The Buffalo Bills are getting a new home.
Highmark Stadium, the NFL’s fourth-oldest facility, will host its last Bills game in 2025.
In 2026, Bills Mafia will move its tailgates just down the road in Orchard Park to a brand-new $1.4 billion state-of-the-art facility, the team announced Monday. Construction will begin in spring 2023 and is set to be completed in time for the 2026 season.
The 62,000-seat stadium will cost the Bills $350 million alongside a $200 million NFL loan through the league’s G-4 loan program, leaving the largest financial burden to the New York State taxpayers who will be footed with an $850 million tab for the 30-year lease — $600 million of which will come from state taxes and $250 million coming from Erie County.
The deal is believed to be the largest public stadium subsidy in history, besting the Raiders’ 2020 Allegiant Stadium’s $750 million public funding tab.
Although numerous locations were considered, the decision to remain in Orchard Park was logistically preferable over possible venues such as downtown Buffalo, since “other locations required significantly more dollars and significantly longer lead time,” Pegula Sports and Entertainment Executive Vice President Ron Raccuia said.
The Bills have set the deal in motion, securing a signed Memorandum of Understanding with New York State and receiving G-4 funding and NFL approval, but these are just the first steps. Next, the Bills will have to seek approval from the New York State and Erie County Legislatures to receive tax funding.
“We took another step today to solidify our collective goal of constructing a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park,” Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula said in a press release.
The new building was favored over renovating Highmark Stadium — that would have racked up an estimated $1 billion bill alone and lasted no longer than 20 years.
But Highmark isn’t out of commision just yet; the Bills are expected to remain at 1 Bills Drive until at least 2025.
Sophie McNally is an assistant sports editor and can be reached at email@example.com
Sophie McNally is an assistant sports editor at The Spectrum. She is a history major studying abroad for a year from Newcastle University in the UK. In her spare time, she can be found blasting The 1975 or Taylor Swift and rowing on a random river at 5 a.m.