The Buffalo Bills’ journey toward a new $1.4 billion stadium inched closer to reality in a matter of minutes on Monday.
New York and Erie County officials reached a 30-year deal with the Bills calling for $850 million in public financing for the 62,000-seat, open-air stadium slated to open for the 2026 season. Around the same time, league owners unanimously approved a $200 million loan for construction costs of the project at the NFL’s owners meetings — which Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula are required to at least match.
Pegula Sports executive vice president Ron Raccuia described the negotiations with state and local government officials as “stressful,” but added that he “never considered them contentious.”
The new stadium will be located next to the current one in Orchard Park.
- Raccuia said personal seat licenses “will be part of all season tickets” at the new stadium.
- The state will contribute $600 million in funding, with the county chipping in $250 million. The Bills are on the hook for any cost overruns.
- Highmark, the healthcare company and title sponsor of the Bills’ current stadium, has the right of first refusal on naming rights.
Not 100% Done
The deal comes days ahead of the state’s Friday budget deadline. The project has the backing of Gov. Kathy Hochul, but state lawmakers will have to approve the subsidy.
“We still have some work to do,” Raccuia said. “They have a vote, and we respect that.”