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Design & Development

Fan experience to the fore as Bills release latest stadium renderings

Images: Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills NFL franchise has released the third batch of renderings for its planned new stadium, with the latest images showing how the team brand and fan culture could be represented at the venue.

The renderings include a flag bar concept, which would serve as a “rally cry destination” for fans and look to capture the energy of tailgating inside the 60,000-capacity stadium.

Another image depicts a 3D Bills logo on the stadium concourse, which the team said would span multiple levels, while a third concept shows how a ‘shout wall’ may look.

Discussing the bar concept with The Buffalo News, Ron Raccuia, the Bills’ executive vice-president and chief operating officer of the Bills, said: “Western New Yorkers like to gather and they like to be together to celebrate. You go to an event, everybody stops at the bar first – they don’t go right to their table.

“You have a house party and no matter how big the house is, everybody is in the same place (of the house). This stadium will be built for people to gather and enjoy Bills football together.”

Other renderings released by the Bills yesterday (Monday) show wide-angle views of the stadium’s exterior with tailgaters in shot, plus a fan’s view (main picture) of the field from the middle of one of the main stands. The renderings also show fans walking around outside of the stadium on game day.

The Bills released the second set of renderings of the stadium last month, after unveiling the initial images back in October. The team has worked with architecture firm Populous on the design of the stadium, which will feature a 360-degree enclosed canopy and temperature-controlled spaces.

The initial renderings provided wide-angle views of the interior and exterior of the stadium, and the second batch included a pitch-level view of the venue, a side view of its exterior, a zoomed-out aerial shot, and a close-up of one the facility entrances.

The stadium will be smaller than the Bills’ current home, the 71,000-capacity Highmark Stadium. When releasing the initial renderings, the Bills said the images were subject to change but represented the first “firm representation” of the direction the team would like to pursue during the design process.

Earlier this month, the plans cleared another hurdle after the directors of the Erie County Stadium Corporation voted to lease land for the Bills to build the facility. It was reported that “light work” on the stadium could begin as early as April, with “big digging” slated to start in June.

In March last year, the Bills reached an agreement with New York State and Erie County to build the new $1.4bn (£1.1bn/€1.3bn) 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 project, with Erie County to provide $250m. The NFL and the Bills will provide the remaining $550m needed to build the stadium.

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.