New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a New Stadium Working Group of five tasked with exploring options for a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills. This group is part of the state's commitment from the new lease signed in December 2012.
Named to the group were Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, Buffalo Niagara Partnership CEO Dottie Gallagher-Cohen and Empire State Development President Kenneth Adams. Erie County and the Buffalo Bills will each be able to name up to seven members each to the group, as well.
"The purpose of the group is to explore options for development and construction of a new stadium in Western New York to serve as a home for the Bills, a catalyst for economic growth and a premier sports and entertainment venue for the region," wrote director of state operations and senior policy adviser to the governor Howard Glaser.
The group would like to meet within the next two weeks to begin discussing the concept of a new stadium. Sites in Orchard Park, Niagara Falls, and downtown Buffalo are likely to be discussed, as well as the idea of a multi-use facility.
The current home of the Bills, Ralph Wilson Stadium, opened in 1973 and will be 50 years old when the lease expires. While the current stadium has many positives, including great tailgating outside and sight lines inside, the building is also lacking in several key areas. Under the current terms, $130 million will be poured into the stadium over the life of the current lease to keep it viable, changing the footprint of the entrances, adding more office and training space, and wireless capability inside the building.