Buffalo Bills close in on stadium deal


Buffalo Bills to hire Populous for stadium design Image: buffalorising.com

In a sign the Buffalo Bills (US) are closing in on a stadium deal, the team hired the Populous architectural firm to draw up designs for its proposed new facility, a person familiar with the whole discussions stated.

The ‘AP’ stated that the person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Bills and their parent company, Pegula Sports and Entertainment, have not announced the decision.

The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league’s American Football Conference East division. The team plays its home games at the Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York (US).

The 71,608-capacity Highmark Stadium is a stadium in Orchard Park, New York, in the Southern portion of the Buffalo metropolitan area. The stadium opened in 1973 and is the home venue of the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League.

The ‘AP’ further stated that the move comes as the team is in negotiations with the State and county to reach an agreement that would commit hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds to build a stadium across from the Bills’ existing facility in Buffalo’s suburb of Orchard Park. A State study estimated the proposed open-air, 60,000-plus seat stadium would cost $1.354 billion.

The New York Governor, Kathy Hochul, expressed confidence recently that she can have a deal in place before the end of the month to have the project included on the State budget due in April. One outstanding issue she specifically mentioned was the length of the lease to ensure the franchise’s long-term presence in the Buffalo region.

The Bills entered discussions last Summer with an extensive line-by-line monetary breakdown of the proposed facility, but without actual renderings of what the stadium would resemble. The team said it would hire a firm only after an agreement is in place.

Populous is recognized as being among the world leaders in stadium designs. It’s portfolio of projects includes Olympic Games venues, including Beijing, and numerous NFL stadiums, including the homes of the Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals.

The Bills are seeking to replace their existing facility which opened in 1973 and has been deemed too expensive to renovate. If approved, the project construction could be completed for the start of the 2026 season.

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