ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Steven Ranalli has been chosen by Empire State Development officials to be the top officer of the state agency which will own the new Bills stadium.

The Erie County Stadium Corporation’s Board of Directors voted Wednesday morning to name Ranalli as President. They also voted to affirm the project plan, authorize state officials to acquire the stadium property from Erie County and lease it to the Bills, and set aside the first $300 million for stadium construction.

In total, the state will contribute $600 million to construction costs, with Erie County kicking in $250 million. The Bills are responsible for the rest of the estimated $1.4 billion tab. While the state, county, and team have not yet announced an agreement on the final, binding deal to complete the project, development of the project has moved forward. The stadium is expected to be finished in time for the 2026 season.

Ranalli has worked with the Erie County Harbor Development Corporation, the agency which is responsible for facilitating development on Buffalo’s waterfront, since 2008. He has served as its President for the past four years. Ranalli said Wednesday he will continue his work with ECHDC for now, until someone else can transition into that role.

Chris Horvatits is an award-winning reporter and anchor who started working at WIVB in 2017. A Lancaster native, he came to Buffalo after working at stations in Rochester and Watertown. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.