budget and Erie County will contribute $250 million. This means that taxpayers are anticipated to be on the hook for $850 million in public funds.
"Honestly we shouldn't be shelling out a single cent, but I know that's the reality of how this works ... it is worth it to keep the Bills in Buffalo. That's the most important part," said Brick.
"When the bills are good - its just going to bring in more money for the economy. So i really feel like we'd make that money back eventually. Especially being a super bowl contender over the next five years, I'm not worried about it. Its not to much money out of my pocket to watch my favorite sport and my favorite team," said Carsons.
Groundbreaking on the site of the new stadium - directly across from Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, is expected by next spring, with a hopeful completion date set for 2026.