The Buffalo Bills NFL team has today (Thursday) released the first renderings of its planned new stadium, which is scheduled for completion in time for the 2026 season.
The Bills have worked with architecture firm Populous on the design of the stadium, which will feature a 360-degree enclosed canopy and temperature-controlled spaces.
The stadium will be located in Orchard Park and will have a capacity of around 60,000 – fewer than the Bills’ current home, the 71,000-capacity Highmark Stadium.
The Bills said the exterior image of the stadium highlights the team’s desire for a visual identity that reflects some of the historical architecture of Buffalo, while also delivering a modern appearance.
The inside bowl rendering shows a stacked seating design, which is designed to “rain crowd noise” onto the playing field. Extensive radiant heating will form part of the design to enhance comfort and keep fans warm during the winter months.
The renderings are subject to change, but the Bills said they are the first “firm representation” of the direction the team would like to pursue during the design process.
In March, the Bills reached an agreement with New York State and Erie County to build the new $1.4bn (£1.2bn/€1.4bn) stadium in Orchard Park, with New York Governor Kathy Hochul securing a 30-year commitment for the team to remain in Buffalo.
New York State will commit $600m towards the new stadium project, with Erie County to provide $250m. The NFL and the Bills will provide the remaining $550m needed to build the new stadium.
A site plan detailing the initial concept of the stadium was released by Erie County in August. The concept detailed how 283.42 acres of land will be used for the proposed facility.
The Bills hope to move into the new stadium in time for the 2026 NFL season. The team’s 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.
Earlier this week, the NFL’s Tennessee Titans released renderings of their planned 60,000-seat stadium. The renderings were designed by Manica Architecture, which also designed the Las Vegas Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium.