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Carucci: Buffalo Bills’ stadium plans “not fully formed”

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

A couple weeks ago, it was reported by TV stations in Rochester that the Buffalo Billsnew stadium would be placed in Orchard Park and not include many differences from the current stadium in several key ways. Reports even went so far as to say the team might play a year or two at Penn State University or in Toronto while the stadium was being built.

On Saturday, Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News threw buckets of cold water on those reports in his mailbag post published on the News’s website:

“I’m not nearly as convinced as some that plans are ‘moving along’ for a new stadium in Orchard Park,” said Carucci, answering a question about where the footprint of the new stadium would be located. “There has been reporting to that effect, but nothing I’ve heard from multiple people who I believe would have a decent handle on the situation convinces me that any plans are as fully formed as at least some of the reports indicated.”

Citing political clout and bluster, he noted that local leaders would not only have a say about where the stadium ends up but would also trumpet an agreement quickly as soon as one was reached. That hasn’t happened, supporting his claim that things aren’t exactly firmed up.

He also gave some insight as to why a new stadium is going to be built instead of renovating Highmark Stadium.

“Based on conversations I’ve had with experts in the field of sports facilities, building a new stadium would make the most sense because it would not be much more expensive than upgrading the Bills’ existing home,” said Carucci.

Carucci mentioned that Bills owner Terry Pegula has said in the past that he prefers open-air stadiums because football is meant to be played in the elements. Pegula called it a “home-field advantage”, per Carucci, and would cost less than a dome.