BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Mayor Byron Brown is saying no to a downtown Buffalo Bills stadium, telling News 4 it’s not because he doesn’t love the team, but because he does.
“Obviously as the Mayor of the City of Buffalo and a city resident, I would love to see the stadium in Downtown Buffalo,” he said.
But, the Mayor said it wouldn’t be practical to build a new stadium downtown, and instead thinks that keeping the team in Orchard Park is the safest option.
“[Building downtown] will add a billion dollars of costs, residents and businesses will be displaced, properties will have to be acquired and it could take two to three years longer. I think that potentially puts the Bills in Erie County at risk. I don’t want to risk losing the team,” he said. “[Building in Orchard Park] would be less expensive, it would be quicker, it would be easier. I think that’s the way to keep the Bills in our community.”
Last month, New York State released its study into the Bills stadium. Although the study recommended building new, it did not recommend a location.
The Buffalo Common Council passed a resolution calling for officials to seriously consider building downtown.
“We have not changed our thoughts [on building downtown],” said Common Councilman Rasheed Wyatt. “It’s not really in our court, but I think in the court of public opinion the people we represent want to see a downtown stadium.”
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said lease talks between the county, state and team are continuing to happen behind the scenes.
“These are complicated discussions and transactions. We’re not talking about the equivalent of a lease for a three bedroom apartment. We’re talking about the potential of a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills for the next 30 years,” Poloncarz said. “We continue to move forward until we reach a point where we can announce such a deal.”