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Nicholas Stracick, CEO and president of the Greater Buffalo Sports and Entertainment Complex, unveiled a proposal on Tuesday to build a $1.4 billion waterfront sports and entertainment facility that would include a 72-thousand seat retractable-roof stadium for the Buffalo Bills.
Stracick's company has already spent about $1 million in hiring a leading sports facility architectural firm, Dallas-based HKS Design, to design a site plan. HKS has designed numerous stadiums, including the Dallas Cowboys and Indy Colts new facility, and the new Yankee Stadium.
The next step is having the city acquire a 400-acre plot of land lining the outer harbor just south of downtown. The land is currently controlled by the region's transportation authority.
Stracick says he's already lined up a group of investors, and projects the complex -- which would also include a hotel, convention center and sports museum -- would be mostly privately funded, with about 30 percent of the cost picked up by taxpayers. I do have issue with the taxpayers picking up a tab of $400 million. The Bills have been an NFL joke for the last 12 year, however, without a new stadium the Bills days are numbered in Buffalo. Ralph Wilson Stadium is already outdated.
The Bills are in negotiations with state and county officials to renew their lease, which expires in July.
The biggest obstacle in negotiations is determining how to divide up the costs for $200 million in renovations and upgrades the Bills are seeking to have done to the 39-year-old facility.
Though the franchise's future in Buffalo is uncertain once 94-year-old owner Ralph Wilson dies, team officials have maintained their commitment to staying in Buffalo and continuing to play at Ralph
I understand the number one goal should continue to be to negotiate a new lease for the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. However, the only way the Bills have any shot of not leaving town is to build a state of the art stadium.