The Buffalo Bills have been in talks with Erie County about building a new stadium, and it was announced on Thursday that construction will begin immediately.
The Bills have been playing at the same stadium in Orchard Park since 1973. Originally called Rich Stadium, it was best known to a current generation of fans as Ralph Wilson Stadium. Now named Highmark, it has undergone multiple renovations in its history, but the time has come for a full-blown upgrade.
New Stadium In Orchard Park For The Buffalo Bills
Announcement: The #Bills construction for their new stadium is set to begin immediately.
Should be ready by 2026. pic.twitter.com/EPIGAYUqGJ
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) May 4, 2023
Back in March, New York Governer Kathy Hochul announced that an agreement had been reached to build a stadium that would cost $1.4 billion to construct. It will be an open-air stadium, which has some questioning the design, given the weather in the area and how it has impacted games and scheduling in the past.
But that is all a part of the charm, and regularly gives an advantage to the Bills.
The site of the new stadium is directly across the street from the old one, on a 242-acre site that currently serves as a parking lot for Highmark. The venue will include 62,000 seats, and it will reportedly be the biggest project ever built in Western New York.
The price tag has been an issue with the state and county. The stadium will cost taxpayers $850 million in total, with $600 million coming from the state, and another $250 million from the county.
Stadium Set To Open In 2026
The documents have been signed and construction on New Bills Stadium is set to begin immediately: https://t.co/TTjpADnUqy pic.twitter.com/6ZkVNAuCYI
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) May 4, 2023
But as we have seen in the past, construction of new stadiums that can ultimately be the centerpieces of new commerce districts can be beneficial to the city. The best example can be seen just a couple of states away in Massachusetts, where the construction of Gillette Stadium has turned a once-gray and industrial part of Foxborough into a thriving business center called Patriots Place.
In order to make sure that happens, there have been a few stipulations put in place, including the team having to invest at least $3 million into the surrounding area each year.
They’ve gotten right down to business now that the agreement has been reached. Construction on the new stadium will begin immediately, and it is scheduled for completion in July 2026. The Bills hope to open the 2026 season in their new digs.
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Courtesy : https://sportslens.com/news/construction-of-buffalo-bills-new-stadium-to-begin-immediately/