New York State has announced financing worth $600m for a $1.4bn stadium for NFL team the Buffalo Bills, to be built in Orchard Park, Buffalo. The project will be co-funded by $550m from the NFL and the Buffalo Bills, and Erie County will pitch in $250m.
A statement from Kathy Hochul, New York’s governor, said that the economic and tax benefits would recoup the cost to the state.
She said: “I went into these negotiations trying to answer three questions – how long can we keep the Bills in Buffalo, how can we make sure this project benefits the hard-working men and women of western New York and how can we get the best deal for taxpayers?”
Mario Cilento, New York State AFL-CIO union president, said: “We thank Governor Hochul for fulfilling her promise to keep the Buffalo Bills in western New York. It is a much-needed investment in the region that will create opportunities for workers to continue to live and work in and around the stadium for years to come.”
Construction on the 60,000-capacity project, which is adjacent to the team’s Highmark ground, will create 10,000 unionised labour jobs.
The stadium is due to be completed by the 2028 NFL season.
The Buffalo Bills have been playing in New York since 1960, but the lease was due to end on their current home in 2023, with a potential move to another city floated. The present deal should keep them in Buffalo for the next 30 years.
Erie County will transfer ownership of the current stadium and adjoining complex, which includes practice facilities and office space, to the state.