Tom Golisano, Scott Congel could partner in Bills bid, per report

Tom Szczerbowski

Congel, a developer, could provide real estate and planning needed to erect a new stadium within a 10-minute drive from Ralph Wilson Stadium.

We have known since last week that former Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano is intending to place a purchase bid on the Buffalo Bills, thanks to Toronto Sun reporter John Kryk. Yesterday, John Wawrow of The Associated Press and Robert J. McCarthy of The Buffalo News added another layer of detail to the budding Golisano story.

Wawrow was the first to report that Golisano is considering a partnership with developer Scott Congel in his bid, with Congel potentially providing real estate for a new stadium in West Seneca. The Shops at West Seneca land, which Congel is currently looking to develop (more on that in a minute), is just a few miles from Ralph Wilson Stadium.

McCarthy spoke with Congel and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz about Congel's $700 million development proposal for the site. That proposal does not currently include plans for a stadium site, but purportedly a 15-acre plot could be carved out to make room for a venue with at least 60,000 seats.

"It would be modeled after Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, in the high-60,000 seats, have the ability to expand, and fit Super Bowl criteria," Congel told McCarthy. "And it could host conventions, concerts and expos."

Poloncarz cautioned in the same article that the plan is an ambitious one. Indeed, significant hurdles would need to be cleared, including securing money from the county and the state and making transportation changes off of the Thruway to accommodate the venue.

Golisano remains one of only a handful of wealthy individuals tied to the sale of the Bills, whose representatives are expected to begin accepting bids on the franchise by the end of June.

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