Buffalo Common Council Endorses Moving Bills Back to Buffalo
There has been a lot of debate lately about whether or not the Buffalo Bills should build a new stadium, where it should be located, and who should pay for it. The Buffalo Common Council, the City of Buffalo's legislative body, has made its opinion on the subject known.
During their bi-weekly meeting on Tuesday, October 19, 2021, the Common Council unanimously passed a resolution calling on all involved parties to seriously consider building a new Buffalo Bills stadium within the City of Buffalo.
The stadium being built within the limits of the City of Buffalo could be a gamechanger for this city, much like it has been in other areas that have been referenced, in addition to some that haven't, so I am 100% in favor of a stadium being built within the City of Buffalo
-Christopher P. Scanlon, President Pro Tempore of the Buffalo Common Council
Many within the City of Buffalo believe building the current Bills stadium in Orchard Park, NY was a mistake and this is now an opportunity to correct this error.
For years when I was younger, I would always hear older folks say 'two things that the city of Buffalo did wrong was that the Bills stadium wasn't downtown and UB moved to Amherst, and the City would be so much better if those things happened'. I think now we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to advocate for a stadium to be downtown and correct the wrong decisions that were made decades ago.
-Joel P. Feroleto, Delaware District Council Member
You can find the full text of the resolution below:
Whereas, the Buffalo Bills originally played at the War Memorial Stadium, aka ‘the Rockpile’, on Buffalo’s East Side near the present-day Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus;
Whereas, when the AFL and NFL merged in the late 1960s, the NFL required stadiums to have much larger capacities than what could be accommodated at War Memorial Stadium, so the team relocated to Orchard Park to what is now Highmark Stadium;
Whereas, this move was in line with a series of poor city planning decisions on the mid 20th century that took Buffalo’s assets and moved them to the suburbs;
Whereas, as new assets continue to be built and our population continues to grow, Buffalo’s renaissance has given new momentum and interest in correcting these past planning errors;
Whereas, in 2015, a state-paid consultant identified three downtown sites as potential stadium locations: the Cobblestone District, south of the Buffalo Creek Casino and near the Buffalo River, and between Swan and Exchange streets, near the Pierce-Arrow Museum;
Whereas, in June on 2021, discussion began for a new Bills Stadium, which is estimated to cost $1.4 billion;
Whereas, this is an opportunity to develop plans for a downtown Buffalo Bills stadium, correcting the past error of moving the Bills out of Buffalo;
Whereas, there is speculation that the cost of a downtown stadium would be higher than an Orchard Park option because of added infrastructure costs;
Whereas, people and businesses in both the city and the suburbs would greatly benefit from these additional infrastructure changes in the city, including many new jobs and stronger investment in public transportation options;
Whereas, a downtown stadium would greatly strengthen Buffalo’s food, retail, hotel, and tourism industries; and,
Whereas, the City of Buffalo needs to be a serious consideration for the new Buffalo Bills stadium, which would be a great benefit to both Buffalo and its surrounding suburbs: therefore be it
Resolved that the Buffalo Common Council hereby:
1.) Calls on all City, County, and State representatives of the City of Buffalo to advocate for the serious consideration and exploration of the feasibility of a downtown Buffalo Bills stadium;
2.) Requests the National Football League consider the many benefits associated with a downtown Buffalo Bills stadium;
3.) Requests that copies of this resolution be sent to the Mayor, the Buffalo delegation of the Erie County Legislature, the NYS Governor, and the Buffalo delegations of the NYS Senate and Assembly for consideration.