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New York Announces Budget Deal With $600M Subsidy for Bills

  • New York reached a deal on a conceptual framework for its state budget.
  • It includes a $600 million stadium subsidy for the Buffalo Bills.
Buffalo-Bills
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Mixed Reviews

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.

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