New York will provide $600 million toward a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills, despite objections from several state representatives.
The legislature agreed to a conceptual framework for a $220 billion budget, including the stadium subsidy. The budget had been due on April 1, but lawmakers passed a one-week stopgap measure to allow additional negotiating time.
The state will pay most of its portion for the stadium from a gambling revenue settlement with the Seneca Nation, plus $172 million in new funding.
- In addition to the state funding, Erie County will chip in $250 million.
- NFL owners will provide a $200 million loan, which will be repaid from visiting team ticket revenue. The team must at least match that amount.
- Additional maintenance and upgrade funds will push the total public funding amount over $1.1 billion over the next 30 years.
Bills owners Kim and Terry Pegula will cover $350 million plus any cost overruns. They plan to generate most of that sum through a personal seat license program in which fans will have to pay a one-time fee of around $1,000 for the right to purchase season tickets.
A recent poll found that 55% of New York residents disapprove of the public funding arrangement, compared to 22% in favor.
Several state legislators, including senate finance committee chair Liz Krueger, echoed that sentiment.
“It’s just a mind-boggling amount of public money into a private sports stadium owned by a family of billionaires who can certainly afford to pay for it themselves,” Krueger said.