VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula says he won’t ask fans to break the bank when it comes to deciding whether to renovate the team’s current stadium in the suburbs or build a new one downtown.
“Whatever we’re going to do stadium-wise is going to be in the best interest of our fans,” Pegula told The Associated Press during a wide-ranging interview before the start of the NHL draft in Vancouver. “We have the interest of our fans at heart, and what we do will be heavily weighted — whatever the plan is — toward the benefit of our fans.”
The Bills have hired a private firm to conduct a feasibility study on determining the team’s future home. The study is due to be completed sometime this summer and lead to a decision on whether the Bills will continue playing at New Era Field in suburban Orchard Park, New York, or relocate.
Both options are deemed expensive and have raised concerns over how much public money might be required to fund the project, and how much a new stadium could boost ticket prices in one of the NFL’s smallest markets.
A New York state-funded study in 2014 projected the next round of renovations would cost $540 million, including for structural improvements and rebuilding the stadium’s third deck. A new facility would cost almost double that, depending on location and whether it features a roof and based on how much infrastructure upgrades — expanded roads, access ramps, public transportation — might be necessary.