ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Buffalo Bills have brought on the architecture firm Populous to design its new stadium in Orchard Park, a person familiar with the hiring confirms.

The Athletic first reported Populous’ hiring Thursday.

A final deal between the Bills, New York State, and Erie County to build the new stadium hasn’t yet been announced. But Governor Kathy Hochul said last week she believes it will be finalized in time to be included in the state budget, which is due on April 1st.

The team and Populous are no stranger to each other. Populous was picked by the Bills in 2013 to lead a massive $130 million renovation project at what is now called Highmark Stadium.

“Populous has a strong reputation throughout the sports industry for their innovative and aggressive approach to stadium design and renovation,” then-Bills CEO Russ Brandon said at the time.

Populous has also worked on the ADPRO Training Center across the parking lot from Highmark Stadium.

The new stadium is expected to be open-air and located across Abbott Rd. from the current facility. Studies estimate the construction would cost about $1.4 billion.

Chris Horvatits is an award-winning reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2017. See more of his work here.