At the same time the Buffalo Bills are looking to become top of the class on the field, they are also looking to build a new stadium. Recent reports state that it may be more costly than originally anticipated.
The Bills' new home, called New Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, is scheduled to open in 2026. The state of New York has already signed off on the new stadium. Originally, the total cost to construct was estimated at $1.4 billion. That sum is now on the rise, giving Buffalo a whole lot more to pay for.
According to Tim Graham of The Athletic, the overrun of costs could make the project worth as much as $1.9 billion. John Wawrow of the Associated Press pegs the figure at $1.65 billion now and reports that's growing to $1.7 billion.
“We don’t know enough yet to confirm this,” said Bills COO John Roth, via AP. Wawrow reports that increases in labor and material costs and a delay in sending out bids are factors to blame for the rising price. The Bills must pay the overrun charges associated with New Highmark Stadium, an agreement that gives the team total control over the design and construction of the new facility.
In what has become somewhat of a routine in American professional sports, Bills reportedly threatened to leave their city if they didn’t get public money to help finance the new stadium. One rumored relocation city was Austin, Texas. They ended up receiving a commitment of $850,000 from taxpayer money — $650,000 from state taxes and the remainder from Erie County, where Orchard Park is located — and now will seemingly pay more for the new home.
The 2023 season could be a huge one on the field for the Bills, as Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs and company are eager to prove they can hang with the elite teams of the AFC. While the opening of the stadium still isn’t for a few years, they should remain a very good team until then.
The pressure will remain on the Bills to keep their stadium project going and maintain success on the field to drive up hype for it.