Hochul confident Bills’ stadium deal can be done by March

Buffalo Bills

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB/AP) — New York governor Kathy Hochul expressed confidence she can reach a deal involving hundreds of millions of dollars in public funding to build a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills in time to be included on the state’s budget due in April.

During her Monday morning speech in Wyoming County, Hochul touched on the timeline for getting the proposed new Bills stadium funded and built. Responding to a reporter’s question, she said the state will support the team’s choice of Orchard Park as a location for the new stadium.

“We’ve had conversations. I’ve made it clear to the Bills organization that we wanted to accommodate both options and let them see the cost of both,” Hochul said. “If their choice is Orchard Park, it’s Orchard Park.”

The cost for a new stadium in Orchard Park is about $1.4 billion, according to an Empire State Development report that came out last month. The state is expected to fund a majority of the project. Hochul said that the Bills organization and the state could work out a location and a plan to pay for it by the end of the year—otherwise, they have until the end of March since it will fall under the state’s budget.

The governor added the Bills will have the final say whether to have the new facility based near their current home in Orchard Park or downtown. “If Orchard Park is their first choice, their only choice, it’s Orchard Park, and we’ll make it happen,” Hochul said during an appearance in Warsaw, New York.

Hochul, a self-described Bills fan, said that the state is “intently focused” on keeping the team in the state. “We’re excited about announcing a deal hopefully in the near future, but a lot of the devil is in the details, ” she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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