BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A space for the Buffalo Bills, conventions and even retail could be built in downtown Buffalo. If it actually happens, many jobs would be created to spur the western New York economy.
Open land along Buffalo's outer harbor would be developed into a multi-use stadium, if the Greater Buffalo Sports and Entertainment Complex group has its way.
WUFO Sports Director Pat Freeman calls it a "game changing opportunity for western New York." Freeman, who is working with the group, says the underlying idea is to bring the Bills to Buffalo.
Freeman said, "Ralph Wilson Stadium is only used seven to nine years per year. It's in a location that doesn't attract year round avenues of conventions and everything else."
Freeman and the team from the Sports and Entertainment ComPlex commissioned a design from Dallas-based architecture firm HKS Sports & Entertainment. The preliminary design was released to the media on Tuesday morning. HKS has designed stadiums including Cowboys Stadium, Lucas Oil Stadium and Dodgers Stadium.
The price of the stadium proposal is $1.4 billion. The downtown stadium proposal has the opportunity to bring a lot of money back to Buffalo, which is why some city councilmen have already thrown their support behind the plan.
Councilman Demone Smith expects this project to get the green light. Smith said, "You wouldn't have to do much remediation. It's land that's available that's not being used."
The NFTA owns the outer harbor land, which could be a potential snag. However, Smith says "if there's a will, there's a way." The outer harbor would have to be transferred to the city's ownership before any work begins.
"It's a great thing for western New York and a great thing to show all of western New York how a group of people with a similar interest are working together for the greater good."
The idea of a stadium and entertainment complex in downtown Buffalo has been a hot topic among WNY sports fans for years . Some fans think it's a great idea but others have concerns about the practicality of a downtown location.
WNY resident Rick Conklin told News 4 in April that he supported the idea of a downtown stadium. "Yeah, the taxpayer's [would pay for it], but at least the stadium would be in the city where it can be more easily accessed as well as it will be for more than football. Summer concerts, high school sports, the possibilities are almost endless," he said.
Phyllis Blazer disagreed with the idea saying in April, "Another horrible decision. Where will the fans park? It should have been a domed stadium in the city in the beginning."
There is a two to three year timeline, according to Freeman. Building the complex alone would take about two years. The proposal is being presented to the city council's community development committee at 1 p.m.
The Erie County Sheriff's Bomb Squad, ATF, and the Buffalo Police Department were called to Tioga Street near Fairchild Place in North Buffalo just before midnight Thursday.
Eighty-two-year-old Edward Spencer was making a left hand turn while exiting the Budwey's parking lot when he struck 52-year-old Sandra Garner and 55-year-old Kevin Nowak, according to authorities.
An angry mother who claims her daughter was dropped-off miles away from home wants answers.
Deputies say a teen driver fell asleep at the wheel early Thursday morning before crashing head-on with another vehicle.
Police say a Jamestown man was selling crack cocaine out of his barber shop on East Second Street.
City Hall is considering turning to taxpayers to help keep the lights on at the only movie theatre in downtown Buffalo.