Hochul: Hinted at Relocation City For Bills If Stadium Deal Wasn’t Subsidized
The Buffalo Bills will not be going anywhere for a very long time. Two weeks ago, a new 30-year lease agreement was reached between the Bills, Erie County and New York State on a $1.4 billion open-air stadium in Orchard Park.
The stadium deal was part of the new state budget for 2023 and was officially passed this past week, making it official, despite some opposition of public money funding a Western New York stadium.
The Bills are aiming to start play in the new stadium by 2026.
Even though the plan all along was to keep the Bills in Buffalo, which did happen, the threat of relocation was there.
Gov. Kathy Hochul was a guest with Brian Lehrer on WNYC on Wednesday. The Bills stadium deal was talked about in detail, with Hochul mentioning that she was aware that the Pegulas were approached by cities who recently lost NFL teams about relocating the Bills.
That suggests cities like San Diego and St. Louis, and in fact, Hochul threw out San Diego as a possible place the Bills could have gone to if the state did not subsidize the new stadium.
In the end, the Bills got a deal with the county and state, which will see $850 million of public money going towards the new stadium. If the $1.4 billion price tag goes over budget, the Bills are on the hook for the additional cost.
Hochul added that like Broadway is to New York City, the Bills are to Western New York; and the threat of relocation was always there.
It's still undetermined when ground will be broken on the new stadium, but considering the 2026 start, it should be very soon.