With word coming on Friday that the Buffalo Bills are figuratively laying the groundwork to build a new stadium in Orchard Park, another report over the weekend says the Bills may not extend the current lease at Highmark Stadium to bridge the gap to that new building. With the building project expected to take place over three to five years and the current lease set to expire in 2023, two to four years may be needed to cover the interim.
While the team would ultimately prefer to keep all their home games in Orchard Park, they are also considering the possibility of Penn State or Toronto hosting games, per Thad Brown of WROC in Rochester.
From Orchard Park to Toronto is a two-hour car trip plus a border crossing into Canada. You’ll recall the Bills played several games in the Ontario city during a stretch of time from 2008 to 2013. It was an underwhelming time for the Bills and the series of games. Buffalo has played home to a Toronto-based team during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the Toronto Blue Jays have played several home games at the home of their AAA affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons.
Penn State is even further away at roughly four hours of travel time from one stadium to the other. Bills owner Terry Pegula has strong ties to his alma mater. He’s a member of the university Board of Trustees, donated the money to build an ice arena for the school as part of millions donated to the school, and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2014. With a capacity of more than 100,000 people, it’s a much larger venue that Highmark Stadium or the Rogers Center in Toronto.