UB has been invited to join the Buffalo Bills’ new stadium project by Pegula Sports and Entertainment, according to Tim Graham of The Athletic.
Despite the tempting offer, UB Athletic Director Mark Alnutt says the Bulls would prefer to remain on campus.
While UB Stadium surely has its own set of problems — a track surrounding the field, out-of-date scoreboard and lack of amenities — an off-campus location could hinder UB’s campus community’s involvement.
“Being able to have student engagement on campus is critical for us,” Alnutt told The Athletic. “When Alumni come back to campus, when our students want to attend the games, we want our community to have that connection. That’s very important.”
The Bills submitted a proposal for a $1.4 billion, 60,000-seat stadium in August, but downtown Buffalo and a UB site off Maple Road were also examined.
UB is determined to focus on its own infrastructure but would welcome the idea of building the new Bills stadium on its Amherst campus, according to The Athletic.
Nothing is official yet, and Alnutt says he’s not ruling out the possibility of a partnership with the Bills. But plans for a new stadium must be clear before UB makes any type of major move.
While the location of the Bills’ new stadium might be in question, Alnutt and PSE Executive Vice President Ron Raccuia suggested UB could play select games at the new Bills stadium, regardless of its location.
“That’s something our fans and student-athletes would love to experience,” Alnutt told The Athletic. “And [it] would be beneficial from a recruiting standpoint to have that option.”
In the meantime, Alnutt says plans for a separate track and a new soccer complex will be revealed soon. However, improvements to the video scoreboard and a plan to move the visitors’ locker room are first on the to-do list for UB Athletics.
“There’s [an] opportunity to invest in our stadium here,” Alnutt said. “There need to be some updates and enhancements that would benefit our program immensely.”
Anthony DeCicco is the senior sports editor for The Spectrum. In his free time, he can be found playing video games, watching ‘90s Knicks games and arguing with people on NBA Twitter at 3 a.m.