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Hochul: Stadium study to be released in "days"

Posted at 6:10 PM, Oct 27, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — We are getting closer to knowing details about the future of a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills.

Governor Kathy Hochul said today the state-conducted stadium study will be released in a “few days.”

“They’re analyzing number of factors,” she said. “One is to renovate the existing facility or build new and the cost associated. The other is to keep it in Orchard Park or to go downtown,” Hochul said.

NFL team owners are in New York City for meetings, and the topic of a Bills Stadium is one of the items on the agenda.

While Pegula Sports and Entertainment has said it wants a stadium in Orchard Park right across from where Highmark sits now, the calls to build the stadium within the City of Buffalo are growing louder.

“When you’re trying to build community assets, you always look at what’s the true community impact above dollars and cents,” said local developer Paul Ciminelli.

Ciminelli says he has personally conducted a study, looking at the area around Buffalo’s Central Terminal as a potential Buffalo stadium option.

“It has a lot of land around it, the old railroad tracks, which is a brownfield. So it gives you the option to remediate a brownfield site, design a stadium that if done properly could incorporate some historic tax credits potentially,” he said.

Ciminelli says it’s important to recognize the regional asset the Bills are to the greater WNY area

“It’s a viable alternative. I’m not saying it has to go there but it checks a lot of boxes,” he said.

The other site that’s being discussed is downtown, in the area of South Park and Louisiana. The Buffalo Common Council is now getting involved, saying it wants a seat at the table on these discussions involving the county, The state and bills.

County Executive Mark Poloncarz says to that: “The one thing they didn’t do is say now much money they were going to contribute to do that.”

While the study has not been made public yet, it’s estimated the cost of building the home of the Bills in Buffalo would be at least one billion dollars more than in Orchard Park, park due to material and infrastructure costs.

Hochul expects this issue to be part of the new NYS budget