Rochester, N.Y — Plans for a new retractable-roof stadium and convention center in Buffalo have already built a renewed sense of optimism among Bills supporters.
“I think they need a new stadium,” said Jim Bullock, a former Buffalo resident who now lives in Henrietta. “I think they need to put a better product on the field, that would help.”
Representatives from the Greater Buffalo Sports & Entertainment Complex gave a presentation to Buffalo Common Council Tuesday that outlines a stadium, convention center, hotel and sports museum.
“I think it makes a lot of sense as a larger plan, as more than just an NFL stadium,” said Todd Harrison, Assistant Professor and Department Chair of Sports Management at St. John Fisher College.
Harrison said it would be difficult for those planning the project to generate the projected $1.4 billion needed to fund construction of the venue, but does not feel that it is an impossible plan.
“The sales tax, other revenue sources are relatively tapped out. So that piece is difficult to see, but if there is a general will of the government than it could be done,” Harrison explained.
Harrison pointed to other similar projects. “I think it makes a lot of sense as a larger plan than just an NFL stadium. You see AEG’s plan for Farmer’s Field down in L.A., the work they’ve done at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, the new Meadowlands Stadium, all part of a larger plan where they can use those for more than just the 8 or 10 games that the NFL will be.”
St. John Fisher College hosts Buffalo Bills training camp and is the alma mater of Bills General Manager Russell Brandon.
A statement from the Buffalo Bills said that the organization is aware of the plans but has not been in contact with GBSEC. The team has been in negotiations with Erie County and state representatives regarding its lease of Ralph Wilson Stadium.