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Bills 'very close' to showing what new stadium will look like, other tidbits from PSE interview on WGR-550

The new details come as a Sept. 1 deadline to sign and finalize most of the documents for the stadium deal approaches.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The wait to see what the new home of the Buffalo Bills will look like could be coming to an end soon according to a top executive at Pegula Sports and Entertainment.

In an interview on WGR Sports Radio 550 on Monday, Executive Vice President Ron Raccuia shared new details about the stadium and said the Bills are "very close" to having renderings of what it will look like inside and out.

The news comes as a Sept. 1 deadline to sign and finalize most of the documents for the stadium deal approaches. While that date can be altered if discussions between the state, county, and PSE are not complete, Raccuia said Bills' ownership is working diligently.

“I wouldn't say there's a hiccup, I wouldn't say Bills fans should be freaking out but we have a lot of work to do… we just have to get in a room and get it figured out," Raccuia said.

As has been previously reported, the new stadium will have a smaller overall footprint than Highmark and will be situated directly across Abbott Road, next to ECC South. Raccuia reaffirmed that the stadium's orientation will be changed to cut down on wind but he newly detailed how the stadium will be a "360 degree enclosed" structure for that same reason.

While certain questions like what percentage of seats will be covered by a canopy and what the stadium's total capacity will be, Raccuia said those details aren't quite finalized but that "good concepts are in place." He explained how once that Sept. 1 deadline passes PSE hopes to hit the ground running.

The new stadium will be steeper and taller Raccuia added, describing the structure as "stacked" and designed to provide better views and tremendous noise for better home-field advantage.

"The fans are actually going to be closer to the field in the new stadium than they are in Highmark," Raccuia said.

Raccuia even went as far as to say he believes the first few rows of the upper deck might be the best viewing experience in the new stadium. Speaking of tickets he added that PSL or personal seat license information would likely be released sometime in late spring or early summer 2023.

When asked about parking and traffic, the Pegula Sports and Entertainment executive VP described how new buffer zones would be created to alleviate congestion where tickets are taken. He added that the early results of a traffic study showed that getting in and out of the stadium would be easier and more efficient thanks to various advancements since Highmark Stadium was built.

For fans who want to come earlier and stay a little longer, Raccuia said tailgating was a top five concern, according to some 14,000 fan surveys collected by the team. While he said there will be some new experiences including more defined areas for fans outside the stadium, the focus will be on enhancing tailgating with things like mini-convenient stories.

"There will be medians and maybe some grassy areas that people can experience differently rather than just a sea of asphalt," Raccuia said.

Once fans are in the stadium, virtually all the concourses will have some type of temperature control measure he added, whether radiant heating or a sealed walkway. 

And while fans won't be able to buy tickets for the new stadium for quite a while, a feature that may prove invaluable for many is virtual reality. Raccuia said that while the stadium won't be built, season ticket holders or PSL purchasers may be able to visualize through a digital headset or on some other display, exactly what their view of the field will look like from the seats they end up selecting. Trying to avoid the dreaded question of whether the seats you get are even any good.

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