BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Another step was taken Thursday in the march toward a new Bills stadium.

The Erie County Legislature approved the memorandum of understanding for the stadium deal, giving its approval to the deal County Executive Mark Poloncarz negotiated on behalf of the county.

Approval from the legislature was expected, but nonetheless vital. The county, state and team reached a largely non-binding agreement in late March, but must finalize the deal by Sept. 1.

State lawmakers signed off on their $600 million share of the $1.4 billion stadium when the state budget was approved in April. The legislature earlier this month approved a $100 million down payment on the $250 million the county will be contributing to the stadium; they are expected to borrow $150 million to cover the rest.

The stadium is expected to open for the 2026 season.

(Correction: An earlier version of this story had a misspelling of the word “county.” The error has since been corrected.)

* * *

Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here.