Cuomo committee to explore new Bills stadium

Feb 11, 2014

As the $130 million rehab of Ralph Wilson Stadium continues, Governor Cuomo is moving toward starting a long-planned study of a new home for the Buffalo Bills.

Ralph Wilson Stadium opened in 1973 and is one of the oldest facilities in the NFL.
Credit WBFO File Photo

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz received a letter Monday from the governor announcing his first five appointments for the committee to look at a new stadium. Eventually, there are to be seven appointed by the governor, seven by the Bills and seven by Poloncarz.

They are to look at the dual questions of a new stadium and where.

"Many years ago, we conducted a study on that question when we were going into the prior lease," said Deputy County Executive Richard Tobe.

"At that point the community was very badly divided. About a third wanted it where it was. About a third wanted it in the City of Buffalo. And, about a third wanted it in a variety of different places. But, there was no consensus where that was. I don't know if that has changed any."

Tobe says the stadium lease provides for up to $11 million for studies of the current stadium which will be a half-century old when the current lease runs out.

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster is one of governor's appointments. He says the major goal is making sure the football team stays in Western New York.

Other appointees include Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, Buffalo Niagara Partnership CEO Dottie Gallagher-Cohen and Empire State Development President Kenneth Adams.