ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Some Bills fans who attended the team’s open practice in Orchard Park Wednesday are wary of some details emerging regarding the team’s proposal for a new stadium.
The Bills have submitted a proposal for a stadium of about 60,000 seats to New York State and Erie County, a source close to the negotiations tells News 4. The new details were revealed Tuesday in an Associated Press report, which also said while most of the seats would be covered, the stadium would not be domed.
A stadium with 60,000 seats would represent a decrease of more than 10,000 seats from Highmark Stadium. Season ticket holders Phil and Patty Niederhauser are already thinking of what that would mean.
“I think it’s pretty cool being a city where tickets are pretty accessible to people,” Patty said. “I think if they have less seats, it’s probably going to really shoot up the price.”
“I would prefer it to be a little bit larger, 70,000,” said Carol Burgess, another season ticket holder. “But if 60,000 is all we can get, I’ll take it.”
The proposed stadium, which would be located across the street from the current stadium in Orchard Park, would cost about $1.4 billion. Pegula Sports and Entertainment spokesperson Jim Wilkinson has said the team plans to pay for some of the project.
The source also tells News 4 that Pegula Sports and Entertainment provided material related to their proposal to New York State and Erie County months ago, and added there is a new sense of progress now that Gov. Kathy Hochul has taken office.
Hochul became governor last Tuesday upon the resignation of former Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“No one is more committed to keeping the Bills in Buffalo than Governor Kathy Hochul, a long time Buffalo Bills fan,” a spokesperson for Hochul said in a statement. “Negotiations are ongoing, and her administration looks forward to sharing details with the public as soon as negotiations are completed.”
For Tiffany Estell, another Bills fan who attended practice Wednesday, there are just two things that matter.
“New stadium, and keep the costs low.”
Chris Horvatits is an award-winning reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2017. See more of his work here.