BUFFALO'S PROPOSED FACE LIFT

Buffalo may be in line for a huge face-lift if a proposed sports and entertainment complex gets the go ahead.

Nicholas Stracick, CEO and president of the Greater Buffalo Sports and Entertainment Complex, revealed a proposal to build a $1.4 billion waterfront sports and entertainment facility which would include a 70,000-seat stadium equipped with a retractable roof, potentially to be used as the new home of the Buffalo Bills NFL franchise.

Stracick said in a presentation to a city council committee his plan has the potential to change the Buffalo’s rust-belt image and preserve the Bills long-term future in western New York.

“Buffalo’s been backwards the last 50 years. It’s gone nowhere,” Stracick said. “This stadium is going to change the city of Buffalo.”

Stracick’s company has already spent around $1 million in hiring a leading sports facility architectural firm, Dallas-based HKS Design, to produce a site plan. HKS has designed numerous stadiums, including the Dallas Cowboys’ new facility, and the new Yankee Stadium in New York.

Its use is still in doubt, though, as reports indicate that the new venue is far from nailed on to be the future home of the Buffalo Bills.

The NFL won't give its endorsement to the project unless the Bills sign off, saying they want to use the venue.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said: "We haven't considered a proposal without club support."

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." 

Posted on 24/10/2012