On Monday, New York State governor Kathy Hochul along with Erie County and the Buffalo Bills announced a deal for a new stadium in Orchard Park. On Tuesday, Hochul announced how some of it would be funded.
The state is on the hook for $600 million and, on Tuesday, Hochul shared that $418 million of that would come from a debt settlement with the Seneca Nation of Indians. That $418 million wasn’t previously accounted for in the budget, which should minimize the impact on the yearly budgets going forward.
“These funds were generated in Western New York, and I am directing the State’s share, which is more than $418 million, to the new Buffalo Bills stadium,” said Hochul in a press release. “This will ensure the Bills remain in New York State and support 10,000 construction jobs. The remainder of the funds will go directly to the counties and cities of Western New York and be reinvested to support the local economy and communities.”
The dispute stemmed over revenue sharing at the casinos owner and operated by the Seneca Nation dating back to 2017. Seneca President Matthew Pagels announced an agreement in January, so the announcement of the funds on the heels of the stadium commitment certainly does appear to be timed for maximum impact.