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New downtown stadium would double cost of potential Buffalo Bills’ project, per report

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

If the Buffalo Bills want to be the Buffalo Bills and not the Orchard Park Bills, it’s going to cost an awful lot of money according to Tim Graham of The Athletic. While many politicians and residents have balked at the $1.4 billion price tag of a new stadium in Orchard Park, the cost of a new stadium downtown could nearly double that figure.

“[Pegula Sports and Entertainment]’s budget for a downtown stadium came out to around $2.5 billion,” reports Graham. “That includes land acquisitions and colossal infrastructure considerations such as Thruway exits and onramps, sewer lines and parking structures. Much of the latter would fall on taxpayers regardless. Construction would take about six years.”

All of that stadium infrastructure is in place in Orchard Park. Plenty of parking lot exits to major thoroughfares mean traffic isn’t terrible (and something for folks who want a waterfront stadium to consider).

Graham notes that the idea of a downtown stadium is probably dead for that reason alone. One thing could drive the move, and it wouldn’t be the Bills.

“Let’s say the governor’s office insists money be invested in an economic engine for downtown Buffalo and ponies enough of the cost. Then downtown is where the new stadium will go,” says Graham. “But that doesn’t seem likely.”