The Buffalo Bills plan to open a new stadium in 2026 in Orchard Park, N.Y. File Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI | License Photo
PALM BEACH, Fla., March 28 (UPI) -- The Buffalo Bills plan to build a $1.4 billion stadium to remain in Orchard Park, N.Y., Pegula Sports and Entertainment vice president Ron Raccuia told reporters Monday at the NFL's annual meeting.
Raccuia said the groundbreaking should be in April or May 2023. The team aims to complete the 60,000-to-62,000-seat stadium in 2026.
"It will be loud, it will be intense, it will be intimate," Raccuia said, when asked about the stadium Monday at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla.
"It will take a lot of the great features of Highmark Stadium and bring them over to the new stadium in a modern, state-of-the-art way."
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz also announced Monday in a release that the state, Erie County and the NFL East franchise agreed to a stadium deal.
"Gov. Hochul's negotiations secured a 30-year commitment for the Bills to remain in Buffalo, and a combined $550 million from the NFL and Bills -- approved today by the NFL owners," the release said.
Another $600 million will be proposed through the state budget, while Erie County will contribute $250 million. The project is projected to create 10,000 construction jobs.
"We took another step today to solidify our collective goal of constructing a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park," Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula said in the release "We are grateful for the time, efforts and unwavering commitment made by Gov. Hochul and her team throughout this process.
"While there are a few more yards to go before we cross the goal line, we feel our public-private partnership between New York State, Erie County ... and the NFL will get us there."
The release said that the Erie County will transfer ownership of the Bills' current facility -- Highmark Stadium -- to the state. The state and county will retain the right ask the court to enforce "non-relocation terms," should the Bills default on their new agreement.
"We will continue to work closely with [government officials] and the Pegulas to make this exciting vision a reality, "NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. "The Pegulas have continued to demonstrate their commitment to Buffalo, a market that has supported the NFL for generations.
"This new stadium will further provide the foundation to help the Bills remain competitive in western New York for decades to come."