State Consultant Picks Sites, Politicians Push for Info
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - A California company commissioned by New York State to study and recommend potential sites for a new Buffalo Bills football stadium have made their recommendations, concentrating on sites in Buffalo or it's suburbs.
AECOM, a Los Angeles architectural and design firm was hired to evaluate several sites across the region that could serve as the team's new home if a new stadium is needed.
The Buffalo News reports the company has narrowed the field down to four potential sites; downtown, in West Seneca or a major renovation of Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Sites in Niagara Falls, Buffalo's Outer Harbor, and Batavia were rejected by the firm, The News says.
On Wednesday, State Assemblyman Mickey Kearns and other elected officials gathered to call for transparency from the State's New Stadium Working Group as they prepare to receive the report.
"Taxpayers should not have to rely on anonymous sources to find out how their $95 Million is being spent, and the possible larger expenditure of tax dollars on a new stadium," Kearns said. "(Taxpayers) don't have a seat at the table, we don't get to find out what is going on, how our taxpayer money is being spent."
State Assemblyman John Ceretto, whose district includes Niagara Falls, reacted to the report that the area would not be considered for a stadium. "I would have loved to have the Buffalo Bills in Niagara Falls, but if they don't go to Niagara Falls that's fine because we're Western New Yorkers first. We have to think about the region to move as a region together."
The NFL team is for sale following the death of owner and founder Ralph Wilson in March.
New York State commissioned AECOM to select three potential sites that could serve as a starting point for talks with the NFL and a new team owner. The report has been delayed in order to more thoroughly investigate all of the sites.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said a new stadium may be important to keeping the franchise in western New York, while Erie County officials and Gov. Cuomo have been more cautious when talking about the need for a new stadium. The Bills have a lease with Erie County for Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park until 2023, with a buyout option in 2020.