ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — First reported by the Associated Press, a source close to the deal for a possible new Buffalo Bills stadium tells 7 Eyewitness News a plan has been submitted to partners with the state and county for a 60,000-seat open-air stadium with a $1.4 billion price tag in Orchard Park by 2027.
The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal is not public, tells 7 Eyewitness News the cost of the possible new stadium is expected to be covered by some form of a public/private partnership.
The stadium is expected to be a 60,000-seat open-air stadium, but the source says most of the seats will be covered from the elements. Highmark Stadium's current capacity is around 70,000.
For comparison:— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) August 31, 2021
Allegiant Stadium [LV] - 65K
Levi’s Stadium [SF] - 68K
US Bank Stadium [MIN] - 66K
Gillette Stadium [NE] - 66K
Lucas Oil Stadium [IND] - 67K
Univ. of Phoenix Stadium [AZ] - 63K
The source says Pegula Sports & Entertainment has spent millions of dollars in studies to make sure the Bills get the best type of stadium possible for WNY.
During a press conference on August 4, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, who is involved in negotiations for a possible new stadium, would not get into specifics on where the negotiations stood but said his goal is to get a deal done that is fair for all parties.
On August 17, 7 Eyewitness News spoke to Jim Wilkinson, a spokesperson for PSE, who said a renovation of Highmark Stadium is no longer an option and a new stadium would be in Orchard Park.
Highmark Stadium was built in 1973 and the team's current lease expires in 2023.