Fri August 29, 2014
Stadium group leaders defend process
Some leaders of the New Stadium Working Groups say they have no plans for a public meeting. That's despite the call earlier this week by nearly two dozen elected officials for more transparency in the process.
Shortly after Bills owner Ralph Wilson died, the New Stadium Working Group held its first meeting to begin looking into whether it's more feasible to build a new stadium or further retrofit Ralph Wilson Stadium.
In Buffalo Thursday, Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy, a co-chair of the Stadium Group, said their only meeting was in April. So far, there's no information to share.
"It's a process that takes time because there's a lot of discussions," Duffy said.
"There really is nothing of any consequence until the ownership decision is made for the Buffalo Bills. And the new owner, or the ownership team, decides whether the current stadium...is sufficient or they want to look at a new stadium."
The panel's other Co-Chair, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, also says there has only been one meeting. Poloncarz says the panel is not trying to avoid the public.
"There's a thought amongst all of us that we probably shouldn't be having an emergency meeting as demanded at a time when the Bills ownership might change in a very short period of time," Poloncarz said.
"Remember, the New Stadium Working Group is 21 members, of which seven are the state, seven are the county, seven are the Bills. And I'm fairly confident when the new owner comes in they may want to put their own people on that group."
Along with waiting for a new owner, Poloncarz says the group does not want to meet until the stadium feasibility study is released by the state's consultants.