Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills is "not in the cards right now."
Poloncarz points out that team owners, Terry and Kim Pegula, have stated that they're not interested in a new stadium. And he says it would cost at least $1 billion.
"I think people are saying, 'Oh I'm underestimating the cost associated with football stadiums.' But all you gotta do is look at what's being built right now. Between Vegas for the Raiders, Los Angeles is just ridiculous. That's a $5 billion project. Atlanta was well over cost overruns associated with that, that was over $2 billion. So, I think, $1 billion is a low estimate." And Poloncarz says it would be "a big enough lift" for the county to come up with $450 million to build a new convention center.
Some advocates say combining the projects would save money. But the County Executive disputes any cost saving and says it's not a smart option.
"You have to remember, there are problems with football stadiums that are combo convention centers in the way they're designed, in that, during football season you can't use it pretty much for anything else other than football. So, from August to basically December, it's a football stadium," Poloncarz said.
He says the Bills' lease for the county owned New Era Field runs through the end of the 2022 NFL season.