BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Soccer fans are excited after Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz mentioned trying to get international soccer games at the new Bills stadium.

Buffalo soccer is on the map, but this stadium could bring it into discussions for hosting international events.

The city has a team in the National Premier Soccer League, FC Buffalo.

The Buffalo soccer community is already thriving at Mes Que on Hertel Avenue.

Tony Christiano and his cousin opened Mes Que 10 years ago to create a space to watch and talk about professional soccer.

Watching those games at home in person is a dream.

“To have that experience in Western New York would be absolutely incredible. Envisioning Italy to come to Buffalo and play the United States and the energy that would bring,” Christiano said.

There’s two elements to it. First, what it would mean for those international games to be hosted here especially after Buffalo was one of few football cities not included in the discussion to host the 2026 World Cup.

Nick Mendola is the co-owner of FC Buffalo.

“It’s more attractive the more capable your venue is of being a spectacle. If U.S. soccer is having a game they want the eyes of the world because we’re talking about the world sport,” Mendola said.

The other question on people’s minds: could this bring a Major League Soccer team to Buffalo?

“Not a lot of Major League Soccer teams are gonna draw the number of fans on a consistent basis that this stadium will build. So the opportunity to host marquis events is great and will that, because of the available amount of dates and because of the beautiful nature of the stadium, will that open things up to being a consistent home for a pro team, yes of course that’s possible,” Mendola said.

News 4 reached out to Pegula Sports and Entertainment for comment but haven’t heard back.

Kayla Green is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.