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Empire State Development releases Bills stadium study

The study, which was conducted by AECOM, will be used as a guide during negotiations to find the best location for a future BIlls' stadium.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Empire State Development released the study on a stadium analysis for Buffalo Bills.

The study, which was conducted by AECOM, will be used as a guide during negotiations to find the best location for a future BIlls' stadium.

"Empire State Development is pleased to present the completed AECOM Bills’ stadium analysis,” said Kevin Younis, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Deputy Commissioner at Empire State Development. “We are confident that the results of this analysis will be a valuable tool as the State, Erie County and the Buffalo Bills work together to make sure the team remains in the region in a facility that Bills fans and all New Yorkers can be proud of for years to come.”

According to the study: 

  • The cost to renovate the existing stadium is estimated at approximately $862 million, compared to $1.354 billion for a new stadium at Orchard Park (a difference of approximately $492 million) 
  • The cost to build the same stadium in a downtown location is estimated to add an additional $350 million to the project cost, not including the potential cost to relocate residents and businesses and the potential time required to move through the SEQRA process (potentially up to $100 million additional costs) as well as the cost to add a roof to the stadium if required to address orientation issues of downtown site (an additional $300 million). With these additional costs, a new downtown stadium could cost up to $2.1 billion or more.
  • The Bills currently generate approximately $27 million per year ($482 million net present value) in fiscal revenues to the City, County and State; if the Bills were to relocate out of the market, these revenues would also be lost
  • Both the Orchard Park and Downtown sites have limited potential to attract significant upfront real estate investment; however, public investments in infrastructure surrounding a downtown stadium could potentially result in increased property values in the area, resulting in increased property tax collections, estimate to total approximately $53 million (net present value) over the next 30 years.
  • There are additional, intangible factors that cannot be quantified but must also be considered in any analysis related to public investment in a new stadium.

The current lease for the Bills to play at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park expires in July 2023. 

The final decision on where the Bills play will be between the negotiating partners. 

You can read the full report here.