Critics slammed the $600 million state to buy Bills Stadium which isn’t even in Buffalo

Former state officials who worked under previous government. Cuomo Andrew Cuomo behind an article Kathy Hochhol To agree to give the owners of the Buffalo Bills $600 million in taxpayer money to build a new stadium that won’t even exist in New York’s second largest city.

A government official familiar with initial discussions regarding the new Bells Stadium said Cuomo wanted to build it in the city of Buffalo as part of urban renewal rather than in the suburban Orchard Park, where the current stadium is located.

“We weren’t going to make a deal with a stadium in the suburbs. It had to be in downtown Buffalo,” said a former Como official familiar with the discussions.

The source said building a new stadium in the city would have justified the state paying for the infrastructure — but handing over $600 million in taxpayer dollars plus another $250 million from the county to Bills owners to build their suburban facilities was another very distant goal.

“We wouldn’t have been given this much before. The deal is meaningless,” said the former government official, who requested anonymity to discuss the matter.

“I believe in civic pride. But $600 million is a very high price to pay for civic pride,” said the Cuomo insider. “This is a very large number. It does not generate any economic activity.”

Governor Cathy Hochhol said the economic impact of the stadiums will greatly help the state..
Liv Radin/Pacific Press/Shutterstock

But the billing spokesperson, Pegola Sports Entertainmenthit former state officials with sanction flag for a needless offense against Hochul and Bills.

“This is 100% incorrect. I did not attend. This was never brought up [by Cuomo]Pegula Sports Entertainment spokesman Jim Wilkinson said when asked by The Post if Cuomo insists on the downtown Buffalo stadium.

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that independent analysis Commissioned by Empire State Development it concluded that the stadium in downtown Buffalo would have cost up to $450 million more than the new Orchard Park stadium—and that up to 3,000 residents and businesses had been displaced.

During a debate last year, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said the cost of the city’s stadium seemed prohibitive, and he wasn’t campaigning for the bills to be moved there.

But other experts who study stadium support agree with this criticism.

“I can justify government funding if they’re revitalizing the city of Buffalo,” Mark Rosentrup, professor of sports management at the University of Michigan, told The Post.

Rosentraub worked to finance the new Las Vegas Raiders stadium.

“Had this been in downtown Buffalo, I would have been very interested in defending it. I am disappointed that it is not,” he said, adding that it sounds like a gift.

Former Governor Andrew Cuomo
Former officials said former Governor Andrew Cuomo wanted to build the new stadium in Buffalo.
Pacific Press / LightRocket via Getty Images

The new $1.1 billion UBS Islanders hockey arena next to Belmont Park in Elmont was privately funded, although the state provided $74 million for a new LIRR station in Elmont near the arena.

Other Albany insiders said he was wealthy for Camp Como to claim highway over the stadium – citing the Buffalo Billion economic manipulation and corruption scandal that led to the conviction of his closest confidant, Joe Bercoko Chief Economic Development Officer, Alan Kaloyros.

The North Como District Economic Development Program was widely considered bankrupt.

Hochul defended the stadium deal, describing it as sound.

I went into these negotiations trying to answer three questions – how long can we continue
The Bills in Buffalo, How can we make sure this project benefits the hard-working men and women of western New York and how can we get the best deal for taxpayers? Hochul said on Monday.

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“I am pleased that after months of negotiations, we have come up with the best possible answer — the bills will remain in Buffalo for another 30 years, the project will create 10,000 union jobs and New Yorkers can rest assured that their investment is being recovered by
The economic activity generated by the team.”

She said the Bells franchise is a proven economic driver for the Buffalo area and state. The bills generate $27 million annually in direct income, sales, and use taxes for New York State, Erie County, and Buffalo. It will generate revenue of more than $1.6 billion over
30 year lease term.

Tom Suzzi
Tom Suozzi described the deal as an evasion of taxpayers.
Matthew McDermott

Furthermore, fans who attend the games from all over New York, the United States, and Canada and spend money locally that would not be spent in the region, has resulted in $385 million annually in economic activity.

One of Hochhol’s main Democratic opponents, Long Island Representative Tom Suzzi, tore up the Bills Stadium deal as a taxpayer rip.

Complaining about New York’s high taxes and rising crime, Suozzi said, “And what is the governor doing? She’s proposing the most lucrative stadium deal in NFL history — four days before the state budget is due after secret negotiations and expects it to be paid at the last minute as part of back-end deals.” .

“No wonder our state is in so much trouble. No wonder we have the highest taxes in America, the worst work climate in America, people struggling to pay their utility bills and their tax bills, a crime crisis out of control. That is the pattern and practice of this ruler.”

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Suozzi said there should be public hearings on the stadium deal.

Additional reporting by Maggie Hicks

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