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Report: Bills Planning to Build New Stadium, Could Open Between 2025-2027

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJune 19, 2021

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

The Buffalo Bills are planning to build a new open-air stadium in Orchard Park, New York, per Thad Brown of News 8.

The facility may be ready as early as 2025, but Brown wrote that 2026 or 2027 are more likely start years for the Bills to begin play in the new stadium.

The Bills currently play in Orchard Park's Highmark Stadium, which opened to fans in August 1973 when it was known as Rich Stadium. The building also went by Ralph Wilson Stadium, New Era Field and Bills Stadium before its current name.

The lease for that stadium is up in 2023, per Brown, meaning the Bills could be forced to find an interim home before the new stadium is ready.

Erie County owns Highmark Stadium, with Pegula Sports and Entertainment serving as its operator. As Brown noted, negotiations could occur between the two sides to extend the lease and buy the Bills some time.

Failing that, the Bills may look to play their home games in Toronto or in State College, Pennsylvania, the home of the Penn State Nittany Lions. Both situations obviously wouldn't be ideal for a team based in Western New York.

Per Brown, the Bills have retained Legends Global Sales' services to sell sponsorships and premium seats in the team's proposed stadium.

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The stadium news comes after the best season in Bills history since 1993, when Buffalo won the AFC for the fourth straight year.

Quarterback Josh Allen, wide receiver Stefon Diggs and the Bills went 13-3 and won the AFC East for the first time since 1995. Buffalo won two playoff games and reached the AFC Championship Game, where it fell to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Excitement surrounding the franchise hasn't been this high since the early 1990s, and the Bills hope that they can sustain long-term success as they potentially switch homes later in the decade.

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