More details have emerged on a planned $1.4bn (£1.16bn/€1.37bn), 60,000-seat stadium for the Buffalo Bills NFL team.
Populous has been hired as the architect of record for the stadium. Although specific designs have not yet been made available, a site plan detailing the initial concept was released by Erie County earlier this month.
Scott Radecic, a former player for the Bills who now serves as the team’s project executive for Populous, has been discussing plans for the venue. The stadium will be built on 242.5 acres of land and span 1.35 million square feet, and Radecic said the venue will look to create a “unique” game-day experience for Bills fans.
With a capacity of 60,000, the stadium will feature fewer seats than the Bills’ current home, the 71,000-capacity Highmark Stadium. Despite the smaller capacity, Buffalo News reports that the new stadium will be 50% bigger than Highmark Stadium in terms of square footage.
Radecic said: “I know our owner has said that he wants every team that comes to play in this stadium to say, ‘I hate going to Buffalo to play’ and that’s what we’re trying to do from a design standpoint.”
According to Buffalo News, the stadium will feature more levels than Highmark Stadium and steeper, higher stands, as well as more dynamic entrances. Radecic said the entrances will create dramatic views of the stadium and “Instagrammable moments”.
Other features of the stadium will include aligning pedestrian paths through parking areas and green spaces. The overall design process is set to take around 12 to 15 months to complete, according to Populous senior principal Kelly Kearns.
The Bills reached an agreement with New York State and Erie County to build the new stadium back in March.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul secured a 30-year commitment for the Bills to remain in Buffalo. New York State will commit $600m to the project, Erie County will provide $250m, and the NFL and the Bills will provide the remaining $550m.
It is hoped the stadium can be finished by as early as 2026. The Bills’ lease at Highmark Stadium expires in 2023 and all parties are set to begin negotiations on extending this ahead of the stadium move.
Highmark Stadium opened in 1973. Following the opening of the new facility, the Bills’ current home is expected to be demolished and redeveloped as a large parking lot.
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