BUFFALO, N.Y. — Another hurdle has been cleared on the track toward a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills.
2 On Your Side has independently confirmed through a league source that the NFL's Stadium and Finance Committee has approved a $200 million loan to the owners of the Bills to help them offset the cost of what they may have to put up for a new facility.
The committee, which includes representatives from half of the teams in the league (but not the Bills), approved a so-called G4 loan from the league to the Pegulas to assist them with new stadium construction.
According to a source, the Bills are expected to have to fund at least $300 million of the projected $1.4 billion cost of the project.
However, this $200 million loan would cover two thirds of that amount, and and three-quarters of that loan amount would be paid back via revenue that the new stadium produces over 25 years.
So the financial pill for the Pegulas would not be such a bitter one to swallow, according to our Buffalo Bills insider, Vic Carucci.
"It's not something that the Pegulas would eventually write a check to the other owners to pay back," Carucci said. "it will come directly from that revenue. Obviously, the Pegulas will contribute their share to the total costs but this is an important element to allow the Bills ownership to get this done."
With the measure having passed muster with the committee, it now goes before NFL owners for approval at their annual meetings, which start Monday, and where Carucci doesn't think it will run into any problems.
"I expect the owners to follow form, as they have with previous stadium situations, and do their part to help a fellow owner get over the top to get the funding for a stadium," Carucci said.
Meanwhile, negotiations continue for a new stadium and lease among the Bills, the State of New York, and Erie County.
Larger hurdle looms
The state is expected to provide the vast majority of funding for the project
Supporters hope this would be included in the state budget, which lawmakers are due to vote on in the next week.
"There are differing levels of support from for the Buffalo Bills in different parts of the state and depending on what political philosophies may be," NYS Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) said.
However, while acknowledging some resistance from downstate lawmakers in particular, Kennedy remains optimistic.
"In the conversations I've been having with the folks in my conference, they have been generally supportive, so hopefully we'll be able to get this done and done quickly," Kennedy said.
It's also possible that the entirety of state funding may not be included on the state budget.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who has labeled a new stadium for the Bills a top priority of her administration, said dollars could also be drawn from existing state economic development funds.
Unlike a state budget, which must be negotiated with leadership in the State Senate and State Assembly, these funds are largely under Hochul's control as governor.
"Both sources of funding are ion the table," Hochul said during a recent visit to Buffalo.