Global premium experiences company Legends has stepped up its relationship with the Buffalo Bills by agreeing a deal to assume hospitality services at the NFL team’s new stadium.
Legends is already working with the Bills to lead planning, project management, sales and partnerships for the new $1.4bn (£1.1bn/€1.3bn) stadium, which the team secured final approval for earlier this month.
The Bills currently play at Highmark Stadium. Buffalo-headquartered Delaware North has operated concessions, premium dining and retail services at Highmark Stadium since 1992 but the company will not be extending its partnership with the Bills when the team relocates.
The Bills’ new stadium will have a capacity of between 60,000 and 62,000 and will be developed on land adjacent to Highmark Stadium.
In a statement to 7 News, Legends president Dan Smith said: “Legends is proud to expand our long-term partnership with the Buffalo Bills to deliver a best-in-class hospitality experience for Bills Mafia at games, showcasing the very best Buffalo has to offer and beyond.”
Delaware North said: “We are disappointed not to have been selected to continue to be the Buffalo Bills’ hospitality partner beyond the 2025 season. We continue to believe our local roots, partnerships and successful track record with implementing innovative hospitality programmes would have made us an outstanding partner in the new stadium.
“As a Buffalo-based company, we are incredibly proud of our Delaware North team members who have worked tirelessly on behalf of the Buffalo Bills and their passionate fans for more than 30 years and remain committed to our longstanding partnership with the Bills organisation.”
Legends’ NFL portfolio also includes partnerships with SoFi Stadium and Allegiant Stadium.
Erie County Legislature voted 10-0 in favour of the Bills’ stadium project on May 4. It came after the Bills, New York State and Erie County last month announced that all documents and contracts for the project had been signed and submitted to the Legislature.
The Bills expect to begin major construction work next month. New York State is committing $600m towards the project, with Erie County to provide $250m. The NFL, through its G4 loan programme, and the Bills will provide the remaining $550m.
The open-air stadium, which will be built on a 242-acre site, is set to be the biggest project ever built in Western New York. The construction of a 75,000-square-foot ancillary building and demolition of the current stadium are also part of the site’s related development. Completion is scheduled for July 2026 ahead of that year’s NFL regular season.
The Bills have released three sets of renderings for the stadium, with the latest images showing how the team brand and fan culture could be represented at the venue.
The 71,000-capacity Highmark Stadium opened in 1973 and while the Bills’ previous lease agreement was due to expire in July, it has now been extended to 2028 with the new deal. Following the opening of the new facility, Highmark Stadium is expected to be demolished and redeveloped as a large parking lot.