Poloncarz says current stadium is still strong

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) All options appear to be on the table for finding a home that will keep the Buffalo Bills in Western New York.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is on the New Stadium Working Group but won’t reveal which sites might be front runners for a possible new Bills stadium. “If we identified a site, it could drive up the cost. If it is privately owned land, and I certainly don’t want to increase costs.”

New York State is also paying for a second opinion. For the past couple weeks, Los Angeles Attorney Irwin Raij has been scouting possible sites in Western New York. He has experience helping Major League Baseball Teams through acquistions and new stadiums.

According to the Contract Summary, “Mr Raij’s role will be to provide Empire State Development with targeted, strategic advice concerning the existing Stadium lease, the work of the New Stadium Working Group and future studies and plans for the stadium.”

Although, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has given strong indications that a new stadium would help keep the Bills in Buffalo, Poloncarz believes “The Ralph” still has a future. “The bones of the Stadium, the structural integrity of the Stadium is very strong. So, it’s not as if the Stadium would be decrepid in ten years. We believe, our Department of Public Works has done an analysis that says Ralph Wilson Stadium’s structural integrity could last another forty years.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo says spending up to a billion dollars for a new stadium would be difficult and complicated. He also says if it is essential, he would support it.

“It’s not just government money, it would be private money also, and NFL, so it would be very complicated and I don’t know that we’re at that point where anyone has said ‘There must be a new stadium, period.”

The California consultant group known as AECOM is expected to examine about a dozen possible sites for a new stadium in Western New york, and narrow it down to the best three options by July 11.

 

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