The future of Buffalo Bills home games is undetermined, but fans should not expect anything resembling what the Los Angeles Rams are constructing in Inglewood, California.
Terry Pegula and Kim Pegula, co-owners of the Bills, answered questions about the future of New Era Field in an interview at the NFL owners meeting in Arizona on Tuesday, March 26.
“I think the answer is probably a scaled-down version of some of these palaces that are being built around the country,” Terry Pegula said. “The thing Stan (Kroenke, Rams owner) is building in L.A. is amazing, Jerry Jones’ facility in Dallas. So we need to do something that’s Buffalo style.”
When asked if he were in favor of building a new Buffalo Bills stadium instead of renovating New Era, Pegula did not take a stand in either direction.
“We’ll see what the market research says,” Pegula said.
The market research Pegula is referring to is a survey Pegula Sports and Entertainment commissioned to CAA ICON, a Denver based company, to determine Bills’ fans opinions on the future of Bills football and what the Buffalo market can support.
“It’s pretty extensive, the work they’re doing. I can’t comment on what the results are because I don’t know,” Pegula said. “We have dribs and drabs of what they’ve seen so far, but we’re open to any option and we’ll see what the market study says. We’re waiting for our study to come out to see what all they tell us what our market can support.”
Reporters asked Pegula if anything is off the table as far as a new Bills stadium, a dome, major renovations, or a new location is concerned. He would not elaborate any further than to say that it will be determined by the results of the market research.
“It’s all about what we think our fans want and what they prefer,” Pegula added.
Building a new Buffalo Bills stadium would not be cheap. The Rams new home is estimated to cost nearly $5 billion, while the Raiders stadium in Las Vegas will reportedly cost nearly $2 billion, according to Forbes.com.
These two stadiums will host more than just football games and are in larger markets than Buffalo. Out of all four major sports, Buffalo ranks as the smallest TV market, according to sportsmediawatch.com. With a small market size, it is expected a new stadium, if one is built at all, to be much cheaper than the Rams or Raiders.
At this point, there is no clear future for New Era Field. The Bills current lease with Erie County, which owns the stadium in Orchard Park, expires in 2023.
If the Pegulas opt to construct a new Bills stadium with a dome, the team would not play a home game in the snow past the year 2023, leaving sights like this in the past.