This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Buffalo Bills secure US$850m taxpayer funding for new US$1.4bn stadium
Owner and NY governor announce 30-year deal to keep NFL franchise in Buffalo.
Taxpayers will make up US$850m of funding, of which NY state will provide US$600m
Construction on new 62,000-seater venue to start in 2023 and is expected to open in 2026
The National Football League’s (NFL) Buffalo Bills have confirmed a deal with local authorities and the league for a new US$1.4 billion stadium at Orchard Park.
Taxpayers will make up US$850 million of the funding for the new stadium, of which New York state will provide US$600 million and Erie County will contribute US$250 million. The NFL and the Bills will pay the remaining US$550 million to fund the development.
The announcement ends months of speculation over the Bills’ stadium plans, with the franchise’s current lease at Highmark Stadium set to expire in 2023. The agreement for the new 62,000 seater venue, which will break ground in the spring of 2023 and plans to open in 2026, has seen the Bills commit to playing in New York state for another 30 years.
New York state officials justified the decision to grant the team public money by crediting the Bills with providing US$27 million per year in direct income for the local area in sales and use taxes. By the state’s estimation, the 30-year agreement is expected to generate more than US$1.6 billion for the region. In addition, construction on the new home of the Bills is projected to provide 10,000 union jobs.
Buffalo Bills submit proposal for new US$1.4bn stadium
A joint statement from the team’s owner Terry Pegula and his wife Kim Pegula on 28th March read: ‘We took another step today to solidify our collective goal of constructing a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park.
‘We are grateful for the time, efforts and unwavering commitment made by governor [Kathy] Hochul and her team throughout this process. While there are more hurdles to clear before getting to the finish line, we feel our public-private partnership between New York state, Erie County, led by county executive Mark Poloncarz, and the National Football League will get us there.’
New York governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement: ‘I’m pleased that after months of negotiations, we’ve come out with the best answers possible – the Bills will stay in Buffalo for another 30 years, the project will create 10,000 union jobs and New Yorkers can rest assured that their investment will be recouped by the economic activity the team generates.’
Elsewhere in the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars have committed to playing a home game at Wembley Stadium in London for the next three years.
The Florida franchise played at England’s national soccer stadium for seven straight seasons between 2013 and 2019, then lined up at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last year after the London games resumed following a Covid-enforced hiatus.
The Jags will now return to Wembley in each season through to 2024 after a vote was passed at the NFL’s annual meeting in Palm Beach, Florida.