BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Newly revealed documents confirm the consulting firm hired by New York State to look into the Bills stadium situation is assessing more than just the Orchard Park location of the current stadium.
AECOM, which will be paid as much as $154,561 to conduct the analysis for the state, says in addition to looking at whether to renovate or build in Orchard Park, they will analyze a “South Park Site.” The paperwork, obtained by News 4 through the Freedom of Information Law, does not specify where the South Park Site is, but it is believed to be in the City of Buffalo in the vicinity of South Park Avenue and Louisiana Street or Hamburg Street.
The consulting firm previously studied that location for the state in 2014.
Tom Scerbo, a vice president for AECOM, laid the scope of their present-day project out in a the firm’s proposal to conduct the study. It also notes that AECOM will “review with State and others regarding additional sites that should be evaluated.” The South Park site is the only one in the City of Buffalo AECOM is reviewing, for now.
The Bills lease to play at Highmark Stadium expires after the 2022 season. The state, team, and Erie County are engaging in three-way negotiations to determine what happens after that.
The Bills have said publicly that they would like to play in a new stadium to be built across the street from the current one in Orchard Park. The $1.4 billion price tag would be shared between the team and government, under the proposal.
A spokesperson for Pegula Sports and Entertainment had no comment on the scope of the state’s study.
In late September, Governor Kathy Hochul said the study would come out “in the next couple of weeks”. She also said the report would be made public.
“There’s a study going on by a company that’s just assessing the different options and we’re going to release the study in about two months,” Hochul said.
Chris Horvatits is an award-winning reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2017. See more of his work here.