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Buffalo stadium proposal doesn't have Bills' blessing

The SportsXchange

A development group laid out its plans for a retractable-roof football stadium in Buffalo on Tuesday, but multiple media reports indicated that the new venue is far from a sure thing to be the future home of the Buffalo Bills.

For one thing, the Bills aren't involved in the proposed $1.4 billion project that would include the 72,000-seat stadium, a hotel, a convention center and a sports museum.

Bills chief executive officer Russ Brandon called the proposal a "non-starter" and added there is "nothing to it," according to WIVB.com, the website of television Ch. 4 in Buffalo.

The NFL won't give its endorsement to the project unless the Bills sign off.

"We haven't considered a proposal without club support," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Buffalo News.

According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Bills' lease with Ralph Wilson Stadium in suburban Orchard Park, N.Y., expires in July, and negotiations with Erie County and the state of New York have been "sluggish."

Mayor Byron W. Brown told the Buffalo News he hasn't committed to the project that is being planned by Greater Buffalo Sports & Entertainment Complex for the city's outer harbor.

"I think many of us in Buffalo would certainly love to see a domed, retractable stadium in downtown Buffalo somewhere, but it's premature to say that this is something that could be a reality," Brown said.

According to Nicholas Stracick, one of the lead developers, the public-private project would require $400 million in state funds.

Citing the hotel, convention center and museum aspects of the development, Stracick said, "It will change the city of Buffalo and bring in people from all over the country."

HKS, the architectural firm hired to work on the project by Greater Buffalo Sports & Entertainment Complex, has also been retained to work on proposed new stadiums in Oakland and Minnesota.
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