ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo Bills fans are counting down the days until kickoff in the new Bills Stadium, which took another step forward on Tuesday. The Bills, Erie County, and New York State have reached a final agreement for the stadium deal.

“People have been saying when are you getting the Bills deal done? When are you getting the Bills deal done? It’s done. The Bills deal is done,” County Executive Mark Poloncarz said.

The team has played at what is now called Highmark Stadium since 1973. Across Abbott Road stands a flag right now, marking the 50 yard line of what will be the new stadium. The rocky parking lot will transform into a $1.54 billion dollar facility, as long as the Erie County Legislature signs off on the agreement. The legislature will have the final approval before shovels can go into the ground.

Poloncarz calls this one of the most complex negotiations of his career, saying the Pegulas had strong negotiators on their team. Nineteen documents were released to the public including the new stadium lease, construction plan and community benefit agreement, which includes a $100 million investment by the Pegula family to Western New York.

“The NFL generally doesn’t enter into Community Benefit Agreements. This is a first of its kind in many ways. We are getting a commitment of cash on an annual basis. We’re getting other commitments with the use of vendors for the stadium in the future. Providing living wages for the people who work there,” Poloncarz added.

“We look forward to working with our partners on how to best serve our community, but make no mistake this is a continued effort on behalf of the Pegula’s to make WNY the best that it can be,” Ron Raccuia, Bills Chief Operating Officer, told News 4.

The construction plan is already running over budget by $140 million, but the Bills will have to pay the tab and not taxpayers. The project will create 10,000 jobs according to Raccuia.

“We’re committed to using as much of the local workforce as we can, local companies, regional and in New York State. That’s our commitment. We’ll spend a lot of time making sure we can accomplish that,” Raccuia added.

Poloncarz says the Bills are here to stay in Western New York until 2055 in the new stadium lease, which Raccuia calls unprecedented.

“This is the first time in Buffalo Bills history that the team has signed a 30 year lease. If that’s not a sign of the Pegula’s commitment to this community and this franchise I’m not sure what is,” Raccuia concluded.

The legislature will have 30 days to review the documents before giving a final approval. County Executive Poloncarz hopes that happens in early May and they can break ground that same month.

Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.