ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Preliminary site work was taking place in the area where the Buffalo Bills plan to build a brand new stadium on Monday. A crew from the architecture and surveying firm Foit-Albert Associates was seen in the spot just to the west of Abbott Road.

The Bills, New York State, and Erie County announced last week that they were in agreement to fund a $1.4 billion dollar stadium across from the current one. While legislative approval is still needed, the State would spend $600 million and the County would spend $250 million.

But the State’s costs don’t end there.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding the three parties agreed the State will pay $6 million into a Capital Improvement Fund each year. That number could adjust year-to-year based on the Consumer Price Index.

Erie County will also pay into the Capital Improvement Fund. But the County’s share will come from revenue generated by ticket, parking, and concession surcharges, expected to amount to about $4 million in the first year of the lease and increase thereafter.

According to the MOU, the Bills may use money from this fund for capital items, features, and components not included in the construction of the new complex and expenses related to security and utilities for events at the stadium.

Additionally, the State will contribute $6.67 million into a Maintenance and Repair Fund each year for the first 15 years of the 30 year lease, which is expected to begin in 2026. The Bills are entitled to use this money for capital improvements, maintenance, and other repairs.

“The State had already been, based on a previous agreement, making significant contributions – about $12 million a year – toward game day expenses and operating expenses,” Governor Kathy Hochul said last week. “We’re basically shifting that money into a fund to be able to prepare us for future expenses and maintenance.

The additional capital and maintenance costs are what led the Associated Press to estimate the total public cost of the new facility will top $1.1 billion. Still, Hochul argued last week the deal is a good one for the State. Although economists generally believe building new stadiums does not lead to economic growth, Hochul believes the State’s share of stadium construction will be paid off after 22 years, mostly though income tax revenue generated from Bills players.

Currently at Highmark Stadium, the State and County split operating and capital costs 50/50. The change under the Memorandum of Understanding is what led Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz to say last week that the County was “getting out of the football operating business”.

“Those are terms I made certain we had in this agreement,” Poloncarz said.

Under the agreement, the County will transfer ownership of the stadium’s property to the State. Erie County will still be responsible for providing policing services. But Poloncarz indicated they would negotiate with the Bills to reimburse the County for costs associated with that.

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