State study of Bills’ stadium needs reviewing all possibilities, including renovation

Bills Stadium Discussions

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Buffalo Bills believe it’s time to scrap Highmark Stadium and build a new facility, saying publicly that they don’t view renovation as an option. But New York state is doing its due diligence in examining all options, including renovation.

“It would be about $1 billion to renovate the stadium – and not only is that unrealistic and not wise, it’s just not going to happen,” Pegula Sports & Entertainment spokesperson Jim Wilkinson said in August, stating ownership’s position after the team reviewed a privately financed study.

Last week, Gov. Kathy Hochul said the state is conducting its own study, which will be made public.

News 4 inquired with the state about its study and received preliminary information Wednesday.

According to Empire State Development spokesperson Pamm Lent, the state has a contract with real estate/infrastructure consulting firm AECOM to conduct a review and analysis of “possible options related in part to the size, location, amenities, and cost of renovation / new construction.”

The state also has a contract with O’Melveny & Myers, LLP to provide legal services related to negotiations for the state related to the Bills Stadium. The team’s current lease runs through July 2023.

The state is paying O’Melveny & Myers, LLP up to $500,000 and AECOM about $150,000.

The Bills have proposed a $1.4 billion stadium across the street from the current facility in Orchard Park. The team also said the potential new stadium would be financed partially by Personal Seat Licenses, which are a one-time fee paid for the right to purchase season tickets. PSLs are expected to start at $1,000, the Buffalo News reported.

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