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Poloncarz on stadium and Bills lease: 'We're in a good place' but no signed deal yet

The Erie County Executive says NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is directly involved with talks about a new stadium for the Bills in Orchard Park.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With the annual league meeting for NFL owners starting on Sunday in Florida as well as the state's budget now being negotiated, we're still wondering about the status of talks on the new Bills stadium and the team lease.

2 On Your Side sought out more information Wednesday from Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, who is part of those complicated discussions. 

"No signed deal yet, but we're in a good place," is the line from Poloncarz as he was again pelted with questions from reporters asking where things stand on the contract talks for the stadium and the long-term lease for the Buffalo Bills. 

Poloncarz says this is a very complicated negotiation process because, again, they are not just looking at the construction of a new stadium but also a long-term lease for the Bills. Poloncarz jokingly says this should keep the Bills here throughout his lifetime in a projection.

He also told reporters that estimates of a billion dollars in taxpayer funding through the state and the county for the stadium are "not accurate" and that there's lots of inaccurate information floating around.

But he would not specify what is inaccurate as negotiations between the parties continue. 

Poloncarz did talk about the negotiation process, which he says picked up over the past few weeks with the involvement of a key player from the NFL. 

"I can confirm that the commissioner (Roger Goodell) has been involved in discussions and on Zoom calls things like that. The Pegulas are involved. I've been involved. But it's a complicated deal. I like where we are and hope very soon we'll be able to announce we have a signed deal and  discuss the terms," Poloncarz said.

And in a bit of an educated guess and realizing that Gov. Kathy Hochul would also like a deal as part of her state budget, which is technically due as of April 1, Poloncarz offered this, saying again, "I like where we are, and I'm hopeful that we will be able to announce something by April first."

Of course, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be with the Pegulas again this weekend for the league meetings.

Poloncarz also said, without any specifics, that most of the major talking points in this deal have been agreed upon. He stressed that any move with a new Bills stadium would not really require the shutdown of the ECC South Campus, which has been a topic of discussion. 



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