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First look: Buffalo Bills new stadium proposal shows potential footprint of new facilities in Orchard Park

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Posted at 3:20 PM, Jul 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-01 17:32:35-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — We are getting a first look at the Concept Site Plan for the Buffalo Bills' new $1.4 billion stadium in Orchard Park.

The site plan, put together by the Bills, shows the proposed footprint and orientation for the new stadium, along with the location of operations buildings, team facilities and parking, that will take up roughly 283 acres.

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Images from the Buffalo Bills Stadium SEQR submission provided by Erie County on July 1, 2022 - a proposed project area plan shows utilization of land occupied by ECC South athletic fields and parking lots.

SEQR process and next steps

Updated maps of the proposed site were released as Erie County begins its State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) of the plans. That review is expected to take around six months and will include public input sessions. The SEQR process will determine the significance of the environmental impacts of proposed plan including traffic and parking. Read about the SEQR process here.

Erie County officials met with 7 News Anchor Jeff Russo and other members of the media on Friday.

Of immediate interest is the latest "massing" of the stadium, which shows the scale and orientation of the new facility, but does not show specific renderings of the stadium itself beyond the space it will occupy on the site. It will be built across the street from Highmark Stadium on Abbott Road between Southwestern Boulevard and Big Tree Road. The new site plan shows a large plaza leading to the stadium from the northeast, a new operations building to the south, and several new parking lots.

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Images from the Buffalo Bills Stadium SEQR submission provided by Erie County on July 1, 2022 - a view of the proposed building massing for the new Bills stadium and facilities as shown from the northeast.
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Images from the Buffalo Bills Stadium SEQR submission provided by Erie County on July 1, 2022 - a view of the proposed building massing for the new Bills stadium and facilities as shown from the southwest.

Finalized renderings of the proposed stadium are still being worked on by the design firm Populous and have not been made public.

Proposed footprint and ECC Campus

The new proposed footprint opposite the current stadium on Abbott Road will take over land which is currently being used for the Bills camper lot, tailgating village and employee parking. It will also take up roughly 56 acres of land of the current ECC South Campus. That land is currently the home of athletic fields for the college.

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Images from the Buffalo Bills Stadium SEQR submission provided by Erie County on July 1, 2022 - a concept site plan submitted by the Buffalo Bills shows how the proposed area of the new stadium project will be used.

Additional land on the ECC South campus, including several current parking lots, is being proposed for use during the construction phase of the stadium. The plan would be to use that additional land to store vehicles, equipment and supplies during construction of the new facility which is expected to be completed by the 2026 football season.

Fate of current stadium and facilities

The current home of the Buffalo Bills, Highmark Stadium, will be demolished and eventually turned into new parking areas for fans. That process will not begin until the transfer of land of the proposed site between Erie County and New York State is completed which is expected to happen after the new stadium is finished and operational in 2026.

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Images from the Buffalo Bills Stadium SEQR submission provided by Erie County on July 1, 2022 - a proposed land transfer plan submitted by the Buffalo Bills indicates a 242.54-acre transfer to complete the new stadium project.

The demolition of the current stadium, and construction of new parking on the site is expected to take 6 to 8 months. While that process is taking place there is the expectation that parking will be temporarily impacted during construction which could include the first season at the new stadium. Options and alternatives will be looked at as the process moves forward.

The current AdPro Sports Training House where Bills players work out, and Delaware North commissary building will remain in place on the former site.

Representatives from the Bills and Erie County are expected to discuss the proposed plans with the public during a scoping meeting which is set for July 14th. A public hearing, where findings from the SEQR will be presented, is expected in September.