ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – In the year since an agreement to build a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills was announced, the price tag has already gone up by 10 percent.
The good news for taxpayers: They’re not on the hook for any additional costs.
Bills officials told News 4 the project budget has increased to $1.54 billion — rising by $140 million from the original $1.4 billion projection.
The Bills, Erie County and New York State agreed on a stadium deal one year ago today — on March 28, 2022. The proposed $1.4 billion cost was to be split three ways: $600 million from New York, $250 million from Erie County, and $550 million combined from the NFL and the Bills. Of the Bills’ portion, $200 million was expected from the NFL’s G-4 loan program.
But according to the terms of the agreement, all increases and overruns are to be paid by the Bills. That was announced a year ago and reiterated this week by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.
“The cost of the stadium has gone up, I can say that. It has gone up,” Poloncarz said Monday. “But there will be no additional cost borne by the people of Erie County and New York state because under the agreement that we have, all cost overruns and any increases are to be borne by the Bills.”
The $140 million increase brings the Bills’ share of stadium funding to approximately $490 million. That’s a 40% increase from the original terms, though the Bills’ share is still less than the combined $850 million the state and county will pay.
The team plans to subsidize some of its contribution through the sale of personal seat licenses, or PSLs, which essentially give fans the right to purchase a season ticket. The cost will vary by section, but could run into the thousands of dollars per seat. The holder of a PSL can resell the license later and potentially recoup money.
The open-air stadium is scheduled to open in 2026. A groundbreaking ceremony is expected later this spring.