Why Consultants Say New Stadium Makes More Sense Than Refurbishing Highmark Stadium


BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) – While they haven’t said where it should go, a group of New York State consultants said this week that building a brand new stadium for the Buffalo Bills makes more sense than to renovate their current stadium.

It’s simply a numbers game, according to their report.

“In general, when the cost of the renovation exceeds about 60% of the replacement cost by
a new facility, assuming a build schedule, scope, size, operational capabilities, etc. comparable.
The project is reaching a tipping point where new construction is the generally recommended approach, ”wrote the AECOM consultants.

A renovation of Highmark Stadium, according to the consultants, would cost $ 862 million. This is about 63% of the estimated cost of a new facility at Orchard Park, valued by AECOM at $ 1.354 billion. A new stadium in downtown Buffalo could cost as much as $ 2.1 billion, according to the report.

The renovation is expected to take into account several factors, including the size of the main lobby, ground-level access, deterioration of the upper deck, and outdated catering and catering facilities, according to the consultants.

A spokesperson for Pegula Sports and Entertainment did not comment on the state’s study.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz also said on Wednesday “it probably doesn’t make sense” to renovate when a new stadium could last more than double the lifespan of a renovated stadium costly, which means that all three parties in the stadium negotiations appear to be on the same footing. page.

“(The AECOM report) provides a roadmap for the decisions we are going to make by having a good analysis regarding the fixed costs for a new stadium,” said Poloncarz.

New York State also asked AECOM to estimate the cost of building a stadium with a roof. Consultants said building a roof-ready stadium would cost an additional $ 109 million, while building a stadium with a roof would cost an additional $ 298 million.

Under the bills’ proposal, the team and the public would share the cost of building a new stadium, although it is still unclear what the breakdown would be.

Chris Horvatits is an award-winning journalist who joined the News 4 team in December 2017. See more of his work here.


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