ORCHARD PARK , N.Y. (WIVB)- With the Buffalo Bills in South Carolina, New Era Field had a special visitor Tuesday.
The Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Carl Heastie was in Orchard Park. The visit comes amid plenty of speculation about the Bills future in the stadium. The Bills lease to play at New Era Field runs thorough the 2022 season. Team owners Terry and Kim Pegula are currently conducting a stadium-needs study.
Heastie took a tour of the stadium Tuesday, along with County Executive Mark Poloncarz, Assemblyman Pat Burke and Peoples-Stokes.
The speaker noted the question of what happens after the current lease expires is still unanswered. Erie County leases the stadium to the state – which sub-leases it to the Bills.All parties would have to be involved in discussions.
Last week , Poloncarz told confirmed the Pegulas don’t appear to be too interested in getting to serious discussions until their stadium study is complete. Heastie said when he met with the Pegulas earlier this year, they weren’t committed to anything.
“They clearly said it’s premature on everything. They never said they wanted to a new stadium. They never said that to me. They didn’t say that to Crystal. They said they want to see when the lease is up. That’s why every time you guys ask a question, I say it’s premature because the Bills owners didn’t even ask for a new stadium. They’r not even sure what they want at this point,” Heastie said.
The Bills started playing at new era field in 1973. Erie County’s DPW estimates the stadium’s structure could last another 25 or 30 years.