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Bills Officially Break Ground On New Stadium

The Buffalo Bills officially broke ground on their new $1.54 billion stadium on Monday morning, setting the stage for a bright new future for the NFL’s small market team that has survived potential relocation.

“While Buffalo isn’t one of the larger NFL markets, the days of us operating as a small-market team are in the past,” EVP/chief operating officer Ron Raccuia said, according to ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg. “On the field, we’ve become a national brand, gaining national attention and attracting national opportunities. Our fans stretch across the country and the world, and as an organization, we carry this banner with commitment and pride.”

Since 1973, the Bills have played in the Erie County-owned Highmark Stadium, the fourth-oldest stadium in the NFL, and the lease was extended until 2028 to allow for any potential construction issues or unexpected delays with the new stadium.

The groundbreaking ceremony included speeches from Raccuia, who has been the lead for the stadium project for the Bills, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Bills owner/CEO Terry Pegula, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. Coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane were also in attendance.

Raccuia spoke highly of Goodell, saying he is on the “Mount Rushmore of people who made” the stadium deal happen with the league office supporting getting a deal done. The commissioner is a native of Jamestown, New York, located about an hour and a half from the stadium, and while he said he’s not sure how many groundbreakings he has been to in his tenure, saying just that it’s over 20, “none of them are more meaningful than being here today.”

Goodell praised the Buffalo community in his speech.

“This is an extraordinary community. They deserve an extraordinary stadium, and you’re going to get it and I think, as western New Yorkers, we’ll all be proud,” Goodell said. “It’ll be not only a great stadium but filled with incredible fans. Western New York has always shown that passion for football, for the Bills. It’s just for us, I don’t think of it as 30 years, I think it as a lifetime. I think of it as the future. The Bills are now secured in western New York, and that’s something that we should all take great pride in.”

“Ralph would be looking down and admire the fact that he got it done, because Ralph was in many negotiations [at the old stadium], and getting that stadium built, a lot of negotiations,” Mary Wilson, former Bills team owner Ralph Wilson’s widow said. “And also getting improvements to that stadium, a lot of negotiations. So, Ralph would be proud of what they accomplished. … The Bills are never leaving here. The Bills are never leaving western New York.”


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